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Geographical Information Science (Online Distance Learning) MSc

Course content


This part-time, distance learning Masters course will provide you with in-depth and specialist knowledge of GIS techniques. You will focus on scientific, technical and computational aspects of Geographical Information Science (GIScience), with particular reference to the socioeconomic and environmental sciences.

Core modules introduce GIS, a rapidly evolving area in business and environmental applications. You will be introduced to GIS packages and a range of data sources/techniques, useful for those wanting to undertake social and environmental science research and those keen to understand the application of geotechnology as practitioners. You’ll study theories and concepts underpinning GIS and explore topics including Big Data with advanced visualisation, digital image processing, and geodemographics.

Students studying year one only are eligible for a PG Cert, years one and two lead to a PG Diploma, and students completing all three years are eligible for the award of MSc GISc.

Course content

The overall aim of this programme is to provide students with an engaging open distance learning opportunity.

The programme will provide core GI Science skills training followed by specialist skill development in a range of contemporary domains as selected by the student and an opportunity to undertake a piece of independent original GI Science research under the guidance of a research leader.

The unique selling point of this programme is the choice offered with regards to specialist analytical modules spanning human/physical geography and technical skills.

Year One

You will study a foundational year of four compulsory modules covering core concepts and technical skills in GIScience. After completing these modules, you will be eligible to graduate with a postgraduate certificate.

Year Two

You will be required to study four 15 credit modules from a selection of optional modules. You may choose to focus on developing your technical skills further with modules covering Big Data or digital image processing or you may choose from applied modules covering business and planning, environment, and geodemographics.

Year Three

You will work with your supervisor to complete a 60 credit independent research project – a chance to demonstrate the knowledge and skills you’ve gained and specialise in an area that relates to your career ambitions and interests.


The dissertation project is one of the most satisfying elements of the course. It allows you to apply what you’ve learned to a piece of research focusing on a real-world problem, and it can be used to explore and develop your specific interests.

Visit the Geographical Information Science (Online Distance Learning) MSc page on the University of Leeds website for more details!




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Recipient: University of Leeds

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