On demand


from £49/ free


Immediate access

Feedback in 2022 was 94% positive. 


Online (self-paced learning in your own time on our learning platform UKCEH LearnWorlds).
To give you a feel for what this online learning is like, we put together this video about our online learning platform, UKCEH LearnWorlds . (external link to YouTube)


Students: £49 (use coupon code STUDENT)
Professionals: £99

Sign up online here now! 4 weeks of access from date of enrollment. 
(credit & debit cards accepted; for student & professional tickets; external link to UKCEH LearnWorlds)

Learners from Overseas Development Assistance countries: free!
For free ODA tickets, please go here (external link to our Mitingu sign-up platform)

Short course description:

This on-demand course has 11 sessions with 6 exercises and 14 videos. It is an introductory level course to help you plot, manipulate and analyse NetCDF climate data using python. The course focuses on gridded climate model outputs. You can easily extend the concepts and techniques taught to other forms of NetCDF data (e.g. observations). Requirements: The total learning time is approximately one day.

Learning outcome:

By the end of the course, you will be able to view information about, manipulate and plot netcdf climate data using the python packages xarray and cartopy.

Course objectives:

  1. Use the online python platform, pythonanywhere
  2. View basic information about netcdf files in python
  3. Subset netcdf data files to required data and perform common arithmetic on them (e.g. calculating a climatology)
  4. Produce plots of the data: line graphs, spatial plots and maps
  5. Customise and edit these plots
  6. Add topographic and political features (e.g. rivers, coastlines, country borders) to map plots

Target audience:

Undergraduate and postgraduate students
Researchers in climate science and wider environmental science



Some basic understanding of programming concepts (in any language) is recommended. We provide some materials at the start of the course to help you with this. You will not need access to a python installation as the course will guide you through using the online python platform pythonanywhere. You are welcome to use your own python installation if you  prefer.

Hardware and software requirements:

You will need a laptop, desktop or tablet and access to the internet.

Course developers:

Matt Brown, Numerical Modeller (course presenter), UKCEH
Dr Ingo Schüder, Commercial Training Manager, UKCEH

Development of the course was funded under the Newton Fund Programme “Understanding of the Impacts of Hydrometeorological Hazards in South East Asia” awarded by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). 

Previous course participants said:

Feedback in 2022 was 94% positive. 

"I liked that the course content was explained right from the basics. The supporting materials helped in practicing and perfecting the commands." (course participant, July 2023)

"Live demos and exercises were the best, because they provided the most knowledge about the course content." (Deepak, India, October 2022)

"I liked plotting maps with cartopy best, because you could make helpful plots. All was excellent regarding this course." (Nikolaos Toumasis, Cranfield University, November 2022)

"I thoroughly enjoyed the training course. I liked plotting of climate data visually using Xarray library best, because visualizations are always enjoyable and they provide insightful information about the collected data." (course participant, November 2022)

"The exercises were helpful. What I liked best was having code available in future for analysing NetCDF data. (course participant," September 2022)