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:
- 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.
- 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.
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.
These are typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
- 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.
“The MRes gave us the opportunity to undertake field work; partake in conferences and gain valuable practice presenting our work to experienced scientists.” Read more Alison Fowler, Post-doctoral Research Associate
“The structure of the course gave a good introduction to all aspects of the subject before moving forward onto more specialist topics.” Read more William Thurston, Researcher, CSIRO, Australia
Applying, fees and funding
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.
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
If English is not your first language, you may be able to take a pre-sessional course before you begin your studies. This can help if you:
- don't meet the English language requirements for your course or
- want to improve your understanding of academic language and practices in your area of study.
Our pre-sessional courses are designed with a progression route to the degree programme and are tailored to the subject area. For information and entry requirements, read Language for Science (6 weeks) and Language for Science: General Science (10 weeks).
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.
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.
UK/EU: £9,250 (total)
International: £21,500 (total)
Read more about paying fees and charges.
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.
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.
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).
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.
“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.” Read more Jason Lowenstein, OwnEnergy, renewable energy company
“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.” Read more Anthony Bloom, PhD student, University of Edinburgh
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.
Related coursesClimate Change and Environmental Policy MSc