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Study information

Mathematics (Climate Science) (2023)

1. Programme Title:

Mathematics (Climate Science)

NQF Level:


2. Description of the Programme (as in the Business Approval Form)

Mathematics plays an important role in many aspects of modern life, providing the techniques and language to handle problems from a wide variety of disciplines. It has always been essential for engineering and the physical sciences and is becoming increasingly important in the life sciences and social sciences. Mathematicians, in collaboration with specialists from other fields, are making major contributions to understanding and overcoming the challenges that society faces in the 21st century. Within this 4-year degree programme, you will not only study the wide range of mathematical topics covered in a standard mathematics degree, including mathematical methods, pure mathematics, applied mathematics, and probability and statistics, but will also see how different areas of mathematics contribute to understanding the climate and the impact of human activity upon it. Graduates of this programme will be well equipped to work in climate modelling and related areas, for instance in the Met Office.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

The programme is intended to:

a) provide a high quality mathematical education comprising a balanced core of key knowledge and the opportunity to study a range of selected topics in more depth, some at an advanced level;

b) lay the foundations needed for those intending to become professional or research mathematicians or research scientists by exploiting group style work and research in applying mathematics in a context of high impact science;

c) develop the analytical and mathematical modelling abilities of students so that they can identify and apply appropriate mathematical techniques and methods to solve problems in a range of application areas and tailor their mathematical knowledge towards applications in high impact science;

d) develop in students appropriate subject-specific, core academic and personal and key skills in order to prepare them for a wide range of employment opportunities including a research career in mathematics or applications of mathematics to high impact science;

e) generate in students an enthusiasm for the subject of mathematics and its modern applications and involve them in a demanding, interesting and intellectually stimulating, multi-faceted learning experience reinforced by appropriate academic and pastoral tutorial support.

4. Programme Structure

Your Mathematics (Climate Science) programme is a (4) year programme of study at National Qualification Framework (NQF) level (7) (as confirmed against the FHEQ). This programme is divided into (4) ‘Stages’. Each Stage is normally equivalent to an academic year.  The programme is also divided into units of study called ‘modules’ which are assigned a number of ‘credits’. The credit rating of a module is proportional to the total workload, with 1 credit being nominally equivalent to 10 hours of work.

Interim Awards

If you do not complete the programme you may be able to exit with a lower qualification. If you have achieved 120 credits, you may be awarded a Certificate of Higher Education in Mathematics (Climate Science), and if you achieve 240 credits, where at least 90 credits are at level 2 or above, you may be awarded a Diploma of Higher Education in Mathematics (Climate Science).

5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme. Details of the modules currently offered may be obtained from the College web site

You may take Option Modules as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module. Descriptions of the individual modules are given in full on the College web site



Stage 1

Code Title Credits Compulsory NonCondonable
MTH1001Mathematical Structures30YesYes
MTH1002Mathematical Methods30YesYes
MTH1003Mathematical Modelling30YesNo
MTH1004Probability, Statistics and Data30YesNo

Stage 2

Code Title Credits Compulsory NonCondonable
MTH2003Differential Equations15YesYes
MTH2004Vector Calculus and Applications15YesYes
Select between 30 and 60 credits:
MTH2008Real Analysis15NoNo
MTH2009Complex Analysis15NoNo
MTH2010Groups, Rings and Fields15NoNo
MTH2011Linear Algebra15NoNo
Select between 30 and 60 credits:
MTH2005Modelling: Theory and Practice30NoNo
MTH2006Statistical Modelling and Inference30NoNo
Select up to 30 credits:
XXXXXXFree Choice up to 30 credits30NoNo
EMP2001Ambassadors for Science15NoNo

The free choice (Electives) can include modules from any College in the University subjec to approval, pre-requisites, timetabling and availability.

MTH2003 is prerequisite for MTH2004 and MTH2005. MTH2008 is prerequisite for MTH2009.

Standard progression to Stage 3 of the MSci: Candidates will have passed all 120 credits of Stage 2 modules each with an overall mark of 40% or higher, and will normally have gained a stage average of 55% or higher. Students who do not reach the threshold may progress to stage 3 of the equivalent BSc programme.

