Course options

There are other course options available which may have a different vacancy status or entry requirements – view the full list of options

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

Combine satellite data, technology and science to find new solutions to the world's biggest challenges. The MSc Earth Observation and Geoinformation Management aims to provide you with the theoretical and practical skills to use and analyse Earth observation data in conjunction with broader skills in handling geospatial data. This unique programme is well-embedded in an active research and industry environment. It works alongside our successful MSc Geographical Information Science degree, which was the first of its type in the world with a heritage of over 30 years. This MSc reflects on the use of geospatial technologies in the detection and mitigation of climate change, sustainability and social responsibility. What is Earth Observation and Geoinformation Management? Earth observation (EO) involves gathering information about the Earth's physical, chemical, and biological systems using remote sensing technologies such as satellites. Earth observation is growing in social, economic and political importance by helping us better understand and manage Earth and its environment in areas such as:

  • agriculture
  • infrastructure and transportation
  • mineral resource management
  • land use and planning
  • monitoring pollution
  • deforestation and land degradation
  • climate change monitoring and action
With Earth observation data and solution delivery now transitioning onto cloud-based service models, it is important to understand the parallel tools in Geographical Information Science (GIS). In particular, those that support storing, analysing and displaying data related to positions on the Earth's surface to understand spatial patterns and relationships. What will I learn? Under the guidance of our internationally recognised staff, you will:
  • be equipped with critical theoretical knowledge
  • develop strong practical skills
  • undertake supervised independent research
We continually refresh the programme to keep you abreast of the latest technologies and anticipate trends and innovative ideas essential in this rapidly growing sector. You will gain extensive experience applying Earth observation data 'in the field', including remote sensing. In addition, you will benefit from access to projects that involve the use of equipment such as survey-grade GPS and Unpiloted Aerial Vehicles. In addition, you will become part of our unique Edinburgh Earth Observatory Seminar Series. We run these events in association with AGI-Scotland (Association For Geographic Information). The events will enable you to meet a range of professionals and become exposed to new ideas, together with educational and job opportunities. Who will teach me? Our teaching staff are very research active and benefit from international reputations. We are often invited to engage with other academic institutions, organisations and companies around the world. In addition, we are developing new Earth observation applications and publishing in top tier journals regarding the cryosphere, biosphere and atmosphere. We have staff who are part of the science teams for:
  • European Space Agency's 'Biomass Mission'
  • NASA's GEDI LiDAR on the international space station
We are also working in international groups to develop the next generation of satellite sensors. We also promote a culture of entrepreneurism. For example, several of our staff and former students have set up new Earth observation companies. These companies contribute to Edinburgh's "space ecosystem", which currently includes more than eight space data companies, who can also act as dissertation hosts. We are also involved with the Bayes Centre within the University, an international leader in data-driven innovation. Our staff are engaged in organisations such as the UK Space Agency and the Intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO), which shape the UK and worldwide policy on Earth observation.


See our website for detailed programme information.

Entry requirements

Entry requirements for individual programmes vary, so please check the details for the specific programme you wish to apply for on our website. You will also need to meet the University’s language requirements.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

No fee information has been provided for this course

Additional fee information

Tuition fees vary between degree programmes. Find the specific fees for your chosen programme on our website.
Earth Observation and Geoinformation Management at The University of Edinburgh - UCAS