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Geology, Quaternary Geology - Master Programme

Master's programme · 2 years · 120 credits

A group of students looking out over snowy mountains during a field trip


Are you interested in climate variations and how ice age cycles have affected landscapes, animals and plants? Do you find it appealing to use knowledge about Planet Earth’s dynamic processes to assist in efforts to meet current societal challenges? This Master’s programme gives you leading-edge expertise that is in demand in the national and international labour market.

The programme provides you with specialised knowledge about climate variations, glaciers and ice age cycles over the past 2.6 million years. You study the characteristics and distribution of deposits and the processes that created them and which in part are still ongoing. You will also gain specialised knowledge about the changes that took place during the Quaternary period regarding plants, animals, oceans, lakes and wetlands, as well as human evolution and humankind’s effect on the environment. Environmental analysis and dating methods are also included.

Your lectures and exercises will be held in well-equipped facilities. The department has a wide range of advanced research equipment. Here, you will find instruments for geochemical analysis, state-of-the-art microscopes for analysing sediment and microfossils, and various dating laboratories, for example to determine the age of ancient wood material whose tree rings can tell us about climate change and cultural development over thousands of years.

Fieldwork is also an important part of the programme. You will participate in field courses and excursions to southern Sweden and the Scandinavian mountains to learn more about sediments, landforms and glaciers. The programme has a strong connection with research and all members of the teaching staff are researchers. The department has several world-leading research teams. The language of instruction is English. You will conduct oral and written presentations and gain extensive experience of working in groups.

Programme structure

In the first semester, you will take courses in glacial sedimentology and palaeoecological methods and environmental analysis. In the following spring semester, you can study marine geology and take a course on global environmental change from a geological perspective. You can also combine courses in Quaternary geology with other courses, for example in bedrock geology. On admission to the programme, you will automatically be placed on the first semester’s two courses.

The second year of studies consists of an optional course (15 credits) and degree project (45 credits). The degree project normally includes fieldwork in Sweden or abroad, followed by analysis work in one of our research laboratories. Data processing and a literature review are included in the thesis work.

Career prospects

Demand for geological expertise will only increase in the future to address the major societal challenges we are facing. With a Master’s degree in Geology, you will be well-equipped with both general and specific subject knowledge. Many of our students get jobs as environmental consultants or specialists within the mining, construction or civil engineering sectors. Others make a career in public authorities, such as the Geological Survey of Sweden, county administrative boards or the Swedish Environmental Protection Agency, often focused on sustainable management of groundwater and other geological resources. You can also work in municipal planning, nature conservation and other types of public information within the field. Geological knowledge is in demand all over the world and there are good opportunities to find jobs abroad, for example concerning water supply in developing countries or in major infrastructure projects. The programme also qualifies you for third-cycle studies.

More info:

Closed for applications

Application opportunities

Open for late applications

The regular application round has closed, but this programme is accepting late applications. See all programmes that are currently open for late applications on and apply now. 

However, if you apply late as a non-EU student, please note that it might be difficult for you to get admitted in time to start your studies in Lund. 

Apply at


Director of Studies

Karl Ljung

Phone: +46 46 222 3996

Email: karl [dot] ljung [at] geol [dot] lu [dot] se

Requirements and selection

Entry requirements

Bachelor’s degree of at least 180 credits in geology or the equivalent. The degree must include at least 90 credits in geology.

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

Selection criteria

Based on grades awarded for previous academic courses and a statement of purpose for the application (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 'Summary Sheet' when you apply for this programme.

Summary Sheet for the Master's programmes in Geology (PDF, new window)

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