Master's Programme in Physics – Meteorology and Climate Physics

120 credits

The Meteorology and Climate Physics 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 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.

Autumn 2024 Autumn 2024, Uppsala, 100%, On-campus, English

This specialisation 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 your 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.

Degree

The programme leads to the degree of Master of Science (120 credits) with Physics as the main field of study. After one year of study, it is possible to obtain a degree of Master of Science (60 credits).

Depending on whether you have meteorology from your undergraduate degree or not, we suggest different arrangements. The content below is a recommended outline for the programme.

Year 1

Semester 1, for students without meteorology/climate physics

During the first semester, you get a solid theoretical meteorological background. The first course, Atmospheric and Climate Physics, covers the governing principles of motion in the atmosphere, cloud physics, atmospheric thermodynamics and introduction to the oceanic counterparts. Courses in advanced atmospheric dynamics follow in parallel with a course on radiation in the atmosphere, an important part of the climate system.

Semester 1, for students with meteorology/climate physics

In the first semester, you build on your undergraduate degree by immersing yourself in a course on atmospheric turbulence and its implications for global weather and climate. It also deals with local circulation, atmospheric convection, and the importance of terrain to local meteorology. During the second half of the first semester, you have the opportunity to take a course in practical forecasting meteorology (in Swedish only), an important course if you plan to work as a forecasting meteorologist. For non-swedish speakers you can select from a range of 5 credit courses (see the study plan, year 2 semester 1).

Semester 2

The second semester begins with a course in meteorological applications, such as air pollution and dispersion, wind power applications, and societal applications of climate information. This is followed by a course which give you knowledge on simulation of the atmosphere, basis of weather and climate forecasts. During this semester you will also study climatology and learn more about methods used to analyze the climate. Alternatively, you can choose to delve into dynamic systems and chaos, something that e.g. gives you more insight into the predictability of the weather.

Year 2

Semester 3, for students without meteorology/climate physics

The second year begins with a course in atmospheric turbulence and its importance for local and global weather and climate. It also deals with local circulation, atmospheric convection, and the importance of terrain to local meteorology. During the second half of the semester, you have the opportunity to read a course in practical forecasting meteorology, an important course if you plan to work as a forecasting meteorologist (this course is given in Swedish). Alternatively, you can start a degree project of 45 credits or e.g. further studies of modelling or learn more about climate variations. We offer a number of 5 credits courses during this period that we recommend (see the study plan).

Semester 3, for students with meteorology/climate physics

During semester 3, you have several options. We offer a course Experimental Boundary Layer Meteorology during the first half of the semester. It provides an in-depth study of meteorological measurement systems, experience in practical field measurements of research quality and an update on current research on the subject. During the second half, you can choose between a number of different 5 credits courses (see study plan), e.g. further studies of modeling or learning more about climate variations. There is also the option of starting a degree project of 45 credits. Semester 3 can also be a good choice for exchange studies.

Semester 4

During the last semester, you will immerse yourself with a degree project. Here there is the opportunity to work with researchers within the university or to find a degree project for example with a company or authority. This depends on your interest and future career.

Courses within the programme

See the programme outline for courses within the specialisation.

During the two-year programme, you will apply your background in physics to the field of the cosmos. No prior knowledge of astronomy is required and you choose from a wide range of courses according to your interests and career plan.

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 examinations during the course, such as group discussions and hand-in exercises.

The programme takes place in Uppsala.

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.

Contact

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