Applied & Pure Sciences

Postgraduate courses in Hydrobiology

Hydrologists play a huge role in the maintenance and sustainability of domestic and natural water management strategies. 

There are quite a number of courses you can choose from in relation to developing your career in this area and we’ve gathered plenty of information for you to kick start your journey here. Postgraduate courses are very appealing to employers so don’t hesitate – get researching!

We will walk you through the basic information you might need in order to figure out if this is for you and guide you on your path. 

What is hydrobiology?

Hydrobiology is the science of life and life processes under water. It includes the study of aquatic organisms, and their specific biological adaptations to the aquatic environment. 

What does a hydrologist do?

As a hydrologist, you will mostly work extra hours and in high pressure situations. Flexible hours may also be required. Typical duties you may carry out include: 

  • Determine effective methods of water management 
  • Use specialist computer modelling applications
  • Study the relationships between areas including rainfall, water run-off, soil and rock features
  • Work with statistical and hydrological modelling techniques
  • Assess different areas such as the impact of environmental changes and land use changes
  • Manage, record, interpret and carry out analysis, research and results
  • Record water resource systems data
  • Forecast weather conditions such as floods
  • Present findings
  • Keep up to date with scientific and technical developments
  • Work with clients, water regulators, researchers etc


There are many courses on offer in the area across the UK. Some courses offer the opportunity to study either part time or full time. Universities may have certain restrictions in place due to Covid-19 and may offer courses online. There are courses available in this area across a number of colleges and are very similar. Courses include:

Marine Science

Postgraduate courses in marine science will give students the opportunity to gain the skills and knowledge needed to work in marine science and gain experience in coastal zone management using different techniques and approaches to problem solving. Key areas include looking at oceanography including physical, chemical, geological and biological aspects of the subject. Management of coastal environments as well as research skills are also a focus. 

Aquatic Biology

Postgraduate courses in aquatic biology can lead to career options in conservation, consultancy and research. There are many areas covered in these courses such as ecosystem function and management as well as learn advanced laboratory and field skills. A lot of these courses also require you to go on fieldtrips. They will also look at issues such as pollution, overfishing and climate change. 

Other courses available include Coastal and Maritime Societies and Cultures, Marine Mammal Science, International Marine Science and many different courses under the heading of Marine Biology that slightly differ in their specific content. 

Entry requirements

Entry requirements may differ from course to course or university to university. Therefore, it is important to research your specific course in detail to ensure you meet the entry requirements. As these courses are postgraduate courses, you will need a bachelor’s degree. Some courses may accept a 2.2 degree while others will require a 2.1 in a relevant field. 


Your salary will depend on the company you work for, your specific role and your experience. It is believed that starting out as a hydrologist, your salary will range between £18,000 and £25,000. That will rise to up to £45,000 at a senior position with much experience. All figures are based on estimates and are intended to be used as a guide only. 

Typical employers

Employers in this area include:

  • The Environment Agency
  • Environmental agencies
  • Water and  sewage utilities companies
  • Research and development organisations
  • Consultancies
  • Public authorities 
  • National Government

Skills and requirements 

Skills and requirements helpful in this area include:

  • Management skills
  • Strong communication skills
  • Ability to work well with others
  • Mathematical skills
  • IT and computing skills
  • Problem solver
  • Critical thinker
  • Project management 
  • Organisation skills
  • Time management skills

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