MSc Geographical Information Science / Course details

Year of entry: 2019

Course description

MSc Geographical Information Science focuses on the multi-disciplinary science concerned with the development and application of geographical information science technologies. It will prepare you to pursue a career in a geographical information science field.

Geographical information technologies are increasingly used in everyday life, such as Google Earth and geosocial networking. Core geographical information science technologies, including geographical information systems (GIS) and remote sensing, have had a long history of application in government and private sector environmental agencies, planning, agriculture, forestry, utilities and transportation.

This course will enable you to develop fundamental skills and in-depth knowledge of key application areas. You can choose to undertake an applied study unit, which gives a range of work experience skills and can lead to dissertation opportunities working with key local and national employers.

We offer research-led teaching and a range of extra-curricular activities designed to deepen and enhance your learning experience. These include access to additional training resources, educational visits, career talks, and alumni presentations.

You will gain experience using commercial and open source software and acquire skills in the development of spatial software for both desktop and online platforms.

What's more, during 2017 we hosted the 25th Geographical Information Science Research UK (GISRUK) conference; the largest national GIS research conference.

Manchester is the ideal place to study Geography. The world's first industrial city, now a vibrant twenty-first century metropolis set between three National Parks, Manchester and its environment are an important resource for field teaching throughout your course.

Geography has been taught at The University of Manchester for more than 125 years.

We have a vibrant community of students and academic staff, with a wide range of teaching and research interests and an impressive international research reputation.

Aims

You will develop advanced knowledge of and practical experience in:

  • GIS and remote sensing theory and practice;
  • advanced techniques for GIS analysis and image processing;
  • spatial analysis;
  • computer modelling and software development;
  • internet and GIS Web technologies;
  • databases and database technologies;
  • scientific communication of analytical results and their interpretation.

Special features

  • Geography has been studied at Manchester for more than 125 years, and we're one of Europe's best-equipped universities for the subject.
  • We're home to world-class academics and the new Manchester Urban Institute (MUI).
  • Benefit from worldwide fieldwork opportunities and strong industry links.
  • 90% of our Geography research is rated as `world-leading' or `internationally excellent' in terms of impact (Research Excellence Framework 2014).
  • Join the Manchester University Geographical Society (MUGS) , a society run by Geography students for Geography Students.

Teaching and learning

The course has five core course units.

You select your remaining four course units from a wide range of options offered by Geography, Planning and Environmental Management, and the Global Development Institute (GDI), all within the School of Environment, Education and Development (SEED). These optional course units enable you to tailor the course to your unique interests.

Part-time students complete the course over 24 months. There are no evening or weekend course units available; you should, therefore, discuss course requirements with the Programme Director and seek approval from your employer. Timetabling information is usually available from late August. You can discuss course unit choices during induction week with the Programme Director.

Coursework and assessment

Assessment is primarily coursework-based and includes a variety of project work, essays and presentations. This enables you to gain a significant amount of hands-on experience of applying geographical information science skills to real world environmental applications.

The dissertation, based on an original research project of your own design, accounts for 60 credits. Dissertation topics can focus on aspects of geographical information science (GIS) and are supported by researchers who specialise in core areas of GIS, remote sensing, or modelling. The remaining 120 credits are based on eight 15-credit course units (four in each semester).

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
GIS & Environmental Applications GEOG40951 15 Mandatory
Dissertation Support GEOG60662 15 Mandatory
Environmental Remote Sensing GEOG60942 15 Mandatory
GIS and Environmental Applications GEOG60951 15 Mandatory
GIS and the Web GEOG70611 15 Mandatory
Environmental Monitoring and Modelling Practice GEOG70552 15 Optional
Applied Study Unit GEOG70560 15 Optional
Environmental Monitoring and Modelling Concepts GEOG70581 15 Optional
GIS and the Web GEOG70611 15 Optional
Ideas in Mapping GEOG70621 15 Optional
Understanding GIS GEOG71552 15 Optional
Spatial Analysis for Social Sciences GEOG72801 15 Optional
A Critical Introduction to GIS and Disasters HCRI60072 15 Optional
Fundamentals of Information and Information Systems MGDI60481 15 Optional
ICTs in Practice MGDI71932 15 Optional
Neighbourhood Planning Project PLAN60812 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 16 course units

Facilities

We are one of Europe's best-equipped universities for geography, with numerous laboratories. These include the main teaching laboratory, microscopy laboratory, and sediments and project laboratories.

You can also learn professional skills such as coding and programing specialist, industry-standard software such as image processing, GIS, GPS and cartographic representation.

The University's Main Library is the largest university library system in the UK apart from the copyright libraries and has a number of different working spaces. It is home to the University Map Collection, which comprises about 100,000 map sheets of every part of the world.

We also have our very own Kantorowich Library, which contains many of the teaching and learning materials that you will need, from books and journals to DVDs and past dissertations.

For more information, see Facilities

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service.

For more information, email dass@manchester.ac.uk