At Stage 3, students must study 90 credits of mathematics

Code Title Credits Compulsory NonCondonable
MTH3007Fluid Dynamics15YesNo
MTH3030Mathematics of Climate Change15YesNo
MTH3039Computational Nonlinear Dynamics15YesNo
MTHM036Research in Mathematical Sciences15YesNo
MTH3001Theory of Weather and Climate15YesNo
Select between 15 to 45 Credits:
MTH3004Number Theory15NoNo
MTH3006Mathematical Biology and Ecology15NoNo
MTH3008Partial Differential Equations15NoNo
MTH3011Nonlinear Systems and Control15NoNo
MTH3013Applied Differential Geometry15NoNo
MTH3019Mathematics: History and Culture15NoNo
MTH3022Graphs, Networks and Algorithms15NoNo
MTH3024Stochastic Processes15NoNo
MTH3028Statistical Inference: Theory and Practice15NoNo
MTH3038Galois Theory15NoNo
MTH3040Topology and Metric Spaces15NoNo
MTH3041Bayesian statistics, Philosophy and Practice15NoNo
MTH3042Integral Equations15NoNo
MTH3044Bayesian Data Modelling15NoNo
MTH3045Statistical Computing15NoNo
You may select up to 30 credits:
EMP3001Commercial and Industrial Experience15NoNo
XXXXXXXFree choice up to 30 credits30NoNo
NSC3009Aerosols, Clouds and Climate15NoNo

The free choice (electives) can include modules at level 2 and 3 from any College in the University subject to approval, pre-requisites, timetabling and availability.


Stage 4

Code Title Credits Compulsory NonCondonable
MTHM019Fluid Dynamics of Atmospheres and Oceans15YesNo
MTHM023Modelling the Weather and Climate15YesNo
MTHM040MSci Project45YesYes
You may select up to 45 credits:
MTHM001Functional Analysis15NoNo
MTHM004Fractal Geometry15NoNo
MTHM006Mathematical Theory of Option Pricing 15NoNo
MTHM009Advanced Topics in Mathematical & Computational Biology15NoNo
MTHM010Representation Theory of Finite Groups15NoNo
MTHM017Advanced Topics in Statistics15NoNo
MTHM018Dynamical Systems and Chaos15NoNo
MTHM028Algebraic Number Theory15NoNo
MTHM029Algebraic Curves15NoNo
MTHM030Waves, Instabilities and Turbulence15NoNo
MTHM031Magnetic Fields and Fluid Flows15NoNo
MTHM033Statistical Modelling in Space and Time15NoNo
MTHM041Analytic Number Theory15NoNo
MTHM045Space Weather and Plasmas15NoNo
MTHM048Ergodic Theory15NoNo
MTHM052Mid-Latitude Weather Systems15NoNo
NSCM005Mathematical Modelling in Biology and Medicine15NoNo
GEOMXXXModules in Geography15NoNo
XXXMXXXFree choice of level M module30NoNo
You may select up to 15 credits:
XXX3XXXFree choice of level 3 module15NoNo

The free choice (Electives) can include modules from any College in the University subjec to approval, pre-requisites, timetabling and availability.

6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning & Assessment Methods

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to: Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be accommodated & facilitated by the following learning & teaching and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

A Specialised Subject Skills & Knowledge

1) use the terminology and conventions of mathematics;
2) use a range of fundamental concepts and techniques from calculus, vectors, analysis, algebra, dynamics, probability,
statistics, computation and optimization;
3) use key techniques in a range of applicable areas;
4) demonstrate skills in a selection of more specialist optional topics from various branches of mathematics;
5) use techniques from more advanced areas of mathematics and apply them high impact science;
6) use modern technology in mathematics, including a variety of computational packages;
7) apply advanced topics in mathematics to high impact science in substantial project work;
8) use and apply research methods and techniques in mathematics;

Learning & Teaching Activities

Knowledge in (1-4) is primarily provided through formal lectures supported by regular problem sheets providing formative technical exercises for students to tackle on their own. At Stages 1 and 2 lectures are reinforced by regular tutorial groups in which assistance with, and feedback on, problem sheets is given. At later stages in the programme students work on set problems by themselves and seek help when required within office hours of staff. Applications of mathematics (3) are introduced in various Stage 1 and 2 modules and more advanced applications are introduced in options at Stages 3 and 4. Modules at Stage 3 encompass a range of special topics in mathematics (4). In depth knowledge of selected topics (5) and their relevance to applications in high impact science are provided in Stage 4 options and the compulsory project. Knowledge in (6) is provided through computer practical classes at Stage 1 and is reinforced in some other module in Stage 1 and at later stages. Knowledge in (7) and (8) is acquired in the project at the final stage.

Assessment Methods

Most knowledge is tested through unseen formal examinations. Assessment of some optional modules involves essays, project reports, oral presentation or computer practical’s. The compulsory project is assessed through a written report, a poster/web page and an associated viva.

