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Geographical Information Systems (GIS) by Distance Learning MSc-PGDip-PGCert - Distance

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  • Objectives
    The overall aim of the programme is to provide open distance learning for people working in local enterprise or public sector organisations who require core training and skills development in Geographical Information Systems, or for students who want to study in their own environment and in their own time. More specifically the programme aims: * To provide widening opportunities to pursue a postgraduate programme using distance learning materials and resources * To provide learning and teaching experiences that are relevant to the work place and which use practical 'real world examples' * To develop technical skills and competence in: data and information acquisition, extraction, management and analysis; spatial and statistical modelling; mapping and visualisation * To develop transferable skills in the use of information technology, virtual working and electronic communication * To encourage innovative use of information about customer markets that have a significant geographical component * To increase awareness of GIS and modelling tools for improving competition and business potential.
  • Entry requirements
    Entry requirements English language requirements: Overseas students will be required to provide an IELTS or TOEFL language certificate (if appropriate). Academic entry requirements: At least a good second class honours degree in an appropriate subject. Suitable equivalent qualifications would be considered for overseas/mature candidates and applications are welcomed from those with relevant work experience.
  • Academic Title
    Geographical Information Systems (GIS) by Distance Learning MSc/PGDip/PGCert
  • Course description
    School of Geography
    The School of Geography is one of the largest and most successful in Britain. We have over thirty-five academic staff with a wide range of academic interests and a long history of academic and applied research. The School’s international reputation for its research was recognised in the last (2001) HEFCE Research Assessment Exercise with the award of a prestigious 5 rating. We were also rated as ‘Excellent’ in the last Teaching Quality Assessment Exercise.

    Excellent facilities for research are available within the School including extensive computing and GIS facilities, well-equipped and staffed physical geography science laboratories, a large map collection and a growing availability of on-line and digital information through our Geographical Resources Unit. In addition postgraduates benefit from the facilities provided by one of Britain’s leading universities. Close contacts exist with many industrial, commercial and public sector organisations. The School also maintains an active research seminar series. Drawing on the combined resources of the department, faculties and the University we are able to offer a broad-based and expert programme of research training, approved by the relevant Research Councils (ESRC and NERC), in both human and physical geography. In human geography our Masters programme was awarded the important ‘Research Training’ status by the ESRC in 2002, identifying it as an approved route to PhD research.

    Over the past few years we have established a record as one of the most successful Geography departments in Britain for attracting NERC and ESRC funding, both for research and research studentships, including CASE awards.

    In addition to specialist geographical training and education we provide facilities for training in fields such as project management, teaching and learning, presentation skills and computing.

    How you study
    Year 1: (Postgraduate Certificate)
    Compulsory Modules:
    Principles of GIS

        * The main concepts and data models that underpin GIS
        * The analytical functionality of GIS
        * The utility of GIS in selected ‘real world’ applications

    Using Databases and GIS

        * The value of database systems and how to use them
        * The functionality and spatial analytical powers of PC-based GIS
        * How to use databases and GIS, including data entry, manipulation, editing, analysis and mapping

    GIS and Spatial Analysis

        * The analytical functionality of GIS and the limitations of GIS packages
        * Understanding the range of new techniques for data analysis (linked to GIS)
        * How simple statistics and models can increase GIS intelligence in spatial analysis

    GIS in the Workplace

        * GIS project design and management, including implementation issues and problems
        * How to identify a potential application of GIS in your workplace
        * End-user needs; data/software requirements; human/organisational

    What you study in year 2: (Postgraduate Diploma)
    You choose two modules from the following streams:


          Retail Decision Support Systems
          Geodemographics and Database Marketing

    Health(UL)GIS for Analysis of Health
    GIS for Health Care Management

          GIS for Environmental Management
          Applied Environmental GIS


          GIS and Planning
          Census Analysis and GIS

    The Health and Environment streams are taught by the University of Southampton.

    Optional Modules:

          Introduction to Java Programming
          GIS and Geocomputation
          GIS Programming and Customisation

    In year 3 to complete the MSc, you undertake a dissertation research project.

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