MSc in Ocean and Climate Physics

General information

Physical oceanography plays an important role in answering interdisciplinary questions on climate research and investigations into marine ecosystems. The MSc program imparts in-depth knowledge of and practical skills in the fields of ocean dynamics and ocean–climate interactions, and equips students with an interdisciplinary qualification and the ability to work scientifically. The Institute of Oceanography is part of Universität Hamburg’s KlimaCampus, and offers optimal conditions for research-oriented studies complemented by outstanding academic support and a comprehensive range of elective options.


The four-semester program consists of an advanced phase and a research phase:

  • Semester 1: ocean circulation, processes and observations I, elective subject, supplementary subject
  • Semester 2: waves and turbulence, processes and observations II, elective subject, supplementary subject
  • Semester 3: seminar, specialization, methods, project planning
  • Semester 4: master’s thesis, final colloquium

Students are able to specialize in:

  • theories of ocean circulation, waves and turbulence
  • ocean, continental shelf and sea-ice processes
  • observation and remote sensing
  • ocean modeling, continental shelf and sea-ice dynamics
  • data assimilation in climate models
  • ecosystems modeling
  • climate dynamics and interactions between ocean, atmosphere, and ice

Oceanographers carry out basic research at universities and non-university research institutions as well as applied research in government agencies such as at the Federal Maritime and Hydrographic Agency (Bundesamt für Seeschifffahrt und Hydrographie, BSH), the German Meteorological Service (Deutscher Wetterdienst, DWD), environmental agencies, or waterways and shipping authorities. Further career opportunities exist in space agencies, research service providers, energy providers, offshore enterprises, and shipping companies.

Contact Person: Dr. Thomas Pohlmann (


The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0532 - Physical and chemical oceanography", "0588 - Scientific modelling


Venue: University of Hamburg
Hamburg, Germany

Institute of Oceanography
Bundesstr. 53, 20146 Hamburg


Open from
1 Jun 2019 to 15 Jul 2019


The semester contribution for the 2018/19 winter semester is €325.



Proving first degree program

If you are in the final phase of your first program, you can simply submit proof of enrollment to apply. If you have completed your first university degree in the calendar year in which you apply but do not yet have a certificate or diploma containing your final grade-point average, please submit the most recent copy of your transcript of records, including your grade-point average. The final transcript of records must be submitted as soon as possible. Please also note further information on enrolling in or changing to a master's program.

The application procedure for a few master's progams is paperless. For specific details, please see the pages on electronic online application.

Language skills

Prior to commencing their studies, all applicants who completed their first degree at a non-German-language institution must provide proof of sufficient German language skills. This applies both to German-language and bilingual German / English-language master's degree programs.

The page German language proficiency contains information about which German language certificates are accepted. Applicants who have a foreign university degree but who have acquired their higher education entry qualification (e.g., Abitur) at a German-language institution can simply submit this qualification (i.e., the transcript of records for the Abitur). 

Master's programs conducted entirely in English do not require proof of German language proficiency, although you do need to submit proof of English language proficiency. Every master's program has its own regulations, so please ensure that you read the information on the master's program to which you want to apply.

To find out which master's programs are offered in German and English and which are English only, please consult degree programs.

Special admission requirements for this degree program

  • a bachelor’s degree in geophysics or oceanography from Universität Hamburg or a comparable degree from another university OR
  • a bachelor’s degree in another mathematics or physics subject comparable to the curriculum of the consecutive bachelor’s degree in geophysics/oceanography

Further details

Application Procedure:

A selection procedure is conducted if the number of applicants to a master's program exceeds the number of places available.

 In accordance with the Higher Education Act (HZG) and impending amendments to the HZG, admission to master's programs is based on the following quotas:

  • Ten in one hundred places are allocated for hardship cases (hardship quota).

Once this quota has been filled, the remaining places are allocated as follows:

  • Ninety in one hundred are admitted based on aptitude and motivation (achievement quota) in accordance with selection criteria established by the faculties.
  • Ten in one hundred are admitted according to the number of half-years which have passed since qualifications for admission to a master's program have been obtained (waiting period quota).

The faculties decide how aptitude and motivation are determined in their respective selection statutes.


Academic level: Master

Qualification: Master of Science

Occupations (not validated):
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