Postgraduate study

Earth Observation & Geoinformation Management

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding available

This interdisciplinary programme will equip you with the analytical and communication skills to work in this important and growing field.

This programme suit students with a background in environmental or geographical sciences who have already come across remote sensing, or those with a background in physics, computer science or engineering looking for a career in an applied area.

Graduates from the programme will be well prepared to pursue a research degree or find relevant employment. This programme builds on the successful Edinburgh Geographical Information Science (GIS) degree, which was the first of its type in the world, with a heritage of almost 30 years.

This programme consists of two semesters of taught courses followed by individual dissertation project work.

Compulsory courses typically will be:

  • Principles of Geographical Information Science
  • Fundamentals of Remote Sensing
  • Spatial Modelling
  • Research Practice and Project Planning
  • Introduction to Spatial Analysis
  • Dissertation

Option courses may include:

  • Atmospheric Quality and Global Change
  • Fundamentals for Remote Sensing
  • Object Oriented Software Engineering Principles
  • Object Orientated Software Engineering: Spatial Algorithms
  • Principles of GIS
  • Principles of GIS for Archaeologists
  • Principles of Environmental Sustainability
  • Sustainable Energy Technologies
  • Marine Systems and Policies
  • Technologies for Sustainable Energy
  • Introduction to Three Dimensional Climate Modelling
  • Geology for Earth Resources
  • Encountering Cities
  • Soil Protection and Management
  • Understanding Environment and Development
  • Advanced Spatial Database Methods
  • Data Integration and Exchange
  • Data Mining and Exploration
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Forests and Environment
  • Further Spatial Analysis
  • Hyperspectral Remote Sensing
  • ICT for Development
  • Integrated Resource Planning
  • Introduction to Radar Remote Sensing
  • Land Use/Environmental Interactions
  • Querying and Storing XML
  • Water Resource Management
  • Participation in Policy and Planning
  • Introduction to Environmental Modelling
  • Management of Sustainable Development
  • GIS and Society
  • Communicable Disease Control and Environmental Health
  • Political Ecology
  • Epidemiology for Public Health.

Courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change.

Field trip

This programme typically includes a residential field-skills weekend in Scotland.

Graduates have entered employment with well-known organisations such as Amey Infrastructure Services, British Airways, ESRI, General Electric, Google, Hewlett-Packard, Intergraph, Microsoft, Oracle, Royal Bank of Scotland, Scottish Water, Sopra Group, SLR Consulting, Food and Agricultural Organisation of the United Nations and the World Bank, as well as continuing in academia. Graduates will benefit from our proven track record in placing students with such a diverse range of employers.

Would you like to know what it’s really like to study at the School of GeoSciences?

Visit our student experience blog where you can find articles, advice, videos and ask current students your questions.

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration
  • UKVI list of majority English speaking countries
  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections; the "Enabling Skills" sections are not considered)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than two and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Find out more about our language requirements:

For detailed information on fee status, policies and payment see:

Applicants receiving an offer of admission, either unconditional or conditional, will be asked to pay a tuition fee deposit of £1,500 to secure their place on the programme.

This has to be paid within 28 days for offers made before 30th June and 14 days for those offers made from 1st July onwards.

  • School of GeoSciences
  • Institute of Geography
  • Drummond Street
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9XP

We encourage you to apply at least one month prior to entry so that we have enough time to process your application. If you are also applying for funding or will require a visa then we strongly recommend you apply as early as possible. We may consider late applications if we have places available, but you should contact the relevant Admissions Office for advice first.

You must submit a reference with your application.

Find out more about the general application process for postgraduate programmes:

Further information

  • School of GeoSciences
  • Institute of Geography
  • Drummond Street
  • Central Campus
  • Edinburgh
  • EH8 9XP