- Start date: September
- Accreditation: Institution of Civil Engineers, Institution of Structural Engineers, Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation & Institute of Highway Engineers
- Study mode and duration: 12 months full-time; 24 or 36 months part-time (on campus); 36 months (distance learning); 60 months professional development route
Study with us
- develop sought-after fieldwork skills
- undertake a work placement in industry
- gain practical experience on site visits
- provides you with the theoretical and practical skills to succeed in a career as a hydrogeologist
This degree is accredited by the
- Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)
- Institution of Structural Engineers (IStructE)
- Chartered Institution of Highways and Transportation (CIHT)
- Institute of Highway Engineers (IHE)
on behalf of the Engineering Council as: meeting the requirements for Further Learning for a Chartered Engineer (CEng) for candidates who have already acquired a partial CEng accredited undergraduate first degree.*
See Joint Board of Moderators website for further information.
*It should be noted that candidates completing the MSc who hold an underpinning accredited IEng degree or a non-accredited bachelor degree will need to apply for an academic assessment to determine whether they will meet the educational base for CEng registration.
Why this course?
Throughout the globe, the issues of water scarcity, water security, water economics and health and sanitation all rely on high-quality hydrogeology knowledge. This MSc will prepare you as a functional hydrogeologist to meet the needs of:
- non-governmental organisations
What you'll study
You'll undertake eight core classes and a range of optional classes. Each class is normally taught two hours per week over eight to 11 weeks.
Alternatively, the Open Access programme allows professionals to take single modules for Continuous Professional Development (CPD) purposes, or build up towards six modules to gain a Postgraduate Certificate.
MSc research project
Following successful completion of the taught component, you’ll undertake a dissertation project, giving you valuable, varied learning opportunities and practical experience.
Site visits introduce you to the geology and hydrogeology of the study area. You’ll gain practical experience in conducting pump tests, recovery tests and chemical sampling.
As part of the class Independent Study in Collaboration with Industry you undertake a work placement where you report to the offices of a hydrogeological organisation and actively contribute to one of their ongoing projects.
This valuable experience allows you to work as a hydrogeologist for a number of weeks, as well as allowing you to develop industry contacts.
You've the opportunity to undertake a work placement class where you’ll work with a hydrogeological organisation and actively contribute to one of their ongoing projects.
Our £6 million state-of-the-art laboratory facilities are well-equipped with high-technological instrumentation and available space to investigate:
- environmental & molecular microbiology
- environmental chemistry
- analytical chemistry
- geomechanics & soil quality
- structural design & material science
The Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Strathclyde has one of the strongest Geo-Engineering focus of any related department in the UK.
- Dr Christopher Gallacher, Course Leader
Most of our staff are also part of the Centre for Water, Environment, Sustainability & Public Health and and the Centre for Ground Engineering and Geosciences.Watch our video to hear from Head of Department
The course allowed me to connect with industry contacts and granted me the opportunity to focus on a unique topic for my dissertation and refine advance analytical skills.
Classes marked * are available for distance learning, in addition to on campus.
This class will explore the controls of chemical composition of water resulting from geochemical reactions in nature. Students will develop an understanding of geochemical thermodynamics, as well as an understanding of weathering.
The class covers the areas of:
- Hydrogeology and Subsurface Fluid Flow
- Well Hydraulics and Pumping Tests
- Contaminant Transport in the Subsurface
- Real-world applications of Hydrogeology
Within the background of land redevelopment (residential, industrial/commercial and gardens/parks), this class aims to provide insights into the remediation of contaminated land, including the regulatory framework and risk assessment, sampling and analysis, and various remedial techniques for contaminated land. Teaching staff: Dr Christine Switzer.
Global Water Policy*
This class aims to provide you with the ability to:
- recognise the issues relating to overall global water policy and its interactions with other global issues
- discuss the impact of climate change and economic development on water resources and availability
- explore the different implementation issues based on regional case studies
- explore the role of stakeholders on the acceptance and achievement of policy objectives
Groundwater Flow Modelling*
This class provides you with an understanding of:
- Groundwater Flow Modelling Principals
- Well Hydraulics and Pumping Tests Analysis using Groundwater Flow Models
- Contaminant Transport Modelling
- Geochemical Modelling
Qualitative & Quantitative Research Methods*
Students will acquire familiarity with, and practice of, research techniques, and examine different ways of, and gain experience in, presenting research results.
