About us

The Department of Meteorology was established in 1965, and is the only UK university department to offer a full range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses in meteorology. We are internationally renowned for our excellent research and teaching in atmospheric, oceanic and climate science.

In the most recent Research Excellence Framework results (REF 2014), 86% of our research was graded as world leading or internationally excellent. Our weighted score places us third in the country in the "Earth Systems & Environmental Science" category, and makes us the highest-graded department focusing on the fundamental science of weather and climate: we were rated particularly strongly on the new ‘Impact’ metric, and on ‘research environment’. Similarly, our unique and comprehensive range of undergraduate and postgraduate courses have always received the highest grade.

Students and staff find the Department a friendly and informal place - one focus of which is the open plan coffee and meeting area on the first floor of the Meteorology Building.

Staff and students

The Department has four Heads of Department, as follows:

  • Professor Danny Feltham - Head of Department (Academic Staff)

  • Professor Keith Haines - Head of Department (Research and Buildings)

  • Professor Giles Harrison - Head of Department (External Affairs)

  • Professor Maarten Ambaum - Head of Department (Finance and Support Staff)

  • The department is part of the School of Mathematical, Physical and Computational Sciences (SMPCS), led by Professor Ben Cosh, and is staffed by world-leading meteorologists, oceanographers and climate experts. In 2016, we have 59 undergraduate (BSc), 40 masters (MSc) and 87 doctoral (PhD) students, in a thriving community of over 200 academic and research scientists.

    We are also growing rapidly: the University's Academic Investment Project has recently led to 28 new academic appointments in the area of Climate and Environmental Sciences including 15 in the Department of Meteorology.

    Teaching and learning

    Teaching facilities include a lecture theatre, a synoptic laboratory (for lectures and practicals), a physical laboratory, a meteorological enclosure (for observing and field experiments), a departmental library and study area, and computer laboratories.

    We receive 'real time' weather information in the form of satellite pictures, synoptic charts, numerical forecasting model output and global telecommunications data, all of which are used for teaching purposes as well as being displayed for general interest.

    Student feedback

    The 2016 National Student Survey (NSS) continues to show strong positive feedback from our final year undergraduate students: this year the 'Overall statisfaction with my course' was 100%. The individual components were rated as follows:

    Component
    2016 NSS satisfaction score
    2015 NSS
    satisfaction score
    Teaching on my course
    98
    85
    Assessment and feedback
    75
    57
    Academic support
    74
    74
    Organisation and management
    94
    62
    Learning resources
    86
    79
    Personal development
    92
    82
    Overall satisfaction
    100
    75

    Research

    Meteorology at Reading is world-renowned for its pioneering research on weather, climate and earth observation. The status of our dynamic and productive research environment is reflected in the long-standing presence of staff from the UK Met Office, and major elements of the NERC funded National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) and the National Centre for Earth Observation (NCEO). Our Department is a major part of the University's Walker Institute for Climate System Research. We also work closely with the European Centre for Medium-Range Weather Forecasts (ECMWF) located close to the University.

    Staff welfare

    The Department has strong and long-standing values in Equality and Diversity, and as part of the School of Mathematical and Physical Sciences we hold a Silver Athena Swan award. More information, policies, staff and student case studies and useful links can all be found on our Equality and Diversity pages.

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