Postgraduate course

Numerical Modelling

ECTS Credits


Level of Study

Bachelor's and Master`s level



Teaching semester


Objectives and Content


The course aims to apply numerical methods to solve some simple problems of fluid dynamics. Strengths and weaknesses of various finite difference schemes for advection, oscillations and wave processes, and diffusion will be discussed.


The course gives a description of numerical methods that are used to solve the partial differential equations (e.g. shallow water equations) of dynamical meteorology and oceanography. In addition to the methods used for initial value problems, the course also presents the relaxation method to solve diagnostic boundary value problems.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:


The student

- knows how a numerical model is built up and how numerical schemes and grids influence the behavior of the model

- can test a scheme for numerical stability

- can discuss the scale dependency of the model results, and discriminate physical effects and model artefacts

- knows how an iteration procedure works for solving a boundary value problem


The student

- is able to discretize an equation in a consistent way, and assess the accuracy of the discretization

- is able to analyze the various sources of error that may turn up in the model, like damping errors and phase errors

- is able to discuss limitations of a numerical model

General competence

The student

- can use programming tools to make numerical calculations

- can use numerical models as a tool to solve dynamical problems in meteorology or oceanography

- understands modelling terminology

Required Previous Knowledge

Knowledge of meteorology and/or oceanography equivalent to GEOF110.

Recommended Previous Knowledge

Knowledge of programming.

Access to the Course

Access to the course requires admission to a programme of study at The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences

Teaching and learning methods

The learning methods are lectures; work with practical modelling tasks, and solving exercises.

Lectures / 4 hours a week during 15 weeks.

Exercise workshops will be scheduled and take place instead of lectures. The work with the model tasks will be self-study, but certain problems may be discussed during the lectures.

Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Five approved assignments.

(Valid for four semesters: The semester mandatory activities have been approved and the three following semesters.)

Forms of Assessment

Written, 4 hours. If less than 10 candidates, the exam might be oral.

Examination Support Material

Mathematical table of formulae and non-programmable calculator, according to the faculty regulations

Grading Scale

The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.

Assessment Semester

Examination both spring semester and autumn semester. In semesters without teaching the examination will be arranged at the beginning of the semester

Reading List

The reading list will be available within June 1st for the autumn semester and January 1st for the spring semester.

Course Evaluation

The course will be evaluated by the students in accordance with the quality assurance system at UiB and the department.

Programme Committee

The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.


Contact Information


Exam information

  • For written exams, please note that the start time may change from 09:00 to 15:00 or vice versa until 14 days prior to the exam. The exam location will be published 14 days prior to the exam.

  • Type of assessment: Written examination

    31.05.2018, 09:00
    4 hours
    Withdrawal deadline