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Course content

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


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

There are no formal examinations.


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.

Visit the Geographical Information Systems MSc page on the Sheffield Hallam University website for more details!




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