MSc in Polar Landscapes and Quaternary Climate

General information

In many places of the world we experience rapid environmental change. In the Master's Program in Polar Landscape and Quaternary Climate you get knowledge and skills necessary for the understanding and analysis of polar and alpine landscapes. You get insights in how they have changed on different time scales, linked to climate variations during the Quaternary period.

Climate change is particularly rapid in the glacial and periglacial landscapes of polar and alpine regions. The program will provide you with knowledge about the global climate system's functioning and about methods used to reconstruct climate and environmental change. In addition, human and natural causes of climate change are presented and discussed.

The program gives you skills and tools that make you attractive in the labour market, and it also prepares you for a career in research. Today, former students work in consultancies and various government and regional authorities. Many have moved on to doctoral education both in Sweden and abroad.

Programme structure

The first semester starts with two mandatory courses. Here you acquire in-depth knowledge on climate and environmental change, geomorphology and glaciology. You learn how to analyse and interpret landscape and climate change, and you focus on dating methods, presentation techniques and scientific publishing. The first course starts with an excursion to northern Scandinavia, dealing with Quaternary climate history, glacial and periglacial landforms, and sub-Arctic and Arctic environments.

During the second and third semesters, you will focus on courses based on research for which we are internationally competitive. Examples are courses in climate modelling, bio- and lithostratigraphy, palaeoglaciology and permafrost, but there is a wide range of elective and optional courses also in other subjects, such as GIS and remote sensing and hydrology. A large part of the teaching is conducted in the field and in the laboratory. Our teachers are active researchers, providing direct contact with ongoing research. The second year ends with a thesis, which is generally linked to an ongoing research project. Unique opportunities for Master thesis projects are available at our alpine research station located in Tarfala, Kebnekaise, or at our research station, Navarino Environmental Observatory in Greece.

The two-year Master’s Programme consists of 120 credits

30 credits Mandatory advanced courses
22.5 credits Elective advanced courses (from a list)
7.5-37.5 credits Optional courses
30-60 credits Master Thesis (mandatory)

Contact Person: Britta Sannel (Programme responsible) (


The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0532 - Physical and chemical oceanography", "0532 - Marine Geology


Venue: Stockholm University
Stockholm, Sweden


Open from
16 Oct 2019 to 15 Jan 2020


There are no fees for EU/EEA/Switzerland citizens. Applicants from countries outside the EU, the EEA, and Switzerland are required to pay both an application fee (SEK 900) and tuition fee of  SEK 280,000 for the entire programme.


To be eligible for this programme you must have knowledge corresponding to a Bachelor's degree with at least 90 higher education credits (ECTS credits) in Geoscience or Geography or equivalent subject in Science. Mathematics C/3b/3c or at least 7.5 ECTS credits Mathematics/Statistics or equivalent. Also required is knowledge equivalent to Swedish upper secondary school course English B/English 6.

Application Procedure:

In addition to the documents required by, the following documents must accompany all applications to this Master’s Programme:

  • Personal letter/Letter of interest (maximum one page)
  • CV
  • Brief summary of the grading system of your university (if other than ECTS). Provide explanation of grading scale.
  • List your courses to indicate how you fulfill the specific requirements for the programme.

If you are still studying for your Bachelor degree when making the admission application then please write in the personal letter which courses and credits are yet to be completed.

How to apply and upload documents

Follow the instructions at on how to apply and how to submit your supporting documents. Please do not send any documents directly to the department.

Dates and deadlines

January 15 – Last date to apply for Master programmes for all applicants (Application period: October 16 - January 15)

Application process

All applications must be sent through The number of students admitted to each of our programmes is limited and admission is granted on a competitive basis. Candidates will be selected by an admission committee.

Step-by-step guide

Grant Opportunities:

Information about funding opportunities can be found on the 'Scholarships, Costs & Fees' section of the University's website.


Academic level: Master

Qualification: Master of Science

Occupations (not validated):
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