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Masters Degrees (Geographical)

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UNIGIS is a Distance Learning Postgraduate Network in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) jointly run by Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Salford. Read more
UNIGIS is a Distance Learning Postgraduate Network in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) jointly run by Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Salford. The UNIGIS network has over 25 years' experience of success in delivering GIS postgraduate courses. Our highly regarded programme is designed to meet the needs of professionals working in the GI industry - or those wishing to enter the sector. UNIGIS aims to provide a deeper and balanced education in GIS.

Although GIS is a relatively new and emerging branch of geography, the UNIGIS network has over 25 years experience of successfully delivering GIS courses at postgraduate level. You study via web-based distance learning.

The application of GIS is growing rapidly in areas such as urban and regional planning, transportation and land use interaction, and retail marketing, which opens up a range of opportunties for graduates of these courses.

Features and benefits of the course

Three separate pathways are offered up to MSc level:
Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
Providing a broadly based postgraduate qualification in the field of GIS permitting some choice in application selection. Develop in-depth knowledge of the issues involved in applying GIS to solving spatial problems with an understanding of the constraints imposed by application area and the interactions between data, methods, people and technology.

Applied Geographical Information Systems (Applied GIS)
Helps develop an in-depth knowledge of GIS based methods for monitoring social/human and natural environments. Establish an effective understanding of the spatial interaction of social/human and environmental factors and develop the capability to extract information from a variety of sources and to analyse and assess within a GIS framework.

Geographical Information Technologies (GI Technologies)
Aids critical understanding of the software engineering practices and standards that underpin database and web application development and the methodologies for implementing those practices in a GIS context. A critical understanding of the issues involved in designing the storage and use of geographical data in databases and web-based applications is forged. Also key is proficiency in the design, implementation and evaluation of small scale database and web-application projects.

Assessment details

All study routes employ web-based delivery and aim to provide the conceptual and technical framework required for an in-depth understanding of GIS. Each route has either core or elective units available and all incorporate a project and dissertation which involves the design and execution of an original study.

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MSc Geographical Information Science focuses on the multi-disciplinary science concerned with the development and application of geographical information science technologies, preparing you for a range of specialist careers. Read more

MSc Geographical Information Science focuses on the multi-disciplinary science concerned with the development and application of geographical information science technologies, preparing you for a range of specialist careers.

Geographical information technologies are increasingly used in everyday life, such as Google Earth and geosocial networking. Core geographical information science technologies, including geographical information systems (GIS) and remote sensing, have had a long history of application in government and private sector environmental agencies, planning, agriculture, forestry, utilities and transportation.

This course will enable you to develop fundamental skills and in-depth knowledge of key application areas. You can choose to undertake an applied study unit, which gives a range of work experience skills and can lead to dissertation opportunities working with key local and national employers.

We offer research-led teaching and a range of extra-curricular activities designed to deepen and enhance your learning experience. These include access to additional training resources, educational visits, career talks and alumni presentations.

You will gain experience using commercial and open source software and acquire skills in the development of spatial software for both desktop and online platforms. What's more, during 2017 we will host the 25 th Geographical Information Science Research UK (GISRUK) conference; the largest national GIS research conference.

Aims

This course will provide you with the theoretical foundation and practical skills that are relevant for pursuing a career in a geographical information science field.

You will have the opportunity to develop advanced knowledge of and practical experience in:

  • GIS and remote sensing theory and practice
  • Advanced techniques for GIS analysis and image processing
  • Spatial analysis
  • Computer modelling and software development
  • Internet and GIS Web technologies
  • Databases and database technologies
  • Scientific communication of analytical results and their interpretation

Teaching and learning

Part-time students complete the full-time programme over 27 months.  There are NO evening or weekend course units available on the part-time programme, therefore if you are considering taking a programme on a part-time basis, you should discuss the requirements with the Programme Director first and also seek approval from your employer to have the relevant time off. Timetabling information is normally available from late August from the Programme Administrator and you will have the opportunity to discuss course unit choices during induction week with the Programme Director.

Coursework and assessment

The dissertation, based on an original research project of your own design, accounts for 60 credits. Dissertation topics can focus on aspects of geographical information science and are supported by researchers who specialise in core areas of GIS, remote sensing or modelling. The remaining 120 credits are based on eight 15-credit course units (four in each semester).

Assessment is primarily coursework-based and includes a variety of project work, essays and presentations. This enables you to gain a significant amount of hands-on experience of applying geographical information science skills to real world environmental applications.

The course has five core course units. You select your remaining four course units from a wide range of options offered by Geography, Planning and Environmental Management and the Global Development Institute (GDI), all within the School of Environment, Education and Development. These optional course units enable you to tailor the course to your unique interests.

What our students say

 'The information and techniques I learnt during the MSc have had direct relevance to my professional career, which has progressed rapidly and I am now responsible for the GIS across a number of UK offices'

(Rachel Hutchins; IBI Group)

Facilities

 The Arthur Lewis Building provides excellent resources including analytical laboratories, studio facilities, workshops, seminar rooms, an on-site cafe and dedicated computer clusters including GIS facilities.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: 

Career opportunities

You will have the opportunity to learn from staff with advanced and practical understanding of geographical information science. The taught component of the course, together with the experience of carrying out a postgraduate-level dissertation project, provides you with an excellent foundation for PhD research in numerous fields that involve geospatial data analysis, including physical and human geography, planning, development, and the environmental and earth sciences. There is a high demand worldwide for individuals with these skills.

