Environmental Geology and Contamination MSc
MSc Environmental Geology and Contamination
As a consequence of industrial and mining activity, contaminants in the ground continue to be a major risk to public health and the future of the natural world.
If you're keen to tackle this important issue, take your studies to postgraduate level, and learn specialist skills, our MSc Environmental Geology and Contamination degree course is for you.
On this course, you'll get the knowledge and skills you'll need to manage contaminated sites, and learn the importance of maintaining safe, habitable, and sustainable communities.
You'll get theoretical skills as well as practical experience, and we'll give you the support you need to develop your career too – so once you graduate, you can pursue varied roles in the specialist area of contaminated land consultancy, regulation and remediation, both in the UK and overseas.
What you'll experience
On this course, you'll:
- Use our geological and geotechnic labs for practical work on spatial analysis and remote testing
- Get hands-on experience with instruments such as GPS, Total Stations and 3D laser scanners, as well as developing skills for ground investigation with invasive techniques, in-situ tests and walk-over surveys
- Learn from recognised experts in the field, with extensive knowledge of groundwater hydrology, environmental geology and contaminated land management
- Be trained in fieldwork techniques such as walk-over surveys combined with interpretation of remote sensing and aerial photography imagery
- Learn the techniques for carrying out risk assessments on contaminated land
- Complete a professional research project, in collaboration with industry partners
Work experience and career planning
We'll help you to identify internships, voluntary roles and opportunities that will complement your studies.
When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in environmental consultancy.
After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.
Careers and opportunities
Contaminated land is one of the key areas in which the UK has a skills shortage. This, combined with the vocational nature of this course, means that your skills will be in high demand from employers.
Career opportunities include:
- Environmental organisations
- Geotechnical consultancies
- Mining companies
- Local authorities
- Government agencies
This course will provide you with a variety of transferable skills such as project planning, literature and data reviewing and report writing, along with general communication and presentation skills. It also has strong research and analytical components, ideal if you wish to pursue further research to PhD level.
We'll give you as much support as possible in finding employment through close industrial contacts, careers events, recruitment fairs and individual advice.
- A 2:2 honours degree in an Earth Science, Civil Engineering, Chemistry or Environmental Science discipline. Relevant industrial and work experience will be considered on an individual basis
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0
Tuition fees (2019 start)
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
- Full time: £8,700 (may be subject to annual increase)
- Part time: £4,350 (may be subject to annual increase)
- Full time: £15,900 (may be subject to annual increase)
- Part time: £7,950 (may be subject to annual increase)
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.
The cost of travel or accommodation for compulsory fieldwork is included in the course fee, but you'll need to pay for meals and costs.
Compulsory project work is normally carried out in the UK, and you'll be required to contribute to travel, accommodation and meals, These costs are likely to be in the region of £50 - £500 depending on the nature of the project.
You'll be provided with essential safety equipment for fieldwork and site visits (hard hat and reflective jacket). If you need additional field equipment, you'll need to purchase them. Total costs will be in the region of £145.
What you'll study
Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 180 credits. For example, 4 units worth 30 credits and 1 unit worth 60 credits.
Core units include:
- Soil Mechanics
- Desk Studies and Ground Models
- Ground Investigation Techniques
- Contaminated Land Risk Assessments
- Field Reconnaissance and Walk-Over Survey
- Spatial Analysis and Remote Sensing
- Independent Research Project
Changes to course content
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.
As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
- academic writing
- note taking
- time management
- critical thinking
- presentation skills
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
Teaching on this course includes:
- laboratory work
How you'll spend your time
Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and an assessment period:
- Autumn teaching block – September to December
- Spring teaching block – January to Easter
- Assessment period – Easter to June
Most teaching takes place during the day on Mondays and Tuesdays.
How you're assessed
You'll be assessed through:
- poster and oral presentations
- project reports
- laboratory reports
You'll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.
You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.
Apply for this course using our online application form.
If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.