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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.

To meet the general entry requirements for Bachelor’s level studies all students must:

  • have successfully completed their upper secondary education that gives access to universities in the student’s home country. Note that for students who received their final school grades after 31 December 2009, there is an additional entry requirement for mathematics.
  • demonstrate proficiency in English by means of an internationally recognised test, for example TOEFL, IELTS or the equivalent.
  • there may be some other country specific requirements

General entry requirements

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 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. This is followed by a course of the basic methodology and statistics in physical geography.

The second year starts with methodological courses in Geographic Information Systems (GIS), which provide solid digital skills, and in remote sensing, which lays the foundation for the use of aerial and satellite images. Thematic courses with specializations in hydrology, ecosystem analysis, the climate system and landscape-forming processes are given during the first two years in particular. The courses also include parts of science theory, project planning, experimental design and statistical and cartographic methods.

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.

Most courses are compulsory

Within these 180 credits, most courses are compulsory, but there is an optional course in the second half of the third semester where you may choose another course than the programme suggestion; GIS advanced course (NGEA32). The fifth semester is aimed for you to choose courses outside our department, with opportunities of doing exchange studies abroad.

    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 .