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.
Improving air quality through the control of pollutant emissions is a high priority and global challenge. To control, monitor and model atmospheric emissions requires in-depth understanding of the sources of emission, atmospheric chemistry, dispersion modelling and emissions technology.
The MSc in Atmospheric Emission Technology course is designed to provide up-to-date knowledge focusing on international and industrial emission monitoring and control technologies. The latest atmospheric and air quality policy and modelling developments will be introduced to prepare you for a career as air quality monitoring and emissions technology experts within industry, environmental consultancies or regulators.
Currently there is a scarcity of higher education courses in topics that are relevant to air quality management. This course will provide a future generation of professionals in the air quality and air pollution control sectors, with comprehensive understanding of sources and dispersion of atmospheric pollutants linked with key industrial processes and vehicle/aircraft emission.
The course offers unique practical experience in the NERC/Met Office Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurement (FAAM) base in the Centre for Atmospheric Informatics and Emissions Technology at Cranfield.
Many academics in the teaching team have significantly experience working in close collaboration with environmental consultancies, the emission monitoring and control industry, and regulators.
The course comprises eight assessed modules, a group project and an individual research project.
The group projects are founded on group-based research programmes typically undertaken between February and April. The projects are designed to integrate knowledge, understanding and skills from the taught modules in a real-life situation.
The thesis project, typically delivered between May and September, further develops research and project management skills that provide the ability to think and work in an original way; contribute to knowledge; overcome genuine problems; and communicate through a thesis and oral exam. Each student is allocated a supervisor who will guide and assess the student's work.
Taught modules: 40%, Group projects: 20%, Individual project: 40%
We aim to develop this course as a recognised and sought-after qualification within the professional environmental field in the UK and abroad. Successful students will develop diverse and rewarding careers in environmental regulation, public sector organisations (e.g. Defra and Environmental Agency), environmental and business consultancies and process industries in private sectors.
We have been providing Masters level training for over 20 years. Our strong reputation and links with potential employers provide you with outstanding opportunities to secure interesting jobs and develop successful careers.
Our applied approach and close links with industry mean 93% of our graduates find jobs relevant to their degree or go on to further study within six months of graduation. Our careers team support you while you are studying and following graduation with workshops, careers fairs, vacancy information and one-to-one support.
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.
We engage in fundamental research in atmospheric science, both independently and in cooperation with federal and provincial laboratories and other research groups around the world. The emphasis of the research is on studies of processes and developing physical understanding of the atmosphere. The research commonly involves field or laboratory measurement and observation; data analysis and interpretation; and numerical model construction, modification and validation.
Areas of interest include atmospheric models for weather and climate prediction, air pollution studies, and other environmental areas.
In 2012 the new Earth Sciences Building was completed. The $75 million facility was designed to inspire collaboration and creativity across disciplines.
Weather and climate are integral parts of the Earth system. The monitoring of meteorological variables, together with the knowledge and modelling of underlying processes, are key to understanding our interaction with the natural environment.
This programme provides comprehensive training in understanding, modelling and prediction of atmospheric processes; as well as the collection, management, supply and application of atmospheric data for the needs of a variety of public and private sectors. The course also demonstrates how these create opportunities or pose problems for the successful operation of natural and human systems. Our aim is that upon graduation you will be able to compete for careers in Meteorology and Climatology.
This well-established programme was developed in response to industry and research institution requirements for applied meteorologists and climatologists. This demand continues, partially due to the growing attention of the society to climate change, its mitigation and adaptation to it.
The programme aims to:
Taught modules involve lectures, practical classes and supporting tutorials. Modules are provided by staff, supported by seminars from invited experts. Vocational awareness is developed through a 'work experience' week in which course participants gain hands-on experience for instance in a commercial weather forecasting environment.
The programme has been accredited by the Royal Meteorological Society to provide training for Chartered Meteorologists (CMet). The RMS 'Chartered Meteorologist' accreditation scheme provides the highest level of professional qualification in meteorology and will satisfy clients and employers that individuals have reached a specified level of knowledge and experience in the subject equivalent to that of Chartered status in any other profession.
