We discuss the ground-breaking science that will be possible with a wide area survey, using the MeerKAT telescope, known as MeerKLASS (MeerKAT Large Area Synoptic Survey). The current specifications of MeerKAT make it a great fit for cosmological applications, which require large volumes. In particular, a large survey over ∼ 4,000deg2 for ∼ 4,000 hours will potentially provide the first ever measurements of the baryon acoustic oscillations using the 21cm intensity mapping technique, with enough accuracy to impose constraints on the nature of dark energy. The combination with multi-wavelength data will give unique additional information, such as the first constraints on primordial non-Gaussianity using the multi-tracer technique, as well as a better handle on foregrounds and systematics. The survey will also produce a large continuum galaxy sample down to a depth of 5 µJy in L-band, unmatched by any other concurrent telescope, which will allow to study the large-scale structure of the Universe out to high redshifts. Finally, the same survey will supply unique information for a range of other science applications, including a large statistical investigation of galaxy clusters, and the discovery of rare high-redshift AGN that can be used to probe the epoch of reionization as well as produce a rotation measure map across a huge swathe of the sky. The MeerKLASS survey will be a crucial step on the road to using SKA1-MID for cosmological applications, as described in the top priority SKA key science projects.