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Master of Geographic Information Science - MGIS

  • Study Type

    Full time & Part time available

  • Subject Areas


  • Start Date


  • Course Duration

    2 years full-time or 4 years part-time

  • Course Type

    PgDip, Other

  • Last Updated

    22 April 2018

Course content

What is GIS?

GISc, Geographic Information Science, is the science that underlies Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and their use. GIS, as they are traditionally known, capture, store, manage, analyse and visualise spatial data in one software environment. Or, GIS, taken in the broadest sense of the term, are information systems that work with spatial data, be they spatial databases or location based services available on your iPhone. Our MGIS teaches both the standalone GIS software, such as ArcGIS, as well as a wider array of spatially aware applications.

About the programme

The MGIS and PGDipGIS programmes provide full time and part time opportunities for students with an interest and background in Geographic Information Science. Students must be resident in either Christchurch, Wellington or Auckland, New Zealand, in order to attend classes at either Canterbury University, Victoria University of Wellington or Auckland University of Technology. 

The programme aims to provide a model for exceptional collaborative teaching and research, using new technology and media to enhance the learning experience for students. The program will use a blended learning approach, involving synchronous seminars and labs (via the KAREN network), residential intensive sessions, and online synchronous and asynchronous learning support. Once a year, students will be brought together for a one week gathering, which will serve to introduce the programme and enable a week of intensive teaching for the ‘GIS401 Foundations of GI Science’ course.

The current programme has two qualifications on offer: a Postgraduate Diploma of Geographic Information Science (PGDipGIS) and a Masters in Geographic Information Science (MGIS). The qualifications provided include a range of courses covering geoinformation processing, analysis, visualisation and applications, as well as the one week intensive course at the field station in Kaikoura.

Please note: This programme is currently NOT offered via distance learning. Students must be present at one of the three participating institutions.


The PGDipGIS is a one year (full time) or two year (part time) postgraduate diploma which is comprised of coursework only. To complete the PGDipGIS, students need to successfully complete at least 8 of the courses offered in the course schedule. 


The MGIS is a two year (full time) or four year (part time) research masters programme, which is comprised of coursework and a research thesis. Students need to complete the coursework as per the PGDipGIS, as well as an additional masters thesis (GISC690) in the second half of their study.

GIS Careers

There is currently a shortage of qualified GIS specialists in New Zealand and more widely. Organisations in many areas need GIS professionals who can integrate GIS with their core business. As a result, there are many exciting opportunities for graduates, in a growing field that allows you to have an interesting career and make a difference.




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Recipient: Victoria University of Wellington

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