We provide you with the background knowledge and experience needed for employment in many sectors, especially GIS consultancies, environment agencies, marketing, the oil and gas sector, agriculture and forestry, water authorities, health authorities, and retail.



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MSc Geographical Information Management and Applications (GIMA). Today’s societies require more and more geographical information. Read more

MSc Geographical Information Management and Applications (GIMA)

Today’s societies require more and more geographical information. Think of physical planning, analyzing the spread of epidemic diseases, risk management, navigation systems, location based services, movement analysis, augmented reality, increasing use of maps and volunteered geographical information.

Our GIMA course offers a comprehensive MSc programme, focusing on the management and application of geographical information from a scientific perspective. Two additional aspects contribute to the uniqueness of the GIMA programme: GIMA is a joint venture involving four renowned Dutch universities: Utrecht, Delft, Twente and Wageningen; and GIMA is a blended learning programme, enabling you to do most of your studying from the place at which you study best (home or office). Only the first and the last week of each module are classroom-based.

Programme Summary

The MSc Geographical Information Management and Applications (GIMA) offers a challenging programme in the domain of Geographical Information Sciences (GIS). It will help you to develop your knowledge and skills in the field of geo-information management and geo-information applications. As a future geo-information specialist, you have to address a wide number of fundamental issues in today’s society such as: Why is geographical information needed and how can it be used to solve problems in the broadest variety of application fields (in flood risk management, spatial planning, location-based services, orientation and navigation, location of sales outlets, spatial aspects of crime, dealing with natural hazards and humanitarian disasters)? How can proof-of-concept geo-information and geo-information technology based solutions for societal problems be designed and implemented and how can the quality and usabiliy be evaluated? What are appropriate concepts, methods and techniques for the management of geo-information and geo-information processes, which may involve multidisciplinary teamwork?

The GIMA programme deals with all of these issues and, teaches, among other things, how to apply and manage geo-information in organisations and projects by critically understanding and using state-of-the-art geo-information theories and technology.

Features of the programme

This Master programme is offered by four renowned universities in the Netherlands: Utrecht University, Delft University of Technology, University of Twente and Wageningen University. As a student, you have access to the large pool of experts from all four universities. You can choose between a full-time (two years) or parttime (four years) programme. Exemptions are possible for students who have relevant working experience, making it possible to complete a part-time programme in approximately three years. GIMA is a blended learning programme. It consists of distance learning (85%) with contact weeks at the four universities (15%).

Your future career

Graduates have excellent career prospects. The demand for managers and application specialists in geo-information in the professional market is constantly increasing. Our alumni are employed in both the private and public sector (by companies, consultancies, government organizations and research institutes) as managers, specialists and researchers. APPLICATION AND ADMISSION This programme is registered in CROHO as MSc Geographical Sciences at Utrecht University, code 60732. Application for GIMA proceeds through Utrecht University. The application deadline is 1 June 2015 for the programme that starts in September 2015. All information about application and admission requirements can be found at the GIMA website http://www.msc-gima.nl.

Alumna Gineke Snoeren.

"Business consultant at ESRI Nederland. “GIS offers many opportunities and will become more important in future. That is why I decided to enrol in this programme. The course has 2 advantages. First, it does not focus solely on GIS techniques, but also at management. Second, the blended learning system is great because it combines contact teaching with distance learning. You can study in your own time with less contact hours but still contact with teachers and students at set times. Not only Dutch and foreign students take the course, but also people who are already employed in the field of GIS. You learn a lot from each other.”

Related programmes:

MSc Geo-information Science.



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IN BRIEF. UNIGIS UK combines the teaching and research expertise of staff from two UK universities (Salford and Manchester Metropolitan). Read more

IN BRIEF:

  • UNIGIS UK combines the teaching and research expertise of staff from two UK universities (Salford and Manchester Metropolitan)
  • Professionally relevant content to prepare you for a host of career opportunities
  • Flexible course delivery, online part-time distance learning
  • International students can apply

COURSE SUMMARY

The application of GIS is growing rapidly which opens up a range of opportunities for graduates of this course. As a UNIGIS student you will be joining an extensive community with representatives in over 30 countries, providing you with an excellent platform to generate and share ideas. By selecting from the range of taught modules available in the second year, you will effectively determine which of the three MSc degrees you will ultimately be awarded:

  • Geographical Information Systems
  • Applied Geographical Information Systems
  • Geographical Information Technologies

UNIGIS courses all provide a solid grounding in Geographical Information Systems, Science and Technology, but each has a different focus. Geographical Information Systems provides a broad introduction to the major aspects of contemporary GIS. Applied GIS is focused more on the application of GIS and geographical information in the human and natural environments. Geographical Information Technologies looks at the various technologies that underpin GI solutions.

All UNIGIS programmes are all taught via online, part-time, distance learning, over a period of three years. UNIGIS has a dedicated Virtual Learning Environment through which all course materials are delivered. You will be supplied with specialist GIS software for the practical aspects of the programme you study.

