BSc Meteorology and Oceanography with a Year in Industry


The School of Environmental Sciences is one of the longest established, largest and most fully developed Schools of Environmental Sciences in Europe. Our holistic approach to teaching and research, integrating physical, chemical, biological, social and geotechnical sciences into the study of natural and human environments, is truly a modern philosophy for the new millennium.

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Key facts

This course is accredited by the Institute of Marine Engineering Science and Technology (IMarEST). It is a stamp of excellence and generally involves a rigorous peer-review process, analysing the technical content taught and the processes in place to ensure effective delivery of the programme.


We have been awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education for 50 years of ground-breaking environmental science at UEA. The royal accolade from the Queen is the UK’s most prestigious higher education award.

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Key facts

Environmental Sciences has been ranked 4th in the UK, 11th in Europe and 40th in the World according to the QS World University Rankings 2018.


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How does our atmosphere work? How do scientists predict the weather? What is our impact on the Earth’s climate system? How do oceans work and how do they interact with our atmosphere?

Explore how it all works together with this unique degree that brings together two disciplines. Together they’re essential for understanding the Earth’s climate system, our impact upon it, and how to make predictions about weather and climate. You’ll also have the chance to gain hands-on experience in industry on a year-long placement.

You will be taught jointly by our Environmental Sciences and Mathematics departments. Both are highly ranked for research. In the most recent Research Excellence Framework we were ranked first in the UK for the impact of our world-leading research in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences (Times Higher REF2014 Analysis), so you’ll benefit from our academics’ diverse and world-class expertise.


The University of East Anglia is currently the only University in the UK where you can study these two specialist subjects side-by-side in a combined degree format. The course is designed to provide you with an insight into how the atmosphere and oceans work and interact. This approach gives you a detailed understanding of the Earth's climate system, alongside the impact of human society on the atmospheric and oceanic systems.

Incorporated into this degree programme is the opportunity to take part in a year in industry – an invaluable addition to your scientific knowledge and technique. It will increase your employability and gives you the chance to put your first two years of Meteorology and Oceanography learning into practice.

This degree course is accredited both by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) and by the Royal Meteorological Society.

Because the degree programme is taught jointly between the Schools of Environmental Sciences and Mathematics, you will have an opportunity to choose from a range of module options, enabling you to pursue either a wide portfolio of subjects or specialise in a particular area.

Field courses in Oceanography and Meteorology provide you with valuable hands-on experience designing experiments and working with scientific instrumentation. You will also benefit from our own in-house weather forecasting company, Weatherquest, which provides valuable teaching support and an opportunity to spend a week working in order to gain commercial awareness of the meteorological industry.

Some of our Meteorology and Oceanography students have also gained valuable experience on research cruises whilst conducting the fieldwork for their final year project.

Course Structure

This four-year course follows a similar structure to the BSc Oceanography and Meteorology, but with an additional year of work experience on an industrial placement in the third year.

Year 1

You’ll learn the general scientific principles governing our environment in modules including Understanding the Dynamic Planet and Atmosphere & Oceans. You’ll also take multi-disciplinary modules from the wider Faculty of Science to help you develop essential analytical skills, including Maths for Scientists and Field Skills.

Year 2

In your second year you’ll take a range of compulsory scientific modules, including Meteorology and Ocean Circulation. And you’ll continue to develop your expertise in mathematical theory through the Mathematics for Scientists module. The optional meteorological field course gives you the chance for hands-on study in the Lake District.

Year 3

You will spend your third year on a 9-14 month industrial work placement, gaining relevant experience and developing your skills and knowledge. We have established links throughout the UK and beyond, and we’ll help you in identifying and competing for the position that best suits you.

Year 4

In your final year research project you’ll investigate a specialist area in professional depth with one-to-one support from an academic supervisor. Alongside this you’ll choose from a range of modules on oceans and the atmosphere, looking at the climate system and atmospheric or marine physics. You’ll also get the chance to choose a module from another science school.

Teaching and Learning


You will be taught by leading meteorologists and oceanographers through a combination of lectures, practicals and field trips. Around 30-35% of your time will be spent in lectures, seminars, practicals and fieldwork, amounting to around 15-18 contact hours per week, with the remaining 65-70% on independent study.

n the lectures you’ll learn essential analytical skills, mathematical techniques, and discover how the atmosphere and oceans work and interact with each other to shape our climate.

