(Full time) 2023 start
Climate and Atmospheric Science MRes
Experts in atmospheric science and climate are highly sought after by industry, governments and not-for-profit organisations to address the climate crisis and provide predictions and solutions for the future.
Our Climate and Atmospheric Science Masters by Research degree (MRes) is for those of you who are passionate about taking on these challenges in climate. It’ll prepare you with the relevant knowledge and skills you’ll need to be one of the scientists delivering those solutions.
You’ll gain an excellent grounding in physical science, data analysis and research, along with practical and communication skills – all of which will prepare you for a career in climate, atmospheric or environmental sciences. You’ll gain a broad overview of the key research areas in climate and atmospheric science such as air quality, weather and climate extremes, polar meteorology, climate and agriculture, atmospheric chemistry, aerosol science and paleoclimate. You’ll also develop highly transferable skills in these subjects, with a strong emphasis on quantitative data analysis, numerical modelling and experimental fieldwork.
Because this degree is an MRes, there’s a large focus on learning and research through projects, which gives you the flexibility to pursue your own research interests, building the skills that’ll enhance your employability in a scientific career. It's also excellent preparation for a PhD.
You'll study in our School of Earth and Environment, which is home to several research centres and a wealth of expert academics and researchers who are leading groundbreaking research programmes, contributing to and developing international assessments that inform policy. This means you’ll be learning the latest science alongside active changemakers, giving you the extensive skill set and in-depth understanding you’ll need to pursue a career in industry, government or academia.
Why study at Leeds:
- Graduate with an MRes from a School which is home to five world-leading research institutes that are actively working to tackle the planet’s most pressing environmental challenges.
- This MRes focuses on research and learning through projects with a research project (50%), taught courses in core research skills (25%) and optional taught modules.
- Learn the latest innovations in climate and atmospheric science, directly informed by researchers at the forefront of their fields and based in the university’s research centres and institutes such as; National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS), Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science (ICAS) and the Priestley International Centre for Climate Change (PICC).
- Advance your research skills and be regarded as a researcher within the School of Earth and Environment, expected to work closely with the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science (ICAS) staff and present your research at the annual ICAS Science Conference along with academics and doctoral researchers.
- Tailor your course to suit your career or research aspirations, choosing from our large and diverse selection of optional modules that’ll enable you to hone your knowledge in specific areas that interest you the most.
- Access research-grade equipment that’ll assist your project work, including the University’s Research Computing facility, the Cohen Geochemistry labs, MetLab and electron microscopes, depending on your chosen topic.
- Experience expert theoretical and practical teaching delivered by a programme team who are primarily from the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science meaning you’ll be learning from academics whose work is globally impactful in this area.
- Get inspired and develop practical research skills through an introductory field trip to Dale Fort.
- Take advantage of our strong industry links and build your own connections carrying out your research-directed work and collaborating with agencies such as the Met Office, British Antarctic Survey, the National Centre for Atmospheric Science plus many more.
- Join one of our societies, such as SusSoc, where you can meet like-minded people at events such as socials and sports.
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This course is designed to provide you with an optimum combination of specialist scientific knowledge and transferable skills that are required for a career as a research scientist in industry or in a university. You’ll have the opportunity to align the course to your career aspirations, through a large range of optional modules that build on the world-leading research conducted across the university.
This course is will equip you with skills in independent thinking, proposal development, research methods, project planning and scientific communication that are sought after by employers, and which are vital for onward PhD study.
From day one we will support you in becoming a researcher in this field, producing an original piece of research through your dissertation project.
Throughout the 12-month duration of the course, you'll work on your research project alongside an academic supervisor who will be chosen from the School of Earth and Environment dependent on your choice of research topic or theme. Your project work will be supported through modules in which you'll learn valuable research skills such as practical research skills, scientific communication skills and quantitative research.
You'll also have the opportunity to learn to use Python and attend additional seminars on more advanced programming techniques, ultimately learning how to use programming to produce a tool to help with your research and to display your project.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our terms and conditions.
For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Climate and Atmospheric Science MRes in the course catalogue
- Observing weather and climate: advanced field skills 15 credits
- Advanced Data Analysis and Visualisation for Environmental Applications 15 credits
- Scientific Quality and Discourse 15 credits
- MRes Research Project 90 credits
Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
- Introduction to GIS 15 credits
- Population Dynamics 15 credits
- Energy, Molecules and Chemical Change 10 credits
- Atmospheric Chemistry 10 credits
- Geophysical Fluid Dynamics 15 credits
- Advanced Geophysical Fluid Dynamics 20 credits
- Winds, Bubbles and Explosions 15 credits
- Dynamics of Weather Systems 10 credits
- Earth Observations from Space 10 credits
- Atmosphere and Ocean Climate Change Processes 10 credits
- Atmospheric Pollution: Causes, Impact and Regulation 10 credits
- Ice in the Earth System 10 credits
- Atmospheric Physics 10 credits
- Practical Weather Forecasting 10 credits
- Terrestrial Biosphere in the Earth System 10 credits
- Ice in the Earth System 15 credits
- Climate Change: Physical Science Basis 15 credits
- Climate Change: Impacts and Adaptation 15 credits
- Climate Change Mitigation 15 credits
- Dynamics of Weather Systems 15 credits
- Weather, Climate and Air Quality 30 credits
- Advanced Atmosphere and Ocean Dynamics 15 credits
- Terrestrial Biosphere in the Earth System 15 credits
Learning and teaching
You'll be taught through classwork, research seminars, lectures, tutorials, poster presentations, fieldwork and tutorials.
The dissertation project offers the opportunity to conduct a significant piece of research with the potential to generate a peer-reviewed journal article. This aims to teach the key transferable skill of communicating results professionally and efficiently and increase the frequency of publication of students’ research.
