Degree Type: 

Bachelor of Science


Department of Physics

Programme Duration: 

4 years (Standard Entry)

Modes of Study: 


About Programme: 

A background in meteorology and atmospheric physics will prepare an individual to work in organisations such as Meteorological Services and institutions with a focus on environmental issues. It also prepares you for advanced studies in the programme or its related fields. 

Entry Requirements: 

The Minimum Admission Requirement into the programme in the University of Cape Coast for WASSCE applicants is aggregate 36. For SSSCE applicants, the minimum requirement is aggregate 24.
i. Candidates must have credit passes in six (6) subjects with overall aggregate of 36/24 at the WASSCE / SSSCE level, respectively.
ii. Three of the six subjects must be core subjects: English Language, Mathematics, Integrated Science or Social Studies and the other three must be relevant electives which include Mathematics, Chemistry and Physics.
iii. For purposes of admission, a credit pass in:
(a) WASSCE means A1 – C6
(b) SSSCE means A - D.
iv. HND holders in Meteorology or Electrical Engineering or Mechanical Engineering with at least Second Class, Lower Division shall start from level 300.

Career Opportunities: 

Current trends in technological development has brought meteorology and atmospheric physics to the forefront of science as it has become obvious that we have problems disposing of our inventions; the result is environmental degradation. Consequently, we are faced with the issues of global warming and ecological modifications of our environment. There is therefore a need to understand and predict the weather for various applications in industry, agriculture, and aviation among others. In addition, there is the need to enhance environmental sanity on our sea waters during petroleum exploration. However, there is a shortfall in the number of individuals with the requisite knowledge and skills in meteorology and atmospheric physics to help address these problems.
In view of the above challenges, the Ghana Meteorological Services (GMet) has to address its manpower needs by liaising with the Department of Physics of UCC in addressing the knowledge gap. The two institutions (UCC & GMet) signed an agreement to have the programme started and students have been going for internships at GMet

Programme Structure

Level 100

First Semester

CMS 107: Communicative Skills I
3 Credit(s)

Engaging in academic work at the university is challenging. This course is aimed at equipping fresh students to make the transition from pre-university level to the university level. It assists them in engaging and succeeding in complex academic tasks in speaking, listening, reading and writing. It also provides an introduction to university studies by equipping students with skills that will help them to engage in academic discourse with confidence and fluency.

PHY 101: General Physics I (Theory)
2 Credit(s)

This course is intended to introduce students to some of the fundamental concepts and principles underlying Physics so as to develop the scientific problem-solving skills and logical reasoning of students. The knowledge acquired is for later application in allied programmes like Nursing, Optometry, Computer, Science, Science Education and Laboratory Technology.  The main topics treated include Physical quantities, vectors, Dynamics, Kinematics, Thermodynamics, Work, Energy and Power.

PHY 103: General Physics I (Practical)
1 Credit(s)

This is the practical component of PHY 101, and is assessed separately. It is intended to make Physics as interesting and relevant as possible by investigating some practical applications of Physics. The main topics treated include Hooke’s Law, Surface Tension, Simple Harmonic Motion, Density Measurements, Calorimetry and Thermal expansion.

Second Semester

CMS 108: Communicative Skills II
3 Credit(s)

This is a follow-up course on the first semester one. It takes students through writing correct sentences, devoid of ambiguity, through the paragraph and its appropriate development to the fully-developed essay. The course also emphasizes the importance and the processes of editing written work.

PHY 102: General Physics II (Theory)
2 Credit(s)

Topics to be treated for the course are; Introduction optics, waves, electricity and magnetism: reflection and refraction on plane surfaces; lens formulae, thin lens in contact, characteristics of wave motion, sound waves, resonance, static electricity; the coulomb ; electric potential, capacitors, current.

PHY 104: General Physics II(Practical)
1 Credit(s)

This is the practical component of PHY102 and is designed to help students gain some hands-on experience with laboratory equipment as they perform experiments to enhance their understanding of some the theoretical concepts.  Such experiments include the determination of the focal length of lenses and refractive index of glass block; investigation of Ohm’s law and determination of resistivity of materials.    

