How we teach

Within the Department of Meteorology you will benefit from access to the latest research, and the leading knowledge and expertise of our friendly, enthusiastic and approachable staff. We inspire an interactive, dynamic and practical approach to teaching and learning, nurturing an ambitious and supportive environment in which you can maximise your potential and achieve both your personal and academic goals.

At Reading we aim to produce graduates and postgraduates who are highly employable, and as such we pay particular attention to enhancing transferable skills, in addition to delivering key academic content. As well as lectures, there are tutorials and practical sessions to give you the opportunity to develop valuable expertise in your chosen areas – from aerosols to vulcanology. Some sessions involve making use of or developing mathematical or statistical computing software, usually within the department but occasionally on supercomputer facilities elsewhere.

A high level of support

An excellent staff:student ratio means that most of your teaching will be in small groups and staff members are able to get to know students well. All of the teaching staff are easily contactable, whether by e-mail, telephone or in person, enabling a high level of support. You will also be assigned a personal tutor during the autumn term who will provide ongoing help and advice throughout your time at Reading.

Programme structure

Our programmes are modular and taught through lectures, practicals and tutorial classes. You will benefit from a wide variety of student-centred teaching methods, from weather chart analysis through traditional lectures to multimedia online tutorials. You are encouraged to discuss and analyse theory and practice using case studies, group presentations and through open debate with fellow students, lecturers and tutors, and other department members. Assessment methods include written examination, presentations, case study evaluations, projects and a final dissertation.

A key part of meeting your needs is to provide you with flexibility and choice in putting together your programme. All our Masters degree programmes feature a mix of compulsory modules featuring core material together with additional optional modules, allowing you to focus more deeply on topics of particular interest. More details on the Masters courses we offer, and the modules within those courses, are available in the MSc course options pages.

The Masters course consists of 12 modules across two terms, amounting to 120 credits, together with a summer term dissertation which is worth 60 credits, for a total of 180. The number of contact hours (tutorials, practicals and lectures) per week varies according to the programme and choice of optional modules. A two-year part-time option is also available, please enquire.

A Diploma option is also available, for which students require 120 credits - consisting of all compulsory modules in the autumn and spring terms along with the requisite number of selected modules from the spring term and the Met Office Forecasting week in late April/early May OR one optional module in spring term plus an extended essay that must be submitted by the end of June.

High practical content

There’s a strong practical element to all courses – after all, weather doesn’t just happen in computer models! You can expect to take part in a field course and hands-on exercises in our unrivalled on-campus atmospheric observatory. We are one of only a handful of sites in the United Kingdom authorised to launch weather balloons and their scientific payloads. We also have fully- equipped fluid dynamics, instrumentation and synoptic weather/forecasting laboratories. The spring term normally includes several visits, including one to the UK Met Office HQ in Exeter and talks by recent MSc graduates employed in various sectors, both governmental and commercial.

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Facilities and resources

MSc students are encouraged to attend meetings of our professional body, the Royal Meteorological Society that occur monthly during term-time - normally in London, occasionally here in Reading. Students are encouraged to join the Royal Meteorological Society, which offers professional accreditation and a route to Fellowship of the Society.

As a Meteorology student you will enjoy access to a wide-range of facilities and support services. This includes 24-hour PC use and wireless internet access around campus, access to the main university library (housing over a million items) and the departmental library, as well as facilities shared with the Mathematics and Statistics Department.

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