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University of Portsmouth: Geographical Information Systems

Institution University of Portsmouth View institution profile
Department Faculty of Science and Health
Telephone 023 9284 5566
Study type Taught


Overview Geographical Information Systems (GIS) are a major component of information technology – and if you're interested in pursuing a career in this innovative, exciting field, our GIS Master's course will give you the tools to succeed.

On this applied course, you’ll learn the fundamentals of using geospatial data for real-world solutions through a combination of practical work and background theory. You'll use the same software tools employed by professionals in the field, and find out how to apply practical GIS skills in a range of contexts.

The course covers all the essential areas of geospatial data analysis, including GIS, remote sensing and Earth observation, geodatabases, programming, and field techniques. You'll analyse spatial data through your own project work and build on your previous studies and work experience, applying data analysis methods and software tools to help solve real world problems.

Earth systems and environmental sciences at the University of Portsmouth is ranked 4th of all post-1992 universities for research quality as part of the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2021.

The School of Environment, Geography and Geosciences offers a limited number of scholarships for international postgraduate students.

Eligibility This course accepts UK, EU, and international students.

Course highlights - Get hands-on experience of using Geographical Information (GI) instruments and emerging technologies, including GPS, Total Stations and 3D laser scanners

  • Learn from experts with extensive industrial and consultancy experience and strong research portfolios

  • Practise your GIS data collection skills, both in the field and in our GIS and remote sensing laboratory with its own dedicated GIS technical team

  • Take part in three-days of fieldwork data collection at a National Trust conservation site with the processed data shared with the Trust to help inform their management practices

  • Use licensed industry-standard software (Esri ArcGIS, ERDAS Imagine), processing techniques and datasets

  • Learn image processing and spatial analysis techniques, including programming for GIS and remote sensing applications

  • Complete a research project on a GIS topic of your choice, applying the principles of research design, data collection and analysis

Careers and opportunities Once you complete this MSc Geographical Information Systems degree, you'll be able to apply your lab and field experience in small and medium-sized enterprises, global businesses or non-governmental organisations (NGOs).

Graduates of this course have gone onto roles such as: - Geographical information system consultant

  • GIS and data analyst

  • Location planning analyst

  • GIS technician

  • Software development engineer

  • Spatial analyst

  • Remote sensing analyst

Graduates of this course have gone on to work for companies such as: - Ramboll

  • South East Water

  • Engenie Ltd

  • Transport for London

  • Esri


  • Fugro

  • RPS Group

  • CityFibre

During your course you'll have expert career support from your tutors and our Careers and Employability Centre – which you can access for up to 5 years after you graduate.

Course structure Full-time (one year) We recommend that full-time students allocate around 37 hours per week to their studies – equivalent to a full-time job. Approximately: - Two days per week of on-campus, in-person teaching (Tuesdays and Wednesdays)

  • Three days per week of self-directed study time

Part-time (two years) We recommend that part-time students allocate around 18 hours per week to their studies – equivalent to a part-time job. Approximately: - One day per week of on-campus, in-person teaching (Wednesdays in Year 1, Tuesdays in Year 2)

  • One-and-a-half days per week of self-directed study time

There are some additional days of field work during the Spring term (two weeks/ten days maximum).


University of Portsmouth


‘I already feel so much more confident applying for jobs.’

Anna, Master’s student at the University of Portsmouth

 Why Portsmouth?
A stronger sense of direction. Opportunities to specialise and further your prospects. A big step towards achieving your ambitions. Portsmouth is a university where you can connect with great people and businesses, and unlock career possibilities.

Taught qualification or independent research? On-campus teaching or online part-time study? At Portsmouth, you can choose from a wide range of subjects and modes of study.

  •    5***** rated for excellence in the QS World University rankings 2022
  • 86% satisfaction with course …
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Scholarship Opportunity with

Are you a PG student at this University or have you applied to study a postgraduate program at a university in Europe? Tell us your plans and qualify for a £500.00 PGS Scholarship.

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