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Bachelor´s programme in Physical Geography & Ecosystem Science

We are offering a world-class BSc programme in Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science focusing on environmental modelling and management. A unique blend of courses results in a high profile degree from a well-reknown international university.

Entry requirements

To study with us you need to fulfil the general entry requirements, plus having upper secondary school courses including mathematics, and at least two of the subjects biology, physics and chemistry.

General entry requirements description at

Read about country-specific requirements for Bachelor's studies on the website

Study plan

The Bachelor´s programme is a three year education of 180 ECTS. The program begins with a course for an overview of the broad scope of the subject and with basic knowledge of geology, the structure of the earth and the processes that shape the earth's surface, as well as the basics of ecosystem science and climatology. Then you go into theory and methods of physical geography, with some physics and mathematics practices.

Thematic courses follows with specializations in hydrology, ecosystem analysis, the climate system and landscape-forming processes. Courses also include parts of science theory, project planning, experimental design and statistical and cartographic methods.

Field work

Field teaching is an important component. During the three years of undergraduate education, the student spends about seven weeks in the field, of which two weeks are located in an environment outside Europe. The teaching is linked to relevant research issues and societal issues.

Read what BSc student Sophia says about this programme

Compulsory courses 135 credits

Within the 180 credits in the programme, most courses are compulsory, which means that they must be included in the education to get the degree in Physical Geography and Ecosystem Science at Lund University.

Elective courses 45 credits

The fifth semester is elective, an opportunity for you to tailor your education. In the degree you need to have 30 credits from outside our department, and with no previous studies you must choose courses outside our department in this fifth semester. This comes with the opportunities of doing exchange abroad through the university exchange programme and the network of partner universities. You could also stay in Lund (but note that there is a limitation of courses with English as laguage of instruction) or study at another Swedish university.

One of the 15 credit courses in the autumn semester year two is elective as well. Altogether there are 45 elective credits in the programme.

Programme overview

If not stated as optional, the courses are compulsory.

Year 1

The course gives you an understanding and general knowledge about processes in the lithosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere and the atmosphere. You will study the science about landforms and how these are formed and transformed. The course further deals with meteorology, climatology and climate change, hydrology and oceanography and the mechanisms acting on  global change. Ecosystems Science will teach you about the biomes of the world.

One week of the course is dedicated to field measurements. You will also be introduced to Geographical Information Systems (GIS) to analyse environmental issues, and you will be introduced to different models and analytical tools.

This course is compulsory for the Bachelor´s programme.

Read more about the course Physical Geography: An Introduction to the Global Environment

In this course you will learn basic physical, mathematical and statistical methods relevant to the treatment of natural geographical issues. You will also learn the connection between measurement and modeling as a tool for describing spatial and temporal events. The course includes an excursion in the field, where students are divided into groups for different exercises.

This course is compulsory for the Bachelor´s programme.

Read more about the course Theory and Methods of Physical Geography

During the course you will gain basic knowledge of water and its movements in the landscape around us. Water gives life, but can also pose a threat to people and infrastructure. In this course, hydrological subject areas are studied from different perspectives. The course contains lectures, exercises and excursions.

This course is compulsory for the Bachelor´s programme.

Read more about the course Hydrology 15 ECTS.

The course gives you a basic understanding of how different ecosystems affect and are affected by the atmosphere and geology. You will gain knowledge about the scientific background to various environmental problems. You learn different measurement methodologies, including vegetation inventory, chemical soil and vegetation analysis and measurements of gas exchange between soil, vegetation and atmosphere. The course consists of lectures, exercises, group work and a week-long excursion, normally to Öland.

This course is compulsory for the Bachelor´s programme.

Read more about the course Ecosystem Analysis

Year 2

GIS are computer-based systems used to collect, store, visualize and analyze geographic data. GIS can also be used to optimize activities, perform risk analyzes and test different scenarios. For example, with GIS help, you can plan the location of roads based on information about buildings, land properties, land use and topography. GIS is very useful and also sought after in the job market. Teaching consists of lectures, computer exercises, field exercises and project work in groups.

This course is compulsory for the Bachelor´s programme.

Read more about the course Geographical Information Systems, introduction

This course in for students who want to build more skills in GIS. You will train to be an advanced user in existing software in data bases, analysis and presentation of geographical inormation.

This course is optional in the Bachelor´s programme, as a programme student you may choose another course in this study period.

Read more about Geographical Information Systems, advanced

In this course, you will learn about climate and weather, climatological processes and their effects on the global and local climate, as well as their impact on the environment and community planning. You will learn to perform basic analyzes as well as to adapt and evaluate climate analyzes. The teaching consists of lectures, laboratory work, field exercises, seminars, group exercises and project work.

This course is compulsory for the Bachelor´s programme.

Read more about the course The Climate System

This course highlights the use of remote sensing, aerial images and image interpretation to gather information about various phenomena in the landscape. You also get to study vegetation, climate, and satellite data to analyze interactions between different landscape types over a larger area through modeling. The teaching consists of lectures, laboratory work, excursions where you collect data in the field and compare with aerial images and satellite data, seminars, group exercises and project work.

This course is compulsory for the Bachelor´s programme.

Read more about the course Remote Sensing for Landscape Studies

Year 3

This is a chance for your to tailor your education and get experience from other institutions. Many students choose exchange studies this semester, but you can also study at another department at LU.

The course focuses on the landforms, origins and development of the earth's surface. It also addresses the human impact on landscape dynamics and lasting change. The course focuses mainly on Nordic conditions, but also includes tropical and subtropical environments. This course contains two field trips, of which one is a longer field trip abroad that in recent years went to Uganda, where joint fieldwork was carried out together with students from Makerere University, Kampala.

This course is compulsory for the Bachelor´s programme.

Read more about the course Land surface processes and landscape dynamics

The degree project is an independent project, which you carry out in project form with a subject and issue that you want to specialize in, in consultation with a supervisor. You can also do it as a collaborative project with organizations or companies. The report must be made with a scientific report written in Swedish or English. The work will then be presented at a seminar with opposition by a classmate or by a member of the grading committee.

This course is compulsory for the Bachelor´s degree.

Read more about the Bachelor degree project


You apply through, and you find all information about how to apply at Lund University admissions pages.

How to apply to this programme

Further studies

After having completing the bachelor programme, you are welcome to continue your studies by taking one of our five masters programmes.

More information

Program facts

Level: Bachelor
Credits: 180 ECTS
Program starts: Autumn
Language of instruction: English

  • General admission requirements Read more at page at Lund University website
  • Upper secondary school courses equivalent to Swedish levels Mathematics 4, plus Biology 1, Physics 1, Chemistry 1 - or level 2 in at least two of the aforementioned subjects .