Infrastructure and environmental engineering, MSc

120 credits (2 years)

Civil engineers play a major role in developing infrastructures and supporting human development while contributing to the sustainable development of society. Contamination of soil and water, lack of access to drinking water, and unsustainable use of land and water resources remain major obstacles to global sustainability, while new challenges include threats from climate change and rapid urbanisation.
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Infrastructure and environmental engineering master's programme at Chalmers

Infrastructure and environmental engineering is an interdisciplinary field that includes; traffic and road engineering, urban metabolism, water system engineering, engineering geology, geotechnical engineering, environmental engineering and sustainability.

Investments in infrastructure also form a considerable part of the global economy. Hence safe, economic and sustainable development requires continued progress in civil engineering with a specialisation towards infrastructure and environment.

​To meet this societal need for qualified competence in planning, design, construction and maintenance of infrastructure systems in soil and water, this programme promotes the personal development of knowledge, skills and attitudes that are needed to start working as a professional engineer in the field of infrastructure and environmental engineering. An important task is to be knowledgeable and responsible for the interface between urban development and the environment.
Sweden is surrounded by one of the planet’s most sensitive ocean environments and a landmass consisting mainly of fractured rock and complex glacial sediments, including soft clays. This has given us some of the strictest environmental and building regulations in the world. This gives Sweden a very good reputation within the field and the programme a nationally and internationally unique profile. We are closely linked to several research projects and the majority of our faculty conduct research.

Educational methods

To prepare students for a long-lasting professional career, the programme promotes personal development in comprehensive view of planning, construction and operation process; ability to work methodically and by means of modern engineering tools; ability to work in project teams, lead project work and present results; and the ability to critically review and develop technical solutions. To do so you or the group you work with will be given open problems, often real-case scenarios provided by industry and society.
Integration of professional experience in education is an important part of the programme and you will become well prepared for entering the market in a professional role.

Topics covered

The subjects of sustainable environment and  water system engineering are fundamental areas in the Infrastructure and environmental engineering master’s programme. The courses included in the programme plan handle topics such as wastewater, traffic and road engineering, urban metabolism, geotechnics, engineering geology, geotechnical engineering, environmental engineering and sustainability.​

Master's programme structure

The master's programme runs for a duration of two years, leading to a Master of Science (MSc) degree. During each year, students can earn 60 credits (ECTS) and complete the programme by accumulating a total of 120 credits. Credits are earned by completing courses where each course is usually 7.5 credits. The programme consists of Compulsory courses, Compulsory elective courses and Elective courses.

Compulsory courses year 1

During the first year the programme starts with four compulsory courses that form a common foundation in Infrastructure and environmental engineering. Each course is usually 7.5 credits. ​
  • Infrastructures and urban systems
  • Geological and geotechnical site characterization
  • Sustainable urban water engineering
  • Transportation engineering and traffic analysis​

Compulsory courses year 2

In the second year you must complete a master's thesis in order to graduate. The thesis may be worth 30 credits or 60 credits depending on your choice. 
  • ​Master’s thesis ​

Compulsory elective courses

Through compulsory elective courses, you can then specialize in various subjects. ​​During year 1 and 2,  you need to select at least 4 compulsory elective courses out of the following in order to graduate. ​
  • Drinking water engineering
  • Risk assessment and decision support
  • Advanced transportation engineering
  • Wastewater engineering and biotechnology
  • Hydrogeology
  • Deep foundations
  • Water systems and modelling
  • Rock mechanics
  • Sustainable transportation
  • Urban metabolism and resources 
  • Contaminated sites and remediation
  • Soil modelling and numerical analysis

Elective courses

You will also be able to select courses outside of your programme plan. These are called elective courses. You can choose from a wide range of elective courses.


Civil and environmental engineers with a strong background in both infrastructure and environmental engineering are sought after and will be so also in the future, both nationally and internationally. Our previous students have had a high level of employability within companies like; Sweco, Skanska, NCC, Veolia, Göteborg kretslopp och vatten, and Trafikverket, to name a few.

In Sweden, many large infrastructure projects are planned, including roads and railways construction, traffic planning, upgrading of drinking water and wastewater plants, remediation of contaminated sites. Other fields of work are; protection of soil and water resources, foundation of structures and buildings, tunnels, the design of drinking water and wastewater treatment plants and distribution systems.
Adaptation to climate change and urbanisation will increase the need even further. Internationally there is immense continued need for competent engineers in this sector, both within but perhaps even more outside Europe.
With a Master’s degree from Infrastructure and Environmental Engineering, you will usually work with design, maintenance, construction and research in the field of civil and environmental engineering. Others may attain supervisory or administrative positions, especially on an international level.

Research within Infrastructure and environmental engineering

The courses in the programme have strong links to the research at the divisions of Water Environment Technology and Geoengineering at the department of Architecture and Civil Engineering​​.

Research and teaching in the fields covered by the programme are carried out in close cooperation with industry and authorities. Cooperation is also conducted by several research centres: Infrastructure Competence Centre; FRIST:  Forum for Risk Investigation and Soil Treatment; DRICKS: Framework Programme for Drinking Water Research at Chalmers; and FUD Swedish Network of Excellence in Road Planning and Design. We also collaborate with Gryaab AB, the municipality-owned company running Ryaverket, one of the largest wastewater treatment plants in Scandinavia. Together we are part of a cluster, including Lund University and several wastewater companies in the southern part of Sweden. Chalmers is also a partner in EC/FP7 funded Industry-Academia Partnerships and Pathways project CREEP (Creep of Geomaterials), with partners in Norway (NTNU, NGI), China (Shanghai Jiao Tong University & Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences) and the Netherlands (Deltares). Together with the department of Architecture, we are also part of the large research projects Homes for tomorrow (h42) and Living Lab dealing with our future homes. The department also undertakes research projects aimed at improving infrastructures and basic service provision in developing countries such as Bolivia.
During the Master’s thesis project, students often participate in research projects and the Master’s programme has a natural continuation in the PhD programmes within the specialisations like; Geotechnical Engineering, Engineering Geology, Sustainable Aquatic Systems, Water System Analysis and Water Process Technology, Contamination and Remediation and Urban metabolism.

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Page manager Published: Mon 29 Nov 2021.