The Meteorology specialisation within the Master's Programme in Physics will give you a deep understanding of the weather and climate systems. Expertise in atmospheric physics is in high demand both in Sweden and internationally. As a graduate from the programme, you can apply for positions at national weather services, private companies and municipalities. You will also be well prepared to start future PhD studies or embark on an international career.
The Department of Physics and Astronomy at Uppsala University is ranked among the top 50 physics institutions in the world according to the recent Shanghai ranking, which makes it the highest ranked physics department in all of Scandinavia.
Why this programme?
The specialisation in Meteorology, within the Master's Programme in Physics, lets you apply your background in physics on the atmosphere. You will study different aspects of meteorology such as atmospheric dynamics, thermodynamics, climate variations and climate change. You will learn meteorology on both local and global scale and gain skills in applied meteorology e.g. wind-power calculations and dispersion of pollutants. We also offer courses in numerical modelling of the atmosphere and practical meteorology, a hands-on course in forecast methodology.
During the programme you can expect to:
apply your background in physics on the atmosphere and learn meteorology on both local and global scale,
study forecast methodology or choose a more theoretical direction,
specialise in your particular area of interest.
This programme is developed in coordination with various research groups at Uppsala University. Our teachers are active researchers and the courses are linked to the frontline of physics research.
The open structure of the programme provides you with many opportunities to broaden the educational scope and to specialise in your particular area of interest. It is concluded with a 5-month individual research degree project, in cooperation with a research group at a university, in industry or at a public authority.
Student profile You are naturally curious about how the world works and realise that formulating a question can be just as important as finding the answer. You have a good theoretical foundation in both physics and mathematics. Furthermore, you have experience in using the foundation to analyse data or create computer-based models to solve problems.
A PhD education is a distinct possibility in your future so you would value coming in close contact with current research and prominent researchers in the field. So, if you are searching for the answer, a Master's degree in physics from Uppsala University might be exactly what takes you there.
The programme leads to a Master of Science (120 credits) with Physics as the main field of study. After one year of study it may also be possible to obtain a Master of Science (60 credits).
Why did you choose this programme?
I was introduced to meteorology during my BSc in Geophysics at home, in Iceland. I was fascinated by the subject and have been obsessed with the weather ever since. I was continued to do a Master’s degree and when the time came I chose to study the weather. The programme at Uppsala University has a good balance between practical and theoretical sides of the physics behind weather, as well as offering courses with opportunities to work with real life problems. The four period set up of the academic year was also a plus. To be able to do fewer courses at time, dive in to the subject and then move on to another one.
How did you hear about the programme?
When I was finishing my BSc I knew of another student studying meteorology in Sweden. In the end I chose to come to Uppsala where a friend of mine was studying another subject within the department of Earth Sciences.
Is the programme what you expected?
Most definitely yes! The variety of courses focusing on different aspects of meteorology is great. I got to know the physical dynamics behind different processes of weather, clouds, climate as well as practical things such as reading, drawing and understanding various kinds of weather maps.
What do you like and appreciate the most?
The atmosphere and size of the department and the great mindset of the teachers. My class was small and the professors are not too many. Classes were great, each student received plenty of attention and the teachers as well as PhD students were always willing to help and discuss different matters. In Uppsala you are pretty close to everything, it is a great city; full of incredible student life while at the same time being close to nature.
What is most challenging?
Well, I would say it is physics but although it can be very challenging at times it is manageable with the support of the department and the cooperation between us students. Relocating as an international student will always be a project, but Uppsala offers so many great things. Uppsala as a city probably has the biggest selection of student life I have ever heard of so you quickly adapt and you can make loads of new friends.
How is the atmosphere and camaraderie within your programme?
It is great, relaxed and fun. Meteorology is taught at Geocentrum where all the other geosciences are located. We got the opportunity to do some team building with the geology, hydrology, geography and other students which then can become lunch- and study mates since we are always meeting in the school building. The small size of my class also allowed for good cooperation on projects which was great.
Is there a specific area within meteorology that interest you in particular?
I’m almost all over the place… I like the physical dynamics as much as I like the synoptic meteorology. Looking at complex airflow in mountainous terrain or close to surface interactions are just as exciting as the big weather systems travelling over the North Atlantic over to Europe. And then there is the numerical modelling part, we got to try to set up and run our own weather forecast. There, everything comes together and merges. You get a chance to try most subjects which is great.
How are the international options during and after the programme?
The international cooperation at Uppsala University is very good. You can travel abroad literally almost anywhere in the world for course studies, internships or to do the degree projects, your thesis. Most of them have financial aid. I did one course abroad in Finland as well as my thesis in cooperation with the Icelandic Meteorological Office.
What is the best about being a student at Uppsala University?
Uppsala is a great place with good commuting options, short distances, an incredible student life, great teachers and classmates and much more. The city revolves around the university and a very big part of the population is directly or indirectly connected to the university.
What is your goal with your education?