Field courses and practical classes will be integral to your training and you’ll learn a variety of practical techniques using specialist equipment in the field. Some of our past field trips have been to Slapton, the Lake District and Oban. We are working to deliver all key laboratory sessions and on-campus fieldwork teaching safely and are staying up-to-date with guidance to enable our full offer of field trips and residential courses as soon as possible.

Independent study

You’ll spend time carrying out independent study, researching in UEA’s state-of-the-art library, writing essays or carrying out practical work or projects.

This course will give you an excellent balance of independent thinking and study skills, helping you grow into a self-motivated learner, an expert researcher and analytical thinker. You will develop accuracy and precision in your written work through evidence-based analysis. And you’ll become well-versed in time management and organisation through self-directed study. Throughout your degree you will be given guidance on your work and constructive feedback to help you improve.


We will use various assessment methods across the different modules, ranging from 100% coursework to 100% examination. In most modules the assessment is weighted 67% examination and 33% coursework – although skills-based and field modules are assessed by 100% coursework.

Coursework assessment methods include essays, written discussions, class tests, problem sheets, laboratory reports, field exercises, field notebooks and seminar presentations.

Your year in industry will be assessed by developing and reflecting on a portfolio that exhibits the skills you’ve gained during your placement.

Study abroad or Placement Year

On this course you’ll spend your third year on an industrial placement. This ensures you graduate with relevant work experience, putting you one step ahead of other students.

You will be expected to seek your own work placement and in the first two weeks of your second year you will be asked to write a curriculum vitae and to apply to a range of companies. Not only will this ensure that you work within your preferred field, it will also provide you with the essential job-hunting skills you will require after graduation. We will, of course, offer our guidance and support whilst students are identifying and negotiating placement opportunities.

During this year you’ll be supported by an industrial supervisor and a mentor from the University. You and your industrial supervisor will feed back during the placement to ensure that it is progressing well, and your UEA mentor will visit you during the year.

Please note that we cannot guarantee any student a work placement as this decision rests with potential employers.

If you were unable to secure a work placement by the end of your second year you will have the option to apply to be transferred onto the equivalent degree programme without a Year in Industry.

After the course

After graduating you could follow in the footsteps of recent graduates and work at the UK Met Office, Weatherquest, British Antarctic Survey and local and central government. Alternatively you might pursue postgraduate research in universities or government labs such as the Met Office or British Antarctic Survey.

Employability is embedded in your course, helping you develop your career and skills throughout your degree. Plus your year in industry will have helped you develop confidence, knowledge and contacts. We work closely with UEA’s Careers Service to help you meet employers (including alumni), explore career options, speak to industry mentors, and apply for internships, volunteering, and graduate jobs.

Career destinations

Examples of careers that you could enter include;

  • Government and university research
  • Weather forecasting
  • Environmental management or consultancy
  • Local and central government

Course related costs

You are eligible for reduced fees during the year in industry. Further details are available on our Tuition Fee website. 

There may be extra costs related to items such as your travel and accommodation during your year in industry, which will vary depending on location.

Please see Additional Course Fees for details of other course-related costs.


This course is accredited by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST). Accreditation of the course means that it meets the academic requirement, in part, for registration as a Chartered Scientist and Chartered Marine Scientist for a period of five years, from the 2016 student cohort intake to the 2020 student cohort intake subject to ongoing compliance.

We expect to apply for renewal of accreditation at the end of this period.

The course is accredited by the Royal Meteorological Society, which means that completing this course meets the academic requirement for accreditation as a Chartered Meteorologist.

Course Modules 2020/1

Students must study the following modules for 100 credits:

Name Code Credits


Computation and modelling are essential skills for the modern mathematician. While many applied problems are amenable to analytic methods, many require some numerical computation to complete the solution. The synthesis of these two approaches can provide deep insight into highly complex mathematical ideas. This module will introduce you to the art of mathematical modelling, and train you in the computer programming skills needed to perform numerical computations. A particular focus is classical mechanics, which describes the motion of solid bodies. Central to this is Newton's second law of motion, which states that a mass will accelerate at a rate proportional to the force imposed upon it. This leads to an ordinary differential equation to be solved for the velocity and position of the mass. In the simplest cases the solution can be constructed using analytical methods, but in more complex situations, for example motion under resistance, numerical methods may be required. Iterative methods for solving nonlinear algebraic equations are fundamental and will also be studied. Further examples drawn from pure mathematics and statistics demonstrate the power of modern computational techniques.




