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Programme syllabus:

Master's programme in environmental science with focus on sustainable development, 120 Credits

Swedish name: Masterprogrammet i miljövetenskap med inriktning mot hållbar utveckling

This programme syllabus is valid: HT21 and until further notice

Programme code: TAHUM

Credit points: 120

Registration number: FS 3.1.3-753-20

Responsible faculty: Faculty of Science and Technology

Established by: Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2020-06-17

Revised by: Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2021-03-02

Entry Requirements

A Bachelor's degree or equivalent first-cycle qualification comprising of at least 180 ECTS or a corresponding qualification from an internationally recognised university. Specific entry requirements are at least 90 ECTS which include a thesis of at least 15 ECTS in environmental science, environmental health, earth sciences/physical geography or biology. Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English B/6. Where the language of instruction is Swedish, applicants must prove proficiency in Swedish to the level required for basic eligibility for higher studies.

Degree

After completing the study programme, a student who has applied for a degree can obtain a Degree of Master of Science (120 credits) in accordance with the local qualification descriptor established by the Vice-Chancellor (see Umeå University's website). In Swedish, Degree of Master of Science (120 credits) is called Naturvetenskaplig masterexamen. Degree is awarded in the main field of study (Environmental Science).

Description of the education for current education cycle

The education is at an advanced level (second cycle). The aims for second-cycle courses and study programmes are set out in the Higher Education Act, Chapter 1 Section 9.

National goals for current degree

The national aims for qualification are set out in the Higher Education Ordinance's Annex 2.

Degree of Master (60 credits)

Knowledge and understanding
For a Degree of Master (60 credits), the student shall

  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding within the main field of study, including both an overview and deepened knowledge within certain parts of the area as well as insight into current research and development; and
  • demonstrate advanced knowledge of methodology within the main field of study.
 
Competence and skills
For a Degree of Master (60 credits) the student shall
  • demonstrate the ability to integrate knowledge, to analyse and assess and handle complex phenomena, issues and situations, including with limited information,
  • demonstrate the ability to independently identify and formulate questions and to plan and use adequate methods to perform qualified assignments within given time frames,
  • demonstrate the ability to orally and in writing clearly account for and discuss their conclusions and the knowledge and arguments that form the basis for these in dialogue with various groups, and
  • demonstrate skills necessary to participate in research and development work or to work in other qualified activities.

Judgement and approach
For a Degree of Master (60 credits), the student shall
  • demonstrate an ability to, within the main field of study, make assessments considering relevant scientific, social and ethical aspects as well as demonstrate awareness of ethical aspects on research and development work,
  • display insight into the possibilities and limitations of science, its role in society, and the responsibility for how it is used, and
  • demonstrate an ability to identify the need for further knowledge and take responsibility for knowledge development.

Degree of Master (120 credits)

Knowledge and understanding
For a Degree of Master (120 credits), the student shall
  • demonstrate knowledge and understanding in the main field of study, including a broad expertise in the field, a considerably advanced knowledge in certain parts of the field, and an advanced understanding in current research and development work, and
  • demonstrate advanced knowledge of methodology within the main field of study.

Competence and skills
For a Degree of Master (120 credits), the student shall
  • demonstrate the ability to critically and systematically integrate knowledge and to analyse, assess and handle complex phenomena, issues and situations, including with limited information,
  • demonstrate an ability to critically, independently and creatively identify and formulate research questions, to plan and with adequate methods complete qualified assignments within given time frames and thereby contribute to knowledge development and to evaluate this work,
  • demonstrate an ability to, in both national and international contexts, orally and in writing clearly describe and discuss conclusions and the knowledge and the arguments that underlie these in dialogue with different groups, and
  • demonstrate such skills as required to participate in research and development work or independently to work in other qualified activities,

Judgement and approach
For a Degree of Master (120 credits), the student shall
  • demonstrate an ability to, within the main field of study, make assessments considering relevant scientific, social and ethical aspects as well as to demonstrate awareness of ethical aspects on research and development work,
  • demonstrate insight into the possibilities and limitations of science, its role in society, and the responsibility for how it is used, and
  • demonstrate an ability to identify the need for further knowledge and take responsibility for knowledge development.

Examination format

Each syllabus sets out the examination formats used in each individual course.

Grades

Each syllabus sets out the grades used in the course.

Transfer of Credits

A student who believes to have gained knowledge from previous relevant studies or professional experience that may be equivalent to a course or part of a course in the programme can apply for transfer of credits. Granting a transfer of credits means that the student will not have to study one or more courses or the parts of the programme included in the decision. Information on transfer of credits is available on Umeå University's website.
https://www.umu.se/en/student/my-studies/transfer-of-credits/

General

The Master's Programme in Environmental Science is based on current social problems tied to global environment and sustainability issues. The introductory course focuses on the transition to a more sustainable society and uses a so-called challenge-driven pedagogy where students, for instance, study a complex sustainability challenge in project form in interaction with external stakeholders. Teaching consists of lectures, seminars, group instruction and supervision in connection with field trips, laboratory work, group exercises or project work. Field trips and laboratory work are usually compulsory. The majority of the course literature is in English, and all teaching at the advanced level is usually in English. The structure of the courses and examination formats are specified in the individual course syllabi. The programme offers the opportunity to obtain a Degree of Master (60 credits) in Environmental Science after one year.