The MSc course in Applied Meteorology and Climatology was initiated in 1963/64. It was developed in response to industry and research institution requirements for applied meteorologists and climatologists. This demand still continues. For example, over the period of the last decade, about 45 percent of graduates from the course have entered employment directly related to applied meteorology and climatology, while 37 percent have taken up research posts in this area.
Air pollution damages human health, ecosystems and vegetation, and is expected to worsen in many regions. Every year, air pollution costs EU economies US$ 1.6 trillion and is linked to 7 million premature deaths globally. Developing effective strategies for the management and control of air pollution is a key environmental challenge facing society today.
This course is designed to provide a comprehensive understanding of the causes and effects of air pollution, and the management measures and engineering technologies available for its control. This is a recognised and sought after qualification within the professional environmental field in the UK and abroad. Students successfully completing the course find employment as air quality experts within environmental consultancies, industry or local government departments.
This programme is accredited by the Committee of Heads of Environmental Sciences (CHES), the education committee of the Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES). CHES is the collective voice of the environmental sciences academic community and serves to enhance the quality of environmental education worldwide. A programme accredited by CHES is assured to meet high standards, contain a strong component of practical, field and theoretical activities, and has excellent opportunities for training, work experience and links to the professional environmental sector. Students enrolled on CHES accredited programmes can apply for free Student Membership of the IES and for a fast-track route to membership once they graduate, starting you on a route towards becoming a Chartered Environmentalist or Chartered Scientist.
The programme is also accredited by the Institute of Air Quality Management.
The course combines taught modules with an independent major research project. The taught modules introduce the nature of our atmosphere, its composition and meteorology, air pollutant emissions, air pollution chemistry and climate change / carbon management, together with the practical measures used to limit emissions from sources ranging from power stations to vehicles and the legislative and policy framework used by national and local authorities to enforce air quality objectives. The research project allows students to undertake an in-depth investigation of a particular aspect of air pollution of interest to them, and further their level of understanding.
This programme is run by the Division of Environmental Health and Risk Management.
About the Division of Environmental Health and Risk Management
The Division is based in the well-equipped, purpose-built facilities of the University's Public Health Building. Research attracts extensive funding from many sources, including the Department of Transport; the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA); the Environment Agency; the Department of Health; the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) and European Union. The collaborative nature of much of this work, together with the mix of pure, strategic and applied research, often involving interdisciplinary teams spanning physical, biological, chemical, medical and social sciences, provides a dynamic and internationally recognised research environment.
The Division is led by Professor Roy Harrison who is a member of the U.K. government’s Air Quality Expert Group, Committee on the Medical Effects of Air Pollutants, and Committee on Toxicity. He often gives media interviews on subjects including the Volkswagen emissions scandal.
You will have access to common software tools used to model air pollution (for example, ADMS and the DMRB as used by many local authorities). These are used in teaching sessions/workshops, and also available for research projects. We also have experience with more specialised packages such as CMAQ for research project use.
Laboratories and Atmospheric Measurement Instrumentation
We are well equipped for atmospheric measurements. Instrumentation available for the measurement of atmospheric particulates (aerosols) ranges from hand-held particle monitors which may be taken into homes and buildings, through various manual and automated filter sampling systems, to TEOM instruments as used for air quality monitoring. On the research side, we operate a number of Aerosol particle Spectrometers and an Aerosol Time-of-Flight Mass Spectrometer. For gaseous pollutants, monitors are available to monitor ozone, nitrogen oxides, sulphur dioxide, carbon monoxide and carbon dioxide, in addition to gas chromatographs which can detect a wide range of organic compounds. The School operates its own weather station, and various meteorological instrumentation is available.
Other laboratory analytical instrumentation includes GC-MS and LC-MS instruments, ion chromatography and atomic absorption spectrometers which can measure a wide range of environmental constituents and pollutants. Training and guidance on the use of instrumentation is available if you are interested in using these facilities for your research projects.
The MSc in Air Pollution Management and Control is taught by staff from the School of Geography, Earth & Environmental Sciences.
Teaching is delivered through lectures, workshops and problem sessions, and off-campus visits to sites with specific air pollution problems (e.g. an incinerator, landfill site, local air quality monitoring station). We also visit a £15m facility built to study the impact of climate change on terrestrial carbon cycle at the Birmingham Institute of Forest Research (BIFoR). In order to give our students experience of the Management and Control aspects of the course, we make visits to Birmingham City Council Air Quality Group and to the Tyseley Energy Recovery Facility. Teaching sessions are supplemented by online resources which may be accessed remotely and students own (guided) personal reading.
