Physical Oceanography

  • Years2 Years
  • ECTS credits120

Main content


Objectives and content

The Master's programme in Meteorology and Oceanography with study specialization in Physical Oceanography gives the student a thorough understanding of the physics and especially the dynamics of the ocean; e.g. the tides, upwelling, mixing processes, and interactions with the atmosphere and the biosphere.

The Master's Programme in Meteorology and Oceanography with study specialization in Physical Oceanography provides a broad foundation and a good understanding of current issues in the field. The programme covers topics from local (fjord, coastal and shelf circulation) to global scale. The study also covers the use of statistical and numerical methods, oceanographic observations, and theoretical analysis

What you Learn

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the programme the candidate will have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:

The candidate

  • knows the main features of physical oceanography and related subjects such as climate and meteorology, and has a thorough knowledge of a specialized subject in physical oceanography
  • knows the most common instruments used in oceanographic field surveys, their limitations and how to carry out related data analysis
  • knows how to apply statistical time-space methods used in analyses of geophysical data
  • knows how to analyse and interpret geophysical problems and interaction between the various components in the climate system
  • knows how oceanography connects to relevant areas of mathematics, physics, computer science, geosciences, chemistry and meteorology.

The candidate

  • can use modern field instrumentation
  • can collect and analyse large data sets and discuss limitations
  • can use programming tools to process, analyse and visualize data
  • can apply developed skills in mathematics and statistics on oceanographic problems
  • can do numerical calculations using knowledge from hydrodynamics, classical mechanics, and thermodynamics
  • is able to plan and conduct an ocean research project with guidance from an academic supervisor, but with a large degree of independence and in accordance with good scientific practices
  • can interpret and discuss his/her own results in a scientifically sound and critical way and in light of data and theories in the field

General competence
The candidate

  • can disseminate results as an oral presentation
  • can summarize field and laboratory work in a written report
  • can search relevant scientific literature, and cite appropriately
  • can formulate, analyse, interpret and discuss his/her own results in a scientifically sound and critical way using data and theories from oceanography and related research fields
  • is able to write a scientific dissertation that adds new knowledge to a topic
  • is able to analyse scientific problems in general and participate in discussions about different ways of addressing and solving problems
  • demonstrates an understanding of and respect for scientific values such as transparency, precision and accountability
  • can analyse and reflect upon relevant ethical problems related to the research

Study Period Abroad

Study period abroad

You can plan study periods abroad in consultation with your supervisor as a part of the master agreement.

How to Apply



Admission Requirements

The Master Programme in Meteorology and Oceanography with specialization in Physical Oceanography requires a bachelor degree with 110 ECTS specialization from the Bachelor degree in Climate, Atmosphere and Ocean Physics, the Bachelor degree in Meteorology and Oceanography, or equivalent.

Bachelor degrees from the UiB that qualify:

Bachelor degree in Climate, Atmosphere and Ocean Physics, Bachelor degree in Meteorology and Oceanography with the following courses or equivalent:

  • MAT112 Calculus II
  • MAT121 Linear Algebra
  • MAT131 Differential Equations
  • MAT212 Functions of Several Variables
  • GEOF105 Physics of the Atmosphere and Ocean
  • GEOF110 Atmosphere, Ocean and Climate Dynamics
  • GEOF210 Data Analysis in Meteorology and Oceanography
  • GEOF212 Physical Climatology
  • PHYS111 Mechanics 1
  • PHYS113 Mechanics 2 and Thermodynamics, STAT110 Basic Course in Statistics or KJEM110 Chemistry and Energy
  • GEOF213 Dynamics of the Atmosphere and Ocean

Other bachelor degrees that qualify:

Other bachelor¿s degrees might qualify if the bachelor¿s degree have a solid background in mathematics, physics and informatics, and in addition have courses equivalent to GEOF105 (Physics of the Atmosphere and Ocean), GEOF110 (Atmosphere, Ocean and Climate Dynamics), GEOF210 (Data Analysis in Meteorology and Oceanography), GEOF212 (Physical Climatology) and GEOF213 (Dynamics of the Atmosphere and Ocean), or equivalent.

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