School of Earth and Environment

Climate and Atmospheric Science MRes

(Full time) 2018 start

Masters in Climate and Atmospheric Science


Key facts

  • Start date:
    September 2018
  • Duration/Mode:
    12 months full time
  • UK/EU fees: £9,250 (total)
    International fees: £21,500 (total)
  • Entry requirements:
    A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in a scientifically or mathematically based field
  • Language requirements:
    IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in any component
  • Course terms and conditions

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.

Alumni Profile

"The MRes really gives you an opportunity to learn new skills or build upon those you already have from whatever undergraduate background you may have come from."

Bradley Jemmett-Smith, PhD student, University of Leeds

Read More

Course highlights:

  • 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:
  • 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.

Programme team

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.

Course terms and conditions

Course content

Important: You will attend a week long field-course on the Isle of Arran before the start of term that typically starts 3 Fridays before the start of term.

You'll undertake 180 credits worth of work during the year, based on 4 super-modules, each of which is made up of several components.

Two of these super-modules (Quantitative Skills and Specialist Knowledge) allow you to choose from an expansive range of 'atmospheric' and/or 'climate science' options.

You can choose modules based on the direction of your research project and your first degree, as well as any other previous experience.

Course structure

These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Research Skills 30 credits
  • Quantitative Skills 30 credits
  • Specialist Knowledge 30 credits
  • MRes Research Project 90 credits

Learning and teaching

You’ll be taught through classwork, research seminars, lectures, tutorials, poster presentation, fieldwork and tutorials, group work and/or individual.

For your dissertation project, instead of the traditional thesis, you’ll submit a manuscript suitable for submission to an academic journal. This aims to teach the key transferable skill of communicating results professionally and efficiently, and increase the frequency of publication of students’ research.


The School’s £23m building gives you access to world-class research, teaching and laboratory facilities. You'll also have access to a dedicated computer suite throughout your studies.


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.

Alumni Profile

"The MRes gave us the opportunity to undertake field work; partake in conferences and gain valuable practice presenting our work to experienced scientists."

Alison Fowler, Post-doctoral Research Associate

Read More

Alumni Profile

"The structure of the course gave a good introduction to all aspects of the subject before moving forward onto more specialist topics."

William Thurston, Researcher, CSIRO, Australia

Read More

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) or above in a physical science such as physics, mathematics, chemistry, engineering, geophysics, atmospheric or environmental science, meteorology or oceanography.

You should ideally have mathematics to a good A-level grade (or equivalent) as a minimum. Preferably, you will have also studied at least one year of university-level maths, though additional courses are available as part of this course.

International qualifications

We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For information contact the School of Earth and Environment 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)

If you need to study for longer than 10 weeks, read more about our postgraduate pre-sessional English course.

How to apply

This link 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 School of Earth and Environment advice on how to apply.

Admissions policy

Faculty of Environment Postgraduate Admissions Policy 2018

Visas and Immigration

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.

Admissions policy

Link to admissions policy document


UK/EU fees: £9,250 (total)
International fees: £21,500 (total)

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Additional cost information

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.

School Scholarships

The School of Earth and Environment offer a range of scholarships for UK, EU and International students.

Find out more about our School scholarships.

Other funding sources:

Royal Meteorological Society

Students focusing on Atmospheric Science might also be eligible to apply for a Scholarship from the Royal Meteorological Society.

Career Development Loan

Past students have secured funding through a career development loan, for details visit UK Government website.

Career opportunities

You will be prepared for a research career, usually onwards to a PhD but this could also lead to a research role in government or industry.

Traditionally a very high proportion of our students go on to further PhD study in climate or atmospheric science. In fact, over the last three years all our students who applied for funded PhD positions at Leeds were successful, with several of them holding multiple offers of fully funded research studentships.

While others have obtained places at Cambridge, Reading, Edinburgh, and UEA, among others.

Highly numerate graduates with training in independent research are widely sought after. And our graduates who choose to leave academia have strong employment prospects – landing jobs with national agencies, environmental consultancies, wind-power companies and the insurance sector.

Positions taken up by our recent graduates:

  • 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).


Careers support

We offer extra support and activities to help you stand out in your chosen field and achieve your career goals. In particular, you are actively encouraged to attend conferences to present your work to help advance your research career.

School of Earth and Environment has a strong commitment to enhancing student employability and has its own dedicated Employability Officer. Read more about our careers and employability.

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

Alumni Profile

"The MRes course provided me with the basic concepts and fundamentals in Atmospheric Science, many of which I still apply in my job, on a day to day basis."

Jason Lowenstein, OwnEnergy, renewable energy company

Read More

Alumni Profile

"The research-based side of the MRes programme served as an ideal introduction to scientific research. Having undertaken this programme I felt well prepared for PhD-level research."

Anthony Bloom, PhD student, University of Edinburgh

Read More

Industry links

Students carry out research-directed work, implementing new developments and joining existing and new collaborations with agencies such as the Meteorological Office, British Antarctic Survey and the National Centre for Atmospheric Science. Many students perform field projects in conjunction with international field campaigns.

British Antarctic Survey logo (BAS)

Met Office

National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS)

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