• 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.

By the end of the Science -The Weather course delivered by The Open University UK you will have developed a range of study skills associated with retrieving and interpreting information in the form of tables, charts, maps and graphs. You will have the opportunity to undertake some small projects in which you will develop your ability to observe your local weather in a systematic way and to interpret forecasts.

The specially written study materials include a website with online activities using images, videos and other material and links to particular weather stations.

The course is produced in partnership with the Royal Meteorological Society.

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
  • More information Go to the programme website

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

This programme may require students to demonstrate proficiency in English.

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.
  • 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

  • International

    165 GBP/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 165 GBP for the full programme and a duration of 6 months.
  • EU/EEA

    165 GBP/full
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 165 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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