MSc in Geographical Information Technologies

The Geographical Information Technologies (GI Technologies) pathway aims to provide students with a critical understanding of the software engineering practices and standards that underpin database and web application development and the methodologies for implementing those practices in a GIS context.  It seeks to develop the student's critical understanding of the issues involved in designing the storage and use of geographical data in databases and web-based applications.  Importantly this pathway also aims to develop within students the capability to design, implement and evaluate small-scale database and web-application projects.


Key learning outcomes for the GI Technologies pathway include:

  1. Ability to evaluate the benefits and challenges of modern geo-database technologies and their implementation in a distributed environment (e.g. web or enterprise)

  2. Ability to appraise the technical issues in the development of distributed GIS applications

  3. Ability to appraise the technical issues in the development of GIS applications

  4. Competency in planning, design, implementation and evaluation of appropriate methods to create geospatial applications in a distributed environment


The PgD stage includes three core (mandatory) units

Methods in GIS

The concepts, theories and methods behind the application of GIS are examined in detail.  The unit explores research design, data analysis and interpretation and presentation.  Special focus is given to methods of spatial analysis and their implementation using GIS software.  Key elements of the curriculum include: Research Design; Qualitative and Quantitative Techniques; Fundamentals of Spatial Analysis; Recent Advances in Spatial Analysis.


Distributed GIS

This unit discusses the most vibrant and rapidly developing area of geospatial technology.  Desktop GIS packages are increasingly looking like the specialist packages for serious users that, in truth, they always were.  Now, for the very large majority of people who really only want to look at the location of things, we can offer WebGIS systems that deliver what they need directly into their web-browsers.  This unit explains the concepts and methods of Internet GIS, development and its applications.  Key elements of the curriculum include: From Desktop to Distributed GI Services; Technologies in Distributed GIS; Building the GeoWeb; Tutorials.


Spatial Databases and Programming

The importance of programming and GIS as part of a larger system, which involves spatial databases, software development and programme coding, has been increasingly realised in GIS practice.  This unit aims to develop your geospatial skills in building enterprise oriented databases (e.g. geo-database and server) and creating application-oriented GIS models through programming.  This unit also helps you to critically evaluate the issues and trends in enterprise GIS and GIS application development from the perspective of software engineering and geospatial technology.  Key elements of the curriculum include: Spatial Databases; Design and Quality; Programming; Tutorials.


The final MSc stage involves a Project and Dissertation

In this unit the student will design and undertake a substantial and unique independent research project, to be presented as an academic dissertation (max. of 15,000 words).