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Course summary

Become part of the next generation of sustainable hydrogeologists who will oversee and manage the global water crisis in the coming decades. Groundwater resources are under threat around the globe from:

  • over-exploitation
  • anthropogenic contamination
  • climate change
  • land-use change
These threats put human and ecosystem health at risk by increasing the likelihood of water scarcity, water conflict, and water-related diseases. The MSc Applied Environmental Hydrogeology will develop your skills to tackle these challenges and sustainably manage groundwater resources to protect human and ecosystem health. You will learn to become a critical, innovative thinker in the field of hydrogeology with a focus on sustainable environmental practices. Gain unique expertise This exciting new MSc is unique from other hydrogeology programmes, as it combines traditional field skills with modern quantitative skills such as computational analysis using state-of-the-art computational tools. Quantitative methods are now regarded as required skills for modern hydrogeologists to tackle complex water issues. You will learn to become adept in applying quantitative skills to inform scientifically driven decision-making and explore the nuanced, interconnected processes driving groundwater management. We will teach you these new methods alongside foundational themes of aquifer characterisation, groundwater processes, biogeochemistry, engineering geology and field skills in the context of:
  • groundwater contamination and remediation
  • legislation
  • economics
  • climate and sustainability
What is hydrogeology? Hydrogeology focuses on subsurface flow processes with an emphasis on protecting water resources. Groundwater resources supply a majority of the world's population with a portion of their daily water needs and approximately 40% of the world's crop irrigation. However, it is widely acknowledged that these resources are over-exploited and threatened with anthropogenic contamination. Our inability to sustainably manage essential groundwater resources is already contributing to global crises such as:
  • water conflicts in the Middle-East
  • water-related disease outbreaks
  • ongoing flood events across the UK
Also, legacy contamination issues threaten the safety of dwindling groundwater supplies, such as:
  • nuclear waste
  • coal mine drainage and changes to regional hydrogeology
  • nutrient runoff due to anthropogenic farm practices
  • heavy industry along with emerging contaminants
Highly skilled and numerate hydrogeologists are needed to manage these issues to ensure continued access to safe groundwater for domestic, industrial and agricultural use. As a hydrogeologist, you get to explore topics such as:
  • water resources management
  • energy storage
  • geofluid interaction
  • waste storage
  • energy resource exploitation
  • remediating brownfield and legacy mining sites
  • wider groundwater issues such as legislation, economics, climate change, land use and sustainability
A more sustainable future Our social responsibility and sustainability values are embedded within each course, as we seek to ensure vital groundwater resources are sustainably managed and not over-exploited. We will teach you to recognise and address ethical dilemmas, social responsibility and sustainability issues and apply these to your own values to situations and choices. Is the MSc for me? This MSc is ideal for those:
  • ready to take the next step in their education
  • upskill their knowledge, or
  • switch careers to a more environmentally responsible role focused on sustainable management of environmental resources
We welcome students from a wide range of backgrounds, creating a unique opportunity for interdisciplinary shared learning. The MSc will offer an exciting alternative career path for a diverse range of graduates from geosciences and engineering backgrounds and other related degrees.


See the University of Edinburgh website for detailed programme information.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for individual programmes vary, so please check the details for the specific programme you wish to apply for on the University of Edinburgh website. You will also need to meet the University’s language requirements.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

No fee information has been provided for this course

Additional fee information

Tuition fees vary between degree programmes. Find the specific fees for your chosen programme on our website.
Applied Environmental Hydrogeology at The University of Edinburgh - UCAS