Taught course

Environmental Geology and Land Contamination

University of Portsmouth · School of the Environment, Geography and Geosciences

Entry requirements

A second-class honours degree in Geology, Geography, Earth Science, Applied Geology, Civil Engineering, Chemistry, Environmental Science or a related 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.

Months of entry

January, September

Course content


On this Environmental Geology and Land Contamination Master's degree course, you'll learn how to investigate and understand contaminated sites. You'll learn how the whole geo-environmental system influences the movement of contaminants from source to potential receptors, through modules that cover hydrology, geochemistry, site investigation, geotechnics, and land assessment.

Many countries have a significant legacy of contaminants in the ground caused by industrial and mining activity. These pollutants can pose a significant risk to human health and the environment, so specialist expertise is required to ensure land is safe for use or development.

Demand for expertise is increasing, and in the UK alone the market for environmental consultancy is expected to grow by almost £10 billion to £16 billion by 2027. (Consultancy UK).

This course provides practical training in every aspect – from field and site work, to laboratory analysis and data interpretation – 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.

Course highlights

  • Learn from experts in the field, with extensive knowledge of groundwater hydrology, environmental geology and contaminated land management
  • Benefit from our industry links and complete a professional research project in collaboration with industry partners
  • Use our geotechnical and analytical labs, gaining practical experience in the use of a range of soil and environmental testing facilities in our environmental chemistry analysis laboratory
  • Train in fieldwork techniques such as walk-over surveys, sample collection and testing, and the use of GIS and interpretation of remote sensing
  • Produce professional conceptual site models (CSM) and learn about risk assessment approaches for contaminated land and water

Careers and opportunities

Environmental geologists and specialists in the identification and treatment of contaminated land are employed by Government and non-Government organisations, as well as commercial land and property developers.

Demand for expertise is increasing, and in the UK alone the market for environmental consultancy is expected to grow by almost £10 billion to £16 billion by 2027 (Consultancy UK).

Graduates also go into academic or commercial research roles, or a postgraduate research degree in earth and environmental sciences.

Graduates of this course have gone onto roles such as:
  • Environmental consultant
  • Geo-environmental consultant
  • Geo-environmental engineer
  • Engineer

Fees and funding


Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    part time
    24 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Admissions Team
023 9284 5566