Master's Programme in Physical Oceanography
During the Master’s programme in Physical Oceanography, you will get an overview of the physical laws governing the time evolution of ocean currents and the propagation of ocean waves.
You will get acquainted with the state-of-the-art techniques used to observe and model the ocean. The different courses are designed so that you can explore the main branches of Physical Oceanography, including theory, observation and numerical simulation, and later specialize according to your own interests.
Physical Oceanography is concerned with the description of ocean currents and the distribution of ocean properties such as temperature, salinity or dissolved carbon. The motion in the ocean can take many different forms, from the smallest whirl of fluid to the planetary scale flow exchanging waters between the different ocean’s basins. Through its ability to transport heat, carbon and other important chemical properties, the Ocean acts as a central regulator of the Earth’s climate.
Physical Oceanography combines a great diversity of approaches and techniques from classical physics to engineering, statistics, and data science. Physical oceanography may be subdivided into descriptive and dynamical physical oceanography. Descriptive physical oceanography is focused on describing the fluid motions and the distribution of ocean properties using direct observations (in situ or satellite-based) and realistic numerical simulations. Dynamical physical oceanography builds upon the field of Geophysical Fluid Dynamics (GFD) to produce a theoretical description of the processes that drive the state and variability of the ocean with the aid of idealized numerical models.
A comprehensive and interdisciplinary Master’s programme
Our programme offers the most comprehensive education in physical oceanography available in Sweden, combining a theoretical training to applied courses presenting modern techniques used to observe the ocean and an introduction to ocean modelling.
The programme includes a field work training, where students gets an opportunity to design a small field experiment using a research ship and scientific equipment/sensors. Through field data analysis and the setting up of numerical models, you will also acquire a solid set of skills in scientific data science. Physical Oceanography is naturally connected to atmosphere and climate sciences, but it interacts also strongly with the other branches of marine sciences, such as marine geochemistry and marine biology.
The programme will describe the bridges that exist between these different scientific disciplines, highlighting why physical oceanography is so important to other marine and Earth sciences. As part of the Master’s Programme, possibility is given to follow a 20-weeks intensive certified course in practical hydrography.
Welcoming students with backgrounds in many different areas
The master’s programme in Physical Oceanography is designed to be accessible to students with a wide range of bachelor’s degrees within the scope of Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Physical Oceanography is at its core an interdisciplinary field, relying on the collaboration between people from very different horizons.
It offers unique opportunities to tackle some of the most challenging issues of our time, including the prediction and mitigation of climate change, the development of a sustainable use of ocean resources, or the impact of human activities on ocean’s ecosystems.
Programme structure and content
The mandatory courses provide combined theoretical teaching and at-sea field work. You will receive a theoretical foundation for studying the physics of the ocean, including currents, waves, and effects of rotation and stratification; be introduced to the numerical modelling of turbulence, heat and salt balances, sea ice, lakes, coastal seas, and coupled basins; and gain an understanding of the ocean processes that impact its motion.