In this paper an Eulerian/Lagrangian model, describing the hydrodynamics of a gas-liquid bubble column, is presented. The model resolves the time dependent, two-dimensional motion of small, spherical gas bubbles in a liquid using the equation of motion. The model incorporates all relevant forces acting on a bubble as it rises through the liquid, and additionally accounts for direct bubble-bubble interactions. The liquid-phase hydrodynamics are described using the volume-averaged Navier-Stokes equations. This model is used to study the hydrodynamic behaviour of bubble columns with aspect ratios ranging from 1.0 to 11.4. In addition to these theoretical results, experimental observations are presented of the flow structure in a pseudo-two-dimensional bubble column with different aspect ratios. A clear transition in the gas-liquid flow pattern could be observed, both experimentally and theoretically, from the well-known ‘cooling tower’ mode of circulation (L/D = 1.0) to the staggered vortices mode of circulation (L/D 2.0). The computational results clearly showed the presence of vortical structures in the liquid phase at aspect ratios exceeding 2.0. These vortical structures in the liquid phase were studied experimentally using neutrally buoyant tracer particles and streak photography. The experimentally observed vortical structures are shown to resemble the computed structures.