Earth Observation and Geoinformation Management at The University of Edinburgh - UCAS

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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 detecting and mitigating climate change, sustainability and social responsibility. What is Earth Observation? Earth Observation (EO) involves gathering information about the Earth's physical, chemical, and biological systems using remote sensing technologies such as satellites and drones. Earth Observation is growing in social, economic and political importance by helping us better understand and manage the 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. 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 worldwide. 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 promote a culture of entrepreneurship. 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 that 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 with 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. As such, you will learn from experts with first-hand knowledge of the bigger picture and what is coming next. Is the MSc for me? Our programme's interdisciplinary nature is ideal if you have a background in environmental, planetary or geographical sciences, whether or not you have experience in remote sensing. It is also suitable if you have a physics, computer science or engineering background and are looking for a career in more applied areas. The programme has a lot of flexibility, enabling you to customise your learning in areas you are most passionate about.


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

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Tuition fee status depends on a number of criteria and varies according to where in the UK you will study. For further guidance on the criteria for home or overseas tuition fees, please refer to the UKCISA website .

Additional fee information

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Earth Observation and Geoinformation Management at The University of Edinburgh - UCAS