If you have a mathematical background and want to apply your mathematical skills to understanding the complex behaviour of the Earth’s atmosphere and oceans then this could be the programme for you. This is an exciting interdisciplinary subject, of increasing importance to a society facing climate change.
You’ll be trained in both modern applied mathematics and atmosphere-ocean science, combining teaching resources from the School of Mathematics and the School of Earth and Environment. The latter are provided by members of the School’s Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science, part of the National Centre for Atmospheric Science.
Only a handful of UK universities are positioned to offer similar interdisciplinary training in modern applied mathematics and atmosphere-ocean-climate science.
If you do not meet the full academic entry requirements then you may wish to consider the Graduate Diploma in Mathematics. This course is aimed at students who would like to study for a mathematics related MSc course but do not currently meet the entry requirements. Upon completion of the Graduate Diploma, students who meet the required performance level will be eligible for entry onto a number of related MSc courses, in the following academic year.
For an idea of what topics you may be able to study, view our 2017/18 modules list (2018/19 modules may differ).
Please note that all modules are subject to change. Please see our modules disclaimer for more information.
As one of our graduates, you will be well placed to pursue a scientific career in weather forecasting and meteorological research.
In recent years, our students have been recruited by the Met Office, MeteoGroup, FUGRO Geos, Arup, AIR and RMS. Others pursue careers associated with diverse aspects of environmental measurement, risk management and policy development.
Society urgently needs experts with a multidisciplinary education in atmospheric and Earth System sciences. Climate change and issues of air quality and extreme weather are matters of global concern, but which are inadequately understood from the scientific point of view. Not only must further research be done, but industry and business also need environmental specialists with a strong background in natural sciences. As new regulations and European Union directives are adopted in practice, people with knowledge of recent scientific research are required.
Upon graduating from the Programme you will have competence in
Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.
The six study lines are as follows:
Aerosol particles are tiny liquid or solid particles floating in the air. Aerosol physics is essential for our understanding of air quality, climate change and production of nanomaterials. Aerosol scientists investigate a large variety of phenomena associated with atmospheric aerosol particles and related gas-to-particle conversion using constantly improving experimental, theoretical, model-based and data analysis methods.
Hydrospheric geophysics studies water in all of its forms using physical methods. It includes hydrology, cryology, and physical oceanography. Hydrology includes the study of surface waters such as lakes and rivers, global and local hydrological cycles as well as water resources and geohydrology, the study of groundwater. Cryology focuses on snow and ice phenomena including glacier mass balance and dynamics, sea ice physics, snow cover effects and ground frost. Physical oceanography covers saline water bodies, focusing on describing their dynamics, both large scale circulation and water masses, and local phenomena such as surface waves, upwelling, tides, and ocean acoustics. Scientists study the hydrosphere through field measurements, large and small scale modelling, and formulating mathematical descriptions of the processes.
Meteorology is the physics of the atmosphere. Its best-known application is weather forecasting, but meteorological knowledge is also essential for understanding, predicting and mitigating climate change. Meteorologists study atmospheric phenomena across a wide range of space and time scales using theory, model simulations and observations. The field of meteorology is a forerunner in computing: the development of chaos theory, for example, was triggered by the unexpected behaviour of a meteorological computer model. Meteorology in ATM-MP is further divided into dynamic meteorology and biometeorology. Dynamic meteorology is about large-scale atmospheric dynamics, modelling and observation techniques, whereas biometeorology focuses on interactions between the atmosphere and the underlying surface by combining observations and modelling to study the flows of greenhouse gases and energy with links to biogeochemical cycles, for example.