What are the most pressing environmental challenges facing the world today? How do we understand these problems through cutting-edge environmental science research? What are the possibilities for building sustainable solutions to address them in policy and society? In this module, you will tackle these questions by taking an interdisciplinary approach to consider challenges relating to climate change, biodiversity, water resources, natural hazards and technological risks. In doing so you will gain an insight into environmental science research 'in action' and develop essential academic study skills needed to explore these issues.




You will cover differentiation, integration, vectors, partial differentiation, ordinary differential equations, further integrals, power series expansions, complex numbers and statistical methods as part of this module. In addition to the theoretical background there is an emphasis on applied examples. Previous knowledge of calculus is assumed. This module is the first in a series of three maths modules for those across the Faculty of Science that provide a solid undergraduate mathematical training. The follow-on modules are Mathematics for Scientists B and C. Recommended if you have grade A*-C at A-level Mathematics, or equivalent.




You will gain a range of transferable skills, tools and resources that are widely used in research across the Environmental Sciences and Geography. It aims to provide a broad understanding of the research process through activities that involve formulating research questions, collecting data using appropriate sources and techniques, collating and evaluating information and presenting results. Lectures and practical classes will be taught during Semester 1, whilst a week-long residential field course applies field, lab and other skills to a variety of Environmental Science and Geography topics in Semester 2. Depending on the size of the cohort, students on selected degree programmes may be offered the option of an alternative field course arrangement.




Understanding of natural systems is underpinned by physical laws and processes. You will explore the energy, mechanics, and physical properties of Earth materials and their relevance to environmental science using examples from across the Earth's differing systems. The formation, subsequent evolution and current state of our planet are considered through its structure and behaviour - from the planetary interior to the dynamic surface and into the atmosphere. You will study Plate Tectonics to explain Earth's physiographic features - such as mountain belts and volcanoes - and how the processes of erosion and deposition modify them. The distribution of land masses is tied to global patterns of rock, ice and soil distribution and to atmospheric and ocean circulation. You will also explore geological time - the 4.6 billion year record of changing conditions on the planet - and how geological maps can be used to understand Earth history. This course provides you with an introduction to geological materials - rocks, minerals and sediments - and to geological resources and natural hazards.



Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Students will be assigned to 20 credits from the following modules. Assignments will be made according to previous Chemistry qualifications.

Name Code Credits


The habitability of planet Earth depends on physical and chemical systems that control everything from the weather and climate to the growth of all living organisms. This module introduces you to some of these key cycles and the ways in which physical and chemical scientists investigate and interpret them. It leads naturally to second and third year study of these systems in more detail, but even if you choose to study other aspects of environmental sciences, a basic knowledge of these systems is central to understanding our planet and how it responds to human pressures. The module is made up of two distinct components. One focuses on the physical study of the environment (Physical Processes: e.g. weather, climate, ocean circulation, etc.) The other focuses on the chemical study (Chemical Processes: weathering, atmospheric pollution, ocean productivity, etc.). Interrelationships between these components are explored throughout. Teaching of this module is through a mix of lectures, laboratory practical classes, workshops and a half-day field trip. This module provides a Basic Chemistry introduction for those students who have little or no background in chemistry prior to joining UEA.



Students must study the following modules for 80 credits:

Name Code Credits


With guidance from a supervisor, you will choose a topic, design the research and collect, analyse and interpret data. You will report on progress at various stages: in the selection of a topic, the detailed plan, an interim report and an oral presentation. A final report in the form of a dissertation not exceeding 10,000 words is required. When planning the project and again after completing the report, you will reflect on the range of subject-specific and generic skills acquired through your degree and how you are reinforced and complemented by the skills acquired through your project. A final item of summative work assesses the clarity by which you communicate and evidence your range of skills in the form of a covering letter and cv for a potential job application. To further support the transition to employment, you can present a formative research poster that summarises the main aspects of the work to prospective employers.




This module serves as a further introduction to general mathematics for scientists




This module is the third in a series of three mathematical units for students across the Faculty of Science. It covers matrix algebra and numerical methods, partial differential equations and solid mechanics. There is a continuing emphasis on applied examples, and the use of numerical computing software (Matlab) is extended with a dedicated programming component. The module is taught by mathematicians with considerable expertise in the use of mathematics in the natural/environmental sciences and is largely designed to equip students with the tools necessary for advanced second and third level modules, particularly those in the physical sciences.




