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Applied Environmental Geology (MSc)

Course Description

Course Aims

Upon completion of the MSc students will be equipped to:
- Describe and explain the core scientific principles and concepts of soil/rock mechanics, water flow, and the pollution of soil, water and air
- Identify the standards, regulations, policies and legal frameworks required for the professional practice of applied environmental geology
- Research and write a Stage I professional desk study site report of a geo-environmental hazard using primary sources and GIS techniques
- Design and execute a Stage II geotechnical, geophysical, hydrogeological and geoenvironmental site and laboratory investigation, analyse the data and develop remedial solutions for geoenvironmental problems
- Communicate effectively (both written and orally) in multi-disciplinary teams, act ethically and in conformity with health and safety regulations, and assess the sustainability of policies and projects

Special Features

- Seven months taught course in Cardiff followed by five months professional project, usually as part of an industry placement
- Vocational training, providing in-demand skills in geotechnical and environmental geology
- Strong links with industry and government agencies through invited lecturers and industrial projects
- In 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, over 95% of the students secured employment by the end of their MSc course
- National recognition of academic standards with four consecutive MSc dissertations (2008/2009/2010/2011) being awarded the Curry Prize by the Geologists’ Association

Course Description

The Cardiff MSc in Applied Environmental Geology is focused on providing geoscience graduates with the advanced skills appropriate to a career with geoengineering and geoenvironmental consultancies, regulatory authorities and government agencies. The initial 7-month taught course component (Stage I) includes significant contributions from industrial collaborators. In the Stage II component (the professional project) we endeavour wherever possible to offer students a summer industrial placement to undertake their project work in all areas of the UK and overseas. At the end of 12 months our Masters graduates enjoy excellent employment prospects.

Visit the Applied Environmental Geology (MSc) page on the Cardiff University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Dave Jones

1287.JPG “I work as a hydrogeologist for the Environment Agency, based in Cardiff. I work within the Groundwater and Contaminated Land Team who are responsible for protecting the quality and quantity of groundwater, protecting land and dealing with the legacy of land contamination from past industrial activities.

I have a first degree (BSc) in Geology from Cardiff University, and completed the MSc Environmental Hydrogeology Course in 2007. The skills and techniques I was taught on the MSc course have been essential to my work and are used on a daily basis. As a consultee to planning applications I suggest comments and planning conditions which will protect groundwater quality and groundwater resources, and ensure that brownfield sites can be cleaned up and brought back into beneficial use. I also manage projects such as borehole drilling to supplement our existing network of around 400 groundwater level and quality monitoring sites across Wales.

I am also actively involved with the Geological Society of London: www.geolsoc.org.uk “

(Student Profile)

Matthew Hogg

"In 2006 I started a BSc in Environmental Geoscience at Cardiff University and on entry into the third year, I completed a dissertation on the remediation of acid mine drainage in Pelenna, South Wales. It was at this point I realised how interesting the contaminated land sector was and decided to undertake the MSc in Applied Environmental Geology that was being offered at Cardiff in order to further my learning in that area. The course was highly relevant and without a doubt the studied modules provided me with a sound level of numeracy and refined analytical skills. I found that the practicals nurtured my investigative nature and provided me with clear written communication skills which were developed throughout the year as clear and concise reports were essential. I was also fortunate to have the opportunity to undertake a placement with the British Geological Society and this led to me writing a thesis investigating relationships between historical land use and ground contamination in Glasgow. On completion of the MSc I spent three months on a voluntary placement with Exeter University studying remediation of peatlands on Exmoor before I was offered a placement at Ashfield Solutions in Abercynon, South Wales. I then joined Ashfield Solutions full time as an Environmental Advisor in March 2011 to complement the existing project management capabilities of the business and provide specialist, independent advice on potential environmental liabilities and statutory requirements with respect to land contamination issues and brownfield redevelopment. The MSc course at Cardiff proved to be the perfect stepping stone between undergraduate degree and gaining graduate employment and I would certainly recommend it to anyone looking to pursue a career in the contaminated land/geo-environmental sector. "

(Student Profile)

Damian Lee

1511.jpg "I was keen to pursue an MSc in Hydrogeology abroad, and I came across the information about this course from Cardiff University's website. The course structure and the promise of vocational/practical training, together with the inclusion of advance modules in hydrogeology and groundwater modelling seemed to be too good to be missed. So good in fact, that I was away from my young family and left a high-paying job in order to pursue this one year MSc Environmental Hydrogeology course as a full-time and self-funded student. This comprehensive and well-planned practical (and taught) course integrates the environmental and hydrogeology subjects, which are my main areas of interest. Furthermore these subjects and the associated taught modules in the course are very much related to my registered fields of expertise as an EIA Subject Consultant with the Department of Environment Malaysia.

I have some experience in groundwater resource studies and hydrogeological investigations, as well as environmental site assessments prior to this MSc, and yet I have found this course to be enriching and spot-on, i.e. focussing on relevant groundwater issues (fate and transport of contaminants, groundwater source protection and management, remediation needs and technologies, etc.) and at the same time nurturing key skills (site and hydrogeology conceptualisations, evaluation of aquifer tests, groundwater flow and transport modelling, water balance calculations, technical report writing, risk assessments, etc.) that one needs to develop to be an all-rounded and effective consultant hydrogeologist or environmental hydrogeologist/engineer. The School has close links with the relevant people in industry in the UK and I have had the chance to learn not only the theoretical aspects of the subject matters from seasoned and experienced lecturers, but was also privileged to be taught by some of the industry experts and experienced professionals in selected critical modules. I strongly recommend this course for those who wish to pursue a career as a hydrogeologist or environmental consultant/engineer and my only regret is that I did not pursue this MSc earlier!!"


Cardiff University Masters Excellence Scholarships - No. of awards TBC

“This scholarship package will give high-calibre students the opportunity to study at a world-leading, research-intensive university and help ease the associated financial burdens.”Professor Colin Riordan, Vice-ChancellorWe are pleased to announce that the Taught Master's Excellence Scholarship Scheme for 2016/17 entry has been confirmed.We are committed to invest up to a total of £500,000 in this high value competitive scholarship scheme to support UK and EU students who are planning to start an eligible master's programme in September 2016.The scholarships are each worth a minimum of £3,000 and will be awarded in the form of a tuition fee discount.Scholarships will be awarded based on academic excellence.

Value of Scholarship(s)

min. £3000


Eligible programmes include taught full-time and part-time taught programmes leading to a master's. Not included are our distance learning programmes and taught programmes leading to a postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma, as well as research master's such as the MPhil and MRes.‘Home’ and ‘EU’ students only (as classified for fee paying purposes, tuition fee status is determined after submitting an application to study) who are accepted on to an eligible postgraduate taught programme leading to a master's degree, and with a firm focus on academic excellence.For applicants from countries outside the European Union, we also offer a range of highly prestigious international scholarships.

Application Procedure

We have two deadlines after which scholarship decisions will be made:6 April and 27 July 2016.The Masters Excellence Scholarship application form can be accessed once you have submitted an application to study to an eligible postgraduate taught programme leading to a master’s degree. Please note the additional details on our website and in the guidance documents provided.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

1st or 2nd class UK Honours degree or equivalent. Suitable for graduates in Earth sciences and related subjects, environmental science and related subjects, mining, civil, processing and environmental engineering and related subjects.

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Recipient: Cardiff University

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