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Geographical Information Science & Archaeology (MSc)

Course Description

Programme description
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 include*:

Principles of GIS for Archaeologists
Introduction to Spatial Analysis
Spatial Modelling
Research Practice & Project Planning

Option courses:

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

Distributed GIS
Frontiers in Archaeology: Research Seminars
Fundamentals for Remote Sensing
Object Oriented Software Engineering: Principles
Object Orientated Software Engineering: Spatial Algorithms
Advanced Spatial Database Methods
Byzantine Archaeology: The Archaeology of the Byzantine Empire and its Neighbours AD500–850
Further Spatial Analysis
Hyperspectral Remote Sensing
Introduction to Radar Remote Sensing
The Scottish Lowlands: Archaeology and Landscape before the Normans
Theoretical Archaeology
Archaeology and Environment

*Please note: courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change each year.

Field trip:
The programme typically includes a field trip where students focus on techniques for capturing geospatial information. This trip has historically taken place at the Kindrogan Field Centre in Perthshire, Scotland.

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.

Visit the Geographical Information Science & Archaeology (MSc) page on the University of Edinburgh website for more details!

Entry Requirements

A UK 2:1 degree, or its international equivalent. A UK 2:2, or its international equivalent, may also be accepted with relevant industrial or business experience.

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