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Course content

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.

Course content

The programme comprises two semesters of taught modules followed by a dissertation project. The first semester includes three core modules. In the second semester, all modules are optional to allow you to specialise in your chosen pathway. We group our modules thematically so that you can include topics within streams relating to Planning and Society, to Environment and to Technical Development. Optional modules include a highly recommended module in Programming for Geographical Information Analysis.

The dissertation is carried out over the summer months and is an opportunity for you to investigate a topic and demonstrate your ability to apply the techniques you have learned during the course and bring in additional methods, whilst placing the work within appropriate literature contexts. Our aim is to submit the best dissertations for journal publication.

If you study this programme part time you will study fewer modules in each year.

Course structure

Compulsory modules

  • Principles of GIS 15 credits
  • Dissertation (GIScience) 60 credits
  • Professional Development 15 credits
  • Using GIS 15 credits
  • Quantitative and Spatial Methods 15 credits

For more information on typical modules, read Geographical Information Systems MSc Full Time in the course catalogue

For more information on typical modules, read Geographical Information Systems MSc Part Time in the course catalogue

Learning and teaching

Teaching will be through workshops, seminars, presentations, practicals and lectures, depending on the modules you choose.


Assessment is through coursework with no exams. There is a mix of essays and reports, the latter usually based on analysis of real world datasets. Most modules have an assessment part way through the semester and then a further assessment at the end.

Career opportunities

Typical roles undertaken by our recent graduates are:

  • Assistant Analyst
  • Business Analyst
  • Data Analyst
  • Data Quality and GIS officer
  • GIS Analyst and Surveying Engineer
  • GIS Project Manager
  • Market Analyst
  • PhD study
  • Researcher
  • Technical Consultant.

Some of the organisations our graduates work for are:

  • Analysis LLP
  • Asda
  • Atkins
  • Callcredit
  • Experian
  • Integrated Skills
  • Intelligent Space Partnership
  • JBA Consulting
  • Makedoniki ETM, Greece
  • MapInfo Ltd
  • The Environment Agency.

Careers support

The School of Geography has a very strong commitment to enhancing student employability. Read more about our employability support.

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.

Visit the Geographical Information Systems (GIS) MSc page on the University of Leeds website for more details!





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