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Masters Degrees (Geographical Information Science)

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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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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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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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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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The Master of Science (M.Sc.) program offers students in a wide range of disciplines the opportunity to earn a master’s degree by writing a Thesis and successfully completing a limited number of courses. Read more
The Master of Science (M.Sc.) program offers students in a wide range of disciplines the opportunity to earn a master’s degree by writing a Thesis and successfully completing a limited number of courses. The number and details of the courses are determined within the first semester of the student's program.

Students may complete their degrees in either a full- or part-time capacity. Full-time students complete a 24-month program while part-time students complete a 48-month program. Part-time students will normally complete all required course work in the first 24 months, with the subsequent months committed to continued research and production of the Thesis.

Although degrees are awarded in specific disciplines, the program is administered centrally by the School of Graduate Studies, rather than by individual departments or Faculties.

Course detail

Graduate degrees traditionally have been awarded for the successful completion of a satisfactory thesis. The thesis route expresses the fundamental tradition of academic scholarship. It also relates to the University’s undergraduate programs, because the creation of a thesis in any discipline calls for a range of skills which are central to the liberal education tradition, including analysis and synthesis of ideas, empirical investigations, the construction and articulation of arguments, and writing skills.

Because of the nature of the M.Sc. program, the thesis forms the central requirement of the program. At the master’s level, a thesis involves close collaboration between supervisor and student. Consequently, it is necessary for a candidate to establish contact with potential supervisors prior to application for admission. Candidates seeking potential supervisors should contact either the relevant academic department or the School of Graduate Studies.

Why study at the University of Lethbridge?

As a graduate student at the University of Lethbridge, you’ll find yourself at the centre of a student-focused environment that nurtures innovation, critical thinking and creativity.

The University of Lethbridge is one of Canada’s top-ranked universities and leading research institutions.

At the foundation of our graduate programs is a multidisciplinary and personalized experience. A collaborative environment is encouraged between faculty and students. This means you have flexibility in decisions regarding the research and learning path you take.

At the U of L, we are committed to helping every one of our students thrive. From aiding with financial support to one-on-one mentorship to individualized career advice, you’ll find support every step of the way.

When you graduate, you will have the confidence you need to succeed in whatever you do, whether that means pursuing further education, teaching in an academic setting or establishing a professional career.

We’re here to help as you find the answers to your questions. As Alberta’s Destination University, the U of L gives you room to think, create and explore, providing a university experience unlike any other.

How to apply

In order to apply, you will need to provide the following documentation:

• Academic Transcripts
• Curriculum Vitae
• Three Letters of Reference
• Letter of Intent
• English Language Proficiency (ELP)

All applications and supporting documents must be provided through the online portal: https://www.uleth.ca/future-student/graduate-studies/apply

Co-operative Education & Internships Option

The Co-operative Education/Internship Option is available to students for the Master of Arts (MA) and Master of Science (MSc) programs. Co-operative education is an educational model that formally integrates academic study at the master’s level with relevant, paid work experience in appropriate employment fields such as government, institutions, and industry. The University, the employer, and the student are in partnership to ensure an enriching experience toward the student's professional development.

For more information, visit the website: http://www.uleth.ca/artsci/coop/co-operative-education-internship-option-graduate-studies

Funding

Find information on Scholarships here http://www.uleth.ca/graduate-studies/award-opportunities

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This new course follows the same taught modules as our MSc in GIS, but with the option for a 6-12 month industrial placement, designed to enhance your practical, applied skills and career prospects. Read more
This new course follows the same taught modules as our MSc in GIS, but with the option for a 6-12 month industrial placement, designed to enhance your practical, applied skills and career prospects.

• Placements start between June-September at the end of your first year.

• Students need to obtain at least a Merit grade from the taught component of the course to progress to the industrial placement.

• Students find their own placement with support from the Department.

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MSc Geo-Information Science. Do you want to contribute to solving multidisciplinary and complex issues using Geo- information science, geo-informatics and remote sensing? Then the master's Geo- Information Science is a perfect match for you!. Read more

MSc Geo-Information Science

Do you want to contribute to solving multidisciplinary and complex issues using Geo- information science, geo-informatics and remote sensing? Then the master's Geo- Information Science is a perfect match for you!

