GEF9660 – The General Circulation of the Oceans

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course will give an introduction to the large-scale ocean circulation on Earth, with a principal focus on mid and high-latitude oceans. Wind-driven and buoyancy-driven circulation regimes, including their response to changes in forcing, will be discussed. The various topics will be illuminated with examples from observations, numerical simulations and theoretical models.

Learning outcome

After finishing the course you should have an understanding of:

  • Wind-driven and buoyancy-driven mid-latitude oceans
  • Eddy-mean flow interactions
  • The Antarctic Circumpolar Current
  • Large-scale currents in the Arctic Ocean
  • Experience in presenting a given topic in the field ocean circulation


PhD candidates from the University of Oslo should apply for classes and register for examinations through Studentweb.

If a course has limited intake capacity, priority will be given to PhD candidates who follow an individual education plan where this particular course is included. Some national researchers’ schools may have specific rules for ranking applicants for courses with limited intake capacity.

PhD candidates who have been admitted to another higher education institution must apply for a position as a visiting student within a given deadline.

Overlapping courses


Teaching consists of 4 hours lecture per week. Students are expected to participate actively in discussions. Two obligatory written exercises and an obligatory oral presentation of a given topic will be part of the course. These must be passed in order for the student to take the final exam.

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 Students who fail to meet, are considered to have withdrawn from the course unless they have previously given notice to the Studies administration, email address:


Form of exam: Two written exercises, an oral presentation of a given topic (50%) and final oral exam (50%).

The two written exercises and the oral presentation must be passed in order for the student to take the final exam.

Examination support material

No examination support material is allowed.

Language of examination

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

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a pass/fail scale. 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: GEF4660 – The General Circulation of the Oceans (continued)GEO4960 – The General Circulation of the OceansGEO9960 – The General Circulation of the Oceans

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






Spring 2018


Spring 2018

Teaching language