The Master’s programme in Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry focuses on the journey of a contaminant from its emission and environmental fate, through to its uptake into living organisms and interaction with important biomolecules. You will learn principles and applications of chemical analysis, physical-chemical modeling, toxicology and risk assessment of environmental contaminants.

Environmental samples from the field, analyzed with advanced laboratory methods.

Photo by Jon Benskin and Karin Ström

As a student, you will learn how anthropogenic activities such as industrial manufacturing, traffic and use of everyday consumer products can release a wide range of chemicals to the environment. You will learn how environmental factors and physical and chemical properties of contaminants affect their transport in air, water and soil, their fate in the environment and their bioaccumulation in food webs.

You will also learn to use new tools and methods for assessing the environmental fate of chemicals. You will learn how to take samples and analyze trace quantities of chemicals in various environmental compartments. You will learn how exposure to chemicals can lead to adverse responses in living organisms through toxicological mechanisms-of-action, and experience new tools available for toxicological research today.

You will get insight into the major European and international regulatory systems and become familiar with criteria and agreements that are designed to keep human and environmental exposures to a minimum. With a deep understanding of environmental toxicology and chemistry, you will be able to critically examine and discuss limitations, uncertainties and possible sources of error in regulatory risk assessments of organic chemicals.

A Master’s degree in Environmental Science from Stockholm University prepares you for a stimulating career in environmental management and consulting in private or governmental sectors or for a successful Ph.D. education and research career, anywhere in the world. Environmental Scientists are needed in numerous sectors of society, for example as environmental or sustainability specialists in the private sector and at Non-Govermental-Organisations (NGOs), as well as at government agencies.

The programme employs a variety of learning activities, including lectures, individual and group assignments, field excursions/sampling campaigns, laboratory work, seminars, discussions and workshops and presentations. The programme will also introduce students to several relevant agencies in society handling environmental issues.

Programme structure

The basic structure of the Stockholm University Master Program in Environmental Science: Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry

Year 1
HTLarge Scale Challenges to Climate and Environment (15 ECTS)

Environmental Organic Chemistry and Modeling (15 ECTS)

VTToxicology for Environmental Scientists (7.5 ECTS)
Research Trends in Toxicology (7.5 ECTS)
Risk assessment and regulation of Chemicals (7.5 ECTS)
Environmental Field Studies (7.5 ECTS )
Year 2
HTOptional courses:
Organic contaminant partitioning (7.5 ECTS)
Environmental Degradation of Contaminants (7.5 ECTS)
Environmental risk management (7.5 ECTS)
Contaminant Analysis (7.5 ECTS)
VTThesis 30, 45, or 60 ECTS

The ES-ETC programme consists of one year of compulsory courses, followed by 30 credits of optional courses, peaking with a 30-60 ECTS Master’s degree project. The programme starts with a 15 credits course in “Large-scale Challenges in Environment and Climate”, taken together with your student peers in our department’s other ES Master’s programme (Atmosphere – Biogeosphere – Climate). This is followed by a 15 credit course in “Environmental Organic Chemistry and Modeling”.

The spring term starts with two 7.5 credit courses in toxicology, “Toxicology for Environmental Scientists” and “Research Trends in Toxicology”. A 7.5 credit course in “Risk Assessment and Regulation of Chemicals” follows and your first year on the programme ends with “Environmental Field Studies” (7.5 credits).

The third semester offers the freedom to choose additional relevant courses, the possibility of an international exchange term or of starting a longer independent degree project (45 or 60 credits).

During the final semester, you complete a Master’s degree project 30 credits, performed in close association with one of the many strong research groups in our department.

Examples of recent degree projects

  • “Lagrangian Transport Modeling to Interpret Measured Concentrations of Volatile Siloxanes in Swedish Air”
  • “A retrospective analysis of organic micropollutants in sediment cores from a wastewater impacted recipient”
  • “(Toxic) effects induced by synthetic and natural microparticles on Daphnia magna”
  • “Development and Application of UHPLC-Orbitrap Method for Quantitative and Suspect Screening of PFASs in Human Serum”
  • “Children’s exposure to perfluoroalkyl acids – a modelling approach”


Bachelor’s degree in natural science or engineering including 30 credits in chemistry and 15 credits in mathematics or statistics.

Apply to Master’s Programme in Environmental Science: Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (ES-ETC)