I plan to get some experience before coming back for a PhD. It does not suit everyone to take this programme, but for those that choose this path, it opens up possibilities; you can get a weather specific or non-weather specific job as well as continuing towards a research career. A Master's in physics opens up many opportunities.
Three fast questions Favourite subject in school?
Clearly weather. Just make a connection to the weather and it will be fun!
The best place in Uppsala?
The downtown by the river is great, or perhaps Stadsskogen (The City forest) might be better, or maybe Hågadalen just outside in the country side (with trails and nature). There are many great places to be.
What do you hope to do in five years time?
I hope I am in the process of obtaining a PhD. After doing the degree project I can see how fun it can be working in research and making new findings and work on real world problems. Hopefully I’ll be able to come back to Sweden for that!
For this specialisation in Physics we suggest a selection of courses in meteorology. However, it is of course possible to change some courses (both within and outside physics) to construct your own Master's programme according to your interest and career plan.
Year 1 The courses you will take in your first year gives you a solid theoretical meteorological background. The first course, Atmospheric Physics, covers the governing principles of motions in the atmosphere, cloud physics and atmospheric thermodynamics. This is followed by courses in Advanced Atmospheric Dynamics in parallel with a course in Climate Variations.
The second semester starts with a course in applied meteorology, for example, Air Pollution and Dispersion, Wind Power Applications, and Societal Applications of Climate Information. In addition, you also study climatology and methods to analyse the climate, as well as a course digging deeper into simulations of the weather and climate.
Year 2 The second year starts with a course in atmospheric turbulence and its importance for local and global weather. It also deals with local circulation, atmospheric convection and effects of terrain on the local meteorology.
You can also take a course in Experimental Boundary-layer Meteorology, to learn practical research-grade field measurements and discussing cutting-edge research.
During this year, you also work on your degree project (usually 5 months full-time, 30 credits). This can be done in one of our research groups, focusing on e.g. boundary-layer meteorology, air-sea interaction, air-water gas exchange or polar meteorology. Another possibility is to seek degree projects outside the university e.g. at a company or governmental agency. It all depends on your own interest and your career plan.
During the two-year programme you will apply your background in physics to the cosmos. No prior knowledge in astronomy is required and you choose from a wide range of courses according to your interests and career plan. Several Löfberg scholarships are awarded to students of this specialisation every year.
Our teachers are active researchers and the courses closely follow current developments in astrophysics.
During a typical week you will have about 8-10 hours of scheduled classroom time. The majority of time is thus spent studying on your own or in a study group outside the classroom. You can also choose to conduct research projects. They are a lot like thesis work, only shorter in duration, and are an excellent way into a new research field and research group.
Classes are typically small, ranging from a few students up to about 20. This gives you close contact with the teachers as well as your fellow students. Our teaching is in English as the student group is international.
Instruction consists of lectures, teacher-supervised tuition, and guidance in conjunction with laboratory work. The forms of examination vary depending on the course content and design. Final exams are more common for theoretical courses, although many tutors have continuous examination during the course, such as group discussions and hand-in exercises.
With a Master's degree in physics, you will be qualified for PhD studies in physics. Many of our physics Master's students continue as PhD students, at Uppsala University or elsewhere in the world. You will also have the opportunity to work with research and development (R&D) at various companies and public authorities.
Our previous graduates work at, for example, the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute (SMHI), wind power companies and universities (domestic and abroad). Job titles include operational forecaster, consultant and PhD student/researcher, etc.
Your mathematical competence and analytical problem-solving skills trained during your studies will make you an attractive recruit. Depending on the courses you take and the specialisation you choose, there are many other career opportunities in special areas, both within and outside the field of physics. For example, you may find employment as a company consultant, project manager in R&D, or as a specialist in banking, insurance or research organisations.
Career support During your time as a student, UU Careers offers support and guidance. You have the opportunity to take part in a variety of activities and events that will prepare you for your future career. Learn more about UU Careers.
Below you will find the details about eligibility requirements, selection criteria, and tuition fees. For information on how to apply and what documents you need to submit, check the application guide. For this programme, besides the general supporting documents, you also need to submit one programme-specific document: a statement of purpose. Please verify that you have enough physics courses to meet the formal requirements (see below).
Requirements: Academic requirements A Bachelor's degree, equivalent to a Swedish Kandidatexamen, from an internationally recognised university. Also required is 75 credits in physics.
Language requirements Proficiency in English equivalent to the Swedish upper secondary course English 6. This requirement can be met either by achieving the required score on an internationally recognised test, or by previous upper secondary or university studies in some countries. Detailed instructions on how to provide evidence of your English proficiency are available at universityadmissions.se.
Students are selected based on:
an overall appraisal of previous university studies; and
a statement of purpose (1 page).
If you are not a citizen of a European Union (EU) or European Economic Area (EEA) country, or Switzerland, you are required to pay application and tuition fees. Fees cover application and tuition only and do not cover accommodation, academic literature or the general cost of living. Read more about fees.