University of Birmingham

12 months
23310 GBP/year
9250 GBP/year
Tuition fee
Apply date
Start date


The Hydrogeology programme offered at the University of Birmingham is a vocational programme relevant to graduates with good Honours degrees in appropriate subjects (for example, Geosciences, Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biosciences, and Environmental Sciences). It is important to have a good knowledge of mathematics.


The lecture component of the Hydrogeology programme offered at the University of Birmingham. encompasses the full range of hydrogeology. Modules cover drilling, well design, aquifer test analysis, laboratory test analysis, groundwater flow, hydrogeophysics, inorganic chemistry of groundwaters, organic contamination of groundwater, contaminated land and remediation, groundwater modelling, contaminant transport, hydrology, and groundwater resources assessment. 

These lecture modules are supported by practical field sessions, and by computing and hydrogeological modelling based on industry standard software. Integration of concepts developed in the taught programmes is facilitated through student-centred investigations of current issues linked to a diverse range of hydrogeological environments. 

Examinations are held in January and April. From May onwards, you undertake a project, a report on which is submitted in September. Projects may be field-, laboratory-, or modelling- based, and are usually of an applied nature, although a few are research-orientated. Our chemical (inorganic and organic), rock testing, computing, geophysical and borehole-logging equipment is available for you to use during this period. 

Career openings include those with consulting engineering and environmental firms, government scientific services and regional water companies, both in this country and abroad. Demand for hydrogeologists is substantial and students from the course are highly regarded by employers.


Graduates take up careers in consultancy, in the UK or abroad, or join regulators such as the Environment Agency or government scientific services like the British Geological Survey, and others move into research or work in water supply companies.

Although some consultancies specialise, many undertake a very wide range of groundwater-related work providing consultants with interestingly varied careers. Work may involve:

  • siting wells for water supply in the UK
  • siting village wells in hard rock terrains in a developing country
  • contaminated land assessment
  • designing landfills
  • developing Environment Agency procedures and techniques
  • researching radioactive waste disposal facilities
  • assessing wetland water balances
  • determining water level changes for subsidence estimation

The vast majority of jobs are far from routine, each presenting its own challenges. In the Environment Agency you may find yourself becoming an expert on the hydrogeology of your region, making sure that the groundwater systems are protected for future generations or, often partly through commissioning work from consultants, developing new procedures and policies, and techniques for implementing them. 

This will often require detailed knowledge of legislation fundamental to the future of the UK water industry, including that from the European Union such as the Water Framework and Groundwater Directives. The British Geological Survey is a major employer of hydrogeologists, and undertakes a wide variety of work in the UK and overseas. Many water companies also employ hydrogeologists, who undertake work ranging from source maintenance and protection to researching new ways of developing existing resources. 

Over our 40 year history, there has never been a problem in gaining employment in groundwater, though times have been a little more challenging since the start of the recession. In fact, up until the start of the recession, in the UK especially, there was a well-recognized, major shortage of hydrogeologists - the UK was simply not producing enough. 

Each year, around 20 companies come to our careers fair, including in recent years from overseas, and many send in job advertisements for us to circulate to students. Even with the downturn in the economy, jobs are still available in the UK and overseas (Australia currently has a major shortage of hydrogeologists) with effectively 100% employment of our graduates. We believe that over the next few years the employment market will continue expanding and that the long term prospects are excellent.

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Regional Groundwater Flow Modelling 
  • Surface Water Interactions
  • Spatial Data Analysis and Environmental Geophysics 
  • Borehole Design, Construction, and Maintenance
  • Inorganic Chemistry and Groundwater
  • Contaminant Transport Modelling 
  • Groundwater Management and Exploitation 
  • Water Resources Studies 
  • Groundwater Hydraulics 
  • Groundwater Organic Contaminant Pollution and Remediation

Key information


  • Full-time
    • 12 months
  • Part-time
    • 24 months

Start dates & application deadlines




On Campus

Academic requirements

GPA admission requirements GPA Your GPA, or Grade Point Average, is a number that indicates how well or how high you scored in your courses on average. Usually a GPA scales between 1.0 and 4.0, however different countries and universities can have different grading systems.
Upper Second Class

English requirements

TOEFL admission requirements TOEFL® IBT The TOEFL iBT® is given online through the internet at designated testing site. The test measures your English-language abilities in an academic setting. The score refers to the total score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading), each subject has a range of 0 - 30.
IELTS admission requirements IELTS The International English Language Test System (IELTS) tests your English-language proficiency on a scale of 1 – 9. The score refers to the combined average score of 4 subjects (writing, listening, speaking, and reading).

Other requirements

General requirements

  • The course is open to graduates who hold a 2:1 Honours degree or an equivalent qualification from the full range of science, engineering and environmental disciplines.  
  • The course is quantitative and teaches the principles underpinning Hydrogeology to a high level.  
  • It introduces participants to many quantitative skills and methods and applicants are required, therefore, to demonstrate an adequate level of ability in mathematics that will allow them to gain the most from the Course and to work effectively in their future career.
  • An AS or A-level in Mathematics or an equivalent through their degree course or through appropriate tuition is sufficient.

Tuition Fee

  • International

    23310 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 23310 GBP per year and a duration of 12 months.
  • EU/EEA

    9250 GBP/year
    Tuition Fee
    Based on the original amount of 9250 GBP per year and a duration of 12 months.
  • £4,625 PT - Home/EU
  • £11,655 FT


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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