To be admitted to the Master’s programme Forest Ecology and Sustainable Management, the following criteria must be met:
General entry requirements: first-cycle qualification comprising at least 180 credits or a corresponding qualification from abroad
Specific entry requirements: specialisation comprising at least 60 credits in one of the following subjects/disciplinary domains:
- Forestry Science
- Forest Management
- Forest Science
- Soil Science
- Environmental Science
- Natural Resource Governance
- Physical Geography
and 15 credits in ecology.
In addition, knowledge equivalent of English 6 is required. SLU regulations state that applicants may meet this requirement if they were awarded a first-cycle degree from a Swedish university, or have completed 120 credits at SLU. For applicants from some English speaking countries certain rules may apply.
The specific entry requirements can also be met by someone who has acquired the equivalent knowledge through a corresponding qualification from abroad or in some other way.
For admission to the courses included in the programme, there are specific entry requirements for each course; these are described in the course syllabus.
The program aims to provide students with the necessary knowledge and skills to contribute to the development of ecologically, economically and socially sustainable forest management. Students will acquire an in-depth understanding of forest ecosystem characteristics and the mechanisms governing the interactions between biotic and abiotic processes, including the influence of active management on forest functioning and forest ecosystem services.
The program takes an interdisciplinary approach that combines forest management, vegetation ecology, ecosystem ecology, ecophysiology, soil science and hydrology. Vegetation history and historical forest use are studied to elucidate the sequence of events that gave rise to today’s forest condition. Analyses of conventional and future management measures and forest management systems, and their consequences for both forest production and ecosystem functions are a key part of the program. Tasks aimed at developing evidence-based decision support for forest management towards different objectives are a recurrent feature of the program. These activities will deepen the students’ knowledge and understanding of forest management practices and their consequences beyond practical methodology, and will develop the students’ skills to identify future research needs, develop strategies for uncertain decision situations and select appropriate tools and methods for research and development work.
The core of the program consists of the coordinated firts year courses, developed in close collaboration with active faculty researchers and students' potential employers. These core program courses, including the final synthesis course, provide clear progression of both subject knowledge and generic competencies. The program has a boreal focus but also includes outlooks and comparisons with other terrestrial biomes. In addition, the program includes elective courses in years 1 and 2 which provide opportunities for specialisation in self-selected subject areas. The degree project provides further opportunities to synthesise and apply the acquired knowledge in case studies and research projects. Elective courses can be taken at SLU or at another university in or outside Sweden.
The program is based on student-centred pedagogical methods and emphasises student-activated learning processes. Examples of teaching methods are work with systems models and student-led seminars to analyse complex problems as well as exercises in scientific methods through laboratory work, field exercises and study of scientific articles followed by analysis and discussion, etc. Examination takes place mainly in the form of individual assignments, practical exercises, presentations and seminars with written and oral presentations.
A well-functioning study environment is characterized by openness, equality, and an inclusive approach. SLU works actively for gender equality and equal conditions, which promotes a workclimate that takes advantage of the diversity that employees' and students' different backgrounds, life situations and skills bring.
SLU's profile is focused on knowledge of biological natural resources, and societal challenges such as raw material, water and energy supply as well as climate change have connections to our areas of responsibility. The UN's goals for sustainable development concern, among other things, these societal challenges, but also man's use and management of biological natural resources.
The program is given in English.
Main fields of study: SV = Forestry Science, BI = Biology, MV = Soil Science
Course (main field of study, level)
Forest history - human utilisation and vegetation dynamics, 15 credits (BI/SV, A1N)
Forest ecosystem ecology, 15 credits, (BI/MV, A1N)
Silviculture - the science of forest stand management, 15 credits (SV, A1N)
Sustainable management of boreal forest, 15 credits, (BI/SV, A1F)
Master's thesis, 30/60 credits (BI, A2E)
Master's thesis, 30/60 credits (SV, A2E)
The range of courses offered may change during the programme. This may result in a new version of the syllabus with transitional regulations. Decisions on the courses offered are taken well in advance of the next academic year.
