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School of Environment, Education and Development

Student and lecturer in a geography lab
MSc Geographical Information Science
Gain thorough expertise in spatial data analysis for a range of specialist careers.

MSc Geographical Information Science

Year of entry: 2018

Overview

Degree awarded
Master of Science
Duration
12 Months (Full Time); 27 Months (Part-Time)
Entry requirements

You should have a Bachelors degree with a minimum classification of Second Class Honours, Upper Division (2:1) or its international equivalent. We welcome applicants from a range of degree backgrounds, especially Geography and Environmental Sciences. Graduates in biological sciences, mathematics, engineering, or a cognate discipline are also welcome. You may need to take additional study on your own if you do not understand basic knowledge presupposed in some of the taught units.  

Please submit the following documents with your application:

  • Copies of official degree certificates and transcripts of your previous study, showing the subjects taken and grades obtained. If these documents are in languages other than English please provide official translations.
  • Two written references, signed by the referee and on official headed paper.
  • A personal statement detailing why you wish to study the course, your experiences, what you can bring to the course and any other information that you see as relevant to your application
  • Your CV
  • Copies of English Language Certification, e.g. IELTS, TOEFL or Pearson test score report.

Full entry requirements

How to apply
Apply online

The deadline for applications is the 31st August 2018; later applications are considered at our discretion. Please note that we receive a very high number of applications so the course may be closed to new applications before the final deadline given.

Course options

Full-time Part-time Full-time distance learning Part-time distance learning
MSc Y Y N N

Course overview

  • You want to develop advanced theoretical geographical information science (GISc) knowledge and understanding, suitable for a range of specialist careers
  • You would like to gain thorough expertise in spatial data analysis and apply it to GISc projects
  • You want to develop a high level of expertise in a variety of widely used geographic information systems and remote sensing (RS) software packages
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Open days

For details of the next University Postgraduate open day, visit open days and visits

Fees

For entry in the academic year beginning September 2018, the tuition fees are as follows:

  • MSc (full-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £9,500
    International students (per annum): £18,000
  • MSc (part-time)
    UK/EU students (per annum): £4,750
    International students (per annum): £9,000

The fees quoted above will be fully inclusive for the course tuition, administration and computational costs during your studies.

All fees for entry will be subject to yearly review and incremental rises per annum are also likely over the duration of courses lasting more than a year for UK/EU students (fees are typically fixed for International students, for the course duration at the year of entry). For general fees information please visit: postgraduate fees . Always contact the department if you are unsure which fee applies to your qualification award and method of attendance.

Self-funded international applicants for this course will be required to pay a deposit of £1000 towards their tuition fees before a confirmation of acceptance for studies (CAS) is issued. This deposit will only be refunded if immigration permission is refused. We will notify you about how and when to make this payment.

Scholarships/sponsorships

The School of Environment, Education and Development is offering a number of scholarships for 2018 entry. For further information please click here .

The Manchester Alumni Scholarship Scheme offers a £3,000 reduction in tuition fees to University of Manchester alumni who achieved a 1st and are progressing to a postgraduate taught masters course for September 2018 entry (terms and conditions apply - please contact us for further information).  

See also the University's postgraduate funding database for more funding opportunities.

Contact details

Academic department
School of Environment, Education and Development
Contact name
Susan Harney
Telephone
+44 (0) 161 275 0969
Email
Website
http://www.seed.manchester.ac.uk/subjects/geography/postgraduatetaught/
Academic department overview
See: The School .

Entry requirements

Academic entry qualification overview

You should have a Bachelors degree with a minimum classification of Second Class Honours, Upper Division (2:1) or its international equivalent. We welcome applicants from a range of degree backgrounds, especially Geography and Environmental Sciences. Graduates in biological sciences, mathematics, engineering, or a cognate discipline are also welcome. You may need to take additional study on your own if you do not understand basic knowledge presupposed in some of the taught units.  

Please submit the following documents with your application:

  • Copies of official degree certificates and transcripts of your previous study, showing the subjects taken and grades obtained. If these documents are in languages other than English please provide official translations.
  • Two written references, signed by the referee and on official headed paper.
  • A personal statement detailing why you wish to study the course, your experiences, what you can bring to the course and any other information that you see as relevant to your application
  • Your CV
  • Copies of English Language Certification, e.g. IELTS, TOEFL or Pearson test score report.

English language

 Applicants whose first language is not English should meet the following language requirements:
  • IELTS 6.5 overall, 6.5 in writing, no sub-section below 6.0
  • TOEFL iBT overall score of 90 with a minimum score of 22 in writing and 20 in the other subsections 
  • Pearson PTE overall score of 59 with a minimum score of 59 in the written section and 55 in all other subsections
  • Cambridge Certificate of Advanced English (CAE) or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) overall score of 176 or above, with 176 in writing and no sub-section below 169 - OR - Grade C if taken before January 2015

Some English language test results are only valid for two years. Your English language test report must be valid on the start date of your course.

English language test validity

Some English language test results are only valid for two years. Your English language test report must be valid on the start date of the course.