Biogeochemistry studies the processes involved in cycling of elements in terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems by integrating physics, meteorology, geophysics, chemistry, geology and biology. Besides natural ecosystems, it also studies systems altered by human activity such as forests under different management regimes, drained peatlands, lakes loaded by excess nutrients and urban environments. The most important elements and substances studied are carbon, nitrogen, sulphur, water and phosphorus, which are vital for ecosystem functioning and processes such as photosynthesis. Biogeochemistry often focuses on the interphases of scientific disciplines and by doing so, it also combines different research methods. It treats ecosystems as open entities which are closely connected to the atmosphere and lithosphere. You will thus get versatile training in environmental issues and research techniques. As a graduate of this line you will be an expert in the functioning of ecosystems and the interactions between ecosystems and the atmosphere/hydrosphere/lithosphere in the context of global change. You will have knowledge applicable for solving global challenges such as climate change, air pollution, deforestation and issues related to water resources and eutrophication.
Remote sensing allows the collection of information about the atmosphere, oceans and land surfaces. Various techniques are applied for monitoring the state and dynamics of the Earth system from the ground, aircraft or satellites. While Lidar and radar scan from the surface or mounted on aircraft, instruments on polar orbiting or geostationary satellites permit measurements worldwide. In atmospheric sciences remote sensing has found numerous applications such as observations of greenhouse and other trace gases, aerosols, water vapour, clouds and precipitation, as well as surface observations, for example of vegetation, fire activity, snow cover, sea ice and oceanic parameters such as phytoplankton. Synergistic satellite data analysis enables the study of important processes and feedback in the climate system. Remote sensing advances climate research, weather forecasting, air quality studies, aviation safety and the renewable energy industry.
Atmospheric chemistry studies the composition and reactions of the molecules that make up the atmosphere, including atmospheric trace constituents and their role in chemical, geological and biological processes, including human influence. The low concentrations and high reactivity of these trace molecules place stringent requirements on the measurement and modelling methods used to study them. Analytical chemistry is the science of obtaining, processing, and communicating information about the composition and structure of matter and plays an essential role in the development of science. Environmental analysis consists of the most recent procedures for sampling, sample preparation and sample analysis and learning how to choose the best analytical methods for different environmental samples. Physical atmospheric chemistry studies focus on the reaction types and reaction mechanisms occurring in the atmosphere, with emphasis on reaction kinetics, thermodynamics and modelling methods.
Join us for our Master Open Day to find out more about our courses.
This Masters will prepare you in the physical sciences and mathematics for a research career in climate, atmospheric or environmental sciences. It ideally bridges the gap between undergraduate studies in physical/natural sciences and engineering, and study for a PhD.
Alternatively, if you decide to leave academia, the highly transferable skills gained from this course could lead to a research role in industry or government.
Gain a broad overview of physical problems in climate and atmospheric science, together with a sound physical understanding of natural processes. Alongside this, develop highly transferable skills to conduct research in these subjects with a strong emphasis on quantitative data analysis and physical and numerical modelling.
A career in scientific research is always interesting – sometimes exciting – but might not suit everyone. This course provides an excellent opportunity to get a taste of postgraduate research study and decide whether it is really the career for you.
Interact with academics who are at the forefront of major global issues. Leeds is a leading centre of excellence across both the physical science of the climate and atmosphere science, and the resultant socio-economic impacts and processes:
Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science (ICAS) is the UK’s most diverse academic institute for atmospheric research.
Priestley International Centre for Climate Change (PICC) a world-leading centre for policy-relevant, solution-driven climate research.
Centre for Polar Observation and Modelling (CPOM) is a research centre that studies processes in the Earth's polar latitudes that may affect the Earth's albedo, polar atmosphere and ocean circulation, and global sea level.
Develop your research skills – you will be regarded as a researcher in the School and expected to work closely with ICAS staff as well as presenting at the annual ICAS Science Conference along with academics and doctoral researchers.
Continue on to a PhD, or move into a research role in industry or government. Highly numerate graduates with training in independent research are widely sought after in many sectors.
The School's £23m building gives you access to world-class research, teaching and laboratory facilities, and dedicated computer facilities – many of which will be available to you throughout your studies.
You will be regarded as a researcher within the School and be expected to work closely with ICAS staff as well as presenting at the annual ICAS away day along with academic staff and doctoral researchers.
Be taught by staff from across the School, primarily from ICAS. Your programme manager is Dr Ryan Neely (ICAS) who also teaches as well as regularly supervises your research project and provides tutorial support.