Hydrological Processes

University of Reading

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Hydrological Processes

  • Host University

    University of Reading

  • Location

    Reading, England

  • Area of Study

    Environmental Studies

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • ECTS Credits

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
  • Overview

    Module Provider: Geography and Environmental Science
    Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
    Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
    Non-modular pre-requisites:
    Modules excluded:
    Module version for: 2016/7

    Summary module description:
    This module introduces students to the science and practice of hydrology. More specifically, hydrological processes are described and related to variations in climate, geology, soil and land cover. The hydrological processes are then considered in terms of important management issues, such as flood protection, drought, water supply and over-abstraction, water quality and aquatic ecology. Topics include evapotranspiration and irrigation demand, hillslope hydrology and flood generation, soil water processes and water availability, groundwater recharge, groundwater movement and the consequences of over-abstraction, channel flow and flood propagation, ground- and surface-water interactions, water quality, virtual water and an introduction to hydrological modelling. Practical sessions consider groundwater recharge, water quality, field measurements, and the use of hydrological models.
    The aims of this module are for students to (a) develop an understanding of the physical principles involved in the storage and movement of surface- and ground-water, and (b) understand how hydrological processes relate to issues of catchment management.

    Assessable learning outcomes:
    At the end of this module, students will be able to:

    - Describe and explain the processes controlling the storage and transport of water within the unsaturated and saturated zones and river channels;

    - Critically assess the contribution of hydrological processes to management issues such as flooding, water supply, water quality and aquatic habitat protection;

    - Analyse hydrological data and use simple hydrological modelling software;

    - Be familiar with a range of field-based techniques to make hydrological measurements.

    Additional outcomes:
    Practical work will be used to further develop learning and time management skills.

    Outline content:
    The module will consist of 14 lectures, 6 practicals and one revision session in the summer term before the exam. The lectures in this module are designed to develop a new depth of understanding of hydrological processes and build on the material covered in the Part I modules Climatology and Hydrology. The hydrological processes are considered in terms of important water management issues, such as flooding, water supply, water quality and aquatic habitat protection. Case studies and examples of the latest research are included and there will be opportunities to learn practical aspects of hydrology in terms of data analysis, hydrological modelling and field-based measurement.

    Global context:
    Water sustainability is a global issue and this module will use examples from around the World to illustrate the issues considered.

    Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
    The module will consist of 14 lectures and 6 practicals, with an additional revision session in the summer term before the exam.

    Contact hours:
    Lectures 14
    Seminars 2
    Practicals classes and workshops 6
    Guided independent study 78
    Total hours by term 98

    Summative Assessment Methods:
    Written exam 70
    Report 30

    Other information on summative assessment:
    One practical class report (30% of the total mark) and one examination of one and a half hours (70%).

    Formative assessment methods:
    There will be an opportunity to receive formative feedback during practical sessions with quizzes and on-line multiple choice tests available to help check progress. Students are encouraged to ask questions during the lectures and hydrological surgeries are run to help with any questions.

    One and a half hours.

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:
    Re-examination in August / September

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System) credits are converted to semester credits/quarter units differently among U.S. universities. Students should confirm the conversion scale used at their home university when determining credit transfer.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.


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