Emma: MSc Hydrogeology

MSc Hydrogeology

Emma, an MSc Hydrogeology student, describes her experiences of the course and of life in the School of Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences at the University of Birmingham.


I'm Emma and I'm doing an MSc in Hydrogeology here at the University of Birmingham. 

I chose Birmingham because of the reputation of the University and most specifically because of my course. It’s well regarded as one of the best in the globe for hydrogeology. I also did my undergraduate here so I'm familiar with the department and the lecturers, and I thought I want to come back, I want to keep studying here. 

I think for me when I was looking at courses I looked thoroughly the modules that they took, and I'm really interested in contaminant hydrogeology which I did a little bit of in my undergraduate, and I know that this course does focus a lot on that, so that is one of the main reasons why I chose this course. I'm familiar with the lecturers as well because I did my geology undergraduate here, and I've only ever had positive experiences. So I chose to come back here and continue my education. 

The course is mainly delivered through lectures and practicals which total about 20 hours per week. We also have a field week in the autumn term which will let us put everything we've learnt in lectures into practice. We mainly individual study but we are encouraged to communicate with one another and help each other learn as we’re all from different backgrounds. 

There's a great postgraduate community here at the University of Birmingham, and it includes a Postgraduate Society which holds events before the start of term which allows you to meet people before you’ve even started your course. There also is a student pad website which allows you to meet future housemates, it’s how I met my housemates, to live off campus.  There's also the Guild does a lot of sports and social teams, so you can further your interest but also meet a lot of people outside of the postgraduate community. I'm personally part of the Arts Society as well as doing the Try Sport Trampolining Club which means that I get to try and use sport that I've never done before, and it makes me feel, you know, that I can do something new. 

My top tip for a prospective postgraduate student would be to thoroughly research the course and options that are open to them, not to make any snap decisions, to go for what theywant to do. I’d also recommend not leaving it to the last minute because the applications can take a long time and it’s good to be prepared. 

I don’t know what I really want to do after I graduate but I have been looking into companies that employ you as a graduate. I think I’d ideally like to go into the environmental or water engineering sector, so those are the companies I've been looking at at the moment. I've been to the careers fair at the University. They hold ones regularly, and it’s a great chance to network with employers and also kind of make yourself known to them, which I think needs to be done with all the competition for jobs. 

My favourite thing about being a postgraduate here at the University of Birmingham has been getting to study something that I love fulltime, and being in the class atmosphere where everyone feels the same. You definitely – because we’re such a small group, get to know one another and get to make friends on your course really easily. And just being on the campus as well; it’s a nice atmosphere, everyone’s friendly. It’s a nice place to be.