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School of Geography

Geographical Information Systems MSc
(Full time / Part time) 2019 start


Key facts

  • Start date:
    September 2019
  • Duration/Mode:
    12 months full time
    24 months part time
  • UK/EU fees: £10,500 (total)
    International fees: £22,750 (total)
  • Entry requirements:
    A bachelor degree with a 2:1 (hons) in geography or a related subject
  • Language requirements:
    IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in in any component
  • Course terms and conditions

This Masters course focuses on scientific, technical and computational aspects of Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Geographical Information Science (GIScience), with particular reference to the socioeconomic and environmental sciences. It provides highly qualified and motivated students sought by employers in the sector.

Core modules introduce GIS, a rapidly evolving area in business, health and planning settings, as well as in environmental applications. You will 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.

Student profile

"Our highly qualified and motivated students are valued by employers in the sector with many progressing to research for a PhD."

Dr Paul Norman, Programme Leader: Geographical Information Systems MSc
Read More

Other Study Options

This programme 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.

Course terms and conditions

Course content

This programme 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.

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 programme on a part time basis you will study fewer modules in each year. We set up a custom study programme for you based on your option choices.

Course structure

The list shown below represents typical modules/components studied and may change from time to time. Read more in our Terms and conditions.

Year 1

Compulsory modules

  • Professional & Personal Development 30 credits
  • GIS Data Visualisation & Analysis 30 credits
  • Dissertation (GIScience) 60 credits
  • Programming for Geographical Information Analysis: Core Skills 15 credits

Optional modules

  • GIS and Environment 15 credits
  • Geodemographics and Neighbourhood Analysis 15 credits
  • Digital Image Processing for Environmental Remote Sensing 15 credits
  • Programming for Geographical Information Analysis: Advanced Skills 15 credits
  • Environmental Assessment 15 credits
  • Web-based GIS 15 credits
  • Big Data and Consumer Analytics 15 credits
  • Applied GIS and Retail Modelling 15 credits

Learning and teaching

The programme manager is Dr Paul Norman.

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, practicals, etc.


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.

Applying, fees and funding

Entry requirements

A bachelor degree in geography or a related subject at 2:1 (hons) or its equivalent in geography or a related subject.

Relevant work experience and training courses are viewed positively and are taken into account particularly for candidates whose first degree grade falls below the normal minimum requirement.

Students without a background in geography but who have a degree that demonstrates good numeracy and/or computing skills are encouraged to apply.

If you’re interested in this programme but are unsure if you have the necessary background, please get in touch with us to discuss your position.

International qualifications

We accept a range of International Qualifications. For more information please contact the Admissions Team.

English language requirements

IELTS 6.5 overall, with no less than 6.0 in in any component. For other English qualifications, read English language equivalent qualifications.

Improve your English

International students who do not meet the English language requirements for this programme may be able to study our postgraduate pre-sessional English course, to help improve your English language level.

This pre-sessional course is designed with a progression route to your degree programme and you’ll learn academic English in the context of your subject area. To find out more, read Language for Science (6 weeks) and Language for Science: General Science (10 weeks)

If you need to study for longer than 10 weeks, read more about our postgraduate pre-sessional English course.

How to apply

This link takes you to information on applying for taught programmes and to the University's online application system.
If you're unsure about the application process, contact the admissions team for help.

International students

Read about visas, immigration and other information in International students. We recommend that international students apply as early as possible to ensure that they have time to apply for their visa.

Admissions policy

Faculty of Environment Taught Postgraduate Admissions Policy 2019


UK/EU fees: £10,500 (total)
International fees: £22,750 (total)

Read more about paying fees and charges.

For fees information for international taught postgraduate students, read Masters fees.

Part-time fees are normally calculated based on the number of credits you study in a year compared to the equivalent full-time course. For example, if you study half the course credits in a year, you will pay half the full-time course fees for that year.

Additional cost information

There may be additional costs related to your course or programme of study, or related to being a student at the University of Leeds. Read more about additional costs

Scholarships and financial support

If you have the talent and drive, we want you to be able to study with us, whatever your financial circumstances. There may be help for students in the form of loans and non-repayable grants from the University and from the government.  Find out more at Masters funding overview.

The School Geography offers a range of scholarships for UK, EU and International students.

Career opportunities

Here are some examples of the roles that our recent graduates have gone into:

  • Software Tester, Rock Deformation Research Ltd

  • GIS Analyst and Trainer, The University of Southampton

  • GIS Specialist, US Agency for International Development (USAID)

  • Information Geoscientist, First Quantum Minerals

  • GIS Analyst, RPS Group

  • GIS Analyst, ECOWAS Commission

  • GIS Consultant, UNEP Afghanistan

  • Senior Surveyor, Murphy Surveys

Careers support

The School of Geography has a very strong commitment to enhancing student employability. Read more about our employability support.

We encourage you to prepare for your career from day one. That’s one of the reasons Leeds graduates are so sought after by employers.

The Careers Centre and staff in your faculty provide a range of help and advice to help you plan your career and make well-informed decisions along the way, even after you graduate. Find out more at the Careers website.