MT12C-Skills for Environmental Science

Module Provider: Meteorology
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring / Summer term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Prof Keith Morrison


Summary module description:

This module introduces instruments and techniques used to measure meteorological parameters and basic skills in laboratory experimentation, as well as developing in computer programming useful in environmental science.


• To introduce the instruments and techniques used to measure meteorological parameters, and to appreciate their limitations;

• To introduce basic skills in laboratory experimentation;

• To develop skills in computer programming useful in environmental science, for data processing and analysis.

Assessable learning outcomes:

The assessment for this module evaluates the students':

• Knowledge of meteorological instruments and their application;

• Ability to undertake basic experiments in a physical laboratory, including an appreciation of experimental errors;

• Ability to communicate experimental results in a concise, accurate and comprehensible manner;

• Ability to understand basic computer programming principles;

• Ability to construct a simple computer program to perform logical and numerical operations;

• Ability to perform simple science data processing tasks using a computer program and spreadsheet tools.

Additional outcomes:

The student will develop enhanced team-working and basic experimental skills.

Outline content:

• Term 2: Generic characteristics of instruments for environmental measurement, as determined by response, sensitivity, lag, sampling and error analysis. The design, operation and calibration of instruments used to measure temperature, humidity, wind, pressure, broadband solar and terrestrial radiation, rainfall and upper air properties;

• Term 3: Basic understanding of programming for environmental data analysis including: code readability and commenting, variables mathematical and logical operators, conditional branching, conditional loops, functions, reading data from files, plotting, module structure.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The instrumentation and laboratory components are taught in term 2 and involve 10 50-minute lectures plus approximately 18 hours of laboratory work. The IT component is taught in the first four weeks in term 3 and involves practical classes with a strong self-learning element supported by notes and demonstrations.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10
Practicals classes and workshops 18 15
Guided independent study 72 85
Total hours by term 100.00 100.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 66
Set exercise 34

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

For the laboratory component, the student is required to submit one report for formative assessment.

Penalties for late submission:

No mark can be awarded to a student who has either not attended the practical class or fails to submit a report by the agreed deadline.
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.
  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:


    Requirements for a pass:

    40% overall with at least 27% in Term 2 and 13% in Term 3.

    Reassessment arrangements:
    August/September examination only.

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 31 March 2017

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