Level 200

First Semester

MAT 203: Further Calculus
3 Credit(s)
Pre-requisite: MAT 102

This course is designed to develop advanced topics of differential and integral calculus. Emphasis is placed on the applications of definite integrals, techniques of integration, indeterminate forms, improper integrals and functions of several variables. The topics to be covered are differentiation of inverse, circular, exponential, logarithmic, hyperbolic and inverse hyperbolic functions.  Leibnitz’s theorem. Application of differentiation to stationary points, asymptotes, graph sketching, differentials, L’Hospital rule.  Integration by substitution, by parts and by use of partial fractions. Reduction formulae. Applications of integration to plane areas, volumes and surfaces of revolution, arc length and moments of inertia.  Functions of several variables, partial derivatives.

MET 201: Basic Fluid Dynamics
2 Credit(s)

This is an introduction to the dynamics of liquids and gases. The following topics are discussed: compressibility of liquids and gases, continuity of mass and distribution of forces in fluids, conservation of mass and energy in fluid flows, Navier-Stokes equations, laminar and turbulent flow, flow in boundary layers, ideal fluids, Bernoulli’s equation, inhomogeneous fluids and gases. 

MET 203: Codes, Observations and Plotting Practice
2 Credit(s)

This is an off-campus course taking in conjunction with the Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet). Basic/derived meteorological variables will be measured using simple meteorological instruments. Students will be introduced to autographic instruments and the maintenance of instruments. Students will also be introduced to WMO approved International Codes. Plotting of codes on meteorological weather charts will be treated. Students will practice the conversion of plotted codes to observation and vice versa.

PHY 203: Introductory Atomic Physics, Heat and Optics (Theory)
2 Credit(s)

Students would be introduced to the following:

Geometric Optics: Fermat’s Principle, colour dispersion, plane surfaces and prisms, thin prisms, the combination of thin prisms, images formed by paraxial rays, optical fibre, spherical surfaces, derivation of the Gaussian formula, thin lenses, spherical mirrors, lens aberrations, optical instruments.

Heat: Macroscopic and microscopic descriptions of temperature and thermodynamic equilibrium measurement of temperature and heat, Heat capacity and specific heat capacity, heat transfer, thermal energy balance. Kinetic theory of gases, First law of thermodynamics, Second law of thermodynamics, the third law of thermodynamics.

Atomic Theory: Discovery of the electron, atoms and the periodic table, light sources and their spectra, the structure of the atom, Photoelectric effect, X-rays, electromagnetic waves and vacuum tubes, vacuum tubes and transistors, electron optics, spinning electrons, Radio, Radar, TV, and microwaves, photon collisions and atomic waves.

PHY 201: Newtonian Mechanics
2 Credit(s)

This is an introductory course in Newtonian mechanics that stresses invariance principles and the associated conservation laws. Topics include kinematics of motion, vectors and their application to physical problems, dynamics of particles, introduction to control forces and rigid bodies, energy and momentum conservation, rotational motion, Continuum Mechanics, Hydrodynamics, Liquid Surfaces.

PHY 205: Newtonian Mechanics (Practicals)
1 Credit(s)
Pre-requisite: PHY 201

This is the practical component of PHY 201 and is designed to help students gain some hands-on experience with laboratory equipment as they perform experiments to enhance their understanding of some the theoretical concepts.  Such experiments include the determination moments of forces, verification of the laws of collision and determination of moment of inertia of rigid bodies.

PHY 207: Introductory Atomic Physics, Heat and Optics (Practical)
1 Credit(s)
Pre-requisite: PHY 203

This is the practical component of PHY 203 and is designed to help students improve on their hands-on experience with laboratory equipment. The experiments are in three areas such as wave phenomena, good and bad conductors of heat, and lastly nuclear radiations (alpha, beta and gamma) detections. This would enhance students’ understanding of some theoretical concepts. 

Second Semester

MET 202: Operational Meteorology and Climatology I
2 Credit(s)

A three part practical orientation programme conducted in collaboration with the Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet):

(i) Meteorological observing, plotting and the use of routine instruments.

(ii) Operational analyses and aviation forecasting techniques.

(iii) Climatological methods: statistical concepts, distributions and probabilities, coefficients of variation, estimation of extremes, regression, coefficients; significance, student's Fisher's and chi-squared tests.

PHY 202: Electricity and Magnetism (Theory)
2 Credit(s)

This course is an extension of the electricity and magnetism basics introduced in PHY 102.  It is designed to improve students understanding of electric and magnetic phenomena.  The course covers basic computation of electric and magnetic fields, calculation of electric potentials and their applications.  A.C. theory and electromagnetic waves and their related calculations are covered. Application of RCL circuit is discussed.

