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Course summary

Geographical Information Science (GIS) provides powerful solutions to real-world problems using a range of the world’s most advanced technologies. GIS captures, stores, manages and displays data related to positions on the Earth’s surface so you can better understand spatial patterns and relationships. Every day around the world, GIS is used to solve complex problems. As a result, it is becoming integrated into almost every discipline. From population dynamics, estate planning, logistics management, public health surveillance, and telecommunications to tracking deforestation, environmental management and predicting climate change - GIS is changing the way the world works. Always innovative Our successful MSc Geographical Information Science was the first of its type in the world. It has a heritage of over 30 years and approaching 1000 graduates. Nevertheless, we continually refresh the programme to keep you abreast of the latest technological changes and industry trends. You will gain critical theoretical knowledge, develop strong practical skills and undertake supervised independent research, all under the guidance of our internationally recognised staff. 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. Is the MSc for me? This programme reflects on the use of geospatial technologies in the detection and mitigation of climate change, sustainability and social responsibility. Our MSc is one of the largest masters programmes in GIS in the world. We offer foundation courses if you are new to the field and advanced courses if you want to specialise in particular areas. You can flexibly choose optional courses to customise your learning in areas you are most passionate about. So whether you want to build apps for your smartphone or solve some of the most significant environmental problems on the planet, this programme is for you. Reputation, relevance and employability A significant number of staff contribute to our programme and benefit from international reputations. We are often invited to engage with other academic institutions, organisations and companies around the world. Our students’ research projects are often published in academic or professional journals. Through our alumni network of past graduates, you will have unrivalled opportunities to connect with GIS professionals during your studies, helping you make contacts in the industry. In addition, as part of your dissertation research, options are available to work with various organisations, including the significant ecosystem of companies in Edinburgh, the government and the third sector. We maintain close contacts with professional organisations such as The Association for Geographic Information, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and are ideally placed to make connections on your behalf. Our programme has an excellent reputation amongst employers. In addition, former students will often look first to our graduates when employing new staff. Many of our graduates run their own businesses or work at the most senior level in various companies, often contributing to emerging sectors such as data-driven innovation and the green economy. Our alumni network is uniquely active, with alumni regularly contributing to teaching. We also organise an annual conference for alumni, staff and current students. This event often acts as a conduit to employment. For these reasons, many of our students gain employment by the time they graduate. Accreditation The MSc Geographical Information Science is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).


See our website for detailed programme information.

Professional bodies

Professionally accredited courses provide industry-wide recognition of the quality of your qualification.

  • Chartered Surveyors, Royal Institution of

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.
Geographical Information Science at The University of Edinburgh - UCAS