Aquatic Ecology, Master Programme

120 credits

Both the ocean and freshwater bodies cover more than 70% of the planet and over 40% of the human population lives in coastal areas. One of the challenges for future researchers and decision makers is to understand the functioning of the aquatic systems for a better management of water resources.

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The Master of Science in aquatic ecology is a programme at the advanced level, equivalent to 120 higher education credits. The programme is international, multidisciplinary and oriented towards current topics in aquatic microbiology, marine ecology and environmental policies

During the first year, students are introduced to the latest research in the field of aquatic ecology/marine ecology and will deepen their knowledge of marine microbiology, advanced systematics, and resources and ecology of marine waters. The function and evolution of different aquatic systems ranging from polar to tropical and from coastal to deep ecosystems are discussed in the light of the newest molecular advances in the field. Students are also introduced to simulation modelling and ecological applications that can offer solutions to complex management problems of water resources, including freshwater resources.

The second year is focused on a research project including a written thesis (30-60 higher education credits) with an appropriate advisor. The Masters thesis is carried out in fields related to research interests at the Marine Science Centre at Linnaeus University, including practicals giving the opportunity to apply acquired knowledge.

The selection of students who have applied is based on academic excellence and individual assessment. All applicants should apply via The application should include a letter of interest, curriculum vitae, diplomas and references.

Student testimonials

"There is much practical experience involved, and a lot of laboratory work"

Shenhong Ma

Shenhong Ma from China is a student at the Master programme Aquatic Ecology.

Can you tell me about the programme? How do you like it?

“The teaching style here is very different from that in China. Here, I need to think more independently and I have to be creative, while in China what I am expected to do is to just follow the teacher’s instructions and to try to memorise as much as possible. What I like most about the Swedish education system is that I can focus on one course at a time, and intense studying like that works better for me. Also, the teachers here are so friendly; I can fully express my opinions."

"As for the programme there is much practical experience involved, we work on many projects and do a lot of laboratory work, which is quite different from the Chinese system. We must read a lot and practice a lot in order to complete a project, very challenging indeed, but you learn a lot from it.”

Why did you choose to study in Sweden/at Linnaeus University?

“One of my friends attended the Summer Academy last year, so I knew about Linnaeus University through her.”

What’s your impression of Sweden and the Swedes?

“Sweden is such a beautiful and peaceful country. I haven’t really had the opportunity to travel around, but at least in Kalmar most people are very friendly. However, it’s a bit difficult to get to know the Swedes more closely.”

What do you do besides your studies?

“Mostly hang out with my friends and work out. I am also trying to get a Swedish driver’s licence.”

What are your career plans?

“I would really love to stay in Sweden after completing my master programme, either to find a job or to pursue a PhD position. I would love to work at Linnaeus University and hope to find out more about that.”

What’s the best thing about being a student at Linnaeus University?

“That you can follow your heart! Instead of giving you too detailed instructions or guidance, teachers function as your back up who gladly help when you need them. I have learned how to think independently.”


The programme is designed to prepare professionals interested in the field of aquatic ecology and sustainable environmental strategies for future careers as researchers, educators, decision makers and consultants.


Master of Science (120 credits) with specialisation in Aquatic Ecology.

Main field of study: Biology.


In Kalmar, Linnaeus University is located in the city centre. Universitetskajen is entirely newly-built and located just next to the sea. Here you become part of a creative knowledge environment.

The city centre is also where most students live. Everything is available within a ten-minute bicycle ride, regardless of whether you want to take a swim in the sea, study, do some shopping, or work out. Historical buildings and cobblestone streets give charm to the city. When it is sunny, the area next to Kalmar Castle’s moat is filled with studying and sunbathing students. Student life is a natural part of Kalmar. This is where your dream of the future begins!

House Vita at universitetskajen in Kalmar