PHY 204: Electronics I
2 Credit(s)

This is a foundation course in analogue Electronics and is meant to provide a comprehensive overview of the scope and dynamics of electricity and the fact that electronic refers to a extremely wide range of electrical technology.  Students will be introduces to the building blocks of electronics such as the semiconductor, power supplies, operational amplifiers, attenuators and transducers.  Students will learn the theory and mathematics that govern the workings of the components that make up an electronic system.


PHY 206: Electricity and Magnetism (Practical)
1 Credit(s)

This is the practical component of PHY 202 and is intended to help students gain some hands-on experience with laboratory equipment as they perform experiments to enrich their understanding of some the theoretical concepts.  Such experiments include the determination of Inductance, Reactance and Impedance of AC circuits. 

PHY 208: Electronics I (Practicals)
1 Credit(s)

This is the practical component of PHY 204 and is designed to help students gain hands-on experience with laboratory equipment with regards to electronic components and devices. Such experiments would include the construction and testing of half-wave and full-wave rectifiers, step-up and step-down transformers.

Level 300

First Semester

MET 301: Applications of Physics in Meteorology
3 Credit(s)

This course covers in an elementary manner the basic concepts in meteorology and illustrates the application of physical and mathematical techniques to meteorological problems. Scales of motion: the structure and composition of the atmosphere the general circulation, energy sources and sinks, the balances of angular momentum, heat, water vapour and mass; atmospheric  circulations will be treated.

MET 303: Solar and Thermal Physics
3 Credit(s)

This is a two-part course which deals with (i) Thermal Physics which involves thermodynamic systems; Kinetic Theory; heat capacity of gases are treated. (ii) Solar Physics which involves the model of the Sun; radiative energy transfer equation; Solar-Earth geometry; planetary motion; Extraterrestrial solar energy; Scattering in the Earth’s atmosphere; Solar energy variation at ground level; Total global diffuse and Direct irradiances. 

MET 305: Dynamic Meteorology
3 Credit(s)

This is an introduction students to the basic concepts of dynamic meteorology to help students better understand the geophysical fluid dynamics phenomena ranging from the physical laws governing atmospheric motion to forces acting on a fluid element. Topics on the applications of divergence, convergence and vorticity to atmospheric circulations will be covered. Students will also treat atmospheric turbulence as a function of atmospheric instabilities.

MET 399 : Research Methods
3 Credit(s)

This is a course designed to meet the needs of future Atmospheric and Climate Scientists. It provides the students with the tools that scientists use to solve scientific problems, gives them the opportunity to use these tools to design and perform experiments in a laboratory setting. The Classification, Sampling and Measurement Analysis of Large Experimental Data, Errors of Measurements are to be highlighted. It also enables students to become acquainted with the way scientific information is communicated.

PHY 305: Introductory Mathematical Methods I
3 Credit(s)

Students would be introduced to Development of notation; Properties of determinants; Taylor’s Series, Eigenvalues and Eigenfunctions; Vector analysis; Laplacian in one dimension; Green’s Functions Fourier Series; Complex variables.

PHY 307: Waves, Acoustics and Vibrations
3 Credit(s)

The course PHY307 gives a deep understanding of the underlying physics governing the types of waves and their interaction. A general solution of the one-dimensional wave equation will be treated by using calculus methods. Other topics covered include: Fourier series, Acoustic waves in Fluids: Waves on the liquid surface, basic hydrodynamics; Wave Propagation in inhomogeneous and Obstructed Media; The WKB approximation; an expose on Geometrical optics; and Spectrum Analysis of wave forms.

Second Semester

MET 302: Introduction to Satellite and Radar Meteorology
3 Credit(s)

This is an introductory course on satellite and radar meteorology where the physical principles underlying the operations of earth satellites and their sensors and the Radar are treated. Problems encountered in the interpretation of data are covered. The uses of satellite information in weather forecasting, soil moisture monitoring, dust haze occurrence and movement, drought occurrence are introduced.

MET 304: Atmospheric Radiation and Radiation-Based Equipments
3 Credit(s)

This course covers ionization and non-ionizing radiation based equipments and atmospheric radiation. Other topics include: Radiometric Units Lasers: Radiofrequency (RF) and Microwave: Medical, geological, exploratory, computer, oscilloscopic etc. equipments; radioactivity: Measurements, experimental investigations and instrumentation requirements; Applications to installations and hazard detection. 