Application and selection

How to apply

Apply online

The deadline for applications is the 31st August 2018; later applications are considered at our discretion. Please note that we receive a very high number of applications so the course may be closed to new applications before the final deadline given.

Re-applications

If you applied in the previous year and your application was not successful you may apply again. Your application will be considered against the standard course entry criteria for that year of entry. In your new application you should demonstrate how your application has improved. We may draw upon all information from your previous applications or any previous registrations at the University as a student when assessing your suitability for your chosen course.

Course details

Course description

MSc Geographical Information Science focuses on the multi-disciplinary science concerned with the development and application of geographical information science technologies, preparing you for a range of specialist careers.

Geographical information technologies are increasingly used in everyday life, such as Google Earth and geosocial networking. Core geographical information science technologies, including geographical information systems (GIS) and remote sensing, have had a long history of application in government and private sector environmental agencies, planning, agriculture, forestry, utilities and transportation.

This course will enable you to develop fundamental skills and in-depth knowledge of key application areas. You can choose to undertake an applied study unit, which gives a range of work experience skills and can lead to dissertation opportunities working with key local and national employers.

We offer research-led teaching and a range of extra-curricular activities designed to deepen and enhance your learning experience. These include access to additional training resources, educational visits, career talks and alumni presentations.

You will gain experience using commercial and open source software and acquire skills in the development of spatial software for both desktop and online platforms. What's more, during 2017 we will host the 25 th Geographical Information Science Research UK (GISRUK) conference; the largest national GIS research conference.

Aims

This course will provide you with the theoretical foundation and practical skills that are relevant for pursuing a career in a geographical information science field.

You will have the opportunity to develop advanced knowledge of and practical experience in:

  • GIS and remote sensing theory and practice
  • Advanced techniques for GIS analysis and image processing
  • Spatial analysis
  • Computer modelling and software development
  • Internet and GIS Web technologies
  • Databases and database technologies
  • Scientific communication of analytical results and their interpretation

Teaching and learning

  •   Part-time Study

    Part-time students complete the full-time programme over 27 months.  There are NO evening or weekend course units available on the part-time programme, therefore if you are considering taking a programme on a part-time basis, you should discuss the requirements with the Programme Director first and also seek approval from your employer to have the relevant time off.  Timetabling information is normally available from late August from the Programme Administrator and you will have the opportunity to discuss course unit choices during induction week with the Programme Director.

Coursework and assessment

The dissertation, based on an original research project of your own design, accounts for 60 credits. Dissertation topics can focus on aspects of geographical information science and are supported by researchers who specialise in core areas of GIS, remote sensing or modelling. The remaining 120 credits are based on eight 15-credit course units (four in each semester).

Assessment is primarily coursework-based and includes a variety of project work, essays and presentations. This enables you to gain a significant amount of hands-on experience of applying geographical information science skills to real world environmental applications.

The course has five core course units. You select your remaining four course units from a wide range of options offered by Geography, Planning and Environmental Management and the Global Development Institute (GDI), all within the School of Environment, Education and Development. These optional course units enable you to tailor the course to your unique interests.

Course unit list

The course unit details given below are subject to change, and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.

TitleCodeCredit ratingMandatory/optional
Dissertation Support GEOG60662 15 Mandatory
Environmental Remote Sensing GEOG60942 15 Mandatory
GIS and Environmental Applications GEOG60951 15 Mandatory
GIS and the Web GEOG70611 15 Mandatory
Environmental Monitoring and Modelling Practice GEOG70552 15 Optional
Applied Study Unit GEOG70560 15 Optional
Environmental Monitoring and Modelling Concepts GEOG70581 15 Optional
GIS and the Web GEOG70611 15 Optional
Ideas in Mapping GEOG70621 15 Optional
Understanding GIS GEOG71552 15 Optional
Fundamentals of Information and Information Systems MGDI60481 15 Optional
ICTs in Practice MGDI71932 15 Optional
Planning for Environmental Change PLAN60771 15 Optional
Neighbourhood Planning Project PLAN60812 15 Optional
Displaying 10 of 14 course units

What our students say

  ' The information and techniques I learnt during the MSc have had direct relevance to my professional career, which has progressed rapidly and I am now responsible for the GIS across a number of UK offices'

(Rachel Hutchins; IBI Group)

Facilities

 The Arthur Lewis Building provides excellent resources including analytical laboratories, studio facilities, workshops, seminar rooms, an on-site cafe and dedicated computer clusters including GIS facilities.

Disability support

Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: dass@manchester.ac.uk

Careers

Career opportunities

You will have the opportunity to learn from staff with advanced and practical understanding of geographical information science. The taught component of the course, together with the experience of carrying out a postgraduate-level dissertation project, provides you with an excellent foundation for PhD research in numerous fields that involve geospatial data analysis, including physical and human geography, planning, development, and the environmental and earth sciences. There is a high demand worldwide for individuals with these skills.

We provide you with the background knowledge and experience needed for employment in many sectors, especially GIS consultancies, environment agencies, marketing, the oil and gas sector, agriculture and forestry, water authorities, health authorities, and retail.