Monash University

Undergraduate - Area of study

Students who commenced study in 2015 should refer to this area of study entry for direction on the requirements; to check which units are currently available for enrolment, refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your area of study.

print version

This area of study entry applies to students commencing this course in 2015 and should be read in conjunction with the relevant course entry in the Handbook. Any units listed for this area of study relate only to the 'Requirements' outlined in the Faculty of Science component of any bachelors double degrees.

Managing facultyFaculty of Science
Offered bySchool of Earth, Atmosphere and Environment
CoordinatorDr Dietmar Dommenget and Professor Nigel Tapper


  • Unit codes that are not linked to their entry in the Handbook are not available for study in the current year.


Atmospheric science explores the structure and evolution of the atmosphere, and includes the problems of forecasting the day-to-day weather, the climate and the role of both in environmental issues. The undergraduate program is designed to introduce the scientific principles behind these phenomena as well as provide a broad understanding of them. An interdisciplinary approach is essential in studying atmospheric science. The field draws on the strengths of environmental science, applied mathematics and physical geography; it involves applications of concepts in physics and chemistry. Modern scientific and computing techniques are employed to approach some of the fundamental problems facing our society. The discipline offers a balance of field work, data analysis, theoretical research and state-of-the-art modelling.

Learning outcomes

Graduates will be able to:

  • understand the physical theory of the Earth's atmosphere, its relation with climate and weather forecasting, and how it can be constructed from basic principles using mathematical analysis and numerical modelling
  • demonstrate knowledge and skills in using mathematical models and applications in atmospheric science and weather forecasting
  • demonstrate high-level knowledge and skills of the important techniques, terminology and processes of at least one area of atmospheric science such as clouds, weather forecasting, large-scale weather, climate variability, Australian atmospheric environment and the earth boundary layer
  • develop, apply, integrate and generate knowledge to analyse and solve problems in atmospheric science
  • understand the importance of atmospheric sciences to a range of environmental issues, including climate change
  • collect, organise, analyse and interpret quantitative information meaningfully, using mathematical and/or statistical tools as appropriate to the discipline of atmospheric science, including spreadsheets
  • convey atmospheric science concepts, processes and results to diverse audiences
  • work both individually and collectively with staff and colleagues on the synthesis of knowledge and skills in atmospheric science.


Level two

  • ATM2020 Climate dynamics of the atmosphere and oceans
  • ATM2030 Clouds, weather and forecasting
  • ATS2776 Climate, weather and the land surface
  • ATS2779 Climate change and variability

Level three

  • ATM3040 Physical meteorology
  • ATM3050 Dynamical meteorology
  • ATS3558 Climate change and impacts on the earth system
  • ATS3887 Designing urban futures: Urban climate, water and adaptation

Sequence requirements

Minor in atmospheric science (24 points)

The level two units ATM2020 and ATM2030 have a pre-requisite of MTH1030.

Major in atmospheric science (48 points)

  • a minor in atmospheric science
  • at least two of ATM3040, ATM3050, ATS3558 or ATS3887
  • any remaining points to be made up from MTH3051, MTH3230, MTH3360 or the level two or three ATM or ATS units listed above, with at least 18 points of level three units

MTH2010 and MTH2032 must also be completed as corequisites/prerequisites for some of the level three units.

Requirements for honours in atmospheric science

  • 24 points of relevant level-three units, of which normally 18 points are atmospheric science units

Additional information

Level one

Students considering taking a major in atmospheric science will need to complete a 12-point sequence of level-one mathematics (either MTH1020 and MTH1030, or MTH1030 and MTH2010). Also, as atmospheric science is a broadly based discipline, a level one unit in either physics or chemistry is recommended.

Level two

Students considering taking a major in atmospheric science must complete the prerequisite mathematics unit MTH2010 and are strongly encouraged to take MTH2032 as well (as it is a prerequisite for MTH3360).

Level three

Students taking a major in atmospheric science should take at least two of ATM3040, ATM3050, ATS3558 and ATS3887, although some substitution is allowed with the approval of the coordinator.


In addition to the requirements listed above, students must meet the entry requirements for the science honours program relevant to their course of enrolment. See the entries for:

  • S3002 Bachelor of Science Advanced - Research (Honours)
  • 0051 Bachelor of Science (Honours)
  • 2188 Bachelor of Science (Science Scholar Program) (Honours)

Full details regarding the course structure for honours in this area of study are outlined in course 0051 Bachelor of Science (Honours).

Relevant courses

Single degrees

  • 3544 Bachelor of Environmental Science
  • S2000 Bachelor of Science
  • S3001 Bachelor of Science Advanced - Global Challenges (Honours)
  • S3002 Bachelor of Science Advanced - Research (Honours)

Double degrees

  • 4642 Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Science
  • 0530 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science
  • 3528 Bachelor of Biomedical Science and Bachelor of Science
  • 1469 Bachelor of Commerce and Bachelor of Science
  • D3005 Bachelor of Education (Honours) and Bachelor of Science
  • 4646 Bachelor of Environmental Engineering (Honours) and Bachelor of Science
  • 4069 Bachelor of Journalism and Bachelor of Science
  • L3007 Bachelor of Laws (Honours) and Bachelor of Science
  • 3517 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Computer Science
  • 4638 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)
  • S2003 Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Global Studies

Honours degrees

  • 0051 Bachelor of Science (Honours)
  • 2188 Bachelor of Science (Science Scholar Program) (Honours)