MET 306: Transient Effects in Equipment
1 Credit(s)

This course covers the nature and characteristics of transients effect in equipment. Response characteristics of networks to transients. Other topics include: Transient effects on equipment and degradation induced by transients; Fourier frequency characterization of transients. Protection of installations; Distinctions between voltage, current and frequency surges and its relationship with natural phenomena; Protection of structures and equipment from transients. 

MET 310: Measurement Techniques
1 Credit(s)

Measurement Techniques is a practical oriented course involving laboratory experiments to illustrate meteorological phenomena. Field measurements of wind profile, ground heat flux, and solar radiation components will be undertaken. Measurements of radioactive contaminants in the atmosphere and water quality assessment with respect to radioactive contamination be carried out.

MET 312: Industrial Attachment
3 Credit(s)

This is a students' industrial work experience course that serves to impart valuable practical experiences that prepare meteorology and atmospheric physics students for the workforce upon graduation. The general objective of this course is to provide opportunities for the application of classroom knowledge to real-world situations. The specific objectives include providing a structured attachment programme with emphasis on applications, management and hands-on experience for the students to: (a) apply knowledge learned (b) acquire practical skills (c) strengthen work values (d) gain interpersonal skills. 

MET 314: Operational Meteorology and Climatology II
2 Credit(s)

This is a three part practical orientation programme conducted in collaboration with the Ghana Meteorological Agency (GMet) and it involves (i) Meteorological observing, plotting and the use of routine instruments. (ii) Operational analyses and aviation forecasting techniques. (iii) Climatological methods and statistical concepts.  

MET 316: Applied Optics
3 Credit(s)

This course covers coherence, light interaction with matter, scattering, absorption and dispersion. Electromagnetic spectrum. Light propagation, analytical ray tracing (matrix methods); langragian formulation of optics, Gaussian beams. Modulation transfer function, point spread function, guided waves.

Classification and conditions of intereference, types of interferometers.  Diffraction: Fraunhoffer, Fresnel, Abbe and Babinet principles, Zone Plate, Rayleigh criterion.

Polarization by reflection and retarders.

Elements of Atmospheric optics, Introduction to lasers, Lidars and the DOAS technique.

Level 400

First Semester

MET 401: Boundary Layer Meteorology
2 Credit(s)

This course will introduce students to the atmospheric boundary layer and the simplifications used in describing the layer. Other variables used in describing the layer like: viscosity, wind profile, Ekman spiral. Richardson's number (Ri) and the Monin-Obukhov parameter will also be discussed. An introduction to atmospheric turbulence and its relation to transports of heat, moisture and momentum will also be covered. 

MET 403: Applied Electromagnetic Field Theory
2 Credit(s)

The principal concepts of the equations in Electrostatics, Magnetostatics and Electromagnetic induction, Maxwell’s Equations and Electromagnetic Wave Equation will be covered in this course. Other topics include: The transmission of EM waves in the Ionosphere, Wave guides and Optical Properties of Electric Fields. 

MET 405: Synoptic Analysis & Current Weather I
2 Credit(s)

This course is designed to introduce students to the concept of Divergence and Vorticity as applied in the analysis of all meteorological variables. Other topics covered are: Streamline to isogon and isotach analysis; surface and upper air charts; Gridding Techniques; Evaluations of DIV, VORT, and Vertical motion. The special problem of "Tropical Africa" analysis will also be studied. 

MET 407: Tropical Meteorology
3 Credit(s)

This course describes the behavior and dynamics of the tropical troposphere, from the large-scale energy balance down to cumulus convection and tropical cyclones. Topics include: ITD, ITCZ, monsoons, TEJ, AEJ, El Nino, ENSO, tropical flow Instability; easterly waves, vortices, tropical experiments-GATE, FGCE, MONEX and WAMEX; Present forecasting methods/difficulties in the tropics.

MET 409: Environmental Chemistry
3 Credit(s)

In this course students will use the fundamental principles of chemistry to gain an understanding of the source, fate, and reactivity of compounds in natural and polluted environments. Emphasis will be placed on water pollution, water treatment, aquatic chemistry, geochemistry, atmospheric chemistry, air pollution, hazardous materials, waste management, recycling, energy sources and the limits to growth.

