Taught course

Geospatial & Mapping Sciences

University of Glasgow · School of Geographical and Earth Sciences

Entry requirements

Normally an Honours degree in a relevant field such as civil engineering, earth or environmental science, geography, mathematics, physics, or planning, but others with some mathematical background will be considered. Those with a degree in geomatics or a closely related subject or who meet the age and experience criteria of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors can use the programme as a route to a professional qualification or preparation for a research degree and may, under special circumstances, be given exemption from some aspects of the programme. 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 Geospatial & Mapping Sciences focuses on understanding the theory and practice of geospatial data collection; land and hydrographic surveying; data and information quality; applications of survey information; and research and development in the field of geomatics. It is strongly endorsed by industry, accredited by the RICS and has an excellent employment record.

Why Glasgow

· This programme meets the academic requirements for membership of relevant professional bodies and is accredited by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors.

· If you are seeking a career in geomatics: land and engineering surveying; hydrographic surveying; land registration/cadastre and LIS; photogrammetric and remote sensing engineering; management of geospatial information; this programme is for you.

· 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.

· The MSc in Geospatial and Mapping Sciences is an industry-sponsored programme and has been developed in close collaboration with industry to meet global demand for professionals in this field.

· You will benefit from access to the latest surveying equipment and software, including RTK GPS and terrestrial laser scanners.

· Textbooks for semester 1 courses are included in fees; and you will attend a week long practical surveying course (included in fees).

Programme Structure

Modes of delivery of the MSc in Geospatial and Mapping Sciences include lectures, seminars and tutorials and allow students the opportunity to take part in lab, fieldwork, project and team work.

Core courses

· Engineering surveying

· Fundamentals of geomatics

· Geodesy and GNSS

· Hydrographic surveying

· Land surveying principles and methods

· Principles of GIS

· Research and professional issues

· Topographic mapping from ground, air and space.

Optional courses

· Application development in GIS

· Geospatial data infrastructures

· Hydrographic surveying applications

· Land information systems

· Photogrammetry

· Remote sensing

· Terrain modelling

· Terrestrial laser scanning


· 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 geomatics 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:

· Coastal erosion and beach lowering (various sites in Scotland

· Methods for evaluating tree heights

· Laser Scanning for building heritage and conservation (with Glasgow City council)

· Performance of groynes as coastal defence measures

· 3D model of golf course for run off management

· Developing a pedestrian navigation network

· Comparison of methods for determining height

· Bare earth DTM creation

· Application of landscape genetics

· Hydrographic survey of Bardowie Loch

· Developing a 3D urban model

· Built environment survey of Hopetoun House

· Evaluation of survey methods in woodlands

· Survey of a school to facilitate infrastructure management

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


part time
24-48 months
full time
12 months


full time
9 months
part time
21-44 months


part time
9-32 months
full time
3.5 months

Course contact details

School of Geographical and Earth Sciences