This course is delivered in partnership with Manchester Metropolitan University. Please apply for your place via the UNIGIS UK website.

Please note, University of Salford alumni loyalty discounts do not apply to this course.

COURSE STRUCTURE

The courses are taught in part-time distance learning mode ONLY over a period of three years. During the first two years you will take taught modules with the third year being comprised of an MSc dissertation and project.  The courses start in September each year.

TEACHING

The UNIGIS programmes are all taught via online distance learning.  UNIGIS had a dedicated Virtual Learning Environment through which all course materials are delivered.  You will be supplied with specialist GIS software for the practical aspects of the programme you study.

ASSESSMENT

All the UNIGIS programmes are 100% assessed by coursework.

EMPLOYABILITY

UNIGIS programmes are particularly suited to those who wish to continue their professional development in the field, but many students use the courses as a way to initially get into GIS. Employment prospects are broad and include roles such as: analysts, programmers, cartographers, surveyors, consultants, GIS specialists, information technology/information systems specialists, lecturers, planners and project managers.

LINKS WITH INDUSTRY

Links exist with a wide range of public and private sector companies through the organisations that our students work for.  All modules in the UNIGIS programmes are recognised by the Association for Geographic Information for Continuing Professional Development (CPD).

FURTHER STUDY

The UNIGIS courses are mainly aimed at those in employment, but there are possibilities to undertake research in the area of GIS.



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This programme offers expert understanding of the latest developments in geographical information science (GIS), mixing practical training, theoretical knowledge and an ability to apply learned skills in any software environment. Read more

This programme offers expert understanding of the latest developments in geographical information science (GIS), mixing practical training, theoretical knowledge and an ability to apply learned skills in any software environment.

This programme can be tailored to your interests and career goals, offering hands-on experience in geographical problem solving. A field trip to Perthshire focuses on techniques for capturing geospatial information.

Programme structure

Courses reflecting the industry’s needs prepare you for employment.

Compulsory courses typically will be:

  • Research Practice and Project Planning
  • Spatial Modelling and Analysis
  • Technological Infrastructures for GIS
  • Dissertation

Option courses:

In consultation with the Programme Director, you will choose from a range of option courses. We particularly recommend:

  • Active Remote Sensing: Radar and Lidar
  • Atmospheric Quality and Global Change
  • Business Geographics
  • Data Integration and Exchange
  • Data Mining and Exploration
  • Ecosystem Services 1: Ecosystem Dynamics and Functions
  • Ecosystem Services 2: Ecosystem Values and Management
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Forests and Environment
  • ICT for Development
  • Introduction to Environmental Modelling
  • Introduction to Three Dimensional Climate Modelling
  • Land Use/Environmental Interactions
  • Marine Systems and Policies
  • Object Orientated Software Engineering: Spatial Algorithms
  • Passive Earth Observation: New Platforms, Sensors, and Analytical Methods
  • Participation in Policy and Planning
  • Principles and Practice of Remote Sensing
  • Principles of Geographical Information Science
  • Technologies for Sustainable Energy
  • Water Resource Management

Courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change.

Career opportunities

Demand for GIS expertise is growing at an unprecedented rate. The proven ability of our graduates means our internationally recognised programme is held in high regard by employers.

Graduates work worldwide in public and private sector organisations, such as Microsoft, Google, General Electric Aerospace, The World Bank, British Antarctic Survey, The World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Unisys, British Airways, the Forestry Commission, DEFRA and Registers of Scotland.

The programme is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

Related programmes

You may also be interested in the following programmes:

Student experience

Would you like to know what it’s really like to study at the School of GeoSciences?

Visit our student experience blog where you can find articles, advice, videos and ask current students your questions.



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This MSc is unique in providing a balanced coverage of the key GIS technologies. The course has been developed in collaboration with industry, in response to the increased demand globally for multi-disciplinary managers, advisors and consultants in resource management. Read more

This MSc is unique in providing a balanced coverage of the key GIS technologies. The course has been developed in collaboration with industry, in response to the increased demand globally for multi-disciplinary managers, advisors and consultants in resource management.

Who is it for?

We welcome students from a variety of backgrounds who have a passion for technology and data, have an interest in solving real world problems and making a positive impact. You will acquire experience of world-class spatial problem solving and develop a range of personal and leadership skills to set you on the path for a challenging and rewarding career in one of the growing range of industrial and research sectors that now routinely make use of the GI technologies. The course involves a varied selection of case study work, tutorials and lectures led by centre staff and senior visiting lecturers from industry.

Why this course?

Geographical information management is an exciting and rapidly growing branch of information technology (IT) incorporating satellite remote sensing, aerial photography and other spatial data such as soil survey information, to derive information which is essential for the management of the earth's resources. A suite of technologies exist that can be applied at local, national and global levels to issues such as climate change, improving farming yields, tropical deforestation, transportation, smart navigation systems, disaster response management, recreation, property management and telecommunications.