MET 411: Hydrometeorology
3 Credit(s)

Hydrometeorology covers principles related to the modeling, observing, and forecasting of processes related to water and energy fluxes and storage terms. This includes the hydrological cycle; Measurement and estimation of evaporation by Penman's method; Soil moisture, runoffs and the effects of vegetation on water balance. Hydrometeorological practices & forecasting techniques in the tropics will be covered. 

MET 413: Aeronautic Weather Forecasting
3 Credit(s)

This course covers advanced streamlines and isobaric analysis (with emphasis on Africa and her sub-regions). Topics include: contour heights analysis, Frontal analysis and X-sections, Ascent analysis emphasizing convective systems. CODES: METAR, TAFOR, ARFOR, ROFOR, & FIFOR will also be covered. 

MET 415: Marine and Physical Oceanography
3 Credit(s)

This course will cover major ocean currents their characteristics, similarities and connection with atmospheric general circulation. The effects of topography, sea surface temperatures on the Gulf Stream, EI Nino, the Gulf of Guinea currents, sea fogs among others. Topics on Oceanographic forecasting - important to fishermen, oil companies: and Navy Sea surface temperature maps will be covered. 

PHY 403: Quantum Mechanics I
3 Credit(s)

This course provides a comprehensive development of the principles of non-relativistic quantum mechanics, the fundamental theory of electrons, atoms, and molecules. Topics include the Schrödinger Equation; One-Dimensional Quantized Systems; Wave Corpuscular Duality; The uncertainty Relations; Solution of Schrödinger Equation; Central Potential; Coulomb Interaction; The harmonic Oscillator.

Second Semester

MET 402: Synoptic Analysis & Current Weather II
2 Credit(s)
Pre-requisite: MET 405

This course will tackle aeronautical forecasting for take-off and landing which involves forecasting of all meteorological parameters and systems and the preparation of Flight documents. MET 405 is a prerequisite.

MET 404 : Cloud Physics

This course covers the physics/micro-physics of evaporation and condensation in the formation of clouds and the use of satellite and weather radar for monitoring cloud development and precipitation.

MET 406: Meso-scale Weather Systems
2 Credit(s)

This course will review atmospheric scales of motion and the equations of motion applicable to meso-scale motions. Topics include: tropical meso-scale systems; Cold and warm fronts; Energy source for meso-scale disturbances; Difficulties in studies of meso-scale systems and the effects of orography; Economic aspects of meso-scale systems; Rainfall production by meso-scale disturbances. Convection (cumulonimbus) models, Lands and sea breezes and their dynamics will also be reviewed. 

MET 408: Atmospheric Electricity
2 Credit(s)

This course is an introduction to the fundamentals of electrical processes in the atmosphere, with emphasis on theories of charge generation in thunderclouds and their atmospheric effects. The physics of lightening and lightening protection will be treated. 

MET 410: Dynamical Oceanography
2 Credit(s)

Dynamical Oceanography gives an introduction to the physical and dynamical processes in the oceans. It starts from a discussion of the following topics: extent of oceans; Changes in salinity; Specific heat and thermal conductivity of sea-water; oceanic salts distribution; Forces and the ocean structure; Dynamical equations governing steady oceanic currents and Air-sea interaction.

MET 412: Agricultural Meteorology
3 Credit(s)

The main objectives of this course are to treat the various applications of weather/meteorological observations to agriculture. This involves the suggestion of suitable regions for crop production (agroclimatic zoning) and the local variations in crop/animal production. Topics include: Investigation of atmospheric conditions for crops; Farming systems; Soil erosion; Crop-weather modelling for yields and growths; Microclimate modification for crop/animal production.

MET 414: Communication Physics
3 Credit(s)

Students taking this course will be introduced to the kinds of communication systems: Electronic communication, Optical communication, Computer communication, Telephone-, Telegraph-, Radio-, Television-, Mobile phone- communication.

MET 416: Satellite Meteorology for Weather Forecasting
3 Credit(s)

This course will provide a deeper understanding on the theories and applications of radar, satellites, and lidar. The use of satellite imagery as a forecasting aide and the use of Doppler radar to monitor severe weather and short term forecasting will be treated.

PHY 499: Students Project Work
3 Credit(s)

This course consists of an independent research conducted under the supervision of departmental academic staff or any staff approved by the Head of Department