Our society is facing environmental challenges that urgently need large-scale efforts. These challenges call for professionals with solid training to take on important roles in local, regional and global governmental offices, in NGOs, in media, in the private sector, as well as in our education system and research communities worldwide.

Our M.Sc. program in ES-ABC empowers the students with the environmental science perspective on the grand challenges that our society face such as air and water quality, and climate change, and prepare the students to contribute to their solutions.

The environmental science perspective recognizes that the large-scale natural elemental cycles (e.g., the global carbon cycle, which includes exchange with atmospheric CO2, CH4 and black carbon/soot aerosols) is intertwined with human emissions of other pollutants such as greenhouse gases and aerosols as well as other perturbations such as land-use change. These combine to produce anthropogenic effects ranging from climate change to degradation of air and water quality. These in turn, may produce feedbacks and thus affect how the Earth system works (e.g., change the carbon cycle and nutrient dynamics, cause eutrophication and lake/ocean acidification). Students in the Stockholm University M.Sc. program in Environmental Science – Atmosphere-Biogeochemistry – Climate Change will become familiar with these complexities and equipped to contribute to solutions to “wicked” 21st century problems.


With the program the students gain a fundamental knowledge of the composition and functioning of the environmental compartments: the atmosphere – the freshwater and ocean – and the land systems, as well as the exchange processes between these spheres. The program provides understanding of how these compartments interact through transport, energy balances, the water, carbon, and other elemental cycles.

A central part of this program is to gain a deeper understanding of how natural systems get perturbed: what emissions to water and air act as pollutants? What are the effects of greenhouse gases and aerosols? What is the evidence of man-made climate change? How are climate change manifested, and how does it influence mankind and nature? How is climate change varying between places and over time? What are the feedback processes that threaten to amplify climate change globally or in specific regions? How can we mitigate and adapt to climate change?

The ES-ABC Program at Stockholm University prepares the student for stimulating careers in environmental management and consulting in private or governmental sectors, and/or for a successful Ph.D. education and research career, in the world.

The program will employ a variety of learning activities, including lectures, individual and group assignments, “reverse classrooms” (peer instructions under mentor guidance), laboratory experiments, computer model laborations, field excursions/sampling of land, soil, air, freshwater and the ocean to build an appreciation of environmental compartments and current analytical methods. The ES-ABC program will also introduce students to several relevant agencies and actors in society handling environmental and climate issues, thereby enabling the students to begin building personal professional networks.

The mentors and instructors of the ES-ABC program are internationally-contributing researchers in the Department of Environmental Science and active in the interdepartmental Bolin Centre for Climate Research.

The ES-ABC programme consists of two compulsory 15 ECTS courses, followed by 30-60 ECTS of elective courses and peaking with a 30-60 ECTS Master’s degree project. The programme starts with a 15 ECTS course in “Large-scale Challenges in Environment and Climate”, taken together with student peers in our department’s other ES Master’s programme (Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry). This is followed by the second compulsory core course “Atmosphere-Biogeosphere-Climate Change” (ABCC, 15 ECTS). This is in turn followed by one term of courses with commonly a focus either in biogeochemistry (e.g., carbon-climate links) or atmospheric/climate change science, or a combination of both. The third term offers the freedom to choose additional relevant courses, the possibility of an international exchange term or of starting a longer independent degree project. The final semester is slated for completing a Master’s degree project, performed in close association with one of the many strong research groups in our department.

Programme structure

The basic structure of the Stockholm University Master Program in Environmental Science: Atmosphere-Biogeochemistry- Climate Change.

Year 1
HT Large-scale Challenges for the Environment and Climate (15 ECTS)
Atmosphere-Biogeosphere-Climate Change (15 ECTS)
VT Env. Biogeochemistry (7.5 ECTS) Air Quality (15 ECTS)
Env. Biogeochemistry Project (7.5 ECTS)
Biogeochemical Cycles (7.5 ECTS) Aerosols, Clouds and Climate (15 ECTS)
Env. Field Studies (7.5 ECTS)
Year 2
HT Thesis and/or Optional Courses (15-30 ECTS)
VT Thesis (30-60 ECTS)

Compulsory courses:
MI7014 Large-Scale Challenges for the Environment and Climate, 15 ECTS
MI7016 Atmosphere Biogeosphere and Climate Change, 15 ECTS

Elective courses:
MI7007 Air Quality Outdoors and Indoors, 15 ECTS
MI8017 Environmental Biogeochemistry, 7.5 ECTS
MI8018 Project in Environmental Biogeochemistry, 7.5 ECTS
MI 8002 Aerosols, Clouds and Climate, 15 ECTS
MO7013 Biogeochemical Cycles, 7.5 ECTS
MI8021 Environmental Field Studies, 7.5 ECTS

Optional courses (a starting list of additional relevant courses)
MI4004 Aerosol Physics, 7.5 ECTS
MI4005 Aerosol Chemistry, 7.5 ECTS
MI2006 Bending the Curve: Climate Change Solutions, 7.5 ECTS
MI8020 Environmental Risk Management, 7.5 ECTS
MI7018 Organic Contaminant Partitioning, 7.5 ECTS
MO7014 Biogeochemical Cycles including Project, 15 ECTS
GE7077 Climate Model Simulations, 7.5 ECTS
GE7051 Permafrost – Interactions with Ecosystems and Hydrology, 7.5 ECTS
BL7028 Social-Ecological Systems: Challenges and Approaches, 15 ECTS
BL8049 Systems Theory and Resilience Thinking, 15 ECTS
GE7069 Traffic and Environment, 15 ECTS
GE7071 Case Studies of Environmental Impact Assessments, 15 ECTS
MO8008 Remote sensing in atmospheric science and oceanography, 7.5 ECTS
MI7017 Environmental Organic Chemistry and Modeling, 15 ECTS
MI7020 Environmental Degradation of contaminant, 7.5 ECTS
GE7072 Climate and Landscape, 15 ECTS
MO8011 Cloud Micro- and Macrophysics, 7.5 ECTS
MO8001 Meteorology I, 15 ECTS
MO8002, Meteorology II, 7.5 ECTS (50%)
GG8021 Climate change throughout earth´s history, 15 ECST


  • Bachelor’s degree in Natural Science or engineering, including 15 credits in mathematics or statistics.
  • Proficiency in English is also required, corresponding to passing English in the Swedish upper secondary school course English B / English 6 (or equivalent).

This programme is taught in English.

Apply to Master’s Programme in Environmental Science: Atmosphere-Biogeochemistry-Climate (ES-ABC)


Student counsellors

Environmental Science
Miljö- och hälsoskydd


Analytical Chemistry
Environmental Chemistry