MTMG05-Professional Skills

Module Provider: Meteorology
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Module version for: 2016/7

Module Convenor: Dr Joy Singarayer


Summary module description:
This module is a mixture of learning styles, including an intensive team project week, a Met Office taught forecasting course and employment related presentations and visits.

The aim of this module is to enhance skills and give practice in techniques relevant to many areas of research and consultancy work in meteorology. These skills include

  • literature and internet searching;
  • design and implementation of research projects
  • critical reviewing of literature; Research Methods
  • synthesising and presenting information in written and oral form with strict time and space limitations;
  • working to rigid deadlines;
  • team-working.
  • analysing and interpreting ‘live’ weather information and producing weather forecasts.

Assessable learning outcomes:
Assessable outcomes
Part 1 - New Sills (Autumn term: Dr Joy Singarayer) There is no direct assessment of this part of MTMG05, but a marked practise essay will provide knowledge and skills relevant to some other MSc programme modules. A session on library skills for research will be included in Part 1.

Part 2 - Team Project (Spring term week 6: Prof. Geoffrey Wadge)
By the end of this part of the module the student will have obtained experience in

  • planning a small research or literature review project both in terms of the student’s own work and in terms of the team as a whole;
  • carrying out this research and demonstrating the ability to work within a team and critically assessing the relevance of material to a particular project;
  • organising and producing written material and producing and delivering an oral presentation describing this work.

Part 3 - Forecasting Course, typically late April/early May
By the end of this part of the module the student should be able to:
  • describe how the Met Office provides its forecast services;
  • assess standard weather charts and satellite imagery and interpret them in terms of weather experienced on the ground;
  • give appropriate weighting to model forecast products as compared with subjective interpretation of weather data in a variety of circumstances;
  • recognise the importance of a forecast routine in developing a local forecast based on central guidance model output and actual data;
  • produce a written or oral forecast of required length for specific user needs and to a rigid deadline.

Additional outcomes:
Students should have enhanced skills in *preparing a clear and well-structured scientific report, paper, or dissertation *planning and giving clear and well-structured oral presentation of scientific work *using online databases to search the scientific literature *team-working The Team Project will allow the students to discover and describe areas of topical interest in meteorology and its related disciplines and, via attendance at the presentations given by other teams in the same year group, learn of scientific issues in other areas of the subject. The Forecasting Course will increase students’ appreciation of the practical impact on operational forecasts of limitations on time and data.

Outline content:
Part 1 - New Skills
Maths and statistics skills; bibliographic searching skills online library facilities such as UNICORN and the ISI Web of Science scientific article database; essay and exam skills; wider context of weather forecasting and climate prediction.

Part 2 - Team Project
Students will work in teams of 3 or 4 on a subject of topical interest in meteorology and its related disciplines. Students will be able to express preferences as to which project they do, from a list provided to them by the convenor earlier in Spring Term. Projects could include analyses of recent weather events, studies of recent atmospheric or oceanic phenomena, such as the previous year’s Antarctic Ozone Hole, or Hurricane Season. The project will take place entirely during week 6 of the spring term when no other modules will be running.

Part 3 - Forecasting Course
Students will cover the following topics:

  • provision of Met Office forecasting services;
  • optimising forecasts under operational time and data constraints;
  • appropriate use of NWP model products and radar and satellite imagery;
  • practical applications of fluid dynamics theory in real time forecasting;
  • production and presentation of customer-specific forecasts.

Visits and presentations - (Dr R Reynolds)
During the Spring Term you will visit the Met Office HQ in Exeter and attend presentations in the Department by employers (including MSc graduates). You will also learn about the advice on offer from the University’s Careers Advisory Service.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Part 1 - New Skills
Part 1 - Lectures and hands-on computing practical sessions; formative coursework essay with feedback from tutors.

Part 2 - Team Project
Students will receive a short introduction to the structure of the team project and some background on the understanding of the general roles of individuals in teams from the course convenor. They will meet with their team supervisor for approximately 30 minutes each day for a week; the supervisor will provide input on resources available for the subject and will provide critical input to both written and oral material produced by the team.

Part 3 - Forecasting Course
Lectures and ‘hands on’ practical exercises making use where appropriate of Met Office operational forecasting software packages.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 5 8
Seminars 5
Practicals classes and workshops 5 40 20
External visits 7
Guided independent study 10
Total hours by term 20.00 52.00 28.00
Total hours for module 100.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 50
Oral assessment and presentation 50

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Length of examination:

Requirements for a pass:
50% overall

Reassessment arrangements:
Re-submission of coursework

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books: Reading lists for meteorology modules are available here

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: 21 December 2016

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