Physical Oceanography

Bangor University
4 years
Full time/part time
Master's degree
Scholarships available
On campus
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About this program

Physical Oceanography

This degree focuses on the study of the processes which drive the ocean and which link it to the atmosphere and the cryosphere.

The course is concerned with the physics of the ocean and understanding the forces which shape the global climate by moving heat around planet Earth. Physical Oceanographers are in great demand and are required to tackle issues such as predicting future climate and sea-level change, marine pollution dispersion, offshore engineering related and exploitation of marine renewable energy.

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Admission requirements

For 2020 entry:

GCSE: grade C/4 in English, Maths and Double Award Science. Typical offer is based on a minimum 128 tariff points from a Level 3 qualification e.g.:

  • A Levels (including grades AB in Maths or Physics and usually in 1 other science subject -Physics, Maths, Chemistry, Biology, Geology, Environmental Science, Geography, Economics, Psychology; excluding General Studies)
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma (include H6 in Maths or Physics and another science subject)
  • BTEC National/Extended Diploma in Applied Science: DDD
  • City & Guilds Advanced Technical / Extended Diploma in Environmental Conservation or Countryside & Environmental: Distinction.
  • Access to HE Science: Pass
  • Welsh Baccalaureate is accepted
  • Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma is not accepted.

International Candidates: school leaving qualifications and college diplomas are accepted from countries worldwide (subject to minimum English Language requirements).

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website

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Program content

Year 1

Compulsory Modules

Semester 1

  • Science Skills Tutorial
  • Environmental data & analysis
  • Earth Systems and Processes
  • Fundamentals of Oceanography
  • Marine Biogeochemistry

Semester 2

  • Science Skills Tutorial
  • Environmental data & analysis
  • Earth, Climate & Evolution
  • Fundamentals of Oceanography
  • Anglesey Geology Field Course

Year 2

Compulsory Modules

Semester 1

  • Estuary & Shelf Sea Processes
  • Tides, Waves and Marine Energy
  • Ship-based field course
  • Ice and Oceans

Semester 2

  • Communicating Science
  • Remote Sensing & Geophysics
  • Ship-based field course

Year 3

Compulsory Modules

Semester 1

  • Ocean Modelling
  • Applied Geophysics
  • Numerical Methods

Semester 2

  • Dissertation
  • Sediment Dynamics
  • Rivers, Coast and Oceans

Year 4

Compulsory Modules

Semester 1

  • Geophysical Fluid Dynamics
  • Perspectives in Marine Science
  • MOcean Research Project
  • Field & Lab Oceanography

Semester 2

  • Climate and Climate Change
  • Perspectives in Marine Science
  • MOcean Research Project

*Module listings are for guide purposes only and are subject to change.

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.


Please contact the institute for more information.


Upon successful completion of the program, students will earn a MSci.

Career paths

Bangor University has been offering degrees in Physical Oceanography for over 50 years, with graduates going on to be leaders in both the offshore industry and academia. The course provides an ideal preparation for careers in climate change research, marine renewable exploitation, and the offshore industry, environmental impact assessment, the water supply industry, coastal zone management as well as government advisory bodies and the scientific media.

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About this institute

Bangor University

Want something different? Well you have come to the right place. Bangor University is a historic University located between the mountains of the Snowdonia National Park, the wonderful Irish Sea coastline, and the awe-inspiring Isle of Anglesey. What makes Bangor...

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Why study at Bangor University

A Top 30 university

The Complete University Guide 2022 results place Bangor amongst the UK’s top 30 universities for student satisfaction (excluding specialist institutions). This reflects the University’s focus on the overall student experience.

Wide range of courses

We offer hundreds of courses across the arts and the sciences. We pride ourselves on the quality of our teaching and our courses and lecturers have been rated in the top 5 in the UK (WhatUni 2022).

World-class teaching & research

Study at a world-class university, which is recognised for the quality of teaching and research. 85% of Bangor University's research is world-leading or internationally excellent (Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021).

Work experience and placements

We offer a variety of options to gain valuable employability skills, which include supporting you in work placements and internships that you may wish to undertake.

Guaranteed accommodation

We guarantee accommodation for first-year students who apply by the deadline and select us as their Firm Choice. Our accommodation was rated Top 3 in the UK at the WhatUni Student Choice Awards 2022.

Free membership of all clubs and societies

Take advantage of the Bangor Student Experience with free membership of student clubs and societies. There are over 150 different ones to choose from, so you can try something new, get involved with sports, meet new friends and get out and explore the local area.


Choose to study in one of the best places in the UK to be a student. Bangor’s location – close to the mountains and the sea – has been described as ‘the best university setting in the UK’.

Contact info

Bangor University

Bangor University
LL57 2DG Bangor Gwynedd
United Kingdom

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