Surface-Water Hydrology


This is an introductory hydrology module designed for students on the MSc programme on River Environments and their management who may have no background in hydrology.

Accordingly, the module provides an introduction to hydrological processes; measurements and modelling. It focuses on practical applications of hydrology and will cover:

  • The hydrological cycle
  • Precipitation processes, types and measurement
  • Point and areal rainfall relationships
  • Evapotranspiration, measurement and calculation
  • Subsurface hydrology: soil moisture dynamics, infiltration
  • Unit hydrograph theory; instantaneous unit hydrograph
  • Baseflow and removal from flow hydrographs
  • Applied hydrology


  • 18 hours of lectures/seminars


  • Presentation (5%)
  • Coursework (25%)
  • Exam written unseen (70%)

Key skills

  • Understanding of hydrological processes and recent research in this area
  • Appreciation of how to approach practical problems in applied hydrology

In addition, the module will develop:

  • Intellectual skills: in synthesising a diverse and fast-evolving subject
  • Communication skills: in presenting concise summaries of hydrological research