Sustainable use or conservation of the earth's resources requires the organisation, exploitation and integration of technologies such as database management, image processing and digital cartography, to ensure provision of high quality, reliable and up-to-date information. The Geographical Information Management programme has been developed in collaboration with industry, in response to the increased demand globally for multi-disciplinary managers, advisors and consultants in resource management.

The course is an exciting combination of rigorous academic, technical and practical training. It provides a thorough training in technical, analytical and research skills needed for a career in this expanding field. Throughout the programme students focus on identifying problems and creating solutions through selection and integration of the appropriate technologies.

Informed by Industry

Our courses are designed to meet the training needs of industry and have a strong input from experts in their sector. This gives our students the confidence to know that what they are learning is both relevant and beneficial to building a rewarding career in this sector.

Accreditation

The MSc in Geographical Information Management is accredited by RICS and ICES.

Course details

This course comprises 8 modules, a group project and an individual project. Courses are not isolated from the real world and many are supported by research groups working on cutting-edge programmes. 

This programme includes an individual research thesis which provides an opportunity to study a problem in some detail, whilst some of the courses also include a group design project allowing the realism of industrial projects to be introduced. Additionally, the taught component of the programme is supported by visits and seminars. The individual modules are linked through case studies and practical work so that different aspects of the geographical information technologies are integrated. 

Group project

The group project experience during the course is highly valued by both students and prospective employers. It provides students with the opportunity to take responsibility for a consultancy-type project while working under academic supervision. It also enables students to start building essential industry links and knowledge whilst studying.

The projects involve the application and integration of component technologies:

  • GIS
  • GPS and remote sensing
  • field methods, and statistical analysis to produce quality-assured innovative solutions.

Individual project

The individual project is either industrially or University driven. Students select the individual project in consultation with the course team. It provides the opportunity to demonstrate independent research ability, the ability to think and work in an original way, contribute to knowledge, and overcome genuine problems in relation to the management of the earth's resources. It also offers students the opportunity to work and build links with the types of organisation they will be seeking employment with on successful completion of the course.

Assessment

Taught modules 40%, Group projects (dissertation for part-time students) 20%, Individual project 40%.

Your career

Successful students develop diverse and rewarding careers in the spatial information industry, national and local government, consultancies, utilities and research organisations. The international nature of this course means that career opportunities are not restricted to the UK. Cranfield graduates develop careers around the world. Recent data shows that 90% of our graduates find employment within the geographic information sector or academic research.

Cranfield is the leading British University in terms of income generated from industrially and commercially-funded research. The applied GIS and related research our staff undertake is fed back into our GIS teaching programmes, thereby ensuring all students who complete the Geographical Information Management programme are equipped at the leading edge. The courses offered are internationally recognised by employers across the scientific, industrial and educational communities.

Previous students have entered many forms of employment. Graduates follow careers in the consulting industry or with government research establishments. Others go on to join university research and teaching departments. Some are successfully running their own companies.



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This innovative, interdisciplinary programme combines the areas of remote sensing and spatial analysis to provide a broad overview of the subject, with scope for specialisation. Read more

This innovative, interdisciplinary programme combines the areas of remote sensing and spatial analysis to provide a broad overview of the subject, with scope for specialisation.

Introducing your course

If you have an interest in utilising computer technology to apply geographical knowledge in order to address key societal and environmental issues then our MSc in Applied Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing (AGIS&RS) is tailor made for you. You will develop the understanding and technical skills required to analyse geospatial data in order to address real-world problems in diverse areas such as public health, food security or to improving our understanding of the carbon cycle. Combining cutting edge research in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and satellite remote sensing, this innovative master’s degree can open the door to successful careers in environmental consultancy firms, software companies, government research institutes and post-graduate research degrees to help you fulfil your ambition.

Overview

Our MSc in Applied Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing has three distinctive features:

  • It focuses on ‘real world’ problems by applying the technology to areas such as public health and environmental management
  • It combines the study of two key technologies – remote sensing and geographical information systems – within a single programme
  • It is characterised by strong external links outside the University

The programme will develop your knowledge of the subject area in order to enhance employment opportunities within earth observation and GIS communities, consultancies, private and public sectors.

View the programme specification document for this course



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GIMA. OFFERING THE BEST OF FOUR DUTCH UNIVERSITIES. Geographical information is everywhere. Think of physical planning, risk management, navigation systems, location based services, movement analysis, augmented reality, increasing use of maps and volunteered geographical information. Read more

GIMA: OFFERING THE BEST OF FOUR DUTCH UNIVERSITIES

Geographical information is everywhere. Think of physical planning, risk management, navigation systems, location based services, movement analysis, augmented reality, increasing use of maps and volunteered geographical information. This is why Geographical Information Management and Applications (GIMA) is such a relevant and complete Master of Science programme; it focuses on the management and application of geographical information from a scientific perspective.

In addition, there are two aspects which make GIMA a unique programme: the blended learning concept and the co-operation between four renowned Dutch universities. GIMA is also an international programme. It does not only target Dutch bachelors, but also foreign bachelors and professionals with equivalent pre-education.

