Study plan for MAMN-GFKLI Climate dynamics, fall 2021

Name of qualification

The master's programme leads to the degree Master of Science in Meteorology and Oceanography. It is a two year programme (120 ECTS credits).

Objectives and content

The Master's Programme in Meteorology and Oceanography with study specialization in Climate Dynamics builds on knowledge about the physical processes of the climate system that govern climate and climate variations in different time scales globally and regionally.

The program provides a broad foundation and a thorough understanding of current issues in the field. The study is based on understanding the physical processes that control climate, especially the atmospheric and oceanic impact on regional and global scales. The program provides a broad introduction to the marine and atmospheric physics (meteorology and oceanography) and the mathematical methods used (numerical modelling and statistics). The program provides deep knowledge of the theoretical foundation and the empirical basis of the physical processes that determine the climate mean state and variations thereof. Effects of both natural and anthropogenic factors are studied.

Those graduating will have broad theoretical knowledge about the climate system. The mathematical calculations and statistical analysis used in the study can, in general, be applied to other complex geophysical problems.

Required Learning Outcomes

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

The candidate

  • shows advanced knowledge in ocean and atmosphere thermodynamics
  • has advanced knowledge in atmosphere and ocean dynamics
  • shows in depth knowledge of the interactions between the different parts of the climate system (atmosphere/earth/ocean) and understands, at an advanced level, interactions between the different parts
  • understands the theoretical basis for the physical processes leading to variations in climate on different timescales
  • has in depth knowledge of the role of ocean currents and atmospheric circulation in shaping the climate
  • has good knowledge of the use of mathematical numerical models used to calculate climate variations and changes in climate
  • shows good knowledge in the use of statistical time-space methods in analysis of geophysical data

The candidate

  • understands and knows the scientific terminology of climate and climate research
  • is familiar with mathematical methods used to analyze large geophysical data in time and space
  • is able to critically judge data quality and information sources used in geophysics
  • has the ability to formulate analysis strategies and conduct the analysis
  • can analyse, interpret and discuss own results in a scientifically sound and critical way, and in light of data and theories within his/her own field
  • can analyse geophysical problems and is able to do calculations by using the experience gathered from hydrodynamics, classical mechanics, thermodynamics, numerical methods, and data analysis on other types of problems

General competence
The candidate

  • is able to plan and carry out and present an independent, limited research project under supervision, but with a large degree of independence and own initiative, and in coherence with good ethical conduct
  • can conduct systematic search for relevant scientific information through libraries, scientific journals and databases and critically judge the information
  • is able to work individually and in team to solve a complex problem
  • can analyse and reflect upon relevant ethical problems related to the research
  • demonstrate understanding for the divide between knowledge and opinions
  • can present research results as academic text, as public reports and as oral presentations

Admission Requirements

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

 Bachelor degrees from the University of Bergen 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

It is also recommended to take GEOF220 (Physical Meteorology) in the bachelor.

Other bachelor degrees that qualify:

Other bachelor degrees might qualify if the bachelor degree has a solid background in mathematics, statistics physics and informatics, and in addition continues 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. It is also recommended to take GEOF220 (Physical Meteorology) in the bachelor degree.

You also need to document:

Recommended previous knowledge

You will have to complete a bachelor's degree in meteorology, oceanography or similar. Good knowledge in mathematics and physics is strongly recommended and basic knowledge in analysis of data is an advantage.

Compulsory units

The master's programme consists of two components: Coursework of 60 credits and an individual research project (master's thesis, labelled GEOF399) of 60 credits. 

The courses GEOF339, GEOF348 and GEOF352 (20 credits) are compulsory. In addition, there are 40 credits of elective courses, chosen in agreement with the academic supervisor.

4. semester: GEOF399, GEOF399, GEOF399
3. semester: Choice, GEOF399, GEOF399
2. semester: GEOF348, Choice, GEOF399
1. semester: GEOF339+GEOF352, Choice, Choice

Master's thesis: GEOF399 Master's thesis in meteorology and oceanography of 60 credits the student may, in consultation with the supervisor choose to write a thesis of 30 credits and expanding the amount of coursework correspondingly. It is recommended that the Master's thesis is started in the second semester. The Master's thesis must be submitted within a deadline at the end of the fourth semester, 20 November or 1 June.

Recommended electives

40 course credits in the master's programme are elective and have to be chosen in agreement with the academic supervisor.
The courses GEOF211, GEOF220, GEOF310, GEOF311, GEOF321, GEOF328, GEOF334, GEOF345, GEOF346, GEOF347, GEOF351, MAT253 and VIT212 are among the most relevant

Sequential Requirements, courses

The recommended sequence of the courses in the programme can be found under the heading "Compulsory units".

Study period abroad

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

Teaching and learning methods

A combination of teaching and learning methods is used in the various courses, including lectures, work with practical modelling tasks, and solving exercises, seminars. More information is provided in the course description.
The Master's thesis is an independently scientific work, under supervision of an academic supervisor.

Assessment methods

The assessment methods in the courses are written and oral examinations, and oral presentations, and oral exam, including questions related to some of the assignments.  

The assessment methods for the courses are given in the course descriptions.

The program is concluded by an oral examination. The examination is held after submission, evaluation and approval of the master's thesis.


Knowledge on the physical aspects of climate has a wide use in society, and the study makes a good basis for further work as meteorologist or oceanographer within a number of Norwegian public and private research institutes, consulting firms and energy companies. Other careers are environmental management (e.g., at ministries, the county councils or the environmental protection agency). Furthermore, a MSc might also give competence to enroll in a pedagogical training to become a teacher at secondary school, please see http://www.uib.no/matnat/89294/hva-kreves-opptak-til-ppu-innen-de-ulike-realfagene, for more information. Industries like defense, renewable energy, insurance and transport are also relevant. International careers are particularly relevant for research on climate, in meteorology or in oceanography.