A feature of the course is the use of external speakers to deliver an expert view through lectures and workshops on specific aspects. These range from experts such as Professor Robert Maynard (formerly Head of Air Pollution for the Department of Health) and Professor Dick Derwent (atmospheric ozone modelling and policy advice) to recent course graduates, now working in consultancy and local government, who run workshop sessions on pollutant dispersion modelling.
Our Climate Change: Environment, Science & Policy MSc course is an opportunity for graduates of geography, physical sciences, engineering and computer sciences to explore specific issues relating to climate and environmental change at an advanced level. You will explore a wide range of critical topics focusing on human-originated influences on the terrestrial, hydrological and atmospheric environments, and their biological, physical and societal consequences.
The Climate Change: Environment, Science & Policy MSc is a flexible course allowing you to study either a Policy or a Science pathway. Our course will provide you with an in-depth understanding of the processes and the nature of environmental changes occurring in the Earth’s terrestrial, hydrological and atmospheric environments. You will also develop essential research, analysis and critical-thinking skills that will help you to understand and interpret scientific evidence and also respond to the problems associated with global and regional environmental changes in the Earth’s system.
The study course is made up of optional and required modules and you must take the minimum of 180 credits for the course. If you are studying full-time, you will complete the course in one year, from September to September. If you are studying part-time, your course will take two years to complete. You will take the required combination of required and optional modules over this period of time, with the dissertation in your second year.
We will teach you through a combination of lectures and seminars, and you will typically have 20 hours of this per module. We also expect you to undertake 180 hours of independent study for each module. For your 12,000 word dissertation, we will provide four workshops and five hours of one-to-one supervision to complement your 587 hours of independent study.
As part of a two-year schedule, part-time students typically take the required 40-credit taught module and 40 credits of optional module in year 1. They will then take a 60 credit dissertation module and 40 credit optional modules in year 2. Typically, one credit equates to 10 hours of work.
Performance on taught modules in the Geography Department is normally assessed through essays and other written assignments, oral presentations, lab work and occasionally by examination, depending on the modules selected. All students also undertake a research-based dissertation of 12,000 words.
Our MSc is designed to prepare you for a career in environmental change research, consultancy and/or policy development. It provides interdisciplinary research training for those going onto a PhD in environmental and/or Earth system science within King's or elsewhere, and students entering the job market immediately after graduation are expected to be highly marketable in three main areas: local and national governmental and non-governmental agencies (eg Environment Agency, County Councils, Nature Conservancies); environmental consultancies and businesses (eg environmental informatics providers; environmental businesses - including carbon trading; insurance; waste management and energy industries), and policy development organisations (eg such government departments as Defra). The Seminars in Environmental Research, Management and Policy module offers you the chance to hear and meet practitioners in many of these key areas.
Our Master’s programme in Climate Physics offers you a unique combination of theoretical courses and practical training in all aspects of the Earth’s climate. You’ll study the physics, dynamics, and chemistry of the atmosphere, oceans, and cryosphere – as well as explore their interactions.
The Dutch Master's Selection Guide (Keuzegids Masters 2017) ranked this programme as the best in the field of Physics in the Netherlands.
The two-year Climate Physics programme trains you to be a highly skilled researcher by focusing on the fundamental physical processes that make up the Earth’s climate system. The complex nature of the work requires advanced mathematical skills right from the start. You will build on this foundation by adding specialised theoretical, observational, and computational knowledge and skills relating to the atmosphere, meteorology, oceans, cryosphere (ice), and biosphere. Moreover, your instructors will encourage you to develop a critical attitude towards your research results and your underlying assumptions.
Our teaching staff include leading experts from the five research fields encompassed by the Institute for Marine and Atmospheric Research Utrecht (IMAU):
The MSc in Climate Physics is a two-year research Master’s programme that provides students with the knowledge and skills to evaluate the fundamental physical processes that regulate the Earth’s climate system, including the dynamics of the planet’s atmosphere, ocean, and climate.
