Physical Oceanography

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Physical Oceanography

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study


  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Prerequisites

    MARI 112 and 72 further points from Science Schedule C (including at least one of CHEM 111, CHEM 191, COMO 101, GEOL 112, GEOX 112, MATH 160, MATH 170, PHSI 131, PHSI 132, PHSI 191)

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    An exploration of topical global and local oceanographic, chemical and geological issues important for understanding and managing the marine environment.

    Want to understand the critical role of the ocean in shaping our climate and our future? Then this is the paper for you. We focus on giving a solid foundation in the physical oceanic processes that shape our world: from the processes that drive large-scale ocean circulation, which takes years or centuries to traverse the globe, to the geological upheavals that formed the ocean basins, as well as the processes that transport sand, mud and silt around the ocean basins and our coastlines. We also examine the complex processes that lead to the formation of sea ice around Antarctica, which doubles the continent's area every year and plays a critical role in our changing climate system.

    Learning OutcomesStudents will improve their skills in data collection, data management, data analysis and modelling, presentation of results, written communication, critical thinking and problem solving and apply these skills to oceanography.

    Background: An Invitation to Marine Science, 7th Ed, by Tom S. Garrison
    Descriptive Physical Oceanography, Sixth Edition: An Introduction, by Talley and Others, 2011

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.