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Master's Programme in Geological Sciences

Master programme in geological sciences at stockholm university, department of geological sciences, covers the processes that formed our planet, ranging from the effects of plate tectonics for mountain building and the formation of sedimentary basins to the drivers for volcanism and earthquakes.


In the M.Sc. programme in Geological Sciences you will study the chemical, physical, and biological processes that shape our planet. You will learn about the effects of plate tectonics on mountain building, volcanism, ore formation, and earthquakes. You will study the processes that control Earth’s climate system and the geological record of Earth’s climate evolution, as well as the biogeochemically controlled distribution of elements and molecules on Earth and their exchange between the ocean, atmosphere, and geosphere.

In the educational line petrology and tectonics, research and education focus on large-scale metamorphic events, magmatism and tectonics, fluid, and chemical transport, and ore formation.

In our marine geology line we concentrate our studies on the physical, chemical, and biological properties in sediments and sedimentary rocks, with the goal to determine the processes behind their formation and to reconstruct Earth’s environmental and climate evolution. Marine geophysical methods are a central subject in our research and used, e.g., for the digital mapping of the ocean seafloor.

In our geochemistry line we examine how elements and molecules are distributed between the geosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere. We study biomineralization processes and use molecular and isotope geochemical records to reconstruct environmental changes for the geological past. An important focus of our work is on process-oriented geochemical studies to understand how physical, chemical, and biological processes catalyse and control exchange between the major Earth’s compartments.

Our courses also include topics of recent environmental change and the evolution of life throughout Earth’s history.

  • Programme overview

    The Department of Geological Sciences offers a Master’s degree that comprises two years of study. The Master’s programme has two specializations:

    • Specialization Geology
    • Specialization Marine Geology

    Each specialization includes 15 credit points of compulsory courses, an independent project that comprises 30, 45, or 60 credit points, 30 credits of optional courses, and depending on the credits for the independent project, elective courses comprising 15, 30, or 45 credit points.

    For the specialization geology these courses are Field studies in the Geological Sciences, Geodynamics and/or Ore Geology.

    In the specialization marine geology, the compulsory courses are Ocean and climate dynamics over geological timescales and Palaeoclimatology.

    The programme offers a set of additional elective courses in Terrestrial Geophysics, Palaeontology, Current Research and Planning, and Applied Geology that can be taken in the first or second year. We also offer the distance course (15 hp) Climate Change Through Earth's History.

    A total of 30 optional credit points can be obtained through reading courses given by other programmes, by other departments at Stockholm University, by other universities in Sweden, or abroad.

    Please contact us for more information and for advice on the choice of courses in Sweden and abroad. We are happy to help you find the most appropriate courses at other institutions or universities. Optional courses are chosen together with the study director of the Master’s programme.

    Year 1

    Specialization geology, compulsory courses 15 credits:
    Geodynamics (7.5 credits) Autumn term or
    Ore Geology (7.5 credits) Autumn term
    Fieldstudies in the Geological Sciences (7.5 credit) Spring term

    Specialization marine geology, compulsory courses 15 credits:
    Ocean and climate Dynamics of geological timescales (7.5 credits) Spring term
    Palaeoclimatology (7.5 credits) Spring term

    There is room for elective courses or traineeship in Geological Sciences of 15, 30, or 45 credit points in all three specializations depending on the credit points for the independent project.

    Elective courses comprise 30 credit at the maximum.


    Year 2

    Specialization geology:
    Geology independent project 30, 45 or 60 credits*
    There is room for elective courses or traineeship in Geological Science up to 15, 30 or 45 credit points depending on the credit points of the independent project.

    Specialization marine geology:
    Marine geology independent project 30, 45 or 60 credits*
    There is room for elective courses or traineeship in Geological Science up to 15, 30 or 45 credit points depending on the credit points of the independent project.

    *Compulsory courses

    Elective courses comprise 30 credit at the maximum.

  • Meet us

    Photo: Private
    Photo: Private

    Course Marine geotechnics, 7.5 credits VT period 7

    The engineering properties of marine sediments are key parameters for off-shore installations, and for understanding the physical, chemical and bio-logical processes occurring at and below the seafloor. This course introduc-es students to geotechnical methods for characterising marine sediments. Students will gain practical experience in quantitative measurements for classifying different types of sediments, as well as the common approach-es for measuring the strength, compressibility and permeability of marine sediments. Students will learn how to combine this data with results from sonar and seismic mapping to describe the subsurface stratigraphy, geological history, and engineering properties of an offshore site.

    Course leader: Matt O’Regan (Associate professor of Sediment physical properties).

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