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The Department of Meteorology at the University of Reading has adapted some of its teaching for learners to study online with support from internationally-renowned academic staff.

Online learners will study over one term in parallel with University of Reading students.

These classes are suitable training for professional meteorologists, consultants, STEM students, graduates and academics seeking to improve their range of skills and knowledge. We welcome applications and inquiries from people in the UK and around the world.

What to expect

  • Each week you will have access to new lecture notes which are accompanied by videos.
  • There will be weekly live online interactive sessions.
  • There will be exercises and assessments.
  • You can ask for help at live online sessions and at any time on class discussion boards.
  • You should spend in total between four and eight hours per week studying.
  • You will get individual feedback on your work.
  • If you successfully complete the course, you will receive a certificate.

Classes run from September to December and January to March. Applications are not yet open.

The classes

Tropical Meteorology

Delivered by Dr Chris Holloway, runs from January to March.

This class introduces some weather systems and circulations in the tropical atmosphere, such as:

  • convection
  • the intertropical convergence zone
  • the Hadley and Walker Circulations
  • the El Nino-Southern Oscillation
  • the Madden-Julian Oscillation
  • tropical cyclones.


You will need to satisfactorily complete three out of five problem sheets to pass. Pre-requisites are A level Mathematics or similar (particularly vector calculus) and an understanding of fluids and meteorology, including familiarity with the ideal gas law, hydrostatic balance, geostrophic balance, thermal wind balance, advection, buoyancy, dry atmospheric convection, potential temperature, latent heating, precipitation and vertical stability.

Climate Services and Climate Impact Modelling

Delivered by Prof David Brayshaw and Professor John Methven, runs from January to March.

You will learn the science, practical techniques and communication skills required for the provision of quantitative climate services and climate impact modelling. There are lectures covering key scientific and technical material and sector-specific case studies presented by external speakers.

You will design and write code in Python to develop a simple climate service application using historical and climate forecast data. You will outline a climate service by writing a briefing report of the style used in environmental consultancy. Some programming experience and A level Mathematics is a pre-requisite.

Introduction to Numerical Modelling of the Atmosphere and Ocean

Delivered by Dr Hilary Weller, runs from September to December.

You will write Python code to solve mathematical and meteorological problems such as interpolation and solution of the diffusion and advection equations. Theoretical analysis of stability and error are backed up by numerical experiments. Some prior programming experience is useful. This worksheet (PDF) summarises the mathematical pre-requisites.

There will be two assessed practicals involving writing code and reporting on results. Learners are expected to spend about five hours per week on this course. A test at the end will assess the mathematical content. You will receive a pass, merit or distinction mark.

Statistics for Weather and Climate Science

Delivered by Professor Ted Shepherd and Dr Ben Harvey, runs from September to December.

You will learn statistical methods and reasoning relevant to environmental science and gain experience in the proper use of statistics for the analysis of weather and climate data. Practical classes use the R programming language. Some programming experience and A level Mathematics are pre-requisites.

There are practical assignments each week (10 in total) and four of these will be assessed.

Introductory offer

This year – September 2021 to August 2022 – is the first year that these courses have been offered online, so learners will be charged £300 per course once they are accepted. You will be sent payment details if you are accepted onto a course. The same fee will apply for international and UK learners.

How to apply

Please complete our online application form to apply.

Applications will be judged based on your track record, your suitability to take the chosen class and your motivation. Classes are not available to existing University of Reading students.

To find out more, and to be kept up to date, please contact