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Taught degree

GIS (Geographic Information Science) MSc

The GISc (Geographical Information Science) MSc educates students in the theoretical, scientific and practical aspects of GISc. An MSc in GISc from UCL is in high demand; we run an annual GIS careers fair and the large majority of our students find employment prior to completing their degree.

Key Information

Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma with fees set accordingly.

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 1 year

Tuition Fees (2015/16)

UK/EU:
£8,755 (FT)
Overseas:
£17,250 (FT)

Application deadlines

All applicants:
1 August 2015

Entry Requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Extensive work experience covering related areas will be considered.

English language requirement: Standard

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

International equivalencies

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree Information

You will gain a solid grounding in the scientific principles underpinning the computational foundations of GIS, as well as a broader practical understanding of topics at the forefront of modern GIS. Our staff are world-leading experts in the areas of programming location-enabled Apps, spatial and 3D database management systems, big spatio-temporal data mining, usability and human computer interaction.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits) and a research project (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma, four core modules (60 credits), four optional modules (60 credits), full-time nine months is offered.

Compulsory Modules

  • Representations, Structures and Algorithms
  • Principles of Spatial Analysis
  • Mapping Science
  • GIS Principles and Technology

Options

  • Positioning
  • Geodemographics and Population Geography
  • Applied Building Information Modelling
  • Airborne Data Acquisition
  • <strong>Plus no more than 30 credits of optional modules (all term two) selected from </strong>:
  • Spatial Databases and Data Management
  • Web and Mobile GIS &#8211; Apps and Programming
  • Spatio-Temporal Analysis and Data Mining
  • Geographical Information System Design
  • <strong>At least 30 credits of optional modules selected from </strong>:
  • Terrestrial Data Acquisition
  • Research Methods
  • Ocean and Coastal Zone Management
  • Image Understanding

Dissertation/report

All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–15,000 words. Where appropriate, this may be undertaken in conjunction with one of our many industrial partners, including Arup, Joint Research Centre, British Red Cross, Transport for London.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through lectures, practical classes, demonstrations and tutorials, and is supported by a series of external speakers from industry and visits to industrial and government establishments. Assessment is through unseen and take-home written examinations, group and individual coursework, formal and oral presentations, and the dissertation.

Funding

International students may wish to approach their country's Ministry of Education to see if there are any grants for international study.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS)

Value:
Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances
Duration:
1 year
Eligibility:
Prospective Overseas Master's students on one of the 10 eligible programmes, who are nationals of (or permanently domiciled in) a Commonwealth developing country, and not currently living or studying in a developed country. The students must hold a first degree at either first- or upper second-class level and be sufficiently fluent in English to pursue the programme. Applicants must not have previously studied for one year or more in a developed country, nor have been employed by a government department (at national level) or a parastatal organisation (employees of universities are normally acceptable). Students must be be willing to confirm that they will return to their home country as soon as their period of study is complete.

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS)

Value:
Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances
Duration:
1 year
Eligibility:
Prospective Overseas Master's students on one of the 10 eligible programmes, who are nationals of (or permanently domiciled in) a Commonwealth developing country, and not currently living or studying in a developed country. The students must hold a first degree at either first- or upper second-class level and be sufficiently fluent in English to pursue the programme. Applicants must not have previously studied for one year or more in a developed country, nor have been employed by a government department (at national level) or a parastatal organisation (employees of universities are normally acceptable). Students must be be willing to confirm that they will return to their home country as soon as their period of study is complete.

SPDC Niger Delta Postgraduate Scholarship

Value:
Tuition fees, plus stipend, flights and allowances.
Duration:
1 year
Eligibility:
Prospective Master's students from Nigeria who display intellectual ability and leadership potential, and have a high standard of English, i.e. at least 6.5 in IELTS. Students must be aged between 21-30 years, and originate from one of the Niger Delta States in Nigeria, namely Rivers, Delta or Bayelsa, and currently reside in Nigeria. Applicants must intend to return and take up permanent residence in Nigeria after completion of the proposed programme of study. The eligible programmes for this award are MSc programmes in Chemical Process Engineering, Civil Engineering or Mechanical Engineering. Students must have obtained a degree of at least an equivalent standard to a an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree and be neither a current nor former employee (who have left employment less than five years before) of SPDC, the Royal Dutch Shell Group of Companies or Wider Perspectives Limited, or current employee's relatives Applicants must not already have had the chance to study in the UK or other developed country.

