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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Geosciences : Meteorology

Undergraduate Course: Meteorology: Atmosphere and Environment (METE08001)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Geosciences CollegeCollege of Science and Engineering
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryAn introduction to the physical processes occurring in the Earth's atmosphere. Interpretation of weather maps and satellite images, cloud types and formation, atmospheric structure, thermodynamic processes, rain formation, solar and terrestrial radiation, energy balance at the surface, cumulus and cumulonimbus convection, and air pollution.
Course description Syllabus
Week 1: Overview, introduction to weather maps and satellite imagery
Weeks 2-3: Atmospheric structure, meteorological observations, interpreting charts
Week 4: Air masses and weather fronts
Week 5: Clouds and precipitation
Weeks 6-7: Vertical profiles through the atmosphere: physics, stability, thunderstorms
Weeks 8-9: Atmospheric radiation, surface energy balance, rainbows Week 10: Air pollution, course review

Further course information can be found at the following links:
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements it is recommended that students have some background in maths/physics (e.g., A-level/Scottish Higher)
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2023/24, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  80
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 30, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 12, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 150 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assessment Details
Written Exam: 50%, Course Work: 50 %, Practical Exam: 0% (NB there is an Observations Test, which is essentially a practical exam, but this is included as 10% within the Course Work component).

Both coursework and the exam must be passed (i.e. a mark of 40% or above). There is no option to re-sit coursework in the summer, unless special circumstances are a factor. Students that fail coursework will need to carry this component into their next academic year, and resit it then, if approved by Senior Tutor.
Coursework is made up of four items, three that are each worth 10%: (i) the mid-S1 assessment - this typically involves analysis and interpretation of some meteorological data - e.g., calculations, plotting graphs, writing something; (ii) the completed lab-book - with entries for each of the eight labs; (iii) the observations test. The fourth item of coursework comprises five bi-weekly quizzes, each worth 4%, and each made up of 10 multiple choice questions drawn from a bank of questions (so each student will get a different set of questions). The quizzes will be released at the ends of Weeks 2, 4, 6, 8 and 10, and will cover material from the previous two weeks. Students will have 1 hour to complete each quiz, once started, and will need to complete it within one week of the release date.
The 2 hour exam has one section, with students answering four questions, choosing one question from each of four groups of two questions. The exam format has changed from earlier exams, with no multiple choice questions (old Section A). The new format is the same as the old Section B, so students can still use past papers as a guide of what to expect.

Further assessment and feedback information can be found at the following links:
Taught Assessment Regulations:
All details related to extensions procedures and late penalties can be found in the School of Geosciences Handbook, which can be found on the Learn UG Student Information Hub.
Assessment Deadlines
¿ Quiz 1: Complete by 12noon Monday Week 4 (release 12 noon Friday Week 2)
¿ Quiz 2: Complete by 12noon Monday Week 6 (release 12 noon Friday Week 4)
¿ Quiz 3: Complete by 12noon Monday Week 8 (release 12 noon Friday Week 6)
¿ Quiz 4: Complete by 12noon Monday Week 10 (release 12 noon Friday Week 8)
¿ Quiz 5: Complete by 12noon Monday Week 12 (release 12 noon Friday Week 10)
¿ Assignment: 12 noon Monday Week 7 (submit via Turnitin)
¿ Observations Test: Week 10 lab
¿ Lab book: 12 noon Monday Week 11
Feedback Students receive brief initial feedback on their lab books after three labs, and written feedback on their mid-S1 assignment. Labs are informal and allow students to ask questions of demonstrators and staff about what they are doing. Clickers (Top Hat questions) are used in some lectures to gauge understanding of the student cohort (individual student responses are not monitored). A discussion forum is on Learn. There is the opportunity to ask questions during or after lectures and labs. After the exam (usually early the following semester), students can read marked exam scripts and question the markers on any comments or the marks achieved.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Use and evaluate numerical and graphical meteorological data, e.g., interpret weather maps in terms of local weather; plot and interpret vertical temperature and moisture soundings; observe, code and plot weather elements in standard format;
  2. Describe atmospheric composition and structure, including the layers of the atmosphere from the surface to 100 km, and be able to describe the basic processes occurring in the atmospheric boundary layer and recognise cloud types and describe their formation mechanisms;
  3. Describe and explain the structure, physics and dynamics of thunderstorms, tornadoes and hail formation;
  4. Explain the basic physics of atmospheric processes, such as radiation at the surface, water in the atmosphere and its phase changes, and air masses and weather fronts;
  5. Synthesize and interpret meteorological data, including satellite imagery, and summarise in a professional way within an assignment
Reading List
Introducing Meteorology: A Guide to Weather, J. Shonk

Atmospheric Science: An Introductory Survey (2nd Ed), J.M. Wallace and P.V. Hobbs

Weather: A Concise Introduction, G. Hakim and J. Patoux
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
Additional Class Delivery Information Semester 1
Lectures: Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays
Practical classes: choose one of Monday, Tuesday or Thursday
KeywordsMet A&E
Course organiserDr Massimo Bollasina
Tel: (0131 6)51 3464
Course secretaryMr Johan De Klerk
Tel: (0131 6)50 7010
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