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About the PhD programme

The PhD programme in Environmental Science concerns the scientific study of environmental problems caused by humanity.

The doctoral education leads to a Phil. Dr. degree in Environmental Science at Lund University. It normally takes four years of full-time studies, of which approximately one year is devoted to courses and seminars and three years are devoted to research. The aim of the education is to develop scientific competence and interdisciplinary research across departments and disciplines within the university and society.

A doctoral dissertation in Environmental Science commonly consists of a summarising chapter together with a collection of articles that have been published or are intended to be published in international scientific journals. The dissertation is defended at a public event with an external examiner that evaluates the work.

The field of environmental science

Environmental science is the scientific study of environmental problems caused by humanity, including climate change. It is based on a fundamental understanding of natural processes and how they are affected by human activity and therefore has a broad base in traditional subjects such as biology, chemistry, physics, geology, and physical geography. It also includes studies of relevant measures and strategies to address environmental problems. This means that the research is based on an interdisciplinary approach in collaboration across traditional subject borders.

Environmental science research concerns both a basic understanding of how environmental problems arise and how to contribute to a basis of knowledge for the long-term, sustainable development of society. Research is therefore often carried out in close cooperation with organisations active in society within this field.

The main areas of research within environmental science are:

  • The study of humanity’s impact on climate and ecosystems, and the consequences for biological diversity and opportunities to sustainably utilise ecosystems for the production of ecosystem services.
  • The study of environmental and climatic consequences of humanity’s utilisation of energy and natural resources, and strategies for long-term sustainable production and consumption.
  • The study of chemical substances’ spread, changes and dispersion in air, soil and water, and the consequent effects on people, other organisms, the climate and ecosystems.
  • The study of strategies, evidence-based decision-making, nature-based and technical solutions that prevent environmental and climatic problems from arising, or can be used to address such problems.