The shallow shelf seas that surround the continents are the oceans that we most interact with. They contribute a disproportionate amount to global marine primary production and CO2 drawdown into the ocean, and are important economically through commercial fisheries, offshore oil and gas exploration, and renewable energy developments (e.g. offshore wind farms). You will explore the physical processes that occur in shelf seas and coastal waters, their effect on biological, chemical and sedimentary processes, and how they can be harnessed to generate renewable energy. You will develop new skills during this module that will support careers in the offshore oil and gas industry, renewable energy industry, environmental consultancy, government laboratories (e.g. Cefas) and academia. The level of mathematical ability required to take this module is similar to Ocean Circulation and Meteorology I. You should be familiar with radians, rearranging equations and plotting functions.




The weather affects everyone and influences decisions that are made continuously around the world. From designing and siting a wind farm to assessing flood risk and public safety, weather plays a vital role. Have you ever wondered what actually causes the weather we experience, for example why large storms are so frequent across north western Europe, especially in Winter? In this module you will learn the fundamentals of the science of meteorology. We will concentrate on the physical processes that underpin the radiation balance, thermodynamics, wind-flow, atmospheric stability, weather systems and the water cycle. We will link these to renewable energy and the weather we experience throughout the Semester. Assessment will be based entirely on a set of practical reports that you will submit, helping you to spread your work evenly through the semester. You will learn how Weather is a rich fusion of descriptive and numerical elements and you will be able to draw effectively on your own skill strengths while practising and developing others, guided by Weatherquest's Meteorologists.



Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Students must submit a request to the School for a place on fieldcourses.

Name Code Credits





Weather is one of the most popular topics of conversation. But how, specifically, does it present risks and opportunities, to people, organisations and to the wider environment? In this module you will develop a clear understanding of these linkages and an evidence base to draw on in future roles in which weather is a factor. You'll learn how to confidently source a diverse range of real-time weather information and you'll practice analysing such data, leading subsequently to successful interpretation and effective communication, both written and in front of the camera. You'll see, first hand, how meteorology depends upon computer systems for the efficient sharing, processing and visualisation of weather information. Being taught by weather practitioners with long experience of providing weather services to users, you will get the inside track on what it's like to work in weather. Weather Forecasting is one central theme and application which will provide a focus for learning. How are forecasts made and delivered, who uses forecasts and what are their distinctive needs? Success in forecasting depends in part on a good physical understanding of atmospheric processes - through practical work, we'll study those processes and use real examples of weather systems and events to reinforce the learning. At the end of the module, through an embedded week-long Easter residential fieldcourse, you'll apply your enhanced process understanding and forecasting knowledge in a hands-on way to design and implement meteorological field experiments, testing hypotheses through the collection and interpretation of field data collected using weather sensors. You'll write up your choice of fieldcourse experiment for assessment, after first receiving informal feedback on a related poster presentation.



Students will select 20 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits


Explore how chemical, physical and biological influences shape the biological communities of rivers, lakes and estuaries in temperate and tropical regions. Three field visits and laboratory work, usually using microscopes and sometimes analysing water quality, provide an important practical component to this module. A good complement to other ecology modules, final-year Catchment Water Resources and modules in development studies or geography, it can also be taken alongside Aquatic Biogeochemistry or other geochemical and hydrology modules. Students selecting this module must have a background in basic statistical analysis of data.




Atmospheric chemistry and global change are in the news. Stratospheric ozone depletion, acid rain, greenhouse gases, and global scale air pollution are among the most significant environmental problems of our age. Chemical composition and transformations underlie these issues and drive many important atmospheric processes. This module covers the fundamental chemical principles and processes in the atmosphere, from the Earth's surface to the stratosphere, and considers current issues of atmospheric chemical change through a series of lectures, problem-solving classes, seminars, experimental and computing labs, as well as a field trip to UEA's own atmospheric observatory in Weybourne/North Norfolk.




You will develop your skills and understanding in the integrated analysis of global climate change, using perspectives from both the natural sciences and the social sciences. You will gain a grounding in the basics of climate change science, impacts, adaptation, mitigation and their influence on and by policy decisions. This module also offers you a historical perspective on how climate policy has developed, culminating in the December 2015 Paris Agreement. Finally, it considers what will be required to meet the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to well below 2 #C above pre-industrial levels.