The class discusses the key principles, and practical exercises, on both quantitative and qualitative research methods, including survey methods, interviewing techniques, use of census data and statistical methods. The class also includes discussion of ethical issues. Finally, there is dissertation-related teaching on choosing a research question and a research method, and writing a research proposal. This is a semester 1 and 2 class but meetings do not happen every week. Teaching staff: Dr Elsa João
Site Investigation & Risk Assessment*
This class explores the complete sequence of a site investigation:
- Desk study
- Site sampling organisation and techniques
- Data collection
- Chemical analysis
The class also covers data modelling and interpretation using risk assessment models.
This class, run by the Department of Civil Engineering, will help you to:
- gain an understanding of Hydrogeology as a discipline
- discuss and explore the physical mechanisms of water movement in the subsurface
- undertake experiments in the lab that demonstrate key principals of groundwater movement
- explore hydrogeological issues based on case studies
Note: all classes may not be offered each year.
The module Geographical Information Systems is not currently offered via Distance Learning.
Environmental Impact Assessment*
This class, run by the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, provides an introduction to the methods used to predict environmental impacts, and evaluates how these may be used to integrate environmental factors into decisions. The class draws principally on the UK planning context of environmental impact assessment of individual projects (project EIA), but also takes account of EIA experience in other countries and international organisations. Students are also introduced to key principles of Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA).
Fundamentals of Environmental Forensics*
This class provides you with an understanding of:
- environmental forensics as a subject
- a range of contaminants found in the environment, and their fate and transport
- approach and analytical techniques to determine the responsible parties for contamination found in the environment
- real-world applications of environmental forensics
Geographical Information Systems (GIS)*
This practical-based class provides a thorough introduction to the rapidly growing field of Geographical Information Science. The class covers the key theoretical principles but also provides many computer-based exercises using current state-of-the-art Geographical Information Systems (GIS) – namely IDRISI and ArcGIS. The class evaluates how GIS can be used for spatial query and analysis, while at the same time assessing the quality and the effectiveness of the resultant products in terms of their use. Teaching staff: Dr Elsa João
Independent Study in Collaboration with Industry*
This class will allow students carrying out placements and projects with industry to develop and refine professional skills while gaining credits in the process.
One project will be the small or medium sized enterprise (SME) Carbon Audit that students carry out with training from Carbon Trust. A placement type project activity is another possibility, by individual agreement.
Approval of students being able to take this module would be done on case-by-case basis by MSc course leaders. You’ll be selected by competitive application and CV.
Waste Management & Landfill Design*
This class covers organisational and regulatory aspects of waste management practice in the UK: legislation, composition of domestic and industrial wastes, storage, collection, reception, and disposal of solid wastes, clinical wastes, sewage sludge disposal, recycling and recovery. Teaching staff: Dr Tara Beattie
Water & Environmental Management*
To develop an understanding of the physical, chemical and biological parameters within surface water and how these relate to water quality, water quality objectives and pollution control strategy. To provide knowledge on the design and process involved with the control of water and wastewater treatment.
Principles of Environmental Microbiology*
This class, run by the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, introduces microbiology in a manner that is of practical importance in environmental engineering and science. Topics covered include:
- the microbial ecology and microbiology of dilute nutrient solutions such as lakes, subsurface environmental and biological treatment processes
- microbial physiology
- public health aspects of microbiology
This class, run by the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering, aims to explore the hydrological cycle and the influence of weather, climate and the key processes of the environment.
You'll develop application of hyrdological cycle for engineering analysis and design, including:
- estimating precipitation, including spatial distribution analysis techniques
- estimating evaporation and evapotranspiration
- estimating other hydrological losses, including infiltration
You'll also develop skills examining catchments using Engineering Hydrology approaches, including:
- analysing relationships between precipitation, runoff and storage
- analysing hydrographs
- examining the influence of urbanisation and land management practices
- introducing drainage design techniques and analysis
- sustainable urban drainage systems
This class aims to explore the evaluation of the water environment using the natural abundance of stable and radioisotopes. Students will also develop the application of Isotope Hydrology Principals, develop skills examining water resources management using natural stable and radioisotopes, and skills examining water resources management using atmospheric gases.