The increasing complexity of our society demands for specialists who can collect, manage, analyse and present spatial data using state-of-the-art methods and tools. At Wageningen University & Research we offer a unique, top-quality programme that blends geo-information science methods, technologies and applications within environmental and life sciences for a changing world. Our Geo-information Science graduates usually have a job waiting for them on graduation. Read more about the background of the programme

Specialisations

There are no formal specialisations in the Geo-Information Science programme. You can specialise by taking advanced courses in GIS and/or Remote Sensing, and by selecting courses in a range of application fields or geo-information technology. Furthermore, you develop your Geo-information Science profile by completing a major research thesis in one of the following research fields:

Your choice of internship location is another factor in developing your profile and specialisation.

Your future career

The increasing demand for digital geographical information has resulted in a phenomenal growth in the discipline of Geo-Information Science. The demand for geo-information is the result of an increase in environmental problems and the need to manage the natural and the social environment.The increasing demand for digital geographical information has resulted in a phenomenal growth in the discipline of Geo-Information Science.

The overview below provides more detailed information about the fields and positions taken by our alumni on graduation:

In Research

  • PhD
  • Researcher
  • Research Assistant

In Consultancy

  • Remote Sensing Specialist
  • Consultant
  • GIS adviser
  • Geo-information Manager
  • Geo-information Analist

In Education

  • Lecturer

Read more about career perspectives and opportunities after finishing the programme.

Related programmes:

MSc Geographical Information Management and Applications

MSc Forest and Nature Conservation 

MSc Landscape Architecture and Planning

MSc Environmental Sciences 

MSc Biosystems Engineering



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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 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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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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The GIS (Geographical Information Science) MSc provides an education in the theoretical, scientific and practical aspects of GIS. Read more
The GIS (Geographical Information Science) MSc provides an education in the theoretical, scientific and practical aspects of GIS. It prepares students for technical and analytical GIS roles and is in high demand; we have very close links with industry and the majority of our students find employment prior to contemplating their degree.

Degree information

Students gain a solid grounding in the scientific principles underpinning the computational and analytical foundations of GISc. Our staff are world-leading experts in the areas of programming location-enabled Apps, spatial and 3D databases, big spatio-temporal analytics, citizen science and and human computer interaction, and the MSc therefore is able to offer a wide range of options and specialisations.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a research project (60 credits). A Postgraduate Diploma, four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits), full-time nine months is offered.

Core modules - core modules introduce the theory underpinning GIS, along with programming skills (python) and the basics of spatial analysis and statistcs. You'll learn to critically engage with GIS rather than just pushing buttons - how does the way data is captured and modelled influence the results of your analysis? Do you get the same results from two different GIS packages? Knowing what is inside the 'black box' means you understand analytical results and their limitations.
-GIS Principles and Technology
-Principles of Spatial Analysis
-Mapping Science
-Representations, Structures and Algorithms

Optional modules - term two is where you start to specialise, chosing modules that fit your interests, intended career choice and/or prepare you for your dissertation. At this point you can chose a heavilty technical route (e.g. databases, programming, human computer interaction) a more analytical route (spatio-temporal data mining, network and locational analysis, databases) or a mixture of the two routes. You will need to chose four modules in total. At least 30 credits of optional modules selected from :
-Geographical Information System Design
-Spatio-Temporal Analysis and Data Mining
-Web and Mobile GIS – Apps and Programming
-Spatial Databases and Data Management

Plus no more than 30 credits of optional modules (all term two) selected from :
-Airborne Data Acquisition
-Applied Building Information Modelling
-Network and Locational Analysis
-Image Understanding
-Ocean and Coastal Zone Management
-Positioning
-Research Methods
-Terrestrial Data Acquisition

Dissertation/report
All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–15,000 words. Where appropriate, this may be undertaken in conjunction with one of our many industrial partners, including Arup, Joint Research Centre, British Red Cross, Transport for London.

Teaching and learning
The programme is delivered through lectures, practical classes, demonstrations and tutorials, and is supported by a series of external speakers from industry and visits to industrial who give weekly seminars describing how GIS is used in their field as well as what they are looking for when recruiting graduate GIS students. Assessment is through unseen examinations, group and individual coursework, formal and oral presentations, and the dissertation.

Careers

There are excellent employment prospects for our graduates, with starting salaries of around £25,000. Recent GIS graduates have found openings with large engineering design firms (such as Arup or WSP), specialist consultancy firms such as Deloitte or Informed Solutions, in leading professional software companies (such as ESRI or Google), with local authorities, for organisations such as Shell, Tesco, the Environment Agency, Transport for London, NHS and the Ordnance Survey.