Blended learning

GIMA is a blended learning Master's programme, which means that most of the time you are studying from the place where you think you can study best (e.g. at home, or your local library). Students study full time (2 yrs.) or part time (4 yrs.). For the first half of the programme there are only four short contact periods per year, one at each partner university. During those contact periods (with a duration of two weeks) you are supposed to be present in person but for the rest of the year you can study through our electronic learning environment from wherever you are. Obviously, the same holds for the individual thesis research project and internship, each of 6 (full time) or 12 (part time) months length in the last half of the programme.

Joint venture

The Master’s programme of GIMA is the result of a unique joint venture between four Dutch universities, each with a good reputation in its field and with its own traditions:

  • Utrecht University, with a focus on geography and planning;
  • Delft University of Technology, with a focus on the legal, organisational and technical aspects of geo-information handling;
  • University of Twente, with a focus on technical and application oriented courses for developing countries;
  • Wageningen University, with a focus on agricultural and rural applications.

You will thus get the best from geo-information experts from four universities in the Netherlands. Since the start of the programme in 2003, GIMA has become one of the most popular and well evaluated Master's programmes on geo-information applications and management in the Netherlands and our community keeps growing.

PROGRAMME OBJECTIVE

The GIMA programme aims at educating students to become;

  • all-round managers of geo-information and/or
  • all-round geo-information researchers and/or
  • all-round geo-information application specialists.


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Overview. Given the wider development of Citizen GIS and an increased public awareness and knowledge of the power and value of spatial data, vastly increased amounts of such data from different sources are now available to researchers. Read more

Overview

Given the wider development of Citizen GIS and an increased public awareness and knowledge of the power and value of spatial data, vastly increased amounts of such data from different sources are now available to researchers. However, in order to turn these data into useful information, they must be efficiently managed, processed and analysed before being displayed in a comprehensible format. Geographical Information Systems and the associated field of Remote Sensing greatly aid us in such tasks. The course is equally split between both parts - GIS and Remote Sensing - with four core module introducing the theory and practice of both subject at an introductory and advanced level. Geographical Information Systems or GIS as they are better known, are widely used in a wide variety of subject fields across the physical and social sciences and even in the humanities, with applicability in everything from archaeology and astronomy to geomorphology and globalisation to soil science and social planning. Remote Sensing – the analysis and interpretation of aerial and satellite imagery – has transformed the manner in which we view the Earth. The synoptic view of the Earth that it has given us has greatly improved our understanding of atmospheric and oceanic processes, sustained environmental management and the interaction of humans with the natural world. It is now a standard research tool in many fields such as geology, geography, pollution control, agriculture and climatology. Additional optional modules in Programming, Spatial Databases and Remote Sensing of the Subsurface are also available to students who want to develop the technical side more fully, though the course has a strong applied flavour throughout. In addition, all students complete a work placement in the Summer months which allows them to gain valuable practical experience to test and develop the skills learnt across the course.

Aims of the Course

- To provide highly qualified, motivated graduates who have been trained in Geographical Information Systems, Remote Sensing and Digital Image Processing and who can apply the information technology skills they obtain.

- To produce marketable graduates who will make significant contributions to GIS and RS application areas including; industry, government, academia, the community and voluntary sector and other public and private bodies.

- To provide an understanding of Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing, the technology involved and its applications for specific investigations.

 

Commences

September (*optional courses may start ahead of the formal term date)..

Course Structure

The course consists of 6 modules, 5 of which are compulsory. Two of these cover the theoretical concepts underpinning GIS and Remote Sensing. Two other modules involve gaining the theoretical and technical skills necessary to become proficient in the management and analysis of spatial data. A fifth module involves an assessed work placement during the summer months.

Duration: 1 year Full-time



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Spatial data play an increasingly important role in many areas of our lives. environmental protection, forecasting, agriculture, and local and regional planning. Read more
Spatial data play an increasingly important role in many areas of our lives: environmental protection, forecasting, agriculture, and local and regional planning. Understanding Geographical Information Systems and GI science is essential for effective management and analysis of spatial data.

Core
• Introduction to GIS
• Spatial Information Science
• Earth Observation and Remote Sensing
• GIS Research Methods Field Trip
• Dissertation tutorial
• Geographical Visualization
• Programming for Spatial Scientists
• Plus a 60 credit master’s dissertation

We recognise the need for challenging and diverse methods of assessment. Our methods vary from traditional examinations, individual oral presentations, reports, web pages, research proposals, literature reviews and posters. We also include an amount of field-based teaching and computer practical sessions in our courses. As well as being taught subject knowledge, you will also receive training on how to plan, develop and execute a programme of individual research. We feel that the development of group skills is very important and a number of pieces of coursework involve a team of people. Coursework feedback is given
promptly and in considerable detail, enabling you to improve continuously.

• The MSc in Geographical Information Science at the University of Leicester is the longest running MSc in GIS in England and offers comprehensive training in GI Science and Systems.
• The MSc in GIS has been recently been accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).
• The course is overseen by an employer panel of representatives from industry, government, research and environmental agencies in order to maintain the relevancy of the course content and direction.

