Taught course

Geographical Information Science (GIS) and Archaeology

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 industrial or business experience.

English language requirements

All applicants must have one of the following qualifications as evidence of their English language ability:

  • an undergraduate or masters degree, that was taught and assessed in English in a majority English speaking country as defined by UK Visas and Immigration
  • UKVI list of majority English speaking countries
  • IELTS Academic: total 7.0 (at least 6.0 in each module)
  • TOEFL-iBT: total 100 (at least 20 in each module)
  • PTE(A): total 67 (at least 56 in each of the "Communicative Skills" sections; the "Enabling Skills" sections are not considered)
  • CAE and CPE: total 185 (at least 169 in each module)
  • Trinity ISE: ISE III with a pass in all four components

Degrees taught and assessed in English must be no more than two and a half years old at the beginning of your degree programme. Language tests must be no more than two years old at the beginning of your degree programme.

Months of entry


Course content

Please note this programme will be undergoing some changes for the 2017/18 entry and courses may be subject to change between now and the commencement of the programme in September 2017.

This programme offers you the chance to develop a detailed understanding of the application of geographical information science (GIS) and related technologies within the field of archaeology.

The programme retains a distinctive Scottish flavour, and students will benefit from the guidance of internationally recognised staff.

The programme combines the pedigree of Edinburgh’s GIS expertise with a long-established reputation in archaeological teaching and research.

You will gain a broad understanding of the use of GIS in archaeological surveying, recording and research and will be equipped with the analytical and communication skills necessary to work in this vibrant area.

Demand for the application of GIS within archaeology is growing at an unprecedented rate, including searching for new archaeological sites, determining the societal context of existing sites and examining the interplay between successive occupations of a site.

The proven ability of our GIS graduates in employment means our programme is held in high regard by a wide range of employers.

The programme is organised into two semesters of taught courses, delivered through lectures and seminars, after which you will work towards your individual dissertation.

Compulsory courses typically will be:

  • GIS & Spatial Analysis for Archaeologists
  • Spatial Modelling & Analysis
  • Research Practice & Project Planning
  • Dissertation

Option courses:

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

  • Principles of GIS
  • Principles & Practice of Remote Sensing
  • Technological Infrastructures for GIS
  • Climate & Corporate Strategy
  • Business Geographics
  • Virtual Analytics
  • Passive Earth Observation: New Platforms, Senses and Analytical Methods
  • Space, Place and Time: the archaeology of built environments
  • Exploring the Past with Data Science
  • Quantative Methods and Reasoning in Archaeology
  • Object Orientated Software Engineering: Spatial Algorithms
  • GeoVisualisation
  • Active Remote Sensing: Radar and Lidar
  • The Scottish Lowlands: Archaeology and Landscape before the Normans

Courses are offered subject to timetabling and availability and are subject to change.

Field trip

There is a field trip focusing on techniques for capturing geospatial information. This field trip has historically taken place at the Kindrogan Field Centre, Perthshire.

Information for international students

To find out about the support offered to international students at Edinburgh from arrival to graduation visit: http://www.ed.ac.uk/studying/international.

Fees and funding

UK students
International students

Visit our Scholarships and Student Finance Office at http://www.ed.ac.uk/student-funding for information about funding opportunities.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

  • MSc
    full time
    12 months
    • Campus-based learningis available for this qualification

Course contact details

Postgraduate Secretary, Karolina Galera
+44 (0)131 650 2572