UK Groundwater Forum. From left to right Images Copyright Derek Ball BGS ©NERC 1999, Jude Cobbings BGS ©NERC 2003, Terry Marsh CEH ©1991, Emily Crane BGS ©NERC 2004
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Diploma route

Postgraduate training in hydrogeology is now a prerequisite for most employment in groundwater work. For those already with a environmental MSc or PhD degree, postgraduate diploma courses offer a means of acquiring more specialist hydrogeological knowledge, required for employment in groundwater, without having to do another MSc degree.

Postgraduate diplomas often deliver the same amount of taught modules as the MSc degrees, but an independent project or dissertation is not required.

Jeff Davis, BGS © NERC
Jeff Davis, BGS © NERC,
Cable percussion drilling

Available diploma courses

Several universities in the UK offer postgraduate diplomas in hydrogeology and or environmental engineering courses, which contain a large component of hydrogeology material.


For people already employed in general environmental work, it is sometimes possible to gain sponsorship from employment to undertake a postgraduate diploma full- or part-time. Alternatively, a company maybe unable to sponsor an employee, but will be willing to guarantee employment on completion of the diploma.

Other courses - MSci and MGeol

In recent years, four-year undergraduate geology or environmental geosciences degrees have been offered by some English Universities. These courses are often referred to as MSci or MGeol degrees; but although they are termed Masters Degrees they are still technically “undergraduate degrees”, and are not a substitute for the focused hydrological training received on a postgraduate MSc degree programme, even if the MSci or MGeol offers a degree of specialisation in groundwater modules.

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