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Cultural Heritage and GIS (Geographical Information Systems) (MSc/PgDip/PgCert)

Course Description


The aims of the programme are:

1. To support students in the development of their intellectual and practical skills through the study and interpretation of cultural heritage artefacts, their historic societal significance and relationship with the landscape and the wider environment in the past and the present.

2. To demonstrate how geo-spatial technologies and techniques (including GIS, scanning and digitisation) play a central role in the recording, analysis, interpretation and management of cultural heritage across a range of scales from excavated items, archaeological sites, and paper records to historic buildings, monuments and their landscapes.


In the new programme the internationally recognised expertise within GAP with regard to the development and application of digitisation and scanning technologies will be more fully used and integrated into the student learning experience.

The integration of these skills with wider academic expertise in Archaeology and the Centre for Archaeological Fieldwork (CAF), and Geography and the Centre for Data Digitisation and Analysis (CDDA) will create a unique 'heritage' focused programme in which students will experience heritage in its widest context and will have the opportunity to acquire and practice a wide range of geo-spatial skills and explore the conceptual issues associated with their application.


MSc: successfully complete the five taught modules (120 CATS) and undertake independent research for the dissertation (60 CATS).

PgDip: successfully complete the same five taught modules but do not take the dissertation module.

PgCert: successfully complete the two Semester 1 modules.

Semester 1
GIS Technologies: Application and Practice (30 credits)
Introduction to Cultural Heritage and GIS (30 credits)

Semester 2
Heritage Structures (20 credits)
Heritage Landscapes (20 credits)
Professional Practice Placement (20 credits)

Semester 3
Dissertation (60 credits)


One of the modules included in the Cultural Heritage and GIS programme includes a residential field course (between 5-10 days).


The market for those with a qualification in Cultural Heritage and GIS can be defined as:

professionals who are involved in providing scientific understanding in the support of heritage protection
professionals engaged in dealing with the digital documentation and portrayal of heritage structures and landscapes
professionals seeking a targeted training in the use of digital data handling, especially through the application of GIS
those wishing to develop a career in cultural heritage conservation and/or management;
those already employed in cultural heritage management who require the updating of qualifications, or the improvement of existing ones, in order to reflect new developments in technology and thinking.

Queen's postgraduates reap exceptional benefits. Unique initiatives, such as Degree Plus and Researcher Plus bolster our commitment to employability, while innovative leadership and executive programmes alongside sterling integration with business experts helps our students gain key leadership positions both nationally and internationally.


Teaching is achieved through various combinations of lectures, seminars, practical classes and fieldwork and is supported by intensive self-guided independent learning. All assessment is coursework based and will be individually undertaken. The dissertation submission is an independent piece of research undertaken by each student under the supervision of an academic member of staff. Both formative and summative feedback will be given through, as appropriate, oral and written means. The pass mark for all assessments is 50 per cent. Students must obtain an overall 50 per cent pass mark for this taught programme (five modules) before progression from the PG Diploma to Masters.


Visit Queen's to sense the atmosphere of our historic campus, tour our world-class facilities, and experience for yourself the exceptional learning environment we provide. Find out when our next Open Days are, or arrange a guided tour to suit you.


Applications for admission to the vast majority of postgraduate programmes are submitted online via the Postgraduate Direct Applications Portal. The online system also allows application for funding where appropriate.

If you have queries on course content please contact the school representative below.

Dr Paul Ell
School of Geography, Archaeology and Palaeoecology
Tel: 9097 3186
WWW: http://www.qub.ac.uk/gap

Visit the Cultural Heritage and GIS (Geographical Information Systems) (MSc/PgDip/PgCert) page on the Queen’s University Belfast website for more details!

Entry Requirements

Normally a 2.1 Honours degree or above or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in a relevant subject (eg Geography, Environmental Sciences, Archaeology) or cognate discipline (eg Geology, Ecology, Planning, Architecture). Applicants with relevant work experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis. PgDip: Normally a high 2.2 Honours degree (57%) or above, or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in a relevant subject/discipline. PgCert: normally a high 2.2 Honours degree (57%) or above or equivalent qualification acceptable to the University in Geography, Archaeology, Environmental Sciences or cognate discipline.

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