You'll also benefit from working alongside current PhD students and research fellows.
You'll be assigned a personal tutor, who will contact you throughout the year and offer pastoral guidance and advice on next steps after you graduate.
You'll be based in the School of Earth and Environment which is home to world-class research, teaching and laboratory facilities, and dedicated computer facilities many of which will be available to you throughout your studies.
Dependent on your project topic you may have access to facilities such as the Cohen Geochemistry labs, MetLab, electron microscopes and the ARC4 HPC cluster. Due to the course's close links with NCAS you could also have access to high-spec meeting and presentation rooms based in their building on the edge of campus.
Our Virtual Learning Environment will help to support your studies: it’s a central place where you can find all the information and resources for the School, your programme and modules.
You can also benefit from support to develop your academic skills, within the curriculum and through online resources, workshops, one-to-one appointments and drop-in sessions.
Active research environment
The School of Earth and Environment is home to five world-leading research institutes, which are at the heart of our active research environment – working to tackle the planet’s most pressing environmental challenges. Throughout your degree you'll be taught by experts who are leaders in their fields and be directly engaged with their cutting-edge research.
Academics and researchers teaching on this course are often based in or working with:
- National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS), one of six research centres funded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), providing its core atmospheric research.
- 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.
Students on this programme will carry out research-directed work, implementing new developments and joining existing and new collaborations with agencies such as the Meteorological Office, British Antarctic Survey, the Environment Agency, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology and the National Centre for Atmospheric Science. Many students perform field projects in conjunction with international field campaigns.
You'll be taught by staff from across the School, primarily from the Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science. Your programme leader is Dr Ryan Neely who also teaches as well as regularly supervises your research project and provides tutorial support.
The programme delivery team also includes Professor Ken Carslaw, Dr Ruza Ivanovic and Dr Cathryn Birch. Whilst working on your project you'll have the opportunity to work with a supervisor specialising in your chosen topic from across the School of Earth and Environment.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
Your dissertation project accounts for a significant part of your assessment.
You’re also assessed on work you do in course, for example through field notebooks, project proposals, seminars, submission of a computer project and a literature-based survey.
Applying, fees and funding
A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) or above in a physical science such as (but not limited to) physics, mathematics, chemistry, engineering, geophysics, atmospheric or environmental science, meteorology or oceanography.
Preferably, you will have also studied at least one year of university-level mathematics, though additional courses are available as part of this course.
Applicants with a 2:2 will be considered on a case by case basis where they can demonstrate relevant work experience or aptitude in a relevant specialist field. Graduates from other disciplines and those with professional experience in the sector will also be considered.
We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For more information please contact the Admissions Team.
English language requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.
Improve your English
International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.
This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Science (6 weeks) and Language for Science: General Science (10 weeks).
We also offer online pre-sessionals alongside our on-campus pre-sessionals. You could study a part-time online course starting in January, or a full-time course in summer. Find out more about online pre-sessionals.
You can also study pre-sessionals for longer periods – read about our postgraduate pre-sessional English courses.
How to apply
Applicants are encouraged to apply as early as possible.
30 July 2023 – International applicants
10 September 2023 – UK applicants
The ‘Apply’ link at the top of this page takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.
Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.
University of Leeds Taught Admissions Policy 2023
- UK: £12,750 (total)
- International: £28,000 (total)
Read more about paying fees and charges.
For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.
Additional cost information
Travel, accommodation and subsistence costs associated with compulsory field trips are covered by the university.
There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs.
Scholarships and financial support
If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government. Find out more at Masters funding overview.
Climate change couldn’t be more pertinent than it is in society today. Organisations and governments rely on the expertise of people who can help understand the impact of climate on a regional or global scale in order to create solutions for the future. It’s the skills and in-depth understanding you’ll gain in this field from this course which will prove invaluable to employers worldwide, in both the public and private sectors.
Highly numerate graduates with training in independent research are widely sought after. Our graduates have strong employment prospects – securing jobs with national agencies, environmental consultancies, wind-power companies and the insurance sector.
Plus, University of Leeds students are among the top 10 most targeted by top employers according to The Graduate Market 2023, High Fliers Research, meaning our graduates are highly sought after by some of the most reputable companies in the field.
Our graduates have secured positions including:
- Wind Energy Resource Surveyor, OwnEnergy, USA
- Catastrophe Modelling Analysts, Willis, UK
- Beamline Associate, Argonne National Laboratory, US
- Air Quality Scientist, Golder, UK
- Environmental Consultant, Haskoning UK Ltd., Peterborough, UK
- Research Meteorologist, JMA, Japan
- Graduate Environmental Consultant, CH2M
- Graduate Environmental Advisor, Costain Group
- PhD Student, Department of Meteorology, University of Reading
- PhD Student, University of Canterbury
At Leeds, we help you to prepare for your future from day one — that’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers. The University’s Career Centre is one of the largest in the country, providing a wide range of resources to ensure you are prepared to take your next steps after graduation and get you where you want to be.
- Dedicated Employability Officer — gain quality advice, guidance and information to help you choose a career path. From CV and cover letter writing to supporting you with job applications, our School’s dedicated Employability Enhancement Officer is on hand to help maximise your capabilities through a process of personal development and career planning.
- Employability and networking events — we run a full range of events including the School of Earth and Environment Careers Fair with employers who are actively recruiting for roles and a dedicated Industry Recruitment Day, giving you the opportunity to network with industry sponsors.
- MyCareer system — on your course and after you graduate you’ll have access to a dedicated careers portal where you can book appointments with our team, get information on careers and see job vacancies and upcoming events.
- Opportunities at Leeds — there are plenty of exciting opportunities offered by our Leeds University Union, including volunteering and over 300 clubs and societies to get involved in.
Find out more at the careers website.