Extreme Weather MSc

Course code F855

What is special about this course?

Extreme weather events are increasing in both intensity and frequency across the globe, many of an unprecedented severity. Advances in recent scientific understanding over the past decade confirm that such extreme events are attributable to global warming and would be statistically impossible without anthropogenic climate change.

Knowledge of extreme climate and hazards will only become more vital in both public and private arenas: could you become one of the experts that the world looks to for answers?

Learn to predict, assess, and respond to the challenges faced by this ever-changing phenomenon, on our MSc Extreme Weather, the first postgraduate qualification of its kind in Scotland.

Develop your skills as a future climate scientist and natural hazard expert, on this in-depth and illuminating course. Strengthen your ability to provide informed, scientific engagement and learn how to improve public awareness of weather and climate hazards with tools such as weather warning systems. Gain a greater understanding of the individual impacts of new, unprecedented, extreme events on human-induced climate change and assess the impact of rapidly increasing costs as a result of disasters.

If you’re already involved in the renewables sector, or the implementation and management of sustainable development, and seeking to pursue professional development, or if your ambition is to work in these sectors in the future, join this dynamic and highly relevant course and become part of the solution that future generations are relying on.

Special features

  • Brand new programme, first of its kind in Scotland
  • Focus on subject areas that are key to progressing net-zero society
  • Training for future climate science and natural hazard experts
  • Fully online and flexible, to suit your personal and professional needs

Entry requirements

  • Honours degree or ordinary degree in a relevant subject
  • Postgraduate diploma or professional qualification in a relevant subject
  • Other qualifications will be considered if accompanied by a minimum of three years' relevant professional experience


You will study the following core modules:

  • Extreme weather (S2)
  • Understanding sustainability discourses (S2)
  • Water resources in a changing climate (S1)


You will study 3 of the following optional modules:

  • Climate and marine resource modelling (S1)
  • Energy, climate and carbon (S1)
  • Environmental and social issues in mountain areas (S1)
  • Net zero society (S2)
  • Quantitative research and data analysis (S1)
  • Renewable energy technologies (S1)
  • Sustainable land use and renewable energy (S1)
  • Tidal, wave and future energy (S2)


To achieve the award of MSc Extreme Weather, you will complete a 15,000 word research dissertation on a topic of your own choice.

How will I study my course?

  • Full-time
  • Part-time
  • Part-time modular (standalone modules)
  • You will study fully online, with no scheduled sessions or tutorials

How long will my course last?

  • Full-time: 1 year @ 40 hours per week
  • Part-time: 1.5 years @ 27 hours per week
  • Part-time modular: 15 weeks @ 13 hours per week

Number of hours per week indicates the total number of hours you should dedicate to the course. This includes time online to view weekly lectures and other online materials, to participate in module discussion boards, and your own time spent on individual study and research.

Where can I study my course?

  • North, West and Hebrides
  • This fully online course can be studied from anywhere in the world. You will be enrolled and supported by staff at UHI North, West and Hebrides

Start date

  • September
  • January


Find out more about fees, fee waivers and funding options.


Eligible Scotland-domiciled students studying full-time can access loans up to £11,500 from the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). This comprises a tuition fee loan up to £7,000 and a non-income assessed living cost loan of £4,500. 

Eligible Scotland-domiciled students studying part-time can apply for a tuition fee loan from SAAS.  You must be intending to complete the course in no longer than twice the length of time it would take for a full-time student. For example, if your course is available to full-time students as a one-year programme, you will be funded for a maximum of two years' part-time study. If your course does not have a full-time option, you must complete within three years. You can apply for a tuition fee loan up to £7,000, which will be paid pro-rata for each academic year of study. 

Full details can be found on the SAAS website. Applications for loans open in April.

Students from the rest of the UK who meet the eligibility requirements may be able to apply for a loan from the Student Loan Company.

What can I do on completion of my course?

Once you have successfully completed this course, you might like to consider careers in:

  • Renewables sector
  • Sustainable development implementation and management
  • Insurance and risk sectors

Can I progress into further study?

You may wish to progress from this MSc Extreme Weather into academia, research, or pursuit of a PhD or Postgraduate Doctorate.

Is there more information available online?

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Apply for Extreme Weather MSc

I want to start in Aug/Sep 2024 or Jan/Feb 2025

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at the University of the Highlands and Islands. We operate a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of gender, age, disability, ethnicity and socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.