This module introduces some of the fundamental physical concepts and mathematical theory needed to analyse the motion of a fluid, with the focus predominantly on inviscid, incompressible motions. You will examine methods for visualising flow fields, including the use of particle paths and streamlines. You will study the dynamical theory of fluid flow taking Newton's laws of motion as its point of departure, and the fundamental set of equations comprising conservation of mass and Euler's equations will be discussed. The reduction to Laplace's equation for irrotational flow will be demonstrated, and Bernoulli's equation is derived as a first integral of the equation of motion. Having established the basic theory, the way is set for a broader discussion of flow dynamics including everyday practical examples. Vector calculus will cover divergence, gradient, curl of vector field, the Laplacian, scalar potential and path-independence of line integral, surface integrals, divergence theorem and Stokes' theorem. Computational fluid dynamics will also be studied.




Mathematical modelling is concerned with how to convert real problems, such as those arising in industry or other sciences, into mathematical equations, and then solving them and using the results to better understand, or make predictions about, the original problem. This topic will look at techniques of mathematical modelling, examining how mathematics can be applied to a variety of real problems and give insight in various areas. The topics will include approximation and non-dimensionalising, and discussion of how a mathematical model is created. We will then apply this theory to a variety of models such as traffic flow as well as examples of problems arising in industry. We will consider population modelling, chaos, and aerodynamics.



Students must study the following modules for 120 credits:

Name Code Credits


Gaining work experience and developing your employability are critical for your future career. The year in industry programme will help you do this. This module represents the year spent on work placement by students registered on an ENV programme incorporating a year in industry. You'll be offered help in finding a placement, undertake a year long work placement, and you'll also be encouraged to reflect on your learning as you go to help you make the most of your experience. You'll begin by reflecting on your existing employability skills and developing a plan to secure a good year in industry placement. You'll then be offered help in finding, applying for and going through recruitment processes for year in industry placements. On placement, you'll develop a range of different experiences and valuable employability skills and you'll be assigned a UEA mentor who will help you reflect on your learning and experience throughout your placement. You'll be assessed on a pass/fail basis by developing and reflecting on a placement portfolio that exhibits the skills you've gained during your placement. At the end of the module you'll have developed a wide range of different workplace experiences and employability skills as well as the ability to reflect on these to ensure you get the most out of them.



Students must study the following modules for 40 credits:

Name Code Credits


With guidance from a supervisor, you will choose a topic, design the research and collect, analyse and interpret data. You will report on progress at various stages: in the selection of a topic, the detailed plan, an interim report and an oral presentation. A final report in the form of a dissertation not exceeding 10,000 words is required. When planning the project and again after completing the report, you will reflect on the range of subject-specific and generic skills acquired through your degree and how these are reinforced and complemented by skills acquired through your project. A final item of summative work assesses the clarity by which you communicate and evidences your range of skills in the form of a covering letter and CV for a potential job application. To further support the transition to employment you can present a formative research poster that summarises the main aspects of the work to prospective employers.



Students will select 0 - 60 credits from the following modules:

Name Code Credits


What sets the mean global temperature of the world? Why are some parts of the world arid whilst others at the same latitudes are humid? This module aims to provide you with an understanding of the processes that determine why the Earth's climate (defined, for example, by temperature and moisture distribution) looks like it does, what the major circulation patterns and climate zones are and how they arise. You will study why the climate changes in time over different timescales, and how we use this knowledge to understand the climate systems of other planets. This module is aimed at you if you wish to further your knowledge of climate, or want a base for any future study of climate change, such as the Meteorology/Oceanography.




Our aim is to show how environmental problems may be solved from the initial problem, to mathematical formulation and numerical solution. Problems will be described conceptually, then defined mathematically, then solved numerically via computer programming. The module consists of lectures on numerical methods and computing practicals, the practicals being designed to illustrate the solution of problems using the methods covered in lectures. We will guide you through the solution of a model of an environmental process of your own choosing. The skills developed in this module are highly valued by prospective employers.




What do you know about the drivers of climate change? Carbon dioxide (CO2) is the greenhouse gas that has, by far, the greatest impact on climate change, but how carbon cycles through the Earth is complex and not fully understood. Predicting future climate or defining 'dangerous' climate change is therefore challenging. In this module you will learn about the atmosphere, ocean and land components of the carbon cycle. We cover urgent global issues such as ocean acidification and how to get off our fossil fuel 'addiction', as well as how to deal with climate denialists.



