Coastal Geoscience

Course content

This competence-line course teaches state-of the art research within the field of Dynamics and Landscapes of Coastal Environments.

The course is focused on coastal dynamics (processes) and coastal deposits.


MSc Programme in Geography and Geoinformatics
MSc Programme in Geography and Geoinformatics with a minor subject

Learning outcome


Hydrodynamic processes, sediment transport and morphological response (morphodynamics) in coastal environments, and the resulting landforms and landform assemblages. Topics include: Waves and currents; erosion and transport of sediments; beach and shoreface morphology; conceptual morphological models; stratigraphy and formation of coastal landscapes (barrier systems, beach ridge plains, tidal inlets, deltas); coastal profile development; beach erosion/accretion; coastal response to sea level rise and climate change.



  • apply, evaluate and analyze methods, theory and data related to the course subjects.
  • gain an overview and understanding of research methodologies in the coastal environment
  • analyse and discuss data-sets from studies dealing with coastal processes and coastal deposits
  • give a short, concise and well-illustrated oral presentation of a research problem (on the basis of scientific papers).
  • write a short, concise report on a selected topic aimed at colleagues within research or public institutions



The aim of the course is to build and expand on topics taught on B.Sc. level and to gain a broad and coherent understanding of sediment transport, geomorphological processes and landforms in coastal environments. The students will be able to understand/appreciate coastal development over both short and long time spans and how (and why) changing boundary conditions (climate change; sea level change) affect these landscapes in the long term. This includes an appreciation of risks related to climate change along with possible adaptation strategies and measures.

At the end of the course the student will be able to critically evaluate both research methodologies and research results from coastal environments, to extract information from scientific publications and to translate this into coherent, professional-style oral presentations and a short, concise written report.

The form of teaching is theory exercises combined with ad hoc lectures. For the teaching plan, please see Absalon.

Please see Absalon

A BSc in Geography and Geoinformatics or equivalent is recommended. It is also strongly recommended to have followed the bachelor-level course entitled 'Kystprocesser and -morfologi'.

Continuous feedback during the course of the semester
Feedback by final exam (In addition to the grade)
Peer feedback (Students give each other feedback)

Oral feedback from teacher and peers in relation to seminar presentations. Oral feedback after the (oral) examination.

7,5 ECTS
Type of assessment
Written assignment, during course
Oral examination, 20 minutes
The written assignment is prepared during the course and must be handed in prior to the exam week. The oral exam uses the written assignment as its point of departure. It includes the titles listed in the officially approved reading list. A combined grade is given after the oral examination.
All aids allowed
Marking scale
7-point grading scale
Censorship form
No external censorship
Internal examiners.
Criteria for exam assessment

See learning outcome

Single subject courses (day)

  • Category
  • Hours
  • Preparation
  • 171
  • Theory exercises
  • 35
  • English
  • 206