• Anytime
    Application Deadline
  • 6 months
This Science - The Weather course delivered by The Open University UK provides an introduction to weather patterns and events around the world, explaining the main drivers that determine the weather on a seasonal and daily basis. 
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In the Science - The Weather course delivered by The Open University UK, you’ll explore how the professional weather forecasts for your area have been made and how reliable they are likely to be. Science: the weather is one of a series of 100-hour flexible online courses introducing fascinating topics in science. It allows you to learn about this topic just for interest and enables you to try out a new area of study before you commit yourself to further study. You can register and begin this course at any time and will have at least 6 months to complete it.

What you will study

The weather arises from physical processes within the atmosphere as it responds to the rotation of the Earth and the heating effect of the Sun. In this course you will discover how these processes determine the weather, how they vary depending on location and time of the year and the extent to which they can be forecast. You will also consider some of the ways in which typical variations in the weather and extreme weather events affect a wide range of human activities.

Scientific concepts relating to temperature, humidity, air pressure, air density, clouds, precipitation and wind will be explained, and you will see how many factors operate together in the atmosphere to produce various types of weather system. This in turn will give you a better understanding of the information conveyed by weather maps. You will also learn about the ways in which meteorological data, including surface and upper-air measurements as well as satellite information, are collected and fed into the computer models that underlie weather forecasting. 

This will enable you to understand how the professional weather forecasts for your area have been made and how reliable they are likely to be. You will be able to apply this knowledge in making your own short-term predictions of your local weather. There will be plenty of opportunity to consolidate your understanding of the scientific concepts by investigating different weather systems in a variety of climatic zones across the world.

Detailed Programme Facts

  • Deadline and start date A student can apply at any time for this programme, there is no deadline.
  • Programme intensity Part-time
    • Average part-time duration 6 months
  • Languages
    • English
  • Delivery mode

Programme Structure

By the end of this course you should be able to:

Demonstrate general knowledge and understanding of some of the basic facts, concepts, scientific principles and language relating to meteorology and weather forecasting. In particular you should be able to demonstrate an understanding of:

  • the main weather elements, relationships between them and the importance of the weather for human society
  • patterns of circulation within the atmosphere and weather at different scales
  • formation and evolution of high and low-pressure areas, and of frontal systems
  • computer models of the atmosphere and weather forecasts and interpretation of surface pressure charts 
  • techniques used to gather meteorological data
  • how to make, record and interpret observations and simple measurements relating to the weather.

English Language Requirements

You need the following IELTS score:

  • Minimum required score:


    The IELTS – or the International English Language Test System – tests your English-language abilities (writing, listening, speaking, and reading) on a scale of 1.00–9.00. The minimum IELTS score requirement refers to which Overall Band Score you received, which is your combined average score. Read more about IELTS.

General Requirements

  • The course is designed for people who are new to science and to meteorology, and all you really need is an interest in how the weather works and the motivation to find out more about the science underlying meteorological phenomena and forecasting. You must be prepared to study some physical science and to learn how to interpret satellite images, maps, weather charts and graphs. You will need to access various types of forecast through the internet. You will be encouraged to make some observations of the weather in your own locality and to keep a record of what you see.

  • Mathematically, you need to be able to add, subtract, multiply and divide, and although it would be useful to have a little basic knowledge of general science this is not essential. The structured teaching will take you to a level at which you will be able to understand important aspects of the science of the atmosphere which give rise to our weather. 

Tuition Fee

  • EU/EEA

    170 GBP/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 170 GBP for the full programme and a duration of 6 months.
We've labeled the tuition fee that applies to you because we think you are from and prefer over other currencies.


Check the programme website for information about funding options.

Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

Science - The Weather
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