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Your programme of study. Geographic information systems have become really interesting to all of us with the increased innovation in smart phones and IOT, whether we are searching for a venue to eat and drink or looking for something specific in a difficult to reach location. Read more

Your programme of study

Geographic information systems have become really interesting to all of us with the increased innovation in smart phones and IOT, whether we are searching for a venue to eat and drink or looking for something specific in a difficult to reach location. At one time GIS was heavily used in planning and map creation, now we all have access to those maps on our mobiles and tablets and we now expect sensors in our phones to connect automatically to satellite systems to tell us our every move, whether we are walking or in the car. This has made the discipline incredibly interesting and opened up a lot more opportunities in terms of work. On top of the more obvious GIS enabled systems many businesses rely on this technology to inform them about weather, shipping, coastal locations, risks and hazards, agriculture and energy and minerals exploration.

Geospatial technologies are increasingly important across all industries and this programme gives you skills in developing remote sensing, working with wide ranging expertise from coastal, marine, ecology, energy, geology, spatial planning, and archaeology. You learn some very useful skills in programming, simulation and modelling, spatial databases and global positioning systems, plus cartography, remote sensing, digital image processing, geographic information systems, field data capture for a variety of devices. 

It is worth visiting the Scottish Innovation Centres to find out more about innovations using GIS and the technologies it uses

Courses listed for the programme

Semester 1

  • The History Origins and Evolution of GIS
  • GIS Tools and Technologies
  • People Management and GIS

Optional

  • Data Systems and Big Data
  • Aspects of Digital Mapping and Visualisation

Semester 2

  • Fundamentals of GIS and Spatial Analysis
  • Planning, Managing and Presenting a GIS Project
  • UAV Remote Sensing, Monitoring and Mapping

Semester 3

Dissertation

Find out more detail by visiting the programme web page

Find out more about the online version

Why study at Aberdeen?

  • Aberdeen is in a great location to test out your skills in a range of sea and energy, remote, rural and wild locations
  • You are encouraged to go on field trips and out into these varied locations
  • You are taught by experts from marine science, ecology, energy and environmental industry and academic experts
  • Apart from learning your profession inside out career opportunities are rapidly developing in GIS across the world

Where you study

  • University of Aberdeen
  • Full time and Part Time
  • 12 Months Full Time or 24 Months Part Time
  • September or January start

International Student Fees 2017/2018

Find out about international fees:

Find out more about fees on the programme page

*Please be advised that some programmes also have additional costs.

Scholarships

View all funding options on our funding database via the programme page and the latest postgraduate opportunities

Living in Aberdeen

Living in Aberdeen

Find out more about:

Your Accommodation

Campus Facilities

Find out more about living in Aberdeen and living costs



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The course is intended for students who have a substantial background in geography or a related discipline with a good first degree. Read more
The course is intended for students who have a substantial background in geography or a related discipline with a good first degree. It aims to provide: (i) broad-based training in geographical research, its philosophical backgrounds and debates, and interpretation of geographical literature, (ii) comprehensive training in research methods in human geography and the social sciences as a whole, and (iii) the opportunity to develop large scale research management skills by completing a research thesis under academic supervision and guidance. Students choose two geography modules, which are combined with two modules in research design and methods, and a thesis. The course aims to develop general transferable skills for research employment in a wide range of walks of life, or as the first stage of a PhD thesis.

The course is intended to give students a broad-based advanced training and critical awareness of geographical research and its methods, including awareness of the research methods of related disciplines. The course is offered to all students hoping to undertake a PhD in Human Geography. Hence the thesis often forms a ‘pilot’ for a larger scale PhD proposal and will include a review of the relevant literature, research questions, an outline and evaluation of appropriate research methods, and an assessment of the initial findings and their significance.

See the website http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/courses/directory/eaggmpmgr

Course detail

The course aims to develop further the students’ understanding of the relationship between society, nature and space, emphasising both global and local processes and connections. They develop further their skills of assessing the merits of contrasting theories, explanations and policies; collecting and critically judging, evaluating and interpreting varied forms of evidence; preparing maps and diagrams; employing various methods of collecting and analysing spatial and environmental information; combining and interpreting different types of evidence to tackle specific problems; recognising the ethical and moral dimensions of study.

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the 11 months, students taking the MPhil in Geographic Research will be expected to have:

- Acquired a broad knowledge of qualitative research methods and general statistics
- Acquired the skills to use library and internet resources independently
- Acquired specialist knowledge of the relevant literature related to their thesis
- Acquired skills to independently structure their research design
- Given a presentation on their thesis to their peers and academic staff
- Written three essays and one thesis

Format

Each student is allocated a thesis supervisor before the course begins. Generally up to 10 meetings of up to one hour of one-to-one supervision as well as briefer meetings when needed.

The Department runs a series of seminars during term which students on this course should attend. This introduces them to the breadth of the discipline and a new level of academic debate. Students may attend other lectures, seminars, classes and reading groups after consultation with their supervisors. Students attend Research Methods classes and lectures in the first and second term. Students are also expected to take part in their research group’s activities.

Skills and research training programme = 8 x 1 hour lectures in first term and optional lectures in the 2nd term. hours per term

Social Science Research Methods Centre (SSRMC) courses: workshops and practicals. Approx. 15 hours per term hours per term

Dissertation presentation in 3rd term.

Written feedback on each submitted essay and the dissertation.