Students will select 0 - 60 credits from the following modules:

Please note that MTHE6007B Dynamical Oceanography and MTHD6018B Dynamical Meteorology run in alternate years.

Name Code Credits


Explore the evolution, biodiversity and ecology of bacteria, diatoms, coccolithophores and nitrogen fixers, and the physiology and distribution of zooplankton. You will study ecosystems such as the Antarctic, mid-ocean gyres and Eastern Boundary Upwelling Systems in detail and predict the impact of environmental change (increasing temperature, decreasing pH, decreasing oxygen and changes in nutrient supply) on marine ecosystem dynamics. Biological oceanographic methods will be critically evaluated. The module will include a reading week in week 7 and a voluntary employability visit to the Centre for the Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science (Cefas) in Lowestoft. You will be expected to have some background in biology, e.g. have taken a biology, ecology or biogeochemistry based second year module in order to study this module.




The ocean is an important component of the Earth's climate system. This module covers mathematically modelling of the large-scale ocean circulation and oceanic wave motion. This module builds upon the techniques in fluid dynamics and differential equations that you developed in year two. It then uses these techniques to explain some interesting phenomena in the ocean that are relevant to the real world. We begin by examining the effects of rotation on fluid flows. This naturally leads to the important concept of geostrophy, which enables ocean currents to be inferred from measurements of the sea surface height or from vertical profiles of seawater density. Geostrophy also plays a key role in the development of a model for the global scale circulation of abyssal ocean. The role of the wind in driving the ocean will be examined. This enables us to model the large-scale circulation of the ocean including the development of oceanic gyres and strong western boundary currents, such as the Gulf Stream. The module concludes by examining the role of waves, both at the sea surface and internal to the ocean. The differences between wave motion at mid-latitudes and the Equator are examined, as is the roll of the Equator as a wave-guide. The equatorial waves that you will study are intimately linked with the El Nino phenomenon that affects the climate throughout the globe.




This module examines the geological evidence for climatic change through the Quaternary Period (the last 2.6 million years) and the longer-term evolution of climate through the Cenozoic Era (the last 65 million years). You will explore the interpretation and causal mechanisms behind these major global environmental changes using a diverse range of approaches - isotope geochemistry, sedimentology, palaeoecology and organic geochemistry. We will focus on the geochemical, biological and sedimentological information that can be obtained from marine sediments, ice cores, and terrestrial environments and use these records to reconstruct the timing extent and magnitude of selected climatic events in the geological record.



Students will select 0 - 20 credits from the following modules:

PLEASE NOTE: Students must check that the module chosen from this range does not have a timetable clash with modules already selected, noting that no more than one module with the same timetable slot e.g. EE, can be taken in one semester. Students must submit a request to the School for a place on fieldcourses. ENV-5020K does not run every year.

Name Code Credits


The Earth's terrestrial and marine water bodies support life and play a major role in regulating the planet's climate. This module will train you to make accurate measurements of the chemical composition of the aquatic environment. In lectures and in the lab you will explore important chemical interactions between life, fresh and marine waters and climate, looking at nutrient cycles, dissolved oxygen, trace metals, carbonate chemistry and chemical exchange with the atmosphere. Students taking this module are expected to be familiar with basic chemical concepts and molar concentration units. This module makes a good combination with Aquatic Ecology.




Explore how chemical, physical and biological influences shape the biological communities of rivers, lakes and estuaries in temperate and tropical regions. Three field visits and laboratory work, usually using microscopes and sometimes analysing water quality, provide an important practical component to this module. A good complement to other ecology modules, final-year Catchment Water Resources and modules in development studies or geography, it can also be taken alongside Aquatic Biogeochemistry or other geochemical and hydrology modules. Students selecting this module must have a background in basic statistical analysis of data.




In this module, you will adopt an integrated approach to studying surface water and groundwater resources in river basins. You will address the fundamental requirement for an interdisciplinary catchment-based approach to managing and protecting water resources that includes an understanding of land use and its management. The module content includes the design of catchment monitoring programmes, nutrient mass balance calculations, river restoration techniques, an overview of UK and European agri-environmental policy and approaches to assessing and mitigating catchment flooding.




You will develop your skills and understanding in the integrated analysis of global climate change, using perspectives from both the natural sciences and the social sciences. You will gain a grounding in the basics of climate change science, impacts, adaptation, mitigation and their influence on and by policy decisions. This module also offers you a historical perspective on how climate policy has developed, culminating in the December 2015 Paris Agreement. Finally, it considers what will be required to meet the goal of the Paris Agreement to limit global warming to well below 2 #C above pre-industrial levels.




