Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

This subject gives a broad introduction to physical/dynamic oceanography.  The focus will be on the physical structure and circulation of the oceans, their thermodynamic and dynamic budgets, and the underlying physical processes that influence these.

Learning outcome

When you have taken this subject you will:

  • be familiar with the physical properties of seawater, including terms such as potential density and static stability
  • be able to explain key thermodynamic and dynamic conservation equations, including useful simplified balances
  • be able to outline the momentum and energy exchange with the atmosphere and the physical processes that affect these
  • have an overview of the general ocean circulation, and understand the drivers and mechanisms behind different types (wind- and density-driven) of circulation
  • have a fundamental understanding of how ocean circulation affects the Earth’s climate


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.


Formal prerequisite knowledge

In addition to fulfilling the Higher Education Entrance Qualification, applicants have to meet the following special admission requirements:

  • Mathematics R1 (or Mathematics S1 and S2) + R2

And in addition one of these:

  • Physics (1+2)
  • Chemistry (1+2)
  • Biology (1+2)
  • Information technology (1+2)
  • Geosciences (1+2)
  • Technology and theories of research (1+2)

The special admission requirements may also be covered by equivalent studies from Norwegian upper secondary school or by other equivalent studies (in Norwegian).

The course includes a compulsory field course and excursions. A health and safety course for safety in the field must be passed before you can go on these.

Recommended previous knowledge

Overlapping courses


Lectures and colloquia equivalent to 4 hours per week. There are 3 compulsory assignments which must be approved before taking the final examination. 

A compulsory 1-day field course in Oslofjord.  A field report has to be written and approved before the final exmination.

Attendance at the first lecture is compulsory. Students who fail to meet, are considered to have withdrawn from the course unless they have previously given notice to the Studies administration, email address:

General information about excursions at the Dept. of Geosciences.

As the teaching involves laboratory and/or field work, you should consider taking out a separate travel and personal risk insurance. Read about your insurance cover as a student.


  • 3 compulsory assignments and a field report must be approved before the student can sit the final examinatiion.
  • Written mid-term exam (2 hour) counts for 30%.
  • Final written examination (3 hours) counts for 70%.

Examination support material

Allowed calculators (in Norwegian)

Language of examination

You may write your examination paper in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Students who can document a valid reason for absence from the regular examination are offered a postponed examination at the beginning of the next semester.

Re-scheduled examinations are not offered to students who withdraw during, or did not pass the original examination.

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

It will also be counted as one of the three attempts to sit the exam for this course, if you sit the exam for one of the following courses: AGF-214 (UNIS), GEF1600 – Physical oceanography (discontinued), GEF2610 – Physical Oceanography (continued)

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Facts about this course






Every autumn


Every autumn

Teaching language

Norwegian (English on request)