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Geographical Information Systems MSc

Geographical Information Systems MSc

Different course options

Full time | University of Aberdeen | 12 months | 23-JAN-23

Study mode

Full time


12 months

Start date


Key information

Qualification type

MSc - Master of Science

Subject areas

Geographical Information Systems Software (Use) Geography Geographical Information Systems

Course type


Course Summary

This is a flexible programme which has been designed to suit the needs of all learners. The degree has both a September and January start date.

Geospatial technologies are of increasing importance in many areas of commercial, industrial, and government employment, including nature conservation agencies, civil and coast engineering projects and marine and coastal zone management. As a result, 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 areas where the practical application of spatial knowledge and understanding to environmental problems is important.

The Geographical Information Systems programme covers the fundamentals of techniques and tools for acquiring, storing, processing, classifying, analysing, and visualising spatially referenced data, and their application to the study of the Earth. This includes:

  • Spatial databases
  • Programming
  • Simulation and modelling
  • Global Positioning Systems (GPS)
  • Digital mapping and cartography
  • Airborne, satellite and UAV remote sensing
  • Digital image processing
  • Geographical Information Systems (GIS)
  • WebGIS and Internet atlases
  • Field data capture
  • Mobile GIS

The GIS programme continues to have a very successful employment record in the commercial sector, environmental agencies, local and national government, research, and academia. Graduates have gone on to work in a variety of roles, including; project officers, programmers, sales managers, GIS engineer, senior consultant GIS specialist and project managers.

Career opportunities are highlighted through site visits, field trips, guest lectures, and chances to work with organisations as part of the MSc Dissertation. This programme focuses students on the acquisition of practical experience, specialist knowledge and understanding, and problem-solving skills to pursue careers in any of these fields. In addition, there is the possibility of industry suggested projects, dependent upon minimum academic requirements, and industrial input and contact with geospatial practitioners.


Central to the application of Geographical Information (GI) in the 'real world' is the acquisition of a fundamental knowledge and understanding of the 'data into information? pathway using GIS and the geospatial information technologies. This module introduces students to a number of examples of both theory and application of geographical data and information, and the relationships to remote sensing, cartography. visualisation, multimedia, global positioning systems (GPS), mobile GIS, and the Internet. A practical study of mobile GIS and Smartphone Apps for field data collection is included. A practical introduction to the Idrisi GIS software is used for the course.
Dissertation Project in GIS - Core

Tuition fees

UK fees
Course fees for UK students

For this course (per year)


International fees
Course fees for EU and international students

For this course (per year)


Entry requirements

Students should have 2:2 (lower second class) Honours degree or equivalent in Agriculture, Archaeology, Computing Science, Ecology, Engineering, Environmental Science, Forestry, Geography, Geology, Geomatics, Marine & Coastal Science, Marine Biology, Marine Science, Mathematics, Physics, Planning, Plant Science, Soil Science or Zoology. Candidates with degrees in other subject areas will be considered if they can demonstrate interest, aptitude and/or experience in a field relevant to the application of geospatial technologies.

University information

The University of Aberdeen was founded in 1495 and is the 5th oldest university in the UK and the 3rd oldest university in Scotland. Since its founding, the university has been ‘Open to all and dedicated to the pursuit of truth in the service of others’ and it still holds this purpose. Students from all over the world study either on campus or online, and the university attracts the best international academics, researchers, and specialists in...more

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