Each course in the programme has its own syllabus with specific requirements. The SLU student web provides detailed information about when the courses are given.
Some study periods (part of a semester) SLU may offer multiple courses to choose between within the programme. Programme students are guaranteed one of these courses, provided that the entry requrements are fullfilled and that the student have applied in time.
The general learning outcomes for first- and second-cycle courses and programmes are specified in the Higher Education Act (Chapter 1, Sections 8–9).
The Annex to the Ordinance for the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences stipulates that for the Degree of Master (120 credits), the student shall have:
Knowledge and understanding
- demonstrated knowledge and understanding in the main field of study, including both broad knowledge of the field and a considerable degree of specialised knowledge in certain areas of the field as well as insight into current research and development work, and
- demonstrated specialised methodological knowledge in the main field of study.
Competence and skills
- demonstrated the ability to critically and systematically integrate knowledge and analyse, assess and deal with complex phenomena, issues and situations even with limited information
- demonstrated the ability to identify and formulate issues critically, autonomously and creatively as well as to plan and, using appropriate methods, undertake specialised tasks within predetermined time frames and so contribute to the formation of knowledge as well as the ability to evaluate this work
- demonstrated the ability in speech and writing both nationally and internationally to report clearly and discuss his or her conclusions and the knowledge and arguments on which they are based in dialogue with different audiences, and
- demonstrated the skills required for participation in research and development work or autonomous employment in some other qualified capacity.
Judgement and approach
- demonstrated the ability to make assessments in the main field of study informed by relevant disciplinary, social and ethical considerations and also to demonstrate awareness of ethical aspects of research and development work
- demonstrated insight into the possibilities and limitations of research, its role in society and the responsibility of the individual for how it is used, and
- demonstrated the ability to identify the personal need for further knowledge and take responsibility for his or her ongoing learning.
Degree awarded upon completion of the programme
The Master’s programme Forest Ecology and Sustainable Management aims at a Degree of Master of Science (120 credits) with Biology or, alternatively, Forestry Science as the main field of study, a general qualification.
Students who fulfill the qualification requirements for the Degree of Master of Science (120 credits) will be provided with a degree certificate upon request. The degree certificate will specify the qualification as Degree of Master of Science (120 credits) with a major in Biology (masterexamen med huvudområdet biologi) or, alternatively, Degree of Master of Science (120 credits) with a major in Forestry Science (masterexamen med huvudområdet skogsbruksvetenskap).
Other qualifications may be awarded if the necessary requirements are fulfilled. See the SLU System of Qualifications.
The programme contains courses that, depending on courses taken and combination with previous studies within certain bachelor programmes at SLU, may provide the necessary requirements of 300 credits in total for the professional degree Jägmästarexamen (Master of Science in Forestry). See the SLU System of Qualifications.
A Degree of Master of Science (120 credits) with a major in Forestry Science is awarded to students who have successfully completed 120 credits, of which at least 90 credits are from second-cycle courses, from the required courses as follows:
- a minimum of 30 credits from courses with specialised study in forestry science (A1N, A1F)
- a minimum of 30 credits from a degree project in forestry science (A2E).
A Degree of Master of Science (120 credits) with a major in Biology is awarded to students who have successfully completed 120 credits, of which at least 90 credits are from second-cycle courses, from the required courses as follows:
- a minimum of 30 credits from courses with specialised study in biology (A1N, A1F)
- a minimum of 30 credits from a degree project in biology (A2E).
There is additional requirement of a completed Degree of Bachelor, professional degree comprising a minimum of 180 credits, or a corresponding qualification from abroad.
A maximum of 30 credits from first-cycle courses may be included, provided these credits were not included in a qualifying Degree of Bachelor, or equivalent. All courses included in a degree must be at university level, have been successfully completed and may not overlap/have similar content.
General regulations for first- and second-cycle courses and programmes
For more information about semester dates, examinations and credit transfer at first and second-cycle level, see the Education Planning and Administration Handbook.
Possibilities for further study
Students who complete the MSc Forest Ecology and Sustainable Management and are awarded a degree may continue onto doctoral studies.