Marine Science


The Department of Marine Science teaches and researches at the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research Kiel, one of the leading institutes world-wide in the field of Oceanography. The institute analyses the chemical, physical, biological and geological processes within oceans and their interaction with the seabed and atmosphere. In this, it is the only German institution that covers such a range of studies. Kiel University offers two Master’s degree courses in cooperation with the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre.

The ocean is the greatest and to a large extent least known habitat of our planet. It is essential for the Earth’s ecosystem. This explains the growing need for scientists who are able to analyse and evaluate the natural system of the ocean, its potential as a resource, and the possible changes occurring within it. The Master’s degree program Biological Oceanography aims to train graduates to the point where they can successfully work on complex tasks and scientific problems. This includes jobs such as marine environmental monitoring. Besides offering training in biological oceanography and fish ecology, studies also emphasise the increasing utilisation of the seas by men, and the resultant changes within the marine ecosystem. Also, graduates are expected to gain an understanding of neighbouring scientific subjects in order to be able to work effectively in interdisciplinary teams.

Physical oceanography, which is part of geoscience, focuses on the physical processes of the ocean and its interactions with the atmosphere. The main goal is to describe and explain complex movements in the ocean within various space and time scales. In the Department  of Climate Physics, a highly active area of research is the interaction between the ocean and the atmosphere. Both systems affect each other in ways that have not yet been thoroughly explained, but which are very important for understanding the variability of climate. Another aim is to gain a better knowledge of the ocean and the atmosphere as factors in climate fluctuation, in order to enable a more precise forecast of physical climates.

Courses at the Department of Marine Science

  • Biological Oceanography M.Sc.
  • Climate Physics M.Sc.

More information on individual courses can be found here.