Faculty of Natural
Comenius University Bratislava

Environmental Geochemistry

Study plan  [daily form]   [external form]

Teachers    [daily form]   [external form]

Responsible persons

The person responsible for the implementation, development and quality of the study programme

prof. RNDr. Edgar Hiller, PhD.,  funkčné miesto profesor   [portál VŠ]

Persons responsible for the profile courses of the study programme

doc. RNDr. Ján Milička, CSc.   [portál VŠ]

Mgr. Tomáš Lánczos, PhD.   [portál VŠ]

doc. RNDr. Martin Urík, PhD.   [portál VŠ]

doc. RNDr. Ľubomír Jurkovič, PhD.   [portál VŠ]

Graduate profile and learning objectives

The institution defines the learning objectives of the study programme such as student's abilities at the time of completion of the programme and the main learning outcomes.

A third level graduate of the Environmental Geochemistry study program (environmental geochemist) has advanced knowledge of scientific management methods in the field of environmental geochemical research with a focus on abiotic environmental compartments and their interaction with the biota. The graduate recognizes well scientific methods in geochemical research and related fields, including the latest concepts, principles and techniques focused on basic or applied research. Therefore, any graduate of the Environmental Geochemistry study program (3rd level (PhD.)) is able:
-    to conduct scientific research and provide its own solutions to problems in the environmental geochemistry,
-    to exhibit theoretical knowledge, exceeding greatly the key knowledge content of the 2nd study level (MSc.), that is usually focused on solving actual scientific topics of modern environmental geochemistry,
-    to be fluent in professional English,
-    to formulate new hypotheses and directions in environmental geochemistry that go beyond the global knowledge of the solved problem,
-    to collect environmental, geological and anthropogenic samples, such as soils, river sediments, surface and groundwater, plants and air, mine wastes, etc. using standardized sampling protocols as well as to perform field determinations of chemical indicators for selected types of samples,
-    to process collected environmental, geological and anthropogenic samples using standardized treatment methods prior to further chemical analyses,
-    to design and perform laboratory experiments, simulating the migration of chemical elements and substances, leaching tests for the determination of the mobility, bioavailability and geochemical fractionation of hazardous substances and elements, and environmental hazards of industrial and mining wastes under static and dynamic regimes,
-    to have an advanced level of knowledge of the digitalization of geochemical data into map and graphical outputs as well as advanced practical knowledge of the multivariate statistical methods used in geosciences, in particular, the various types of factor analysis,
-    to use effectively geochemical computer programs for modeling geochemical processes, including modeling of contaminant transport in the rock environment and other physico-chemical processes that help him/her to quantitatively interpret the results of environmental geochemical research,
-    to interpret geochemical results from study areas for the needs of rational and sustainable land management,
-    to move theoretical knowledge of geochemistry into practice, such as soil and water protection against chemical contamination, proposals for effective remediation of the contaminated area, human health and environmental risk assessment and evaluation of the contamination level using quantitative geochemical approaches.
The graduate of the Environmental Geochemistry study program (3rd level) will learn:
-    principles of scientific work in its field, ethical and social aspects of scientific work,
-    to identify and formulate scientifically topics in the area of environmental geochemistry and to select and apply the suitable methodology for their handling,
-    efficient ways of the presentation of his/her scientific work, including publication in scientific journals of high reputation,
-    to apply obtained results in the development of the study program (i.e. Environmental Geochemistry) and practice.

The institution indicates the professions for which the graduate is prepared at the time of completion and the potential of the study programme from the point of view of graduate's employability.

The employment of a graduate of the Environmental Geochemistry study program is defined in the SRI system of professions as the profession “Geochemist” (https://www.sustavapovolani.sk/karta_zamestnania-4576) and also in the National Qualifications Framework (NSK) as the profession “Geochemist” in the sector “Water, waste and environment” (https://www.kvalifikacie.sk/karta-kvalifikacie/1547).
The graduate of the doctoral study program of Environmental Geochemistry has employability in basic as well as applied research focused on the issue of quality of individual environmental compartments and their mutual relations. The graduate's practical application is in state, public and private organizations dealing with environmental quality assessment and defining potential risks associated with the contaminant distribution in the environment, the issue of exact assessment of environmental burdens and implementation of remediation measures as well as in various waste management organizations at home and abroad. Graduates can be employed in regional self-governments, which are responsible for solving problems in relation to qualitative land indicators, as well as in state administration in environmental departments at all levels. The actual applicability of the graduate is also in laboratories focused on the analysis of geological and environmental samples.


Graduates of the third level of the Environmental Geochemistry study program are able to analyze and interpret the data obtained from the studied environmental media (e.g. rocks, soils, groundwater, river sediments, etc.) with a high degree of independence and creativity. They also have relevant knowledge in the fields of ecology and environmental sciences. Graduates are able to build a sound scientific approach to geochemical problems. They have experience in processing geochemical data and other auxiliary parameters as well as in formulating and verifying hypotheses in solving tasks that will allow them to manage professional teams in this field and independently lead large projects with responsibility for their development. Graduates of the Environmental Geochemistry study program are well equipped with knowledge and practice to analyze independently and in detail chemical results of environmental samples, e.g. soils, sediments, water, plants, etc., and to identify geochemical processes leading to the accumulation of chemical elements and compounds in these environmental compartments. The knowledge from the familiar fields within environmental and ecological sciences helps graduates to understand the role of living matter in geochemical processes. Graduates can apply modern advanced research methods with creative application of acquired knowledge in the development of scientific or application perspective. Environmental Geochemists with PhD. have also qualifications in the environmental protection management, especially in its abiotic part according to the social and economic needs of a modern developing society.
Graduates of the Environmental Geochemistry study program will apply in:
1. research institutes focused on the study of environmental issues:
- research organizations,
- universities and colleges,
- environmental laboratories,
- workplaces of hydrometeorology, forestry, water and land management,
- departments of occupational hygiene and preventive medicine,
2. state and public administration:
- environmental departments at all levels,
- departments of environmental and occupational hygiene, including the waste management agenda,
3. commercial companies:
- investigation and remediation of environmental burdens and accidents
- revitalization of devastated areas,
- search and control of water resources,
- environmental monitoring,
- consulting and expert activities aimed to protect and sustain the environment.

Graduates who have completed their studies at the Department of Geochemistry are working in different positions in state and public administration at the Ministry of Environment of the Slovak republic, the Ministry of Health, the Slovak Environment Agency, district and municipal offices, including departments of the Municipality of the city of Bratislava, in private companies that conduct environmental prospection, exploration and quality assessment and deal with environmental burdens, as well as in industrial companies in positions responsible for environmental quality. Scientifically and research-oriented graduates continued in scientific activities and found employment in research institutes (e.g. State Geological Institute of Dionýz Štúr, Water Research Institute in Bratislava), Slovak Academy of Sciences (e.g. Earth Science Institute of the SAS or Institute of Hydrology) and universities and research organizations at home and abroad (Prague, Jena, Olomouc) after doctoral studies.


For individual study plans, the institution states the requirements for completing the individual parts of the study programme and the student's progress within the study programme in the given structure:
- Number of credits for compulsory courses: 40
- Number of credits for compulsory optional courses: 10
- Number of credits for optional courses: 145
- Number of credits for the dissertation exam: 15
- Number of credits for the dissertation defence: 30