Postgraduate study

Earth Observation and Geoinformation Management MSc

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time

Funding opportunities

This programme will suit students with a background in environmental or geographical sciences who have already come across remote sensing, or those with a background in math, 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 is well embedded in a research and industry active environment and 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:

  • Spatial Modelling and Analysis
  • Research Practice and Project Planning
  • Passive Earth Observation* or
  • Active Remote Sensing*
  • Dissertation

Option courses may include:

  • Principles and Practice of Remote Sensing
  • Atmospheric Quality and Global Change
  • Object Orientated Software Engineering: Spatial Algorithms*
  • Principles of Geographical Information Science
  • Sustainable Energy Technologies 4
  • 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
  • ICT for Development
  • Land Use/Environmental Interactions
  • Querying and Storing XML
  • Water Resource Management
  • Participation in Policy and Planning
  • Introduction to Environmental Modelling
  • Management of Sustainable Development
  • 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.

In addition, this programme typically includes a residential field-skills weekend in Scotland.

*Please note, Principles and Practice of Remote Sensing would usually be a prerequisite for Passive Earth Observation and Active Remote Sensing unless equivalent background knowledge is demonstrated.

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.

We may also consider a UK 2:2 honours degree, or its international equivalent, with relevant industry experience.

International qualifications

Check whether your international qualifications meet our general entry requirements:

English language requirements

You must demonstrate a level of English language competency at a level that will enable you to succeed in your studies, regardless of your nationality or country of residence.

English language tests

We accept the following English language qualifications at the grades specified:

  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)

  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)

  • PTE Academic: 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

Your English language qualification must be no more than three and a half years old from the start date of the programme you are applying to study, unless you are using IELTS, TOEFL, PTE Academic or Trinity ISE, in which case it must be no more than two years old.

Degrees taught and assessed in English

We also accept an undergraduate or postgraduate degree that has been taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country, as defined by UK Visas and Immigration:

We also accept a degree that has been taught and assessed in English from a university on our list of approved universities in non-majority English speaking countries.

If you are not a national of a majority English speaking country, then your degree must be no more than three and a half years old at the beginning of your programme of study.*

(*Revised 8/11/2018 to provide more accurate information on English language qualifications expiry dates. Revised 22/03/2019 to provide more accurate/comprehensive information.)

Find out more about our language requirements:

Tuition fee deposit

If you receive an offer of admission, either unconditional or conditional, you will be asked to pay a tuition fee deposit of £1,500 to secure your place on the programme.

Any applicants who are required to pay will receive an offer with full details. (If there is no information on your offer about the deposit then you are not required to pay.)

  • If you receive an offer before 1 March, you must pay your deposit by 31 March.
  • If you receive an offer between 1 March and 30 June, you must pay your deposit within 28 days.
  • If you receive an offer on or after 1 July, you must pay your deposit within 14 days.

Find out more about tuition fee deposits:

Tuition fees

UK government postgraduate loans

If you live in the UK, you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan from one of the UK’s governments. The type and amount of financial support you are eligible for will depend on your programme, the duration of your studies, and your residency status. (Programmes studied on a part-time intermittent basis are not eligible.)

Other funding opportunities

Search for scholarships and funding opportunities:

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

Due to high demand applications for 2019 entry will close at 17:00 on 16 August 2019.

If you are interested in this programme and do not submit an application by this deadline you can join a waiting list. Please email sciengra@ed.ac.uk to request this.

*(Revised 2 August 2019 to update deadline information)

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