This course comprises two semesters of taught modules followed by a dissertation project. The first semester includes three core modules. The second semester includes optional modules to allow you to specialise in your chosen pathway.
Our modules can be grouped thematically so that you can include topics relating to Planning and Society, to Environment and to Technical Development. There is freedom to choose whichever of our modules you wish.
Core modules introduce GIS, a rapidly evolving area in business, health and planning settings, as well as in environmental applications. You'll be introduced to GIS packages and database systems, useful for those wanting to undertake social and environmental science research and those wanting to understand the application of geotechnology as practitioners.
You’ll study theories and concepts underpinning GIS and explore topics including spatial data models, data capture, spatial analysis and statistical and mathematical modelling. Optional modules allow you to focus on quantitative human geography, environmental applications and programming GIS.
The dissertation is carried out over the summer months and is an opportunity for you to investigate a topic and demonstrate your ability to apply the techniques you have learned during the course and bring in additional methods, whilst placing the work within appropriate literature contexts. Our aim is to submit the best dissertations for journal publication.
If you study this course on a part time basis you'll study fewer modules in each year. We set up a custom study course for you based on your option choices.
The dissertation project is one of the most satisfying elements of this course. It allows you to apply what you’ve learned to a piece of research focusing on a real-world problem, and it can be used to explore and develop your specific interests.
Example dissertation themes for Geographical Information Systems MSc include:
Transport and mobility
Health and wellbeing
Want to find out more about your modules?
Take a look at the Geographical Information Systems module descriptions for more detail on what you'll study.
The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.
For more information and a full list of typical modules available on this course, please read Geographical Information Systems MSc in the course catalogue
Professional & Personal Development
GIS Data Visualisation & Analysis
Optional modules (selection of typical options shown below)
GIS and Environment
Geodemographics and Neighbourhood Analysis
Digital Image Processing for Environmental Remote Sensing
Programming for Geographical Information Analysis: Core Skills
Learning and teaching
Teaching will be through workshops, seminars, presentations, practicals and lectures, depending on the modules you choose. We have a dedicated postgraduate computer lab to which you will have 24 hour access and this is the lab used for workshops and practicals.
Our Virtual Learning Environment will help to support your studies: it’s a central place where you can find all the information and resources for the School, your programme and modules.
You can also benefit from support to develop your academic skills, within the curriculum and through online resources, workshops, one-to-one appointments and drop-in sessions.
You'll need a laptop or PC capable of running standard applications (such as Microsoft Word/Excel etc). The packages we will use shouldn’t need anything more than a moderately spec’d machine running Windows. Software is typically made available to you as a download. Take a look at the ArcGIS Pro system requirements and use these as the basis for your laptop/computer.
Active research environment
You'll be taught by a team of academics and researchers who are actively engaged in cutting-edge research and part of the Centre for Spatial Analysis and Policy research group and the Leeds Institute for Data Analytics.
Other study options
This course is also available part-time, allowing you to combine study with other commitments. You can work to fund your studies, or gain a new qualification without giving up an existing job. We aim to be flexible in helping you to put together a part-time course structure that meets your academic goals while recognising the constraints on your study time. You can also study this subject at Postgraduate Diploma level.
If you are interested in studying onlineonline, we offer a part-time distance learning Geographical Information Science course. Modules on this course are available to study online as short courses.
The Programme Leader, Dr Paul Norman, is an Associate Professor in Population and Health Geography whose research interests include harmonisation of small area level socio-demographic, morbidity and mortality data to enable time-series analysis of demographic and health change.
On this course you’ll be taught by our expert academics, from lecturers through to professors. You may also be taught by industry professionals with years of experience, as well as trained postgraduate researchers, connecting you to some of the brightest minds on campus.
Assessment is through coursework with no exams. There is a mix of essays, workbooks / reports. Practical work and assignments are based on the analysis of real world datasets much of which stems from research in which the teaching staff have been involved. Most modules have assessment part way through the semester and then a further assessment at the end.