Vertically Integrated Project - Water and International Development 1 & 2*
This class aims to develop skills of working within a large cross-disciplinary group, on a substantial project over a sustained period of time. In addition to the group working skills, the participants should apply and further develop specialist skills in their own discipline as well as gaining a knowledge of another field. The research outputs should also emphasis and develop the student’s ability to conduct independent research to a high standard.
We've been awarded the Athena Swan Gold Award for our work supporting women in engineering.
A first-class or second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in earth sciences, civil engineering, environmental engineering or related disciplines.
Lower degree classifications might be considered if there is strength elsewhere (for example, relevant work experience, excellent final project/dissertation, very strong academic letter of reference, very strong application statement linking with career goals).
|English language requirements|
If English is not your first language, please visit our English language requirements page for full details of the requirements in place before making your application.
|Professional Development Courses|
Alternative qualifications or professional experience may be considered by the course leader (Scottish/EU students only), depending on the class chosen. Find out more about our Flexible Learning options.
Pre-Masters preparation course
The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course held at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre, for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.
Upon successful completion, you'll be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.
Chat to a student ambassador
Want to know more about what it’s like to be a student at the University of Strathclyde? A selection of our current students are here to help!
Our Unibuddy ambassadors can answer all the questions you might have about courses and studying at Strathclyde, along with offering insight into their experiences of life in Glasgow and Scotland.Chat now!
We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.Visit our international students' section
Fees & funding
All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.
Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.
All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.
Annual revision of fees
Students on programmes of study of more than one year should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.
|England, Wales & Northern Ireland|
|Distance learning (per 60 credits)|
England, Wales & Northern Ireland: £4,900
International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.
Please note: the fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.
How can I fund my course?
Scottish postgraduate students
Scottish postgraduate students may be able to apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students, a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.
Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.
Students coming from England
Students ordinarily resident in England may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.
Students coming from Wales
Students ordinarily resident in Wales may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.
Students coming from Northern Ireland
Postgraduate students who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland may be able to apply for support from Student Finance Northern Ireland. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. Find out more about the support and how to apply.
We've a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.
Personally, I found the MSc to be successful and beyond my greatest expectations...I thoroughly enjoyed doing the MSc and would have no hesitation recommending it to anyone.
Distance learning student (Middle East)
Graduates with 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.
How much will I earn?*
- starting salaries for hydrogeologists with a relevant Masters degree can be up to £25,000 per year.
- Salaries for hydrogeologists with around five years' experience, typically range from £30,000 to £40,000 per year
- Experienced professionals and managers may earn in excess of this
*Information is intended only as a guide and information is taken from Prospects (January 2023).
Studying as a Distance Learning student gave me ample time to multitask the demands for my current work, as a Programme Hydrogeologist, as well as have some time with my family.
Distance learning student (Malawi)
Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city
Our campus is based right in the very heart of Glasgow. We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.Life in Glasgow
During the application process, you're required to upload the following supporting documents. If these are not provided, we'll not be able to process your application:
- certified individual semester mark sheets/academic transcript showing subjects taken and grades achieved for all qualifications; please note consolidated transcripts are not accepted
- if still studying, provide individual semester mark sheets to date
- certified degree certificate for all qualifications
- if still studying, provide this after completing the qualification
- provide evidence of suitable English language proficiency if English is not your first language, or you're not from a “UKVI recognised "Majority English Speaking" country”; check the University’s language requirements
- if you have been out of full-time education for over two years, provide a CV, detailing employment history, organisations worked for and a brief description of roles and responsibilities
- a copy of your passport containing your photo and passport number
- a copy of your sponsor letter/scholarship award (if appropriate)
- names, job titles and email addresses for two nominated referees
Start date: Sep 2023
Start date: Sep 2023
Start date: Sep 2023
Hydrogeology - Distance Learning
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