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Our Fundamentals of Meteorology course is delivered by Dr Hilary Weller. It runs from September 2023 to January 2024. Applications for the 2024/25 academic year are not yet open. Email if you would like to be informed when applications open.

This course starts with a brief description of the atmosphere, the global circulation and mid-latitude weather systems. You'll study theoretical concepts that help explain these descriptions. Then we use the theory to explain the dynamics of extratropical cyclones and fronts.

The theory topics are:

  • Thermodynamics: first law of thermodynamics, thermodynamic processes and potential temperature
  • Atmospheric moisture: mixing ratio, dew point temperature, relative humidity and the impact on the atmospheric stability
  • Dynamics: forces acting on air parcels, pressure gradient force, Coriolis force, drag, forces in balance: hydrostatic, geostrophic and gradient wind
  • Analysis of atmospheric state using a tephigram
  • Temperature gradient effects: thermal wind balance and thermal advection
  • Calculations using divergence and vorticity.

This Fundamentals of Meteorology course is developed from the Weather and Climate Fundamentals module.

There will be seven assessments with model answers.

Timetabled sessions (UK time)

  • 27 September 2023, 13:00–14:00
  • 4 October 2023, 13:00–1400
  • 11 October 2023, 13:00–14:00
  • 18 October 2023, 13:00–14:00
  • 25 October 2023, 13:00–14:00

No class on 1 November

  • 8 November 2023, 13:00–14:00
  • 15 November 2023, no class
  • 22 November 2023, 13:00–14:00
  • 29 November 2023, 13:00–14:00
  • 6 December 2023, 13:00–14:00
  • 10 January 2024, 13:00–14:00

A joining link will be given to enrolled learners.


Working knowledge of A level Maths, including:

  • Integration and differentiation
  • Trigonometry
  • Vectors
  • Exponentials and logarithms
  • Quantities and units in mechanics
  • Kinematics
  • Forces and Newton’s laws

Some background knowledge of weather such as successful completion of the FutureLearn course Come Rain or Shine: Understanding the Weather.

Read the Terms and Conditions for Meteorology Online Courses


Apply by 10 September 2023.

Further Learning

Find out about the Department of Meteorology, the scheduled online courses and the open online courses.