Assessment

- 20,000 word dissertation; oral examination at discretion of examiners
- 3 essays or other exercises of up to 4,000 words

Continuing

70% overall in MPhil

How to apply: http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/applying

Funding Opportunities

ESRC (1+3) for applicants who plan to continue to PhD. (1+3 = one year MPhil and 3 years PhD)
AHRC Masters via CHESS Scheme for AHRC topics approved for the AHRC DTP at University of Cambridge.

General Funding Opportunities http://www.graduate.study.cam.ac.uk/finance/funding

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Geographical Information Systems (GIS) has grown rapidly to become a major component of information technology, creating distinctive methods of data analysis, algorithms and software tools. Read more

Why take this course?

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) has grown rapidly to become a major component of information technology, creating distinctive methods of data analysis, algorithms and software tools.

This course emphasises the acquisition of practical GIS skills. We use a wide range of industry-standard software tools and a structured approach to the analysis of spatial data through project work.

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

Get hands-on experience of using instruments such as GPS, Total Stations and 3D laser scanners
Be taught by experts, who have extensive industrial and consultancy experience and strong research portfolios
Practise your GIS data collection skills in a range of environments

What opportunities might it lead to?

The wide range of career opportunities across public and private sectors and in university-based research, coupled with the rapid rate of technological change, mean that major organisations and industrial firms are finding it essential to update their skills through advanced study. We therefore aim to meet this demand by tailoring our course to the needs of both regional and national markets.

Here are some routes our graduates have pursued:

Environmental consultancies
Geographical information science specialists
Working for the Environmental Agency
Working for the Ordnance Survey

Module Details

The academic year is divided into two parts. The first part comprises the lecture, workshop, practical and field work elements of the course, followed by a dissertation which will take approximately five months to complete.

Here are the units you will study:

Principles of Geographic Information Science: Beginning with an overview of the development of GIS, the first part of this unit examines data sources and data capture, as well as hardware and software tools. The second part deals with vector-based data structures and data management, followed by vector GIS operations, such as overlay and buffering. You will undertake a project to create a GIS of your own, which may be presented as a seminar session. Practical exercises are undertaken using MapInfo. You will then go on to develop an understanding of raster-based approaches to GIS, cartographic modelling and related areas of image processing which are often applied in remote sensing. Topics include raster data models and data compression techniques, raster GIS and cartographic modelling, imaging systems and image processing, geometric correction techniques and GIS/remote sensing integration in the raster domain. Practical work uses MapInfo, ArcGIS - ArcMap and ERDAS Imagine.

GIS and Database Management Systems: Your major focus on this unit will be the use of industry-standard methods and tools to develop competence in the successive stages of database design, development and implementation. You will have an introduction to data analysis techniques, followed by an examination of alternative types of database system and the rules of relational database design. There is extensive treatment of the SQL query language in standard databases and for attribute query within a GIS. You will be introduced to advanced topics including database programming and computer-aided database design. You will also consider the Object-Relational databases and spatial data types, explore the use of spatial queries using the ORACLE relational database management system and examine procedural database programming and web database connectivity. Practical work for this unit uses the ORACLE relational database management system, running in full client-server mode.

Applied Geographic Information Systems: On this unit you will develop a general, inferential, model-based approach to the analysis of quantitative data within a geographical framework. You will examine a range of underlying concepts including model specification, bias, linearity, robustness and spatial autocorrelation. You will subsequently develop these in the context of a unified framework for analysis. Practical work is based on ArcGIS - ArcMap.

Research Methods and Design: This unit will introduce you to the basic principles of research design and methodology, enabling you to develop a critical approach to the selection and evaluation of appropriate methods for different types of research problem.

Modelling and Analysis and the Web: This unit gives you the chance to consider the use of GIS technology for creating terrain models and explore the basics of photogrammetry, as well as analytical and digital techniques for photogrammetric data capture. You will also look at Orthophotography, LiDAR and RADAR systems. ArcGIS is used for spatial analysis, such as buffering and overlay techniques. You will also explore and exemplify data transfer between GIS software systems and technologies for internet-based GIS.

Dissertation: This provides an opportunity for you to pursue a particular topic to a greater depth than is possible within the taught syllabus. It can take a variety of forms, for example GIS-based analysis of original data sources and digital datasets, case studies of GIS adoption in public or private sector organisations, the development of new software tools/applications or the design of GIS algorithms. The final submission takes the form of an extended written report or dissertation of a maximum of 15,000 words.

Programme Assessment

The course provides a balanced structure of lectures, seminars, tutorials and workshops. You will learn through hands-on practical sessions designed to give you the skills in laboratory, computer and field techniques. The course also includes extensive field work designed to provide field mapping and data collection skills.

The majority of assessment takes the form of practical exercises and project-based activity. This enables you to become familiar with industry-standard software systems and develop your skills by applying your newfound expertise in areas that particularly interest you.

Student Destinations

GIS technology is now very widely deployed in many organisations ranging from utility companies, telecommunications networks, civil engineering, retailing, local and national government, international charities and NGOs, the National Health Service, environmental organisations, banking and finance, and insurance. GIS has become an essential part of the world's information infrastructure.

