Degree: Master of Science (two years) in Environmental Science
MSc Science for Sustainable Development is a two-year, full-time study programme that provides a strong basis for a career related to sustainable development and environmental change.
The programme focuses on critical analysis of environmental challenges and applying science to solve real‑world problems. It consists of core and specialisation courses followed by thesis work. Upon completion of the programme, students acquire a Master’s degree in Science with a major in Environmental Science.
In the core courses, students gain knowledge of theories, approaches, techniques, and methods from various scientific disciplines (such as critical analysis of sustainability perspectives, commodity chain analysis, indicators, resource management, and GIS). They also learn to develop general analytical skills that will enable them to interpret, design, communicate, and implement sustainability and environmental issues. They develop problem-solving abilities and adaptability skills, which will be indispensable to professional success.
"The courses cover a broad range of topics - – from climate change and biodiversity loss to feminism and colonisation. Also, the students are from all over the world - – it’s not only fun to be exposed to such a huge diversity of cultures, but in the class, it actually feels like a global cooperation in tackling these issues!" Karolina Gurjazkaite, Student
In the third term, students begin to specialise. Elective courses are offered that train their research skills and provide the opportunity for internships at businesses, organisations or research institutes in Sweden or abroad.
The students on our programme have the opportunity to design their own profile. To support this process, students are offered a series of workshops as mentoring sessions with key staff members throughout their education. These workshops guide the students’ specialisation pathways.
A unique aspect of the programme is the learning portfolio exercises that each student prepares to suit their particular academic needs and interests (under faculty guidance). The learning portfolio consists of several steps during the programme, ranging from reflection on students’ competence and skills, individual goal setting, and progression in their skills in academic writing. The students gain a more accurate focus on their specific skills, and the portfolio promotes both critical thinking and greater self-knowledge, both of which will be important for the students’ professional life.
In the final term, the students work individually on a project under the guidance of staff. The master’s thesis can either have a research focus or be undertaken in collaboration with external organizations, businesses, etc. Previous theses have addressed a wide range of environmental topics, demonstrating students’ innovation and creativity, and highlighting socially important issues.
The Science in Sustainable Development programme is the only one in its category to be awarded the highest quality ranking in Sweden by the Swedish Higher Education Authority. In 2015, our students ranked their satisfaction with our programme at 4.6 of a possible 5.0, which placed us fourth of all programmes at Linköping University. The university is located on a green campus only a short bike ride to the city centre, and close to forests and parks.
Our multidisciplinary perspective is firmly anchored in our research environment, with teachers from academic backgrounds that range from the humanities to social and natural sciences. The programme will give you a holistic perspective, with opportunities to refine your knowledge of complex issues of sustainability.
Degree: Master of Science with a major in Energy and Environmental Engineering
The Sustainability Engineering and Management master’s programme deals with the multifaceted challenge of developing products, services and technical systems that contribute to increased resource-effectiveness and sustainability.
It is well-known that economic development and human welfare depend on the availability of raw materials and energy. However, the exploitation of such natural resources has many environmental implications such as climate change, resource scarcity and the uncontrolled dispersal of hazardous substances. In times of global environmental problems and concerns about the long-term availability of natural resources such as metals and minerals, incentives for using materials and energy in more intelligent and efficient ways are increasing among governments, companies and other organisations.
McKinsey, one of the largest management consultancy firms in the world, has emphasised the urgent need for a resource revolution. The aim is to address the anticipated economic and political implications of resource scarcity, steadily increasing pollution levels from primary production and the uneven distribution of natural resources among regions. Companies are thus facing the challenge of delivering increasing amounts of products and services, while at the same time preventing the depletion of natural resources, cutting costs and contributing to a sustainable society.
This master’s programme offers a unique knowledge profile and aims to train future engineers who can contribute to such a societal transition towards the more efficient use of natural resources. More specifically, you will learn how to combine a multidisciplinary system perspective with skills in modern environmental and energy engineering. With this proactive and holistic approach, environmental problems can often be significantly limited or prevented, without jeopardising human well-being.
The programme combines the perspectives of two research groups – Energy Systems and Environmental Technology and Management – at the Department of Management and Engineering. These groups deal with system solutions and state-of-the-art research in areas like renewable energy and biofuels, energy efficiency, waste management, urban and landfill mining, corporate environmental management and integrated product-service offerings. Several renewable energy solutions have already been implemented in the region, which means that you will have the opportunity to see how such environmental technology works in practice. Moreover, there is a national research excellence centre on biogas production and utilisation located at the university, which involves a wide network of academic, industry-related and public actors.
The first semester features introductory courses in environmental engineering and energy systems, and courses in traditional engineering topics such as product development and project management. The second and third semesters involve specialisation in concepts, strategies and methods for achieving more efficient use of materials and energy, at business, inter-business and societal levels. These semesters also include courses on the development and implementation of sustainability concepts and strategies such as innovative entrepreneurship and innovation management.
Examples of courses within the programme are: Energy Systems, Large Technical Systems and the Environment, Energy Systems Analysis, Innovative Entrepreneurship, Biofuels for Transportation, Industrial Ecology, Management Systems and Sustainability, Innovation Management and Resource-Efficient Products.
The programme concludes with a degree project (30 ECTS) in the final semester.
The Ecology and the Environment master’s programme prepares students to work with the management of ecosystems, ecological communities and populations, based on a thorough knowledge of ecological concepts and theories.
The programme has a critical scientific approach to ecology and its applications in society. Students acquire training in practical areas such as experiment design, data interpretation, ecological fieldwork and theoretical modelling, both in a classroom setting and through fieldwork.
There is a strong focus on the practical application of ecological knowledge in society. You learn about environmental and natural resource management, and how it is implicated by various stakeholders. Courses cover population ecology, community ecology and ecology systems theories, including their relationship to current environmental problems. Furthermore, the programme has an internship period and a course that focuses on ecological decision support for forestry and agriculture.
The key part of the programme is a one-year master’s project in which students apply their theoretical and methodological knowledge. The project can be linked to current research projects at the Division of Biology in subjects such as conservation ecology, ecology of shallow waters, design and management of treatment wetlands, spatio-temporal ecology, and population and community ecology. Alternatively, the master’s project can be conducted at a university or research institute abroad, in a field such as tropical ecology or ecological engineering.
This programme also emphasises the need for mathematical models and statistical analyses to address complex ecological and environmental problems. Typical applications are in helping to identify crop management strategies for effective biological control, understanding the impact of life-history strategies on the risk of population extinction in a varying environment, and evaluating the preservation status of nature reserves and how they should be managed.