Postgraduate study

Geographical Information Science

Awards: MSc

Study modes: Full-time, Part-time

Funding available

This programme offers expert understanding of the latest developments in geographical information science (GIS), mixing practical training, theoretical knowledge and an ability to apply learned skills in any software environment.

This programme can be tailored to your interests and career goals, offering hands-on experience in geographical problem solving. A field trip to Perthshire focuses on techniques for capturing geospatial information.

Courses reflecting the industry’s needs prepare you for employment.

Compulsory courses typically will be:

  • Research Practice and Project Planning
  • Spatial Modelling and Analysis
  • Technological Infrastructures for GIS
  • Dissertation

Option courses:

In consultation with the Programme Director, you will choose from a range of option courses. We particularly recommend:

  • Active Remote Sensing: Radar and Lidar
  • Atmospheric Quality and Global Change
  • Business Geographics
  • Data Integration and Exchange
  • Data Mining and Exploration
  • Ecosystem Services 1: Ecosystem Dynamics and Functions
  • Ecosystem Services 2: Ecosystem Values and Management
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Forests and Environment
  • ICT for Development
  • Introduction to Environmental Modelling
  • Introduction to Three Dimensional Climate Modelling
  • Land Use/Environmental Interactions
  • Marine Systems and Policies
  • Object Orientated Software Engineering: Spatial Algorithms
  • Passive Earth Observation: New Platforms, Sensors, and Analytical Methods
  • Participation in Policy and Planning
  • Principles and Practice of Remote Sensing
  • Principles of Geographical Information Science
  • Technologies for Sustainable Energy
  • Water Resource Management

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

Find out more about compulsory and optional courses

We link to the latest information available. Please note that this may be for a previous academic year and should be considered indicative.

AwardTitleDurationStudy mode
MScGeographical Information Science1 YearFull-timeProgramme structure 2018/19
MScGeographical Information Science2 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2018/19
MScGeographical Information Science3 YearsPart-timeProgramme structure 2018/19

Demand for GIS expertise is growing at an unprecedented rate. The proven ability of our graduates means our internationally recognised programme is held in high regard by employers.

Graduates work worldwide in public and private sector organisations, such as Microsoft, Google, General Electric Aerospace, The World Bank, British Antarctic Survey, The World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Unisys, British Airways, the Forestry Commission, DEFRA and Registers of Scotland.

The programme is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.

You may also be interested in the following programmes:

Student experience

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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

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 three 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:

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.

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 you are not required to pay.

This has to be paid by 31 March for offers made by 1 March, within 28 days for offers made before 30th June and within 14 days for those offers made from 1st July onwards.

Find out more about tuition fees and studying costs:

  • 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.

Applicants who applied after 12 December 2016 receiving an offer of admission, either unconditional or conditional, may be required to pay a tuition fee deposit. Please see the fees and costs section for more 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