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MSc Hydrogeology

The Hydrogeology programme from University of Birmingham is the longest-running groundwater MSc course in the UK. Our alumni comprise a large proportion of the groundwater professionals in the UK and many more in another 50 or so countries, all contributing significantly to both human and environmental well-being.

Quick Facts

Duration: 1 year (Full-Time)
2 years (Part-Time)
Starting in: September
Tuition Fee: £26,640 per year
Location: Birmingham, United Kingdom

The Hydrogeology programme from University of Birmingham provides students with a comprehensive education in the fundamentals of groundwater science and engineering, together with considerable industry involvement, thus equipping graduates with the skills to tackle any groundwater problem they may be faced with, anywhere in the world.

Why is hydrogeology important?

Hydrogeology is the study of groundwater. Groundwater represents by far the largest volume of freshwater on Earth at any one point in time.

It plays a vital role in the environment, provides a major – often the only – water resource for a significant proportion of the world’s population, and often is the dominant factor in determining rock and soil engineering strength. Hence, groundwater is an essential component for national infrastructure globally. All major civil engineering and environmental projects require the input of hydrogeologists.

It is also becoming increasingly important in the context of geoenergy. As a vital resource, groundwater requires management and protection, not least from over-abstraction, contamination, and emerging problems including climate change. Employment is available in the UK and overseas, often with consultants, governments and regulators, and research organisations. Jobs are varied and challenging.

Courses include:

  • Groundwater Hydraulics
  • Surface Water and Groundwater Interactions – Theory, GIS and Programming
  • Borehole Design, Construction and Maintenance
  • Inorganic Chemistry and Groundwater
  • Groundwater Organic Contaminant Pollution and Remediation

“The transition from undergrad to postgrad can be a big step up in terms of workload and what is expected of you, but there is so much support available to you as a postgrad student, from academic writing support (if you’ve been out of education for a few years or just want a bit of extra help) to mental health and wellbeing services. The careers support is fantastic – the uni puts on employer fairs throughout the year and you have access to one on one support from the Careers Network team, who can help you develop your skills ready for your next step!”

Emma Sutton // PhD Psychology

Why study this course?

The aims of our Hydrogeology MSc Course are to provide students with

  • a comprehensive education in the fundamentals of groundwater science and engineering
  • considerable practical experience


  • At least an upper second class honours degree in a relevant subject is normally required, but we will consider alternative qualifications and experience.
  • Hydrogeology encompasses a broad range of subject matter, from geology, through hydraulics, to aqueous and non-aqueous chemistry. As a result, practicing hydrogeologists have a wide range of backgrounds, and hence we welcome applicants with a wide range of first degree subjects, including geosciences (e.g. Earth Sciences, Geology, Geophysics, Geography, Environmental Sciences, Hydrogeology, Hydrology, Water Resources, and Mining), Engineering (e.g. Civil Engineering, Hydraulic Engineering, Environmental Engineering, Groundwater Engineering, Agricultural Engineering, and Chemical Engineering), and other sciences (e.g. Physics, Mathematics, Computer Sciences, Chemistry, Biochemistry, and Biosciences).

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