Modern everyday life rests fundamentally on the availability of energy. Since the 1970s, however, serious concerns have been raised about the sustainability of current energy systems. Traditionally, these problems have been analysed (and solutions proposed) from within the engineering and physical sciences. Understanding, managing and attempting to solve energy problems, however, demands a thorough appreciation of how people, at a range of scales, engage with energy in the course of their daily lives. This is a critical challenge for the social sciences, and will be the core focus of this module. Through this module, you will discover and explore a range of social science perspectives on the inter-relationships between energy and people. You will learn how to apply these ideas to contemporary energy problems and use them to generate your own visions for a sustainable energy future. You'll also be given the chance to work as part of a team and to communicate your ideas through both written and oral presentation. You'll begin by tracing the history and development of energy intensive societies and everyday lives as a means of understanding how energy has emerged as a key sustainability problem. You'll then go into more depth around different theories of social and technical change before exploring how these can be used to critically analyse a range of people-based solutions to energy problems that are currently being tried and tested around the world. You'll learn through a combination of lectures and seminars involving interactive group projects, class debates, practical exercises and student-led learning. At the end of the module, you will have developed the knowledge, skills and experience necessary to allow you to apply theories of social and technical change to a range of real-world energy problems. You'll be able to develop and critically analyse your own (and already existing) visions of a sustainable energy future, and you'll be able to creatively communicate these ideas to a range of different audiences.




This module examines the complexities of the transition to low carbon energy systems. It draws on a range of disciplines, theories and perspectives to critically examine many of the key challenges. It begins by exploring how we can understand energy systems and how they differ across space and time. The module draws on historical analyses to understand how energy systems have evolved in the past, as well as examining the different ways in which we can imagine the future of energy. Students will gain an in-depth understanding of the complexities of changing energy systems, enabling them to critically engage with debates around future "energy transitions", the role that innovation and emergent technologies might play, and the various challenges of shifting towards renewable based energy systems.




The most significant obstacles to problem solving are often political, not scientific or technological. This module examines the emergence and processes of environmental politics. It analyses these from different theoretical perspectives, particularly theories of power and public policy making. The module is focused on contemporary examples of politics and policy making at UK, EU and international levels. The module supports student-led learning by enabling students to select (and develop their own theoretical interpretations of) 'real world' examples of politics. Assessment is via seminar slides and a case study essay. The module assumes no prior knowledge of politics.




Geophysical hazards such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, tsunamis and landslides have significant environmental and societal impacts. This module focuses on the physical basis and analysis of each hazard, their global range of occurrence, probability of occurrence and their local and global impact. You will address matters such as hazard monitoring, modelling and assessment, and consider approaches towards risk mitigation and the reduction of vulnerability (individual and societal), with an emphasis on their practical implementation. Scenarios and probabilities of mega-disasters are also investigated. All the teaching faculty involved have practical experience of supplying professional advice on these hazards (and related risks) in addition to their own research involvement. A basic knowledge of physical science and of mathematics is assumed e.g. use of logs, exponentials, powers, cosines, rearrangement of equations.




Environmental economics provides a set of tools and principles which can be useful in understanding natural resource management issues. This module introduces you to key principles and tools of environmental economics for students who have not studied the subject previously. It then explores how these principles can be applied to address a number of complex economy-environment problems including climate change, over-fishing and water resources management. In this module you will have the opportunity to practically apply cost-benefit analysis as a framework for decision-making and will gain knowledge on the key non-market valuation techniques that are used to monetarily value environmental goods and services. At the end of the module you will have gained insights into how environmental economics is used in developing natural resource management policy as well as some of the challenges in using environmental economics in policy-making.



Important Information

The University makes every effort to ensure that the information within its course finder is accurate and up-to-date. Occasionally it can be necessary to make changes, for example to courses, facilities or fees. Examples of such reasons might include a change of law or regulatory requirements, industrial action, lack of demand, departure of key personnel, change in government policy, or withdrawal/reduction of funding. Changes may for example consist of variations to the content and method of delivery of programmes, courses and other services, to discontinue programmes, courses and other services and to merge or combine programmes or courses. The University will endeavour to keep such changes to a minimum, informing students and will also keep prospective students informed appropriately by updating our course information within our course finder.

