Taught course

Atmosphere, Ocean and Climate

University of Reading · Department of Meteorology

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Entry requirements

Prior knowledge of meteorology is not necessary although some experience with computer programming will be helpful. A first- or second-class (2.2) honours degree in physics, mathematics, or a closely related subject is required (or equivalent from a university outside the UK).

Months of entry


Course content

Gain a deep quantitative understanding of the climate system with our MSc Atmosphere, Oceans and Climate.

This course will prepare you for a career in meteorology-related science and research, with a focus on:

  • a quantitative description of the physical processes that produce weather
  • the physical and dynamical building blocks of our climate
  • the numerical and computational methods used to construct state-of-the-art models of the climate system.

Whether you want to mitigate the impact of hazardous weather events, understand how our changing climate may affect the jet stream, or even look further afield and forecast space weather – or focus your efforts elsewhere within meteorology and climate science – we will help you develop the scientific and analytical skills you need.

Choosing MSc Atmosphere, Oceans and Climate means you will join our world-class Department of Meteorology – the University of Reading is ranked 2nd in the world for research in Meteorology and Atmospheric Sciences (Center for World University Rankings by Subject, 2017).

This course is fully accredited by the Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS) and is your first step towards becoming professionally accredited as either a Registered Meteorologist (RMet) or Chartered Meteorologist (CMet).

As you develop your skills in computing, analytics and numerical models, your learning will be supported by:

  • our on-campus instrumentation lab and atmospheric observatory. In addition to field trip opportunities, access to these facilities allows you to improve your practical skills.
  • weather and climate discussions. These weekly sessions give you an insight into current UK and global weather and climate events and incorporate our real-time meteorological data.
  • small class sizes. Our enviable staff-to-student ratio, approximately 1:1, means you will receive individual support from academics. You will also be fully supported as you work on your final master’s project – our academics typically oversee no more than one student dissertation each year.

You will be taught by academics who are leaders in their fields. They will draw on their research experience to give you unique scientific perspectives into environmental issues that affect our world. Our Department is home to five Fellows of the Royal Society, as well as climate experts who contribute to the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC).

Conduct or collaborate on a research project

Your master’s dissertation is an opportunity to further our knowledge of meteorological science and research.

This allows you to:

  • work with a leading scientist from our world-class Department of Meteorology, who will supervise you on your master’s project
  • contribute to our understanding of issues such as climate change and hazardous weather
  • complete a potentially publishable piece of research.

You may also have the opportunity to work on a research project in collaboration with one of our industry partners.

We are proud of our long-established relationships with more than 30 organisations in the meteorological, climate and related sectors. These include:

  • UK Met Office
  • Environment Agency
  • NASA
  • European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts
  • World Meteorological Organisation
  • European Space Agency
Participate in field work

As part of your studies, you will have the opportunity to participate in field work that focuses on observing and predicting typical weather systems in the mid-latitudes.

Over the course of a weekend, you will understand how and why the weather varies in a particular region by building a coherent picture of its evolution. You will do this by:

  • plotting and analysing special radiosonde ascents
  • collecting data from an instrumented mast
  • collecting data from instrumented walks
  • monitoring official analysis and forecast products.
Build on your scientific knowledge

This master’s course is designed for graduates with a background in physics, mathematics, chemistry, computer science, or closely related subjects.

It is particularly suitable for those interested in pursuing further higher education opportunities or research and development careers in industry.

Information for international students

IELTS: 6.5 overall with no element less than 5.5 (or equivalent).

Fees and funding

UK students
£8,840 per year (full-time)
International students
£19,715 per year (full-time)

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Global Recruitment Team