B Academic Discipline Core Skills & Knowledge

1) explain their reasoning systematically and logically;
2) construct mathematical proofs;
3) formulate, analyse and solve problems;
4) organise tasks into a structured form;
5) integrate theory and applications;
6) transfer appropriate knowledge and methods from one topic within the subject to another;
7) apply a range of mathematical ideas to unfamiliar problems and demonstrate good selection of choice in solution strategy;
8) demonstrate a capacity for critical evaluation of arguments and evidence;
9) present mathematical material clearly, logically and accurately, both in writing and orally;
10) plan, execute and report on a substantial project and defend the results

Learning & Teaching Activities

All these skills are an essential part of the understanding of mathematics, are embedded throughout core elements of the programme and are intrinsic to good performance in the programme. They are developed through formal lectures, tutorials, coursework, computer practicals, use of IT and private study. Skills (1-6) are assessed in a variety of tests, continuous assessment, formal exams and project work. Skills (7-9) in particular are reinforced in optional modules involving directed reading, reports or seminars at Stages 3 or 4. The final Stage project develops skills (4), (5) and (7-10).

Assessment Methods

All these skills are tested indirectly in various core elements of the programme, with (5-9) contributing particularly to the more successful work. They are all assessed in part through written coursework and in part by unseen formal examinations. Skills (1-6) are assessed in a variety of tests, continuous assessment, formal exams and project work. Skills (7-9) are directly assessed in some optional modules via oral presentation, essays or reports. Skills (4), (5) and (7-10) are assessed in the final Stage project, the associated poster/web page and viva.

C Personal / Transferable / Employment Skills & Knowledge

1) use a range of IT software including standard and mathematical word-processing applications and computational packages;
2) communicate ideas effectively and clearly, both to mathematicians and scientists, by appropriate means including oral
3) manage time effectively;
4) search and retrieve information from a variety of sources including libraries, databases and the web;
5) work in teams, both with mathematicians and with a mix of mathematicians and scientists;
6) demonstrate independent learning ability required for continuing professional development;
7) plan their career and personal development.

Learning & Teaching Activities

Skill (1) is developed from Stage 1 through use through use of the mathematical computing packages in core Stage 1 modules. Skills (1-2) are developed in various other core components of the programme e.g. oral presentations in Stage 1 tutorials, and the requirement for submission of word-processed coursework in some assignments in certain modules at Stages 1 and 2. Skill (3) is intrinsic to successful completion of the programme. Skills (4) and (5) are developed in one of the core modules at Stage 1 and in some optional Stage 3 and 4 modules involving project or group work. Skills in (5) are further developed through the scientific theme at Stage 4. Specifically, study group style work and assessments in the specialist M level modules ECMM722 - ECMM725 will develop mathematical skills in a context of high impact science. Skills (2), (4) and (6) are integral to the compulsory advanced project at Stage 4. Skill (7) is reinforced through annual self-appraisals with personal tutors.

Assessment Methods

Skills (1-3) are indirectly assessed as part of coursework in core modules and effective use of skills (1-4) will generally enhance performance throughout the programme. Skills (1-5) are more directly assessed in one of the core modules at Stage 1, at Stages 3 in some optional modules and especially in the compulsory M level modules via group style exercises, project reports preparation of posters/web pages or oral presentations. Skills (2), (3), (4) and in particular (6) are assessed in the final year project report and associated viva.

7. Programme Regulations


The programme consists of 480 credits with 120 credits taken at each stage. Normally not more than 75 credits would be allowed in any one term. In total, participants normally take no more than 150 credits at level 4, and must take at least 210 credits at level 6 or higher of which at least 120 must be at level 7.

The pass mark for award of credit in an individual module is 40% for modules taken at NQF Levels 4, 5 and 6 and 50% for modules taken at Level 7.


Condonement is the process that allows you to be awarded credit (and so progress to the next stage or, in the final stage, receive an award), despite failing to achieve a pass mark at a first attempt. You are not entitled to reassessment in condoned credit.

Up to 30 credits of failure can be condoned in a stage on the following conditions:

You must have registered for and participated in modules amounting to at least 120 credits in the stage.

You must pass the modules marked with a 'Yes' in the 'non-condonable' column in the tables above.

In stages 1-3 you must achieve an average mark of at least 40% across the full 120 credits of assessment, including any failed and condoned modules. In the final stage you must achieve an average mark of at least 50% across the full 120 credits of assessment, including any failed and condoned modules.