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.
Are you up to the challenge of finding innovative methods and sustainable solutions to the threats facing the environment? The Environmental Sciences master's programme in Wageningen has its roots in the natural, technological and social sciences. Students will gain insight into the socio-economic causes and the characteristics of pollution and degradation of the natural environment, including the effects on human beings, the atmosphere, ecosystems and other organisms. This two-year programme is based on an interdisciplinary approach. Students learn to develop analytical tools and models, as well as technologies, socio-political arrangements and economic instruments to prevent and control environmental and sustainability issues.
The Environmental Sciences MSc programme of Wageningen University is an international programme containing one year of course work and and one year of research. It is thesis-oriented with the individual research project (major) as its core. Compulsory elements are kept at a minimum, thus enabling the coursework to be tailored to the wishes and needs of the individual student. Study adviser and thesis supervisor both assist the student in selecting the most relevant courses from what Wageningen University has to offer. Read more about the background of the programme.
Within the master's programme you can choose from the following Thesis tracks to meet your personal interests:
Graduates find jobs at many different organisations. Professional job possibilities can be found as:
Read more about the career perspectives and opportunities.
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.
The Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences at UBC, one of the largest geoscience groups in Canada is composed of over 40 full-time faculty, a staff complement of 30, a total of 40 research associates and postdoctoral fellows. Our Department's research extends from pure science studies of the earth's deep interior, through near-surface geological studies and environmental earth science, to the oceans and atmosphere. UBC earth scientists draw on a broad base of knowledge from the basic sciences of chemistry, physics, biology and mathematics.
UBC and the Province of British Columbia offer exceptional opportunity for combined field and laboratory research. The Canadian Cordillera offers research opportunities in:
Numerous research units in the Department of Earth, Ocean and Atmospheric Sciences maintain excellent provisions for research and study in a wide range of geological sciences.
This programme offers expert understanding of the latest developments in geographical information science (GIS), mixing practical training, theoretical knowledge and an ability to apply learned skills in any software environment.
This programme can be tailored to your interests and career goals, offering hands-on experience in geographical problem solving. A field trip to Perthshire focuses on techniques for capturing geospatial information.
Courses reflecting the industry’s needs prepare you for employment.
Compulsory courses typically will be:
In consultation with the Programme Director, you will choose from a range of option courses. We particularly recommend:
Courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change.
Demand for GIS expertise is growing at an unprecedented rate. The proven ability of our graduates means our internationally recognised programme is held in high regard by employers.
Graduates work worldwide in public and private sector organisations, such as Microsoft, Google, General Electric Aerospace, The World Bank, British Antarctic Survey, The World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Unisys, British Airways, the Forestry Commission, DEFRA and Registers of Scotland.
The programme is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.
You may also be interested in the following programmes:
Would you like to know what it’s really like to study at the School of GeoSciences?
Visit our student experience blog where you can find articles, advice, videos and ask current students your questions.
In this programme, leading academics encourage students to think across different disciplines to blend scientific, socioeconomic and policy perspectives for a stronger understanding of sustainability and how it can be achieved. This wider perspective is attractive to organisations which promote sustainable development or seek to reduce humanity’s effect on the environment.
Ensuring the environmental sustainability of society is one of the major challenges facing humanity in the 21st century. How can the needs of the world’s growing population be met without threatening the ecological processes that support human wellbeing?
How can the economy and energy systems be restructured to combat climate change? What policies foster sustainability? How can the necessary changes in the behaviour of organisations and individuals be promoted? This MSc programme explores these and related, topical questions.
This programme is affiliated with the University's Global Environment & Society Academy.
This programme consists of six taught courses, studied over two semesters. Students will also undertake a research project leading to a dissertation of up to 20,000 words.
Compulsory courses typically will be:
Option courses: In consultation with the Programme Director, you will choose from a range of option courses. We particularly recommend:
Courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change.
Students will be equipped to:
This programme prepares students for a wide range of roles within environmental consultancy, national and local government, non-profit organisations, education or research. The choice of option courses and dissertation projects can be tailored towards your chosen career path.
Would you like to know what it’s really like to study at the School of GeoSciences?
Visit our student experience blog where you can find articles, advice, videos and ask current students your questions.