MSc in Applied Environmental Geology

1 year (Full-time); n/a (Part-time); n/a (Distance / E-Learning)

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 Master's graduates enjoy excellent employment prospects.

Teaching Methods & Resources

The course is taught through a combination of lectures, practicals and fieldwork. We also have a series of invited lectures as well as strong links with the Geological Society.

The course is assessed via a range of means including exams, presentations, practical assessment, industrial placement and a Dissertation of 20,000 words.

Students on the programme benefit from a dedicated lecture room, study room, soil and hydrogeology laboratories.

Skills Acquired

South Wales provides a wide range of highly relevant geoenvironmental and geotechnical case studies and site visits. These include site visits to the Cardiff Bay Barrage, acid mine drainage from abandoned mines and active landslides in the south Wales Valleys. Field work includes surveying skills, rock engineering to the Rhondda Valley and Cardigan, site investigation visits to the Mumbles, Bournville landslide, as well as contaminated land studies at Barry Docks and Bryn Pica landfill site.

Students are also involved in hands-on laboratory work covering several modules. This includes standard laboratory tests covering the physical and mechanical properties of soils and water flow experiments to learn hydrologic and hydrogeologic concepts. The School has excellent geochemistry, geotechnical, analytical and IT laboratories plus a wide range of geophysical and GPS based field surveying equipment.

As a student, you will learn to use numerical tools to model real-world geotechnical problems. Application software such as CorelDraw, Surfer, ArcGIS as well as professional geoengineering software such as Rockscience and Landsim are all used throughout the course.

Career Prospects

In 2010-2011 and 2011-2012, over 95% of the students secured employment by the end of their MSc course. Employers for 2008-2012 include:

  • AMEC
  • Amey
  • Arup
  • Blaenau Gwent Council
  • Buro Happold
  • Cardiff University (PhD)
  • Centrica Energy Upstream
  • CMS UK
  • Coffey International Ltd
  • Dwr Cymru Welsh Water
  • Earth Science Partnership Ltd
  • Environment Agency
  • Geotechnology
  • Hafren Water
  • Hydrock
  • IHS
  • Imperial College London (PhD)
  • Miller Argent
  • MLM Environmental
  • Norfolk County Council
  • RAW group
  • Remedx Limited (RSK Group)
  • Sanctus Ltd
  • SLR Consulting
  • Statens Vegvesen
  • Tata Steel
  • TerraDat
  • Tweedie Evans Consulting
  • University of Manchester (PhD)
  • URS
  • Vertase F.L.I Ltd
  • Viridor Waste Management
  • Western Coal Corp.
  • WSP
  • WSP Environmental
  • WYG Environment

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.

Note: International students pursuing part-time programmes of study are not eligible for Tier 4 (General Student) visas and must have alternative leave to remain in the UK if they intend to study at the University in person.

Tuition Fees

  • UK & EU Full-Time Fees: (Payable annually and those stated are for 2015/16 unless otherwise stated below). £7,560.00
  • International Full-Time Fees: (Payable annually and those stated are for 2015/16 unless otherwise stated below). £17,500.00

Next intake

September each year.

Program taught in:
  • English

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This course is Campus based
Start Date
1 year
7,560 GBP
UK & EU Full Time Fees, International Full Time Fees: £17,500.00
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