Assessment and Awards

If you have achieved 120 credits, you may be awarded a Certificate of Higher Education in Mathematics. If you achieve 240 credits, where at least 90 credits are at NQF Level 5 or above, you may be awarded a Diploma of Higher Education in Mathematics. If you achieve 300 credits, where at least 60 credits are at NQF level 6 or above, you may be awarded a Bachelor of Science (Ordinary). If you achieve 360 credits, where at least 90 credits are at NQF Level 6 or above, you may be awarded a Bachelor of Science with Honours.

Assessment at stage one does not contribute to the summative classification of the award. The award will normally be based on the degree mark formed from the credit-weighted average marks for stages 2 and 3 and 4 combined in the ratio 2:3:4 respectively.


Full details of assessment regulations for UG programmes can be found in the Teaching Quality Assurance Manual (TQA) on the University of Exeter website.  Generic marking criteria are also published here.

Please see the Teaching and Quality Assurance Manual for further guidance.


8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

In accordance with University policy a system of personal tutors is in place for all students on this programme.  A University-wide statement on such provision is included in the University's TQA Manual.  As a student enrolled on this programme you will receive the personal and academic support of the Programme Coordinator and will have regular scheduled meetings with your Personal Tutor; you may request additional meetings as and when required. The role of personal tutors is to provide you with advice and support for the duration of the programme and extends to providing you with details of how to obtain support and guidance on personal difficulties such as accommodation, financial difficulties and sickness. You can also make an appointment to see individual teaching staff.

Information Technology (IT) Services provide a wide range of services throughout the Exeter campuses including open access computer rooms, some of which are available 24 hours, 7 days a week.  Help may be obtained through the Helpdesk, and most study bedrooms in halls and flats are linked to the University's campus network.

Additionally, the College has its own dedicated IT support staff, helpdesk and computer facilities which are linked to the wider network, but which also provide access to some specialised software packages.  Email is an important channel of communication between staff and students in the College and an extensive range of web-based information (see ) is maintained for the use of students, including a comprehensive and annually revised student handbook.

The Harrison Learning Resource Centre is generally open during building open hours. The Centre is available for quiet study, with four separate rooms that can be booked for meetings and group work. Amongst its facilities, the Learning Resource Centre has a number of desks, four meeting rooms with large LCD screens, and free use of a photocopier. Also available are core set texts from your module reading lists, and undergraduate and MSc projects from the past two years.

Online Module study resources provide materials for modules that you are registered for, in addition to some useful subject and IT resources. Generic study support resources, library and research skills, past exam papers, and the 'Academic Honesty and Plagiarism' module are also available through the student portal (

Student/Staff Liaison Committee enables students & staff to jointly participate in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision.

10. Admission Criteria

All applications are considered individually on merit. The University is committed to an equal opportunities policy with respect to gender, age, race, sexual orientation and/or disability when dealing with applications. It is also committed to widening access to higher education to students from a diverse range of backgrounds and experience.

Candidates must satisfy the general admissions requirements of the University of Exeter.  Applicants are normally invited to attend Post Offer Open Days, which provide the opportunity to talk with and question members of the academic staff.

Candidates must satisfy the entrance requirements for this programme. These are published in full in the University of Exeter Undergraduate Prospectus (see In addition to candidates offering GCE AS and A2, those offering International Baccalaureate and appropriate VCE A-levels will also be considered, as well as mature candidates with evidence of appropriate alternative qualifications. Direct entry to Stage 2 of the programmes will also be considered for candidates who have successfully completed study equivalent to the core material in the first stage of the programmes.


11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice.  See the University's TQA Manual for details.



12. Indicators of Quality and Standards

Certain programmes are subject to accreditation and/ or review by professional and statutory regulatory bodies (PSRBs).
This programme is accredited by the Institution of Mathematics and its Applications (IMA) for the purpose of fully meeting the educational requirements of the Chartered Mathematician designation.
Accreditation is awarded for a maximum of 6 years under each assessment exercise. The dates applicable to the current accreditation of this degree programme can be viewed on the IMA list of accredited degrees:
14 Awarding Institution University of Exeter
15 Lead College / Teaching Institution College of Engineering, Mathematics and Physical Sciences
16 Partner College / Institution
17 Programme accredited/validated by Graduates eligible for membership of the Institute of Mathematics and its Applications
18 Final Award(s) MSci (Hons)
19 UCAS Code (UG programmes) G103CLI
20 NQF Level of Final Awards(s): 7
21 Credit (CATS and ECTS) 480 credits (240 ECTS)
22 QAA Subject Benchmarking Group (UG and PGT programmes) Mathematics, Statistics and Operational Research
23 Origin Date January 18th 2023 Last Date of Revision: February 21st 2024