Second Level/Cycle. 120 credits (2 years). Start Autumn Term 2018. Study tempo 100%.

requirements and selection

The Master’s program is intended to help you to understand how the Earth's landscape, landforms and sediments have been formed during the Quaternary, or even longer time spans. This is a programme that focuses on Climate, Climate modelling, Geomorphology, Glaciology, Polar Environments and Quaternary Geology.

The program begins with two mandatory courses. Here you acqurie more in-depth knowledge on climate and environmental change, geomorphology and glaciology, learn how to analyse and interpret landscape and climate changes, and focus on dating methods, presentation techniques, and scientific publishing.

The program is especially useful if you plan a continuation in research but also gives you transferable skills and knowledge that are useful in working life. Understanding of landscape development in a rapidly changing world is essential, and with a master's degree in Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, you will be attractive to employers in both state and local government and the private sector.

Programme structure

The first semester starts with a field course to northern Scandinavia dealing with the Quaternary climate history, glacial and periglacial landforms, and subarctic and Arctic environments.

During semester 2-3, you will be focusing on our courses based on research for which we are internationally competitive such as climate modelling, bio- and lithostratigraphy, palaeoglaciology, permafrost or additional subjects through our range of elective and optional courses. A large part of the teaching is conducted in the field and in the laboratory and our teachers are active researchers giving you a direct contact with ongoing research. Year two 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.

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 Project (mandatory)

The number of optional courses taken will be dependent on the period of time devoted to the Master Thesis, which may extend over one or two terms.

The first year

The first term consists of two mandatory courses

The second term consists of 22.5 credits elective courses and a 7.5 credit optional course

  • Elective courses, 22.5 credits Spring Term 2019:
A-B Quaternary Climate and Environmental Reconstructions 15 credits Permafrost - Interactions with Ecology and Hydrology 7.5 credits
Glaciology 7.5 credits
C Quaternary Sedimentology 7.5 credits Quaternary Sedimentology 7.5 credits  
D Climate Model Simulations 7.5 credits Paleoglaciology 7.5 credits

Elective courses for the NNKVO Master's Programme in Physical Geography and Quaternary Geology, 120 credits, study year 2018-2019: Elective courses NNKVO 2018-2019 (108 Kb)

  • Optional course, 7.5 credits

The second year

Language of instruction


Admission requirements
Competence equivalent to a Bachelor's degree, with at least 90 higher education credits in Geoscience or Geography, or equivalent science or civil engineering competence is required. Also required is knowledge equivalent to Swedish upper secondary school course English B/English 6.

Grades of academic courses, motivation letter and the relevance of previous studies in relation to the programme.

Application documentation specific for this programme
In addition to the documents required by, the following documents must accompany all applications to this Master’s Programme:

1) Personal letter/Letter of interest (maximum one page)
2) CV
3) Brief summary of the grading system of your university (if other than ECTS). Translate credits to ECTS and provide explanation of grading scale.
4) 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 17 - 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

Apply here