You can expect to go on to find work in organisations such as local authorities, health authorities, conservation organisations, banks and insurance companies, amongst others. Many of our previous graduates are now employed all over the world, working on a whole variety of GIS-related projects in a very wide range of different organisations and industries.

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Geographical Information Systems (GIS) is becoming increasingly important, both nationally and internationally, in the wide range of professions where acquisition, management, interpretation and analysis of geographical information is of use. Read more

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) is becoming increasingly important, both nationally and internationally, in the wide range of professions where acquisition, management, interpretation and analysis of geographical information is of use.

You can study a postgraduate certificate, postgraduate diploma or masters depending on the level of GIS knowledge you need. This is one of the first courses to be offered in this area and answers the need for well-trained professionals in this growing area.

GIS crosses many boundaries and offers a wide range of employment opportunities. This course is designed for people wanting employment in GIS as a • researcher • statistician • strategic analyst • GIS technician • planner • environmental modelling within a range of disciplines.

The course develops your capability to use, apply and understand geographical information systems by developing your

  • knowledge of the fundamental principles of GIS
  • ability to critically examine the theory and practices of GIS
  • specialist technical skills as a GIS practitioner
  • ability to undertake a professional career in GIS and multi-disciplinary contexts
  • ability to complete an individual and in-depth research project that involves a critical and evaluative approach to GIS in academic research or professional practice

The course provides a balance of academic and practical content, giving you experience of using GIS in real life applied scenarios. Some students may have more relevant experience than others and the modules take this into account. If your current work involves using GIS regularly you can build on your learning through a work-based learning module. If you have less specialist experience you can work on a consultancy project module which gives you experience of using GIS on a project for a real world client organisation.

The course is structured around four core modules and a selection of optional modules. If you are studying for an MSc, you also complete a research methods module and a dissertation.

We also offer most modules on this course as standalone short courses.

Course structure

Core modules

  • Introduction to GIS
  • Applying GIS
  • GIS and spatial analysis
  • GIS and statistical modelling

Option modules

  • Network analysis and transport modelling
  • GIS and the environment
  • Remote sensing
  • Ecological survey and evaluation
  • Professional project
  • Global perspectives on regeneration
  • Consultancy project
  • Academic and professional portfolio

Assessment

  • reports
  • individual and group presentations
  • electronic conferences
  • work-based portfolios
  • reflective diaries.

There are no formal examinations.

Employability

This course is useful for people who are working in, or wish to work in • environmental and ecology fields • hazard and risk management •strategic analysis • research • transport • logistics • planning departments • housing • emergency services • health authorities.



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Please note this programme will be undergoing some changes for the 2018/19 entry and courses may be subject to change between now and the commencement of the programme in September 2018. Read more

Please note this programme will be undergoing some changes for the 2018/19 entry and courses may be subject to change between now and the commencement of the programme in September 2018.

This programme offers you the chance to develop a detailed understanding of the application of geographical information science (GIS) and related technologies within the field of archaeology.

The programme retains a distinctive Scottish flavour, and students will benefit from the guidance of internationally recognised staff.

The programme combines the pedigree of Edinburgh’s GIS expertise with a long-established reputation in archaeological teaching and research.

You will gain a broad understanding of the use of GIS in archaeological surveying, recording and research and will be equipped with the analytical and communication skills necessary to work in this vibrant area.

Demand for the application of GIS within archaeology is growing at an unprecedented rate, including searching for new archaeological sites, determining the societal context of existing sites and examining the interplay between successive occupations of a site.

The proven ability of our GIS graduates in employment means our programme is held in high regard by a wide range of employers.

Programme structure

The programme is organised into two semesters of taught courses, delivered through lectures and seminars, after which you will work towards your individual dissertation.

Compulsory courses typically will be:

  • GIS & Spatial Analysis for Archaeologists
  • Spatial Modelling and Analysis
  • Research Practice & Project Planning
  • Dissertation

Option courses:

In consultation with the Programme Director, you will choose from a range of option courses. We particularly recommend:

  • Exploring the Past with Data Science
  • Quantitative Methods & Reasoning in Archaeology
  • Technological Infrastructures for GIS
  • Visual Analytics
  • Principles and Practice of Remote Sensing
  • Active Remote Sensing: Radar and LiDAR
  • Passive Earth Observation: new platforms, sensors and analytical methods
  • Business Geographics
  • Space , Place and Time: the archaeology of built environments
  • The Scottish Lowlands: Archaeology and Landscape before the Normans

Courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change. Field trip

There is a field trip focusing on techniques for capturing geospatial information. This field trip has historically taken place at the Kindrogan Field Centre, Perthshire.

Career opportunities

The expertise gained on this programme will allow you to continue to study or to pursue a career in surveying, illustration and 3D visualisation, digital archiving, heritage management, terrain modelling, database management, geomatics or consultancy.

Our GIS graduates have gained work in both public and private sector organisations, including Historic Scotland, English Heritage, the Royal Commission on the Ancient and Historical Monuments of Scotland, thinkWhere (formerly Forth Valley GIS) and CFA Archaeology.

Related programmes

You may also be interested in the following programmes:

Student experience

Would you like to know what it’s really like to study at the School of GeoSciences?

Visit our student experience blog where you can find articles, advice, videos and ask current students your questions.



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