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Atmosphere-Ocean Dynamics, MSc

University of Leeds, the United Kingdom

University of Leeds

Study options for this course

The award How you will study Study duration Course start Domestic course fees International course fees
MScFull-time12 monthsSeptemberGBP 9250 per totalGBP 19500 per total

About Atmosphere-Ocean Dynamics, MSc - at University of Leeds

If you have a mathematical background and want to apply your mathematical skills to understanding the complex behaviour of the Earth's atmosphere and oceans then this could be the programme for you. This is an exciting interdisciplinary subject, of increasing importance to a society facing climate change.

You'll be trained in both modern applied mathematics and atmosphere-ocean science, combining teaching resources from the Schools of Mathematics, Computing, and Earth and Environment. The latter are provided by members of the School's Institute for Climate and Atmospheric Science, part of the National Centre for Atmospheric Science.

Only a handful of UK universities are positioned to offer similar interdisciplinary training in modern applied mathematics and atmosphere-ocean-climate science.

If you do not meet the full academic entry requirements then you may wish to consider the Graduate Diploma in Mathematics. This course is aimed at students who would like to study for a mathematics related MSc course but do not currently meet the entry requirements. Upon completion of the Graduate Diploma, students who meet the required performance level will be eligible for entry onto a number of related MSc courses, in the following academic year.

  • Course content

    The focus of the course is on analysing the equations of fluid dynamics and thermodynamics, via mathematical and numerical modelling. The programme is highly flexible, meaning you are free to choose options from applied maths, atmosphere-ocean science, numerical methods and scientific computation alongside the compulsory core applied maths and fluid dynamics modules.

    Topics are drawn from four broad areas:

    • Applied mathematics: asymptotic methods, fluid dynamics, mathematical theory of waves and stability of flow
    • Numerical methods and computing: discretization of ordinary and partial differential equations, algorithms for linear algebra, direct use of numerical weather and climate models
    • Atmospheric dynamics: structure of the atmosphere, dynamics of weather systems and atmospheric waves
    • Ocean dynamics: the large-scale ocean circulation, surface waves and tides

    Modules are taught either by the School of Mathematics, the School of Earth and Environment or the School of Computing.

    The course is made up of two parts: a set of taught modules, and a research project. Two-thirds of the course consists of taught modules involving lectures and some computer workshops. Beyond a compulsory core of atmosphere-ocean fluid dynamics, students may choose options to suit their interests from applied maths (e.g. nonlinear dynamics), atmosphere-ocean science (e.g. climate change processes, weather forecasting), numerical methods and scientific computation. The final third of the course consists of an intensive summer project, in which students conduct an in-depth investigation of a chosen subject related to the course.

    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

    • Dissertation in Mathematics 60 credits

    Optional modules

    • Practical Programming 15 credits
    • Scientific Computation 15 credits
    • Mathematical Methods 15 credits
    • Linear and Non-Linear Waves 15 credits
    • Hydrodynamic Stability 15 credits
    • Dynamical Systems 15 credits
    • Nonlinear Dynamics 15 credits
    • Analytic Solutions of Partial Differential Equations 15 credits
    • Introduction to Entropy in the Physical World 15 credits
    • Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics 15 credits
    • Numerical Methods 10 credits
    • Modern Numerical Methods 15 credits
    • Fluid Dynamics 2 15 credits
    • Advanced Mathematical Methods 20 credits
    • Advanced Linear and Nonlinear Waves 20 credits
    • Advanced Hydrodynamic Stability 20 credits
    • Advanced Dynamical Systems 20 credits
    • Advanced Nonlinear Dynamics 20 credits
    • Advanced Entropy in the Physical World 20 credits
    • Advanced Geophysical Fluid Dynamics 20 credits
    • Advanced Astrophysical Fluid Dynamics 20 credits
    • Advanced Modern Numerical Methods 20 credits
    • Independent Learning and Skills Project 15 credits
    • Atmosphere and Ocean Climate Change Processes 10 credits
    • Practical Weather Forecasting 10 credits
    • Dynamics of Weather Systems 15 credits
    • Weather, Climate and Air Quality 30 credits
    • Environmental Modelling 15 credits
    • Advanced Atmosphere and Ocean Dynamics 15 credits
    • Show more

    For more information on typical modules, read Atmosphere-Ocean Dynamics MSc in the course catalogue

    Learning and teaching

    Teaching is by lectures, tutorials, practical classes, and one-on-one supervision (for research projects). Outside these formal sessions, students are able to study at their own pace, aided by our wide range of electronic teaching resources.


    Assessment is by course work and written exams which take place at the end of the semester in which the module is taught.

  • Applying, fees and funding

    Entry requirements

    An upper-second class (2:1) degree or equivalent in Mathematics, or in a physical science subject with a substantial mathematics component.

    International qualifications

    We accept a range of international equivalent qualifications. For information please contact the School of Mathematics admissions team.

    English language requirements

    IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components. 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

    Application deadlines

    31/07/18 - International

    31/08/18 - Home/EU

    • 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.

    Documents and information you'll need

    Original or certified copies of your transcripts

    Original or certified copies of your degree certificate

    Copy of passport (if applicable)

    Letter of sponsorship (if applicable)

    Names of two academic references

    Original or certified copy of your IELTS/TOEFL results (if applicable)

    It may help your application if you include a personal statement and CV.

    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

    Faculty of Mathematics and Physical Sciences Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy


    UK/EU: £9,250 (total)

    International: £19,500 (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 Mathematics offers a range of scholarships for UK, EU and International students.

    Find out more about our Scholarships.

  • Career opportunities

    Students will be prepared for postgraduate research in applied mathematics or atmosphere-ocean science, or employment in the environmental sector.

    However, given the interdisciplinary nature of the programme, graduates will have expertise and skills in a number of different areas, and should be attractive to a wide range of employers.

    Careers support

    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.

  • Entry requirements

    A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) or equivalent in Mathematics, or in a physical science subject with a substantial mathematics component.

    Language requirements
    IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in all components

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