SPDC Niger Delta Postgraduate Scholarship

Value:
Tuition fees, plus stipend, flights and allowances.
Duration:
1 year
Eligibility:
Prospective Master's students from Nigeria who display intellectual ability and leadership potential, and have a high standard of English, i.e. at least 6.5 in IELTS. Students must be aged between 21-30 years, and originate from one of the Niger Delta States in Nigeria, namely Rivers, Delta or Bayelsa, and currently reside in Nigeria. Applicants must intend to return and take up permanent residence in Nigeria after completion of the proposed programme of study. The eligible programmes for this award are MSc programmes in Chemical Process Engineering, Civil Engineering or Mechanical Engineering. Students must have obtained a degree of at least an equivalent standard to a an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree and be neither a current nor former employee (who have left employment less than five years before) of SPDC, the Royal Dutch Shell Group of Companies or Wider Perspectives Limited, or current employee's relatives Applicants must not already have had the chance to study in the UK or other developed country.

Brown Family Bursary

Value:
£15,000
Duration:
1 year
Eligibility:
Prospective full-time Master's students within the Faculties of the Built Environment, Engineering Science and Mathematical & Physical Sciences.

Brown Family Bursary

Value:
£15,000
Duration:
1 year
Eligibility:
Prospective full-time Master's students within the Faculties of the Built Environment, Engineering Science and Mathematical & Physical Sciences.

R.C. Vaughan Bursary

Value:
Variable
Duration:
1 year
Eligibility:
Eligibilty: For students in the Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering who are in financial need.

R.C. Vaughan Bursary

Value:
Variable
Duration:
1 year
Eligibility:
Eligibilty: For students in the Department of Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering who are in financial need.

More scholarships are listed on the scholarships website

Careers

There are excellent employment prospects for our graduates, with starting salaries of around £25,000. Recent GISc graduates have found openings with large engineering design firms (such as Arup or WSP), specialist consultancy firms such as Deloitte or Informed Solutions, in leading professional software companies (such as ESRI or Google), with local authorities, for organisations such as Shell, Tesco, the Environment Agency, Transport for London, NHS and the Ordnance Survey.

Employability

Students on the MSc in GISc will develop specific skills including a fundamental understanding of GISc and its application to real-world problems, via theoretical lectures covering the foundations of the science – how data is captured, map creation, generalisation, spatial data management, spatial analysis, data quality and error, spatial algorithms. Students will develop strong technical (python, R, Java, HTML, Javascript, SQL) and analytical skills (data mining, human computer interaction and usability), and in order to fully understand the principles behind GISc will make use of multiple GIS packages.

Why study this degree at UCL?

This highly regarded MSc has been running for 25 years and is taught by internationally recognised academics. Our specialist GIS lab offers the latest open source and proprietary software and our unique dual focus on the computer science and analytical aspects of GIS mean that you will be able to develop your skills in multiple directions.

Our close links with industry (a strong alumni group and weekly industrial seminars) mean that you will be able to directly link your classroom learning with your future career as a GIS professional; you can also undertake your dissertation with an industrial partner.

Student / staff ratios › 36 staff › 140 taught students › 79 research students

Department: Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering

Application and next steps

Applications

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

Who can apply?

The programme is suitable for students who wish to develop both the analytical and the strongly technical GIS skills that are much in demand in the modern GIS profession. GIS is very interdisciplinary and we will consider applications from all backgrounds. No prior knowledge of GIS is required.

Application deadlines

All applicants
2015-08-01

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:
  • why you want to study Geographic Information Science at graduate level
  • why you want to study Geographic Information Science at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

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