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The basics
Sweden: Subject Guides

Study sustainability in Sweden

With climate change and environmental issues top of the agenda as well as a very real concern, now is as good a time as ever to explore studying a degree or qualification in the area. Sweden is ideal for this.

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Climate change is an ever-present concern for us all. With rising sea levels and irregular temperatures, now is the time to make a change. So where is the best place to study a degree related to sustainability and the environment? One of the world’s leading proponents of this cause is Sweden, one of the greenest countries on the planet. If you feel passionately about protecting the planet, why not consider one of the following courses at Swedish institutions to study and make a difference.


Environmental Science

In brief, this subject involves applying fundamental scientific principles to environmental issues. While some courses may differ according to each institution, many will consider politics, law and decision-making in relation to environmental science. This approach will prepare you for the working world in professions such as environmental consultancy, conservation and environmental protection. However, the skills acquired from this qualification could also allow you to work in a range of other disciplines such as teaching, energy policy, zoology, sustainability, transport and city planning.


While climate change remains a global issue, each country also has a responsibility to protect its own environment and reduce its contribution to the crisis. Sweden is one of the world’s leading countries for its progressive outlook on environmental issues and policies. Three of Sweden’s cities (Gothenburg: 1st, Malmö 7th, Uppsala 9th) were also ranked in the top ten by the Global Destination Sustainability Index 2019. Place yourself at the forefront of new technologies and innovation by studying environmental science in this Nordic country.



Environmental law

Hosting the first UN environment conference in 1972, Sweden has remained a leading example for other countries when it comes to environmental policy and law. With the support of its people and parliament, Sweden has established itself as a pioneer in making efforts to protect the environment and reduce greenhouse gases. As concerns grow over the impact that humans are having on the planet, so does the interest and demand for specialists in environmental law.


In this degree you will consider topics such as pollution, corporate and social responsibility, renewable energy, health and safety, and waste disposal. If you want to ensure that organisations are acting with due diligence, then this could be the right course for you. While you can study environmental law as an undergraduate degree, you can also choose to specialise by studying this subject at postgraduate level, the latter being a common choice.


There is a unique master’s programme offered by three Nordic universities each working in co-operation to run the joint Nordic master’s programme in environmental law (LLM).  On this course you will develop knowledge in international, national and EU environmental policies. The universities offering this course include Uppsala University in Sweden. As a student on this course, you will receive teaching from three institutions, each with an extensive history and experience in environmental law. You may even wish to specialise further with a PhD to further equip yourself with research and qualifications.


Sustainable urban planning

Interested in architecture, the environment and sustainability? You may have an interest in the environment but might still be looking for a creative outlet. That’s where urban planning might be the right fit for you. This profession involves using space in a sustainable way through assessing the impact of infrastructure on the environment and society. As with the courses listed above, you can study this course at either undergraduate or postgraduate level but a master’s degree is more typical for a degree of this specificity.


For example, you could apply to study a postgraduate degree in Sustainable Urban Planning and Design at the KTH Royal Institute of Technology in Stockholm. A city conscious of space and visually aesthetic architecture, Stockholm is an ideal setting for any student looking to study urban planning. You can feel inspired by Stockholm’s vibrant and environmentally friendly design, with a clear commitment to creating safe and interesting surroundings for its residents. Another example of sustainable urban planning in Stockholm can be seen in the high number of cycling lanes implemented to reduce carbon emissions. Studying in Stockholm gives you the ideal opportunity to gain experience in a world-leading, sustainable urban setting.