Employability
Students will develop specific skills including a fundamental understanding of GIS and its application to real-world problems, through theoretical lectures covering the foundations of the science – how data is captured, map creation, generalisation, spatial data management, spatial analysis, data quality and error, and spatial algorithms. Students will develop strong technical (python, R, Java, HTML, Javascript, SQL) and analytical skills (data mining, human computer interaction and usability), and in order to fully understand the principles behind GIS will make use of multiple GIS packages, both proprietary and free/open source (ArcGIS, QGIS).

Why study this degree at UCL?

This highly regarded MSc has been running for nearly 30 years and is taught by internationally recognised academics. Our specialist GIS laboratory offers the latest open source and proprietary software and our unique dual focus on the computer science and analytical aspects of GIS means that you will be able to develop your skills in multiple directions.

Our close links with industry (a strong alumni group and weekly industrial seminars) mean that you will be able to directly link your classroom learning with your future career as a GIS professional; you can also undertake your dissertation with an industrial partner.

As well as weekly industrial seminars, you will have the option to do an industry-linked project, and you will be able to attend our annual GIS careers event, which is co-organized with the UK Assocation of Geographic Infrormation.

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This programme has been designed in collaboration with representatives from industry and local government to ensure that students possess knowledge and skills that are highly valued by employers. Read more

This programme has been designed in collaboration with representatives from industry and local government to ensure that students possess knowledge and skills that are highly valued by employers. The degree specifically addresses the need for graduates who have a good understanding of spatial data and the more technical aspects of Geographical Information Science and Systems (GIS) including: 

  • The role of spatial data and information systems in the context of the research literature and current industry practice
  • Expertise in spatial data collection
  • Management and analysis
  • High-level technical abilities such as programming and spatial data analytics.

Students will critically evaluate the role of spatial data and information systems in the context of the research literature and current industry practice. Students will be able to demonstrate expertise in spatial data collection, management and analysis with the use of specific GIS software such as QGIS and ArcGIS. High-level technical abilities such as programming and spatial data analytics will also be taught. The completion of an independent research project will allow students to showcase their organisational and management skills in addition to being able to critically evaluate and synthesize new and emerging concepts and techniques from a wide range of research literature.

Collaborations with local industry and government will allow students to develop interpersonal skills in addition to an understanding and experience of the relevant professional, legal, social and ethical frameworks that they will need to adhere to as professionals within the area of spatial data science.

Full time

Year 1

Students are required to study the following compulsory courses.

Students are required to choose 15 credits from this list of options.

Part time

Year 1

Students are required to study the following compulsory courses.

Year 2

Students are required to study the following compulsory courses.

Students are required to choose 15 credits from this list of options.

Assessment

Assessment for each course will be various forms of continuous assessment as described in the course specifications. The continuous assessment for each course will involve an appropriate combination of coursework, presentations, peer assessment, practical work, group work and log books.

Careers

Possible jobs for graduates could include GIS graduate consultant, spatial analyst, GIS project manager, GIS developer and data curator. Students could also go on to further research opportunities (e.g. a PhD).



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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 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 programme focuses on scientific, technical and computational aspects of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Geographical Information Science (GIScience), with particular reference to the socioeconomic and environmental sciences. Read more

This programme focuses on scientific, technical and computational aspects of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Geographical Information Science (GIScience), with particular reference to the socioeconomic and environmental sciences. It provides highly qualified and motivated students sought by employers in the sector.

Core modules introduce GIS, a rapidly evolving area in business, health and planning settings, as well as in environmental applications. You will be introduced to GIS packages and database systems, useful for those wanting to undertake social and environmental science research and those wanting to understand the application of geotechnology as practitioners. You’ll study theories and concepts underpinning GIS and explore topics including spatial data models, data capture, spatial analysis and statistical and mathematical modelling. Optional modules allow you to focus on quantitative human geography, environmental applications and programming GIS.

Other Study Options

This programme is available part time, allowing you to combine study with other commitments. You can work to fund your studies, or gain a new qualification without giving up an existing job. We aim to be flexible in helping you to put together a part-time course structure that meets your academic goals while recognising the constraints on your study time.

The programme manager is Dr Paul Norman.

You can also study this subject at Postgraduate Diploma level.



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