Taught course

Geographical Information Science (GIS)

University of Edinburgh · School of Geosciences

Entry requirements

A UK 2:1 honours degree, or its international equivalent. We may also consider a UK 2:2 honours degree, or its international equivalent, with relevant industry experience. Please visit http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/international/country to check equivalents to UK qualifications.Students whose first language is not English must provide evidence of proficiency in English: IELTS 7.0 (with no score lower than 6.0 in each section), TOEFL-iBT: Total 100 (with no score lower than 20 in each section). A degree from an English speaking university may be accepted in some circumstances. More information about other qualifications we accept is online: http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/international/english

Months of entry


Course content

Programme description This programme offers expert understanding of the latest developments in geographical information science (GIS), mixing practical training, theoretical knowledge and an ability to apply learned skills in any software environment.

This programme can be tailored to your interests and career goals, offering hands-on experience in geographical problem solving. A field trip to Perthshire focuses on techniques for capturing geospatial information.

Programme structure Courses reflecting the industry’s needs prepare you for employment.

Compulsory courses typically include*:

  • Introduction To Spatial Analysis
  • Spatial Modelling
  • Research Practice and Project Planning
  • Distributed GIS
  • GeoVisualisation
  • Dissertation

Option courses:

In consultation with the Programme Director, you will choose from a range of option courses*. We particularly recommend:

  • Atmospheric Quality and Global Change
  • Fundamentals for Remote Sensing
  • Object Oriented Software Engineering Principles
  • Object Orientated Software Engineering: Spatial Algorithms
  • Principles of GIS
  • Principles of GIS for Archaeologists
  • Principles of Environmental Sustainability
  • Sustainable Energy Technologies
  • Marine Systems and Policies
  • Technologies for Sustainable Energy
  • Introduction to 3D Climate Modelling
  • Geology for Earth Resources
  • Encountering Cities
  • Soil Protection and Management
  • Understanding Environment and Development
  • Advanced Spatial Database Methods
  • Data Integration and Exchange
  • Data Mining and Exploration
  • Environmental Impact Assessment
  • Forests and Environment
  • Further Spatial Analysis
  • Hyperspectral Remote Sensing
  • ICT for Development
  • Integrated Resource Planning
  • Introduction to Radar Remote Sensing
  • Land Use/Environmental Interactions
  • Querying and Storing XML
  • Water Resource Management
  • Participation in Policy and Planning
  • Introduction to Environmental Modelling
  • Management of Sustainable Development
  • GIS and Society
  • Political Ecology

*Please note: courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change.

Career opportunities Demand for GIS expertise is growing at an unprecedented rate. The proven ability of our graduates means our internationally recognised programme is held in high regard by employers.

Graduates work worldwide in public and private sector organisations, such as Microsoft, Google, General Electric Aerospace, The World Bank, British Antarctic Survey, The World Conservation Monitoring Centre, Unisys, British Airways, the Forestry Commission, DEFRA and Registers of Scotland.

The programme is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors.


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Information for international students


Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Students applying for GIS may be eligible to apply for funding including Scottish Funding Council Full Fee Scholarships. More information can be found online.

For additional information about funding opportunities visit our GeoSciences Scholarships webpage

Or visit the University's Scholarships and Student Finance Office.

Qualification and course duration


part time
24,36 months
full time
12 months

Course contact details

Programme Secretary Karolina Galera
+44 (0)131 650 2572