MSc in Hydrogeology

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This one year MSc in Hydrogeology, will prepare students as functional hydrogeologists to meet the needs of industry, regulators, NGOs, government and consultants throughout the UK, Europe, N America and the rest of the world.


Hydrogeology (or groundwater hydrology) is the “study of the occurrence, circulation, distribution, and properties of any liquid water residing beneath the surface of the earth” (McGraw-Hill, 2003). Throughout the globe, the issue of water scarcity, water security, water economics and health and sanitation all rely on high quality hydrogeology knowledge. This MSc will prepare students as functional hydrogeologists to meet the needs of industry, regulators, NGOs, government and consultants.


The MSc provides students with the theoretical and practical skills to succeed in a career as a hydrogeologist, preparing students for life beyond the course with extensive opportunities for developing practical skills and forging links with industry. Students are afforded the opportunity to work with hydrogeological organisations contributing to on-going projects; conduct their own laboratory experiments to reinforce taught theory; participate in discussions with visiting external and conduct linked research/projects in Africa, the Middle East and Asia as part of a final thesis.


Students who complete an MSc in Hydrogeology are in very high demand as there is an expected shortage of hydrogeologists that will continue for the next decade. Additionally, throughout the world the issue of water scarcity, water security, water economics and health and sanitation all rely on high quality hydrogeology knowledge.


In the spring semester of the MSc course the students are taken on a week-long field camp in Scotland where they get the opportunity to put much of the learned theory into practice. Site visits introduce the students to the geology and hydrogeology of the study area before they gain practical experience in conducting pump tests, recovery tests and chemical sampling. In addition to the fieldwork week, practical laboratory experiments are conducted weekly throughout the course to reinforce theory delivered during the lectures. By the time the students graduate they have developed sound fieldwork skills much sought after by potential employers.


Suitable external experts working in industry are invited to give talks on their work and provide the students with insight into the variety of work undertaken by hydrogeologists as well as increasing their awareness of current works and projects. Students are also required to undertake a work placement module where they report to the offices of a hydrogeological organisation and actively contribute to one of their ongoing projects. This is a very valuable experience for the students as it allows them to work as hydrogeologists for a number of weeks exposing them to a working environment as well as allowing them to build up contacts within industry.


For the final three months of the course the students undertake a thesis project which we encourage they complete overseas. Strathclyde’s MSc course leader has extensive contacts in arid countries such as Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, the Middle East and Asia, affording the students valuable, varied learning opportunities and practical experience around the world.


Groundwater modelling is taught to the students through lectures and a series of individual computer based problems to develop competency in the theory behind numerical simulations. External experts from the British Geological Survey host 2 day seminars instructing the students in the use of their standard groundwater modelling software ZOOM, and extends to solution techniques for both groundwater flow and contaminant transport. With this knowledge the students are then expected to develop their own groundwater model using the raw data obtained from the fieldwork visit, and are assessed through the preparation of a report summarising the results of their contaminant transport modelling scenario.


The MSc Hydrogeology programme is accredited as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired an Accredited CEng (Partial) BEng(Hons) or an Accredited IEng (Full) BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree. See JBM website for further information.


The MSc involves a curriculum of seven core classes (totalling 80 credits) and a range of optional classes (40 credits). Each module is taught two to three hours per week over 8 to 12 weeks. In addition, students also attend workshops and undertake a dissertation (60 credits). Progress to the dissertation is dependent on performance in the instructional modules.

Alternatively, the Open Access programme allows professionals to take single modules for CPD purposes, or build up towards six modules (60 credits) to gain a Postgraduate Certificate. Additionally, UK students who do not meet the normal MSc entry requirements for this programme, are welcome to apply via the Open Access route instead.

Compulsory Modules

  • Aquifer Mechanics
  • Contaminated Land
  • Global Water Policy
  • Groundwater Flow Modelling
  • Hydrogeology
  • Research Protocols for Science and Engineering
  • Site Investigation and Risk Assessment

Optional Modules

(Not all classes may be offered each year)

  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Fundamentals of Environmental Forensics
  • Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • Independent Study in Collaboration with Industry
  • Waste Management and Landfill Design
  • Water Environment Management

Normal course length

MSc: 12 months full-time; 24 months part-time.

Entry Requirements

MSc: Normally a First or Upper Second-class Honours degree from a UK University or equivalent overseas qualification, in Earth Sciences, Geology, Environmental Engineering, Civil Engineering or other relevant disciplines. Two supportive academic references and/or appropriate professional experience or achievements.

Although normally at least an Upper Second Class honours degree is required, slightly lower degree classifications may be considered if there is significant relevant professional/industry experience.

In all cases, for candidates whose first language is not English, minimum standards of written and spoken English are an IELTS score of 6.5 (no individual test score below 5.5). Applicants with slightly lower scores have the opportunity to attend the University's Pre-Sessional English classes. to bring up their level to this standard.


Professor Robert Kalin
Course Leader
t: +44 (0)141 548 4649

 Online Applications

Online applications are open for September 2014 entry (2014-15) via the 'Apply' link below. Please  refer to further details below and the Entry Requirements section above.

INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS: Please upload copies of supporting documentation when submitting your online application (including full degree transcripts, CV and Supporting Statement) - see 'Frequently asked Questions' for further details on documents and tuition fees. We advise applications are submitted in time to fulfill all academic and financial conditions by end July 2014.

(High-calibre applicants with a 1st-class honours degree who wish to apply for University scholarships, would also need to submit a separate formal scholarship application - see 'Funding Opportunities' for details.

HOME/EU STUDENTS: When submitting your application, please upload copies of degree transcripts, CV, Supporting Statement and academic reference letters if available.   Due to the limited number of home/EU places, a waiting list may operate for Sept 2014 applications closer to the start of term.

One year full-time study involves attendance at classes (120 credits) over 2 terms, plus dissertation (60 credits) during the 3rd term. This is the only option for Overseas students.

Part-time (open to UK/ EU students only) involves classes attendance, completing 60 credits in year 1 and 60 credits plus dissertation in year 2. Depending on timetable, just 2 days work release per week may be needed 24 weeks/year.

2014-15 Applications:

The link to apply for September 2014 entry (academic year 2014-15) is available below.

for Sep 2015 entry to full-time MSc hydrogeology (Admission Code : CVMSC3)

Postgraduate entry requirements are in our prospectus.

for Sep 2015 entry to part-time MSc hydrogeology (Admission Code : CVMSC4)

Postgraduate entry requirements are in our prospectus.

for Sep 2016 entry to full-time MSc hydrogeology (Admission Code : CVMSC3)

Postgraduate entry requirements are in our prospectus.

for Sep 2015 entry to part-time MSc hydrogeology (Admission Code : CEHYDL)

Study Location : OFF CAMPUS

Postgraduate entry requirements are in our prospectus.