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Biology, Aquatic Ecology - Master Programme

Master's programme · 2 years · 120 credits

A student looking at a bottle with water during an excursion


Environmental problems in seas and fresh water are becoming increasingly pressing in society. There is a growing need for expertise on these ecosystems. Our Master’s Programme in Aquatic Ecology provides you with specialised knowledge in both marine ecology and limnology. The programme also includes applied courses based on the labour market’s need for aquatic expertise.

This Master’s programme focuses on ecology in lakes, marshlands, running water and the sea. You will learn about physical and chemical processes and how they affect plants and animals, as well as nutrient cycling in water. You will also learn about the interaction between organisms; for example, competition and predation, and interactions both within and between different populations in the aquatic food webs.

You will practise chemical analyses and methods for taking specimens, as well as refine your species knowledge on planktons, invertebrates, large algae, other submerged aquatic plants and fish. We also discuss the effects of over-fertilisation, acidification and climate change with regard to aquatic systems. The programme includes applied courses that provide you with important expertise on, for example, the EU framework directives on water, environmental toxins and utilisation of geographic information systems (GIS), and implementation of the action programme for restoring damaged aquatic environments. The programme also provides you with specialised knowledge on experimental design and statistics, as well as training in analysing and interpreting biological data. You will practice both oral and written presentations and obtain ample experience in working in groups.

Teaching takes place on modern premises and in laboratories with advanced equipment. Field instruction is an important part of the programme. Excursions and field projects are provided at no cost to the student. The Master’s programme has a high proportion of scheduled lessons, and the interaction with teaching staff and course assistants is relaxed. All of the teaching staff are researchers, and as a result the programme is continuously adapted based on current research. The Department of Biology has several world-leading research teams and conducts both basic research and applied research. The language of instruction is English.

Programme structure

The Master’s programme has a recommended study route, but you can also make a personal study plan after consultation with the study advisor and programme coordinator. During the first semester you will study limnology and marine ecology, focusing on ecosystems, species and processes. During the spring semester you will first take the aquatic ecology course, which addresses how climate change impacts the aquatic ecosystems. It also gives you more in-depth experience of scientific methods. The semester concludes with a water management course.

In the second academic year you can select courses on GIS, processing and analysing biological data, modelling of biological systems or ecotoxicology, for example. The degree project is worth 30, 45 or 60 credits and is generally conducted in a research team, but it can also be conducted in cooperation with a public authority or a company. The Master’s programme offers the option of doing an internship, which can provide valuable contacts.

Career prospects

After graduation, you can work in water management as a municipal ecologist or as a county water administrator, for example. You could also work as a consultant. Among other things, work duties could include environmental monitoring through field sample collection and evaluation, offering advice and assessing measures. If you are passionate about research within aquatic ecology, there are good opportunities to continue your studies at a higher education institution.

Closed for applications

Application opportunities


Department of Biology, Study advisor

Lotta Persmark

Phone: +46 46 222 37 28

Email: lotta [dot] persmark [at] biol [dot] lu [dot] se

Requirements and selection

Entry requirements

Specialisations: Aquatic Ecology
Bachelor’s degree of at least 180 credits, of which 90 credits must be in science, including 5 credits in statistics and 60 credits in biology comprising cell biology, genetics, microbiology, ecology, botany and zoology, or the equivalent.

Proficiency in English equivalent to English 6/B from Swedish upper-secondary school.

Selection criteria

Based on grades awarded for previous academic courses, as well as a statement of purpose for the application and qualifications from research/work of relevance to the study programme (from the applicant’s “Summary sheet”).

English language requirements

Most of Lund University’s programmes require English Level 6 (unless otherwise stated under 'Entry requirements'). This is the equivalent of an overall IELTS score of 6.5 or a TOEFL score of 90. There are several ways to prove your English language proficiency – check which proof is accepted at the University Admissions in Sweden website. All students must prove they meet English language requirements by the deadline, in order to be considered for admission.

How to prove your English proficiency –

Country-specific requirements

Check if there are any country-specific eligibility rules for you to study Bachelor's or Master's studies in Sweden:

Country-specific requirements for Bachelor's studies –

Country-specific requirements for Master's studies –


Start Autumn Semester 2024

Day-time Lund, full time 100%

In English

Study period

2 September 2024 - 7 June 2026


Closed for applications

How to apply

Lund University uses a national application system run by University Admissions in Sweden. It is only possible to apply during the application periods.

When to apply for studies

Step 1: Apply online

  • Check that you meet the entry requirements of the programme or course you are interested in (refer to the section above on this webpage).
  • Start your application – go to the University Admissions in Sweden website where you create an account and select programmes/courses during the application period.
    Visit the University Admissions in Sweden website
  • Rank your programme/course choices in order of preference and submit them before the application deadline.

Step 2: Submit documents

  • Read about how to document your eligibility and how to submit your documents at the University Admissions in Sweden website. Follow any country-specific document rules for Master's studies or Bachelor's studies
    Country-specific requirements for Bachelor's studies –
    Country-specific requirements for Master's studies –
  • Get all your documents ready:
    - official transcripts and high school diploma (Bachelor's applicants)
    - official transcripts and degree certificate or proof that you are in the final year of your Bachelor's (Master's applicants)
    - passport/ID (all applicants) and
    - proof of English proficiency (all applicants).
  • Prepare programme-specific documents if stated in the next paragraph on this webpage.
  • Upload or send all required documents to University Admissions before the document deadline.
  • Pay the application fee (if applicable – refer to the section below on this webpage) before the document deadline.

* Note that the process is different if you are applying as an exchange student or as a part of a cooperation programme (such as Erasmus+).
* If you have studied your entire Bachelor's programme in Sweden and all of your academic credits are in Ladok, you do not have to submit transcripts or your diploma when applying for a Master's programme. However, there may still be other documents you need to submit! See the link below. 

Svensk student? 
Läs instruktionerna om att söka till ett internationellt masterprogram på

Programme-specific documents

In addition to the documents mentioned under Step 2, you must also submit a when you apply for this programme.

Summary Sheet for Master's programmes in Biology (PDF, 80 kB, new tab)

Watch on YouTube: How to apply for a Master's programme

Tuition fees

Non-EU/EEA citizens

Full programme/course tuition fee: SEK 340 000

First payment: SEK 85 000

Convert currency –

Citizens of a country outside of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland are required to pay tuition fees. You pay one instalment of the tuition fee in advance of each semester.

Tuition fees, payments and exemptions

EU/EEA citizens and Switzerland

There are no tuition fees for citizens of the European Union (EU), the European Economic Area (EEA) and Switzerland.

Application fee

If you are required to pay tuition fees, you are generally also required to pay an application fee of SEK 900 when you apply at the University Admissions in Sweden website. You pay one application fee regardless of how many programmes or courses you apply to.

*Note that there are no tuition or application fees for exchange students or doctoral/PhD students, regardless of their nationality.

Scholarships & funding

Lund University Global Scholarship programme

The Lund University Global Scholarship programme is a merit-based and selective scholarship targeted at top academic students from countries outside the EU/EEA.

Lund University Global Scholarship

Swedish Institute Scholarships

The Swedish Institute offers scholarships to international students applying for studies in Sweden at Master's level.

Scholarship information on the Swedish Institute website

Country-specific scholarships and funding options

Lund University has agreements with scholarship organisations and funding bodies in different countries, which may allow applicants to apply for funding or scholarships in their home countries for their studies at Lund University.

External scholarships

Information about scholarships from external organisations

Testimonials about this Master's