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Master's Programme in Physical Oceanography

Master's programme | 120 credits
Autumn 2020
100% Day
1) Anyone can apply
2) Only EU/EEA citizens and students with approved residence permit in Sweden can apply

About the Programme

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.

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.

Collaborative research possibilities

During the course of your Master’s programme, you will have the opportunity to do an internship or exchange studies with international institutions, taking advantage of the numerous collaborations that local researchers have developed in Europe, the US, and beyond, such as in South Africa, Korea, or Australia.


The recommended 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.

You will also have the opportunity to choose elective courses to tailor your education to your particular interests.

After Graduation

You will have the necessary tools and knowledge to pursue an academic career with further doctoral studies in physical oceanography. In addition, many opportunities exist to work directly after graduation, either in public agenciesor, in private companies specializing in work such as hydrographic observing techniques or climate risk analysis and seeking physical oceanographers with special knowledge of ocean dynamics, data analysis, and computational skills. These employers are found within industry, consultancy, research institutes, and all levels of government.

More information

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Requirements and Selection

Requirements: Bachelor's degree in oceanography or meteorology or physics or mathematics (or the corresponding knowledge) from an accredited (internationally recognized) university. Applicants must prove their knowledge of English: English 6/English B from Swedish Upper Secondary School or the equivalent level of an internationally recognized test, for example TOEFL, IELTS.

Selection: Selection is based upon the number of credits from previous university studies, maximum 225 credits.

Tuition Fee

Application fee: 900 SEK
Full programme cost: 238 000 SEK
First payment: 59 500 SEK

EU/EEA citizens, Swedish residence permit holders and exchange students do not pay fees. More information on:

Study Guidance

Barbara Casari, 031-786 3763,


Department of Marine Sciences
Box 461
40530 Göteborg
Visiting address: Carl Skottsbergs gata 22 B

Page Manager: Pontus Sundén
Last update: 2/18/2020 2:41 PM

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Page Manager: Pontus Sundén|Last update: 10/25/2018

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