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.

Months of entry


Course content

Uncover hidden sites and find new insights into ancient history.

As technology ever evolves, so does our approach to understanding history. Demand for the application of Geographical Information Science (GIS) is growing in archaeology at an unprecedented rate. Archaeologists were early adopters, users and developers of this technology. It has rapidly become not only popular in the field, but a critical tool to help us understand ancient settlements and space.

GIS captures, stores, checks and displays data related to positions on the Earth’s surface so you can better understand spatial patterns and relationships.

Archaeology examines the unfolding of historical events through the combination of geography, time and culture. As such, the results of archaeological studies are rich in spatial information, of which GIS is ideally situated to merge and analyse this data to create new and exciting information providing new insights on the world around us. GIS is used in this field in a variety of ways, including searching for new archaeological sites and determining the societal context of an existing site. It can also examine the interplay between the successive occupations of a site over time.

This MSc programme offers you the chance to develop a detailed understand of the application of GIS and related technologies within the field of archaeology. You will gain a broad understanding of the uses of GIS in archaeological surveying, recording and research. The programme will also equip you with the analytical and communication skills necessary to work in this vibrant area.

The programme combines the pedigree of the University of Edinburgh’s GIS expertise, with a long-established reputation in archaeological teaching and research. You will gain critical theoretical knowledge, develop strong practical skills and undertake supervised independent research, all under the guidance of our internationally recognised staff.

There is a lot of flexibility in the programme, enabling you to customise your learning in areas you are most passionate about. Not only will you have access to the specialised courses in GIS and archaeology, but also the wider range of archaeology courses offered by the School of History, Classics and Archaeology.

Qualification, course duration and attendance options

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

Course contact details

Program Contact, Heather Penman
+44 (0)131 650 5737