Study plan for MAMN-GFMB Marine biogeochemistry, spring 2022

Name of qualification

Master of Science in Meteorology and Oceanography

ECTS Credits

Two years of full-time study, where the normal workload for a full-time student is 60 credits for one academic year.



Objectives and content

The Master's programme in Meteorology and Oceanography with specialization in Marine biogeochemistry gives the student a deep understanding of the distribution of the chemical components of the ocean, the cycling of key components, which chemical/biological/geological processes influencing the cycling, and how the cycles are coupled to climate and climate changes.

The Master's programme in Meteorology and Oceanography with specialization in Marine biogeochemistry provides a broad foundation and good understanding of current issues in the field. The study examines the distribution of chemical components into the ocean, their residence time and the ways in which they are transported. The student gets an overview of how different processes influence the chemistry of the ocean, including the role of vertical mixing, advection, biological processes and gas exchange between the air-sea interface. The study also discusses the use of chemical tracer elements to quantify the mixing processes in the ocean. Based on the natural cycling of carbon, the program addresses the link to climate and climate change and it analyses the human influence through changes in the ocean uptake of carbon dioxide and ocean acidification.

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

  • can explain different chemical cycles in the ocean; e.g. carbon, oxygen, nutrients, silica, and trace elements such as iron
  • is able to understand how these cycles are influenced by biogeochemical processes such as ocean circulation, biological processes, air-sea gas exchange and riverine input
  • can explain how changes in the cycles are related to global change in past, present and future climates
  • masters statistical methods and mathematical numeric modelling or chemical analytical work (depending on the Master's thesis topic chosen)
  • is able to explain the main features of Marin biogeochemistry and related subjects such as physical oceanography, meteorology and climate, and has a thorough knowledge of a specialized topic in Marin biogeochemistry
  • can use and is aware of the possibilities and limitations of the most common instruments in Marin biogeochemistry and has the ability to carry out related data analyses

The candidate

  • can explain important parts of the above mentioned cycles
  • knows the scientific terminology used in marin biogeochemisty, oceanography and meteorology
  • is able to differentiate between processes caused by biology and physics
  • can calculate or model changes in the cycles and differentiate between natural and anthropogenic changes
  • is able to calculate or model how chemical substances change in time and space in the past, present and future
  • can calculate or model the human influence on greenhouse gas emissions and the related ocean uptake
  • has the ability to calculate or model the rate of ocean acidification
  • can apply acquired knowledge on new scientific problems
  • can present both written and oral reports

General competence
The candidate

  • can explain key concepts in Marin biogeochemistry, and discuss similarities and differences between these
  • knows and can acquire basic knowledge about experimental equipment and field activities in Marin biogeochemistry, and can implement, report and communicate subsequent data analysis
  • can perform independent project work, and can write and present a final project report in accordance with good scientific practice
  • can analyse, interpret and discuss own results in a scientific good and critical manner and in accordance with data and theories from related research fields
  • can present key areas of meteorology and oceanography at the bachelor level.
  • can analyse and reflect on current ethical issues related to the research
  • demonstrates understanding and respect for scientific values such as transparency, precision and accountability

Admission Requirements

The Master programme in Meteorology and Oceanography with specialization in Marin Biogeochemistry 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 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
  • GEOF236 Chemical oceanography

Other bachelor degrees that qualify:

Other bachelor degrees might qualify if the degree has a solid background in mathematics, physics, informatics, chemistry and biology 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 GEOF236 Chemical oceanography.

You also need to document:

Recommended previous knowledge

The Master's Program in Meteorology and Oceanography with specialization in Marine biogeochemistry requires a good knowledge in analytical chemistry and biogeochemistry of the ocean. The basic requirement is a bachelor in meteorology and oceanography/ Bachelor's degree in Climate, Atmosphere and Ocean Physics or like vice. A good background in mathematics, physics and statistics are recommended.

Compulsory units

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

The courses GEOF310, GEOF336, and GEOF347 are compulsory. In addition, there are 35 credits of elective courses, chosen in agreement with the academic supervisor.

4. semester: Thesis
3. semester: Choice Thesis
2. semester: GEOF336 Choice Thesis
1. semester: GEOF347, GEOF310 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

35 course credits in the Master's programme are elective and have to be chosen in agreement with the supervisor. The courses GEOF211, GEOF337, GEOF338, GEOV331 og VIT212 are among the most relevant courses.

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 are used in the various courses, including lectures, seminars, work with practical modelling, exercise, supervision of semester thesis and presentation, one day with student presentations of semester thesis, hands-on laboratory activities, field trip. 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, project thesis and presentation, reports, and oral presentations.

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.


This study will give you an opportunity to work within field of oceanography/biogeochemistry in the public sector as well as for the private sector. Examples are research, the oil business and in environmental management. 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.

Administrative responsibility

The Geophysical institute is responsible for the programme.

More information: http://www.uib.no/gfi, studieveileder@gfi.uib.no