Advanced Chemical Oceanography

Postgraduate course

Course description

Objectives and Content


As a follow-up to course GEOF236 students get deeper insight into specific topics of chemical oceanography including classical as well as actual relevant research topics treated in the research community. Students learn to compile knowledge from different literature sources for a synthesis and to present this synthesis in front of an audience.


This course builds on GEOF 236, but focuses more on the general relationship between processes that determine the distribution of chemical substances between the ocean and atmosphere, and such processes of importance for the climate and environment changes in a past, present and future perspective. This course offers insight into actual important scientific subjects such as for example: The ocean's role in controlling the atmospheric CO2 concentration over time; mechanisms and impacts of ocean CO2 uptake and ocean acidifacation; nutrient cycling; oxygen and deoxygenation under climate change; changes in ocean ecosystems in Earth's past history and under human influence; the role of various functional groups in marine ecosystems; and land-ocean coupling.

Topics of current interest will change from year to year. Students will need to deliver a term paper based upon a freely selected topic within climate and environmental change and present the result in plenum of the other students.

Learning Outcomes

On completion of the course the student should have the following learning outcomes defined in terms of knowledge, skills and general competence:

The student

  • has advanced knowledge about specific chemical oceanographic problems
  • has in-depth knowledge in one central biogeochemical topic of own choice
  • understands in which way biogeochemistry and climate change are linked
  • has an overview about actual research activities and progress in marine biogeochemical research

The student

  • is able to independently synthesise and extract information about expected climate and environmental changes suggested by the most updated research in the international scientific press and present this information in a critical and analytical perspective
  • is able to present a selected topic within climate and environmental change based upon published literature from the international scientific press through a term paper
  • is able to present and to elaborate on the scientific outcome of the term paper in a public setting

General competence
The student

  • can critically read scientific articles and summarize them
  • can carry out a scientific literature search
  • collects experience in scientific writing and scientific presentations



ECTS Credits


Level of Study


Semester of Instruction

Spring, the course will only be taught if enough students enroll
Enrolment to this course is based on application. Application deadline is Thursday in week 2 for the spring semester.
Please, see this page for more information:

Required Previous Knowledge
Bachelor's degree in Climate, Atmosphere and Ocean Physics (named Bachelor's degree in Meteorology and Oceanography until Fall 2017), in addition to principles of chemical oceanography.
Recommended Previous Knowledge
GEOF236 or equivalent.
Access to the Course
Access to the course requires admission to a master's programme at The Faculty of Mathematics and Natural Sciences.
Teaching and learning methods
Lecture/4 hours per week in seven weeks
Supervision of semester thesis and presentation
One day with student presentations of semester thesis
Compulsory Assignments and Attendance

Attendance of lectures.

Delivery of semester thesis of must be passed.

Oral presentation of semester thesis (ca. 20 min).

Forms of Assessment
Project thesis and presentation counts 20% on the final grade and must be done. (Valid for two semesters: The semester mandatory activities have been approved and the following semester.)
Final exam oral, 45 minutes, counts 80% on the final grade and must be passed.
Grading Scale
The grading scale used is A to F. Grade A is the highest passing grade in the grading scale, grade F is a fail.
Assessment Semester
Examination both spring semester and autumn semester. In semesters without teaching the examination will be arranged at the beginning of the semester.
Reading List
The reading list will be available within July 1st for the autumn semester and January 1st for the spring semester.
Course Evaluation
The course will be evaluated by the students in accordance with the quality assurance system at UiB and the department.
Examination Support Material
Programme Committee
The Programme Committee is responsible for the content, structure and quality of the study programme and courses.