MSc Hydrogeology

September 2020 entry still available

Key facts

  • 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
  • Placement: Week-long field camp in Scotland

Study with us

  • develop sought-after fieldwork skills
  • gain practical experience on a week-long field camp in Scotland
  • undertake a work placement in industry
  • opportunity to complete a dissertation project overseas
  • provides you with the theoretical and practical skills to succeed in a career as a hydrogeologist

Accreditation

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.

How could the Covid-19 pandemic affect my studies?

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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:

  • industry
  • regulators
  • non-governmental organisations
  • government
  • consultants

Students carrying out hydrogeology project

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

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. We encourage you to complete this overseas. Our MSc course leader has extensive contacts in arid countries such as Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania, Zambia, the Middle East and Asia, giving you valuable, varied learning opportunities and practical experience around the world.

Field camp

In the spring semester you attend a week-long field camp in Scotland when you’ll have the opportunity to put much of the learned theory into practice.

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.

Work placement

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.

Industrial placement

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.

Chartered Institute of Highways & Transportation logo
Institution of Civil Engineers logo
Institute of Highway Engineers logo
Institute of Structural Engineers logo

Attendance

One year full-time study involves attendance at classes over two terms, plus a dissertation during the third term. 

Part-time (open to UK/EU students only) involves class attendance in Years 1 & 2 and a dissertation in Years 2 or 3. Depending on timetables, just two days work release per week may be needed for 24 weeks in the year. 

You can also study this course part-time through online distance learning, over 36 months, offering a flexible learning mode of study.

Flexible learning

If you can't attend this course full-time on campus, there are various Flexible Learning options available to you.

Professional Development Courses

This is initially a non-graduating route. You'll register for one 10 credit class at a time, and have the option to build up credits. This will eventually lead to a Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma or MSc. You can take up to five years to achieve the qualification.

This option is popular with students in employment, who might want to take classes for Continuing Professional Development purposes.

A range of qualifications will be considered for entry.

Distance learning

You can also study this course by Distance Learning, which is based on three years part-time study of 60 credits per year.

This allows you to complete the course by studying online at home at a time that suits you, without attending at our Glasgow campus. This means you can study while balancing your existing work and family commitments. This option is suitable for students located anywhere in the world.

Facilities

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
Discover more about our laboratory facilities

Teaching staff

The Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at Strathclyde has one of the strongest Geo-Engineering focus of any related department in the UK.

Most of our staff are also part of the Centre for Water, Environment, Sustainability & Public Health.

Watch our video to hear from Head of Department
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Course content

Distance Learning

Classes marked * are available for distance learning, in addition to on campus.

Environmental Geochemistry*

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.

Aquifer Mechanics*

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
Contaminated Land

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:

  1. Desk study
  2. Site sampling organisation and techniques
  3. Data collection
  4. Chemical analysis

The class also covers data modelling and interpretation using risk assessment models.

Hydrogeology*

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 classe 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
  • biochemistry
  • biodegradation
  • public health aspects of microbiology
Engineering Hydrology*

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
Isotope Hydrogeology*

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.

Athena Swan Silver Award

We've been awarded the Athena Swan Silver Award for our work supporting women in engineering.

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Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Normally a first-class or second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in earth sciences, environmental sciences, civil engineering, environmental engineering, water engineering or other 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).

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 will be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

International students

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

Map of the world.

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Fees & funding

2020/21

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Scotland/EU

£8,100
£3,900 (Distance Learning per 60 credits)

Rest of UK

£9,250
£3,900 (Distance Learning per 60 credits)

International

£20,900
£3,900 (Distance Learning per 60 credits)

Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

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?

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Scottish and non-UK EU postgraduate students

Scottish and non-UK EU 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.

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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.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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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.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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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.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

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International students

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.

Barry O'Sullivan, MSc Hydrogeology student
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.
Barry O'Sullivan
Distance learning student (Middle East)

Faculty of Engineering Scholarships for International Students

If you're applying for an MSc course you'll be eligible to apply for one of our scholarships for up to £5,000 towards your tuition fees. 

Scholarships are available for applicants to all self-funded, new international (non-EU) fee paying students holding an offer of study for an MSc programme in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Strathclyde.

Please note you must have an offer of study for a full-time course at Strathclyde before applying. You must start your full-time MSc programme at Strathclyde in the coming academic year (2020-21).

Find out more about our scholarship for international students
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Careers

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 (accessed 21 August 2018).

Steve Kumweda, MSc Hydrogeology student at an onsite professional borehole drilling standards course
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.
Steve Kumwenda
Distance learning student (Malawi)

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based in the very heart of Glasgow, Scotland's largest city. National Geographic named Glasgow as one of its 'Best of the World' destinations, while Rough Guide readers have voted Glasgow the world’s friendliest city! And Time Out named Glasgow in the top ten best cities in the world - we couldn't agree more!

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.

Find out what some of our students think about studying in Glasgow!

Find out all about life in Glasgow
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Apply

Hydrogeology

Qualification: MSc
Start Date: Sep 2020
Mode of Attendance: full-time

Hydrogeology

Qualification: MSc
Start Date: Sep 2020
Mode of Attendance: part-time

Hydrogeology - Distance Learning

Qualification: MSc
Start Date: Sep 2020
Mode of Attendance: part-time

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Contact us

Faculty of Engineering

Telephone: +44 (0)141 574 5484

Email: eng-admissions@strath.ac.uk