Master's Programme in Physical Oceanography
In the Master’s programme in Physical Oceanography you will learn to describe, analyse, and calculate ocean circulation systems using advanced equipment and mathematical models.
The Master’s programme is designed for students with a bachelor’s degree in Marine Sciences, or within the STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
After your studies you can work in for example meteorological and hydrographic agencies, or in companies specialising in climate risk analysis or hydrographic observation techniques.
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.
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.
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.
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 is 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.
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.
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.
The master’s programme in Physical Oceanography is designed to be accessible to students with a wide range of bachelor’s degrees within the marine sciences, meteorology, or the scope of the STEM disciplines (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics).
Programme structure and content
The programme consists of four mandatory courses:
- Physical Oceanography I, 15 credits
- Physical Oceanography II, 15 credits
- Ocean Models, 15 credits
- Observing the Ocean from Micro to Macro Scale, 15 credits
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.
In addition to the mandatory courses, you will be able to choose from a number of courses to specialise according to your own interests.
Degree projects may be 30, 45 or 60 credits.