The Master of Science in Geographical Information Systems at the University of Aberdeen in Scotland is a 12 Month Taught Postgraduate Programme designed for anyone who wishes to pursue a qualification in the application of geospatial technologies to the geosciences.
Building on 20 years of excellence in postgraduate teaching of remote sensing and GIS this programme promotes the integrated study and application of the geospatial technologies through theory and practice, combining core techniques, practical skills and environmental applications. To facilitate your learning experience you will use state-of-the-art software and hardware in a dedicated classroom to explore the different technologies and their applications. The programme draws upon a wide range of international, national, and local expertise in the coastal and marine sciences, landscape ecology and landscape change, coastal management, renewable energy, geology and hydrocarbon exploration, risks and hazards, spatial planning, cartography, field data collection, and archaeology.
Aspects of geospatial technologies are of increasing importance in many areas of employment concerned with the landscape, for example in national and local government (where the appearance of 'Geodata Service Units' is increasing), in nature conservation agencies, in hydrocarbon exploration and oilfield management, in environmental consultancy, civil engineering projects and marine and coastal zone management.
In recent years the demand for courses in Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and the related technologies has grown considerably. A recent survey suggests that demand by employers for graduates with skills in the application of geospatial technology will continue to grow particularly in the practical application of spatial knowledge and understanding to environmental problems.
The Geographical Information Systems programme covers the fundamentals of techniques and tools for acquiring, storing, processing, classifying, visualising and analysing spatially referenced data of the Earth, and their application to the study of the Earth. This includes databases, Global Positioning Systems (GPS), digital mapping and cartography, airborne and satellite remote sensing, digital image processing, Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Internet mapping, field data capture and mobile GIS.
The curriculum for study is based around a modular programme. A course comprises 12 weeks of teaching and learning activity typically requiring around 150 hours of effort from the average student.
The award of an MSc in GIS requires successful completion of 8 courses and a research dissertation. A Postgraduate diploma is awarded for the completion of 8 courses and the certificate in GIS awarded for the completion of 4 courses.
Courses studied include:
• Introduction to Database Systems
• Fundamentals of Geographical Information Systems (GIS), and Spatial Analysis
• Fundamentals of Cartography, Map Design and Geovisualisation
• Fundamentals of Image Acquisition, Analysis and Processing
• Research Design and Methods
• Applied Image Analysis and Processing
• Current Issues and Applications of the Geospatial Technologies
• Applied GIS Project Planning & Spatial Analysis
Students who complete the programme at an appropriate standard will be permitted to take the dissertation in Geographical Information Systems in the Final Stage.
• Dissertation in Geographical Information Systems [MSc Candidates]; or
• Project in Geographical Information Systems [Diploma Candidates]
Assessment is by a combination of written assignments and laboratory reports as prescribed for each course, summative written examinations covering the four courses in the first half-session, and a dissertation (M.Sc. candidates) or a project report (Diploma candidates). An oral examination is also required.
Teaching in the first half-session is by a combination of illustrated lectures, practical demonstrations and student-led seminar discussions on pre-arranged topics. During the second half-session the balance changes towards more student-centred learning making use of internet resources, group practical work and lectures/seminars with experts in a range of application fields.
The Geographical Information Systems programme continues to have a very successful employment record in the commercial sector, environmental agencies, local and national government, research, and academia, with a wide range of jobs from environmental consultancy, project officers, programmers, sales managers to researchers.
Students are also encouraged to join a professional society such as the Association for Geographic Information (AGI), the Remote Sensing Society (RSS), or the British Cartographic Society (BCS).
Career opportunities are highlighted through site visits, guest lectures, and chances to work with organisations as part of the Diploma Project or M.Sc. Dissertation. This programme provides students with the practical experience, specialist knowledge and problem-solving skills to pursue careers in any of these fields.
Funding exists for this programme (dependent on eligibility). Please visit http://www.abdn.ac.uk/funding
More information about this programme can be found on our Postgraduate Prospectus: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/prospectus/pgrad/study/taught.php?code=remote_sensing