Requirements for a Degree of Master of Science (60 credits) in Environmental Science at Umeå University

Degree is awarded once the student has completed the course requirements of 60 credits, of which at least 45 credits at a second-cycle level. Within the completed courses at a second-cycle level, at least 30 credits shall cover the main field of study, Environmental Science. In addition, a Degree of Bachelor of at least 180 credits or equivalent foreign qualification is required. For this qualification, the student shall, within the scope of the course requirements, have completed an independent assignment (degree project) of at least 15 credits at a second-cycle level in the main field of study, Environmental Science.

Requirements for a Degree of Master of Science (120 credits) in Environmental Science at Umeå University

Degree is awarded once the student has completed the course requirements of 60 credits, of which at least 45 credits on a second-cycle level. Within the completed courses at a second-cycle level, at least 60 credits shall cover the main field of study, Environmental Science. In addition, a Degree of Bachelor of at least 180 credits or equivalent foreign qualification is required. For this qualification, the student shall, within the scope of the course requirements should have completed an individual assignment (degree project) of at least 30 credits at second cycle level in the main field of study environmental sciences. The degree project may be replaced by a degree project of at least 15 credits if the student has already completed an individual assignment at a second-cycle level of at least 15 credits in the main field of study covered by the qualification and this work also shall be included in the qualification.

Compulsory courses

Compulsory courses are courses that all students enrolled in the programme normally study. A student enrolled in the study programme is guaranteed a seat in all compulsory courses, provided that the entry requirements for the course in question are met. Entry requirements are listed in each respective course syllabus.

Compulsory courses at a second-cycle level in Environmental Science

Transition towards a sustainable society, 15 credits (5MH148)
Analyses of Environmental Changes, 15 credits (5MH126)*
Master's Degree (60 credits) [TK1] Thesis in Environmental Science, 15 credits, (5MH140)
Master's Degree (120 credits) Thesis in Environmental Science, 30 credits (5MI000) or 60 credits (5MI006)

*This course is compulsory only for students who intend to take a Degree of Master of Science (60 credits).
 
Elective courses

Elective courses are a selection of courses that Umeå University offers within the scope of the programme and where the student chooses which courses to enrol in. The student is guaranteed a seat in one of these courses, provided that the entry requirements for the courses in question are met, but not necessarily in the student's first choice courses. Entry requirements are set out in each respective course syllabus.

Free electives

Free electives within the programme are applied for in open competition. Free electives can be studied at Umeå University or at other higher education institutions in Sweden or abroad.

Programme overview

The courses included in the programme are listed under the heading 'Study Plan' in the order they are studied.

Degree Project/independent project

The degree project concludes the programme and may be started once the entry requirements in the course syllabus are met. In the degree project, comprising at least 30 credits for a Degree of Master (120 credits) or 15 credits for a Degree of Master (60 credits), the student shall apply the knowledge acquired during their studies and present the result orally and in a written report/thesis. The degree project for a Degree of Master can comprise 60 credits if the student so wishes. The work shall include some form of subject-specific specialisation within the field. The degree project is completed individually. The final degree project can be carried out within the university, but also at a company or an authority. If so, an assistant supervisor at the company or at the authority shall be appointed and act as the student's day-to-day contact and support during the course of the work. A thesis supervisor at the university shall always be appointed and be responsible for ensuring that the required subject specialisation is achieved. The report shall be linguistically and stylistically designed to ensure its quality is equivalent to reports published within the university. The report shall include an English abstract and an English translation of the title. Alternatively, the entire report can be written in English.

Deferment of studies

Information on deferment of studies is available on Umeå University's website.

Approved leave from studies

Information on approved leave from studies is available on Umeå University's website.

Discontinuation

Information on discontinuation is available on Umeå University's website.

Outline

Valid from: HT21

Semester 1

5MH148

Transition towards a sustainable society 15 weeks

Second cycle

Environmental Health: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Environmental Science: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Mandatory

Elective courses:

5BI222

Freshwater Management 15 weeks

First cycle

Biology: First cycle, has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

5MH151

Environmental Management - Theoretical Course 7,5 weeks

Second cycle

Environmental Health: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Environmental Science: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

5MH152

Urban and regional planning with a sustainability profile 7,5 weeks

Second cycle

Environmental Science: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Human Geography: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Semester 2

5MH126

Analyses of Environmental Changes 15 weeks

Second cycle

Environmental Health: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Earth Science/Physical Geography: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Environmental Science: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Mandatory

Elective courses:

5MI005

Theoretical environmental science 15 weeks

Second cycle

Environmental Science: Second cycle, has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

5MH140

Masters Degree Thesis in Environmental Science 15 weeks

Second cycle

Environmental Science: Second cycle, contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (60 credits)

Mandatory

Semester 3

Elective courses

Elective courses

Semester 4

5MI000

Master´s Degree Thesis in environmental science 30 weeks

Second cycle

Environmental Science: Second cycle, contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)

Mandatory