Taught course

Geoinformation Technology & Cartography

University of Glasgow · School of Geographical and Earth Sciences

Entry requirements

Normally an Honours degree in a relevant field such as geography, earth or environmental science, planning, mathematics, or civil engineering, but other subjects will be considered. The programme requires some basic mathematical competence and a pass at Scottish Higher, GCE or equivalent in mathematics is recommended. Significant use is made of computers and IT, but there is no specific entry requirement. Entry without standard academic qualifications, or with technical qualifications in geomatics for those with significant practical experience in related employment, will be considered on an individual basis. International students with academic qualifications below those required should contact our partner institution, Glasgow International College, who offer a range of pre-Masters courses. Further information regarding academic entry requirements: student.recruitment@glasgow.ac.uk

Months of entry


Course content

This Masters in Geoinformation Technology & Cartography focuses on understanding and managing the locational data required to use Geographic Information Systems (GIS) together with visualisation and map production in a GIS environment. It is the only programme in the UK to have a significant emphasis on cartography; and our focus on the underpinning geomatics aspects and cartographic output is unique among GIS programmes.

Why Glasgow

· The MSc in Geoinformation Technology & Cartography is the only programme in the UK that focuses on cartography. The programme has been running since 1963 and celebrated its 50th birthday in 2013.

· You will benefit from access to our extensive computer laboratories and the latest software, including ArcGIS and MapInfo for GIS, graphic design packages and remote sensing processing software.

· University of Glasgow’s School of Geographical and Earth Sciences is proud to announce that it is ranked 32nd in the world (QS World Rankings 2014).

· The School is consistently ranked amongst the top 10 in the UK and top 5 in Scotland, recently achieving 2nd in Scotland and 8th in the UK (Guardian University Guide 2015).

· With a 95% overall student satisfaction in the National Student Survey 2014, the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences continues to meet student expectations combining both teaching excellence and a supportive learning environment.

· If you are seeking a career in geographic information management or cartography and have little or no academic background in this subject: or if you have a technical/practical background in the subject and are seeking an academic qualification; this programme is designed for you.

· Textbooks for semester 1 courses are included in fees; and you will attend the three-day GIS Research UK conference as part of the programme (included in fees).

Programme Structure

Modes of delivery of the MSc in Geoinformation Technology & Cartography include lectures, seminars and tutorials and allow students the opportunity to take part in lab, fieldwork, project, team work, and attend a GIS conference in the UK.

Core courses

· Cartographic design and geovisualisation

· Fundamentals of geomatics

· Geospatial data infrastructures and LIS

· Internet and mobile GIS

· Principles of GIS

· Research and professional issues

· Statistical mapping

· Topographic mapping.

Optional courses

· Advanced editing in GIS

· Application development in GIS

· Geospatial data modelling

· Photogrammetry

· Remote sensing

· Terrain modelling

· Use and user issues in cartography and GIS


· The MSc is available on a full-time basis over a 12 month period, or on a part-time basis over 2 or 3 years. The PG Diploma takes 9 months full-time or 2-3 academic sessions part-time. The PG Certificate takes 4 months full-time or can be spread over 2 academic sessions.

· To complete the MSc degree you must undertake a project worth 60 credits. The MSc and Diploma projects may be undertaken in collaboration with industry (full or part-time).

· This is a project chosen by you to investigate a challenging but constrained problem which can either be research or application oriented.

· The project will integrate the subject knowledge and generic skills that you will acquire during your Masters.

· We offer a wide range of projects, and each student is normally allocated a different project. We take your preferences into account when we allocate the projects.

· You will also have the opportunity to propose your own project, subject to academic approval.

Example projects

Here are some typical project titles from recent years:

· Usability of Ordnance Survey OpenData

· Usability of Ordnance Survey OpenData

· Investigation of Building Information Modelling (BIM)

· Emotional mapping of the University Campus

· Comparison of DTMs from digital photogrammetry and AUVs

· Content and accuracy of OpenStreetMap data in different environments

· Development of a GIS for the Botanic Gardens

· Use of 19th Century estate plans for assessing landscape change

· Mobile applications for input of cadastral data

Furthermore for students hoping to continue into research, we have two major research groups: Human Geography Research Group; and Earth Systems Research Group. Many students complete projects related to ongoing research activity in these groups. You can find details of our research at www.glasgow.ac.uk/schools/ges/research/postgraduate/

Information for international students

IELTS 6.5 (with no subtest less than 6) iBT TOEFL 92 (with no less than 21 in Listening & writing, 22 in reading, 23 in speaking) Cambridge ESOL Certificate in Advanced English (CAE) - B minimum or Certificate of Proficiency in English (CPE) - C minimum

Fees and funding

UK students
International students


Qualification and course duration


full time
12 months
part time
24-48 months


full time
9 months
part time
21-44 months


full time
3.5 months
part time
9-32 months

Course contact details

School of Geographical and Earth Sciences