Current active subject description (last updated 2023/24)
Current active subject description (last updated 2023/24)


Organisms living in the ocean are largely depending upon and must adjust to physical processes in the ocean. However, there are many sources of information about the ocean as a physical environment, which have severe shortcomings. This course aims at revealing these and give the student an understanding of the physical processes that affect sea life. The course covers ocean morphology. Freshwater and seawater physical and chemical properties. Basic principles for explaining atmospheric conditions, climate, wind-driven and thermohaline ocean currents, waves and tides.
Admission to the course follows the admission requirement in the bachelor program in biology.

On successful completion of the course:


The student should have knowledge and understanding of

  • oceans as an environment for living organisms
  • physical processes in the ocean
  • ocean circulation and the forces that governs them


The student should be able to:

  • define and use key concepts in basic physical oceanography
  • apply basic physical knowledge to explain key issues related to seawater as an environment for living organisms

General competence

The student should:

  • be able to analyze textual material from a wide range of sources on this subject
  • show ability to cooperate and critical thinking in an interdisciplinary environment
  • transfer and use relevant skills in a future workplace context
No costs except semester registration fee and syllabus literature.
Elective: BSc in Biology
Lectures and seminars 48 hours (4 hours weekly for 12 weeks). Fieldwork: 1 day.
The study programme is evaluated annually by students by way of course evaluation studies (mid-term evaluation and final evaluation). These evaluations are included in the university's quality assurance system.
Written examination, 5 hours, grading scale Letter grades