University of Reading

Course Description

  • Course Name


  • Host University

    University of Reading

  • Location

    Reading, England

  • Area of Study

    Atmospheric Science

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Module Provider: Geography and Environmental Science
    Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
    Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
    Non-modular pre-requisites:
    Modules excluded:
    Module version for: 2016/7

    Summary module description:
    This module explains the main processes of climate formation at local, regional and global scales with regard to energy balance and atmospheric circulation; the development of weather systems; and introduces the concept of climate change and present evidence of past and projected climate change.

    To explain the main processes of climate formation at local, regional and global scales;
    To introduce the concepts of radiation budget and energy balance and, using examples, explain how variations in radiation budget and energy balance affect climate at different temporal and spatial scales;
    To explain how pressure, temperature and wind regimes are formed;
    To discuss development of convection and precipitation;
    To explain the development of weather systems;
    To discuss global atmospheric circulation both in the middle latitudes and in the tropics;
    To introduce the concept of climate change and present evidence of past and projected climate change.

    Assessable learning outcomes:
    On completion of this module it is expected that a student will be able to:

    - Explain how climates and weather are formed
    - Provide a reasoned account of weather and climates at different spatial scales - local, regional, and global
    - Provide a reasoned account of impacts of weather and climate on natural and managed environments

    Additional outcomes:
    Students will also develop their IT skills through project through accessing data using the Internet. Numeracy skills will be developed through the evaluation of spatial data and time series and via computer aided learning procedures. Students will develop skills in field work, use of manual and automated meteorological equipment, meteorological obsrevations and data analysis thorugh practical sessions.

    Outline content:
    The Climatology lectures will focus upon the processes that result in the formation of different climates and weather phenomena. The topics covered will include atmospheric composition, the vertical structure of the atmosphere, solar and terrestrial radiation, radiation budget, energy balance, evapotranspiration and condensation, adiabatic process, convection and the development of convective storms, conservation of vorticity and momentum, general circulation of the atmosphere, monsoon, ENSO, the nature of mid-latitude depressions and weather patterns associated with them. The concept of climate change, both natural and anthropogenic, will be introduced and evidence of past and present climate change will be presented.

    Global context:
    Atmospheric processes and land-atmosphere interactions are discussued with regards to different parts of the world from the polar regions to the tropics. Data from the recent and ongoing research projects in Europe and Asia are used to illustrate various concepts.

    Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
    Sixteen hours of lectures and a practical; in-class tests.

    Contact hours:
    Lectures 18
    Practicals classes and workshops 2
    Guided independent study 80
    Total hours by term 100

    Summarive Assessment Methods:
    Written Assignment Including Essay 50%
    Class Test Administered by School 50%

    Other information on summative assessment:
    A practical report worth 50% of the module mark. Three in-class tests worth 10%, 20% and 20% each.

    Formative assessment methods:
    Help sessions will be given for the whole class clarifying the most difficult material, providing advice on coursework and feedback.

    Length of examination:
    There is no exam for this module.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-submission of coursework to a specified deadline.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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