School of GeoSciences

Research dissertation

On successful completion of all course work, students will be eligible to carry out a research project or equivalent piece of individual and original work which will carry 60 credits.

The environment within the School of GeoSciences and within the wider University and its networks give a wide range of potential areas to do research on. Students will be given guidance by the Programme Director in their choice of projects. Each student will be paired with a supervisor who will typically be a member of academic staff within the School of GeoSciences. Criteria for eligibility to proceed with the research project will be those used in the existing programme in GIS.


The structure for the Dissertation is in two parts: a research paper and supporting document, the latter usually comprising a technical report.

Dissertation in GIS

Past dissertations

The hundreds of dissertations produced by Edinburgh students extend from applications of GIS to theoretical and technological developments in the field. The potential scope of the dissertation project is perhaps best illustrated by the following examples of previous projects:

You can view past dissertation topics on the MSc Research Project Directory. 


Our existing strong EO and GIS alumni network allows us to draw on industry expertise and contacts as required for particular student projects. For example, many existing GIS students undertake dissertations with industry, or industrially-relevant topics.

Examples of where our Alumni are now include: