MSc in Hydrogeology

General information

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. 

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

The course provides you with the theoretical and practical skills to succeed in a career as a hydrogeologist. You’ll develop sound fieldwork skills which are sought-after by employers.

You’ll study. The MSc involves a curriculum of eight core classes and a range of optional classes. Each module is taught two to three 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 thesis 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 go on a week-long field camp in Scotland. You’ll get 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.
Watch this video to see what the students discovered at Field Camp.

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 is a very valuable experience for you as it allows you to work as hydrogeologists for a number of weeks exposing yourself to a working environment as well as allowing you to build up contacts within industry.

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.

Course content. 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.

Compulsory Modules Optional Modules
Aquifer Mechanics Environmental Chemistry
Contaminated Land Environmental Impact Assessment
Global Water Policy Fundamentals of Environmental Forensics
Groundwater Flow Modelling Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
Hydrogeology Independent Study in Collaboration with Industry
Research Protocols for Science and Engineering Waste Management and Landfill Design
Site Investigation and Risk Assessment Water Environment Management

Flexible learning. Home students can also choose to study through Flexible Learning. This is initially a non-graduating route. You register for one module at a time and have the option to build up credits eventually leading 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 may wish to undertake modules for Continuing Professional Development purposes.

Home students who do not meet the normal MSc entry requirements for this programme are welcome to apply through the Flexible Learning route.

Learning outcome:

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.

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 a hydrogeologist typically range from £20,000 to £25,000 per year. Salaries for senior hydrogeologists range from £30,000 to £45,000 per year, while experienced professionals and managers can expect to earn £50,000 to £60,000 per year. Salaries tend to be higher in private companies/ consultancies than in the public sector.*

*Information is intended only as a guide.

Contact Person: Professor Robert Kalin (Course director) (


The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0532 - Marine Geology", "0588 - Scientific modelling", "0712 - Environmental protection technology


Venue: University of Strathclyde
Glasgow, United Kingdom

Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering
Level 5, James Weir Building, 
75 Montrose Street, 
Glasgow G1 1XJ



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

Scotland/EU, 2016/17

  • £5,000
  • £4,800 (per 60 credits - taken annually)
  • £1,200 (per 10-credit module)

Rest of UK, 2016/17

  • £9,000*
  • £4,800 (per 60 credits - taken annually)
  • £1,200 (per 10-credit module)

*Postgraduate taught engineering students domiciled in England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Isle of Man and the Channels Islands will receive a £3,000 scholarship towards the cost of their fees (applies only to students not already in receipt of any other fees scholarship).

International, 2016/17

  • £17,500
  • £4,800 (per 60 credits - taken annually)
  • £1,200 (per 10-credit module)

A definitive and up-to-date guide to the fees can be obtained here.


Normally, a first or upper second-class Honours degree from a UK university (or equivalent overseas qualification) 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).

English language requirements. For candidates whose first language is not English, minimum standards of written and spoken English are an IELTS minimum overall band 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 them up to the required level.

Flexible learning. Alternative qualifications or professional experience may be considered by the course leader (home students only), depending on the module chosen. Find out more about Flexible Learning.

Pre-Masters preparation course. The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

Application Procedure:

To find out more about the courses and opportunities on offer visit or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future. You can also complete the online application form. To ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.

You can apply online from the programme's website. There are different application forms if you want to apply for the full-time programme or the part-time programme

International students: please upload copies of supporting documentation when submitting your online application (including full degree transcripts, CV and Supporting Statement). You are adviced to submit your application in time to fulfill all academic and financial conditions by end July 2015.

Scot/EU Students: When submitting your application, please upload copies of degree transcripts, CV, Supporting Statement and academic reference letters if available.

Grant Opportunities:

More information about funding opportunities is available here.


This degree is accredited 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.


Academic level: Master

Qualification: Master of Science

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