In light of the current situation relating to Covid-19, we are in the process of reviewing all courses for 2020 entry with adjustments to course information being made where required to ensure the safety of students and staff, and to meet government guidance.

Further Reading


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Entry Requirements

  • A Level BBB or ABC or BBC with an A in the Extended Project, including grade B in Mathematics. All Science A-Levels must include a pass in the practical element.
  • International Baccalaureate 31 points including Higher Level 5 in Mathematics.
  • Scottish Highers AABBB including grade A in Mathematics.
  • Scottish Advanced Highers CCC including Mathematics.
  • Irish Leaving Certificate 2 subjects at H2, 4 subjects at H3 including Mathematics.
  • Access Course Pass the Access to HE Diploma with Merit in 45 credits at Level 3 including 12 credits in Mathematics.
  • BTEC DDM in Applied Science, Applied Science (Medical Science), Environmental Sustainability or Countryside Management, alongside grade B in A-Level Mathematics. Excludes BTEC Public Services, BTEC Uniformed Services, BTEC Business Administration and BTEC Forensic Science.
  • European Baccalaureate 70% overall, including 70% in Mathematics.

Entry Requirement

General Studies and Critical Thinking are not accepted. 

If you do not meet the academic requirements for direct entry, you may be interested in one of our Foundation Year programmes:

Environmental Sciences with a Foundation Year

Students for whom English is a Foreign language

Applications from students whose first language is not English are welcome. We require evidence of proficiency in English (including writing, speaking, listening and reading):

  • IELTS: 6.5 overall (minimum 5.5 in all components)

We also accept a number of other English language tests. Please click here to see our full list.

INTO University of East Anglia 

If you do not yet meet the English language requirements for this course, INTO UEA offer a variety of English language programmes which are designed to help you develop the English skills necessary for successful undergraduate study:

If you do not meet the academic and or English requirements for direct entry our partner, INTO University of East Anglia offers guaranteed progression on to this undergraduate degree upon successful completion of a preparation programme. Depending on your interests, and your qualifications you can take a variety of routes to this degree:


Most applicants will not be called for an interview and a decision will be made via UCAS Track. However, for some applicants an interview will be requested. Where an interview is required the Admissions Service will contact you directly to arrange a time.

Gap Year

We welcome applications from students who have already taken or intend to take a gap year.  We believe that a year between school and university can be of substantial benefit. You are advised to indicate your reason for wishing to defer entry on your UCAS application.


The annual intake is in September each year.  In 2021 the course is open and renamed as BSc Meteorology and Oceanography with a Placement Year.

Alternative Qualifications

UEA recognises that some students take a mixture of International Baccalaureate IB or International Baccalaureate Career-related Programme IBCP study rather than the full diploma, taking Higher levels in addition to A levels and/or BTEC qualifications. At UEA we do consider a combination of qualifications for entry, provided a minimum of three qualifications are taken at a higher Level. In addition some degree programmes require specific subjects at a higher level.

GCSE Offer

You are required to have Mathematics and English Language at a minimum of Grade C or Grade 4 or above at GCSE.

Course Open To

UK and overseas applicants.

Fees and Funding

Undergraduate University Fees and Financial Support

Tuition Fees

Information on tuition fees can be found here:

UK students

EU Students 

Overseas Students

Scholarships and Bursaries

We are committed to ensuring that costs do not act as a barrier to those aspiring to come to a world leading university and have developed a funding package to reward those with excellent qualifications and assist those from lower income backgrounds.

The University of East Anglia offers a range of Scholarships; please click the link for eligibility, details of how to apply and closing dates.

How to Apply

Applications need to be made via the Universities Colleges and Admissions Services (UCAS), using the UCAS Apply option.

UCAS Apply is a secure online application system that allows you to apply for full-time Undergraduate courses at universities and colleges in the United Kingdom. It is made up of different sections that you need to complete. Your application does not have to be completed all at once. The application allows you to leave a section partially completed so you can return to it later and add to or edit any information you have entered. Once your application is complete, it is sent to UCAS so that they can process it and send it to your chosen universities and colleges.

The Institution code for the University of East Anglia is E14.

Further Information

Please complete our Online Enquiry Form to request a prospectus and to be kept up to date with news and events at the University. 

    Next Steps

    We can’t wait to hear from you. Just pop any questions about this course into the form below and our enquiries team will answer as soon as they can.

    Admissions enquiries: or
    telephone +44 (0)1603 591515