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Different course options

Full time | University of Birmingham | 1 year | SEP

Study mode

Full time


1 year

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MSc - Master of Science

Subject areas

Hydrology Oceanography

Course type


Course Summary

The Birmingham Hydrogeology MSc 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.

Our course 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. This vital resource 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.


Throughout the world, the issues of water scarcity, water security, water economics, water health and sanitation, engineering, and geoenergy all rely on high-quality hydrogeology knowledge. Hence graduates with an MSc in Hydrogeology are in significant demand. In the UK, for example, Hydrogeologists are on the Tier 2 Shortage Occupation List.

Employment Record of the Course and Destinations of Graduates

The employment record for the Course is excellent. We would normally expect all students to obtain employment in the groundwater industry. Graduates take up careers mainly in groundwater or engineering consultancy companies, in the UK and abroad. Some join regulators (e.g. in England, the Environment Agency), or government scientific services (e.g. in the UK the British Geological Survey). Many take up PhD opportunities and move into research. Others obtain employment within humanitarian aid organisations or energy companies.

Graduates provide a vital role in the development, protection, and remediation of groundwater, and in the management of groundwater in engineering and energy contexts. They include many with senior industrial, academic, and governmental positions, in the UK and overseas. A number have won national and international awards for their contributions to the understanding of groundwater. Many volunteer to contribute their expertise and get involved with the Course each year.


Aim: to provide an introduction to regional groundwater flow modelling; to refine skills in conceptualising groundwater systems from limited data; and to introduce professional groundwater modelling software.

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

A 2:1 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).

University information

Part of the Russell Group of UK universities, the University of Birmingham has been developing great minds, encouraging challenging debates and pushing the boundaries of innovation and excellence for over 100 years. Over 14,000 students from over 150 countries choose to study at Birmingham, meaning you will be part of a diverse and vibrant community. 40% of this student population are postgraduates. Birmingham understands that you want to...more