Geographical Information Systems MSc
MSc Geographical Information Systems
Geographical Information Systems (GIS) are now a major component of information technology – and if you're interested in pursuing a career in this innovative, exciting field, our MSc Geographical Information Systems (GIS) degree course will give you the tools to succeed.
On this MSc Geographical Information Systems degree course, you'll learn practical GIS skills using the same software tools employed by professionals in the field. You'll analyse spatial data through your own project work and build on your previous geographical studies, creating distinctive methods of data analysis, algorithms and software tools.
Once you graduate, you'll be well placed to pursue a career as a geographical information science specialist within local and national government, health authorities, environment and conservation organisations, or in university-based research.
What you'll experience
On this course, you'll:
- Get hands-on experience of using Geographical Information (GI) instruments and emerging technologies, including GPS, Total Stations and 3D laser scanners
- Learn from experts with extensive industrial and consultancy experience and strong research portfolios
- Practise your GIS data collection skills, both in our GIS labs and in the field
- Learn image processing and spatial analysis techniques
- Complete a research report on the GIS topic of your choice, applying the principles of research and design
Careers and opportunities
GIS has become an essential part of the world's information infrastructure and the technology is now widely used in utility companies, telecommunications networks, civil engineering, retailing, local and national government, international charities, NGOs, the National Health Service, environmental organisations, banking and finance, and insurance.
When you graduate, you'll be in a strong position to pursue a career in any of these industries and organisations. Many of our previous graduates are now employed all over the world, working on GIS-related projects for organisations including:
- The Environment Agency
- Ordnance Survey
- Environmental consultancies
We'll provide you with as much support as possible in finding employment through close industrial contacts, careers events, recruitment fairs and individual advice.
What you'll study on this MSc Geographical Information Systems degree course
Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
You need to study units worth a total of 180 credits. For example, 4 units worth 30 credits and 1 unit worth 60 credits.
Core units include:
- Principles of Geographic Information Science
- GIS and Database Management Systems
- Image Processing and Spatial Data Analysis
Options to choose currently include:
- Applied Geographic Information Systems
- Coastal and Marine Resource Management
- Hazard Modelling and Risk Assessment
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry.
[The course] provided me with access to emerging technologies at the forefront of earth science research … this, plus the skills I’ve learned in time management and collaborative working, will help me achieve my goal to become a GIS consultant in the private sector.
Work experience and career planning
We'll help you to identify voluntary roles and opportunities that will complement your studies.
When you complete this course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the heritage, teaching, or other related industries.
After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.
As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
academicwriting notetaking timemanagement criticalthinking presentationskills referencing workingin groups revision, memory and exam techniques
Teaching on this course includes:
- practical sessions
How you're assessed
You'll be assessed through:
- practical exercises
Qualifications or experience
- A 2:2 honours degree or equivalent in Geography or a related subject. Professional experience in a relevant area and other qualifications may be taken into consideration for applicants not meeting this requirement.
English language requirements
- English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.
Tuition fees (2019 start)
UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
- Full time: £7,500 (may be subject to annual increase)
- Part time: £2,500 (may be subject to annual increase)
- Full time: £13,900 (may be subject to annual increase)
- Part time: £4,630 (may be subject to annual increase)
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.
Apply for this course using our online application form.
If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region. To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.