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:
Current from: 2020/1

Module Convenor: Prof Keith Morrison

Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module introduces instruments and techniques used to measure meteorological parameters and basic skills in laboratory experimentation, as well as developing skills 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 compu ter 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 comme nting, 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 15 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 15 12
Guided independent study: 75 88
Total hours by term 0
Total hours for module 200

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Report 66
Set exercise 34

Summative assessment- Examinations:


Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:


Formative assessment methods:

One report for the laboratory component.

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.

Assessment requirements for a pass:

40% overall 

Reassessment arrangements:

Re-examination in August/September only, based on an additional laboratory practical report.

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: 8 July 2021


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