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Geographical Information Systems (GIS) are now a major component of information technology – and if you're interested in pursuing a career in this innovative, exciting field, the MSc Geographical Information Systems (GIS) degree course from the University of Portsmouth will give you the tools to succeed.

Visit the official programme website for more information


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.

Once you graduate, you'll be well placed to pursue a career as a GIS and remote sensing specialist. Our graduates have gone on to enjoy careers in local and national government, healthcare, environment and conservation, construction, energy, transport, heritage, space and satellite technology, and university-based research.

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
  • Hear from guest industry speakers including GIS and remote sensing analysts, town and city planners, digital cartographers, coastal managers who use GIS, and representatives of the space and satellite technology sector

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). Alternatively, you could apply to do a postgraduate research degree in physical and human geography or earth and environmental sciences.

You'll use industry-standard software, and learn processing techniques, programming and database skills that employers are typically looking for in prospective employees.

Each year we organise a programme of guest speakers from industry to talk about their work, new developments in their field, careers paths and opportunities.

Graduates of this course have gone into areas such as:

  • Environmental protection
  • Surveying and statistics
  • Telecommunications
  • Civil engineering
  • Retail and hospitality
  • Local and national government
  • International charities
  • Non-governmental organisations (NGOs)
  • The NHS
  • Banking, finance and insurance
  • Transport planning
  • Utilities
  • Coastal management
  • Space and satellite technology
  • Cartography
  • Software development

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
  • Dominos Pizza Group
  • Transport for London
  • Esri
  • Fugro
  • East Sussex County Council
  • RPS Group
  • CityFibre
  • Tunbridge Wells Borough Council

Programme Structure

Courses include:

  • Applied Geographic Information System (GIS) and Remote Sensing
  • GIS and Database Management Systems
  • Principles of Geographic Information System
  • Research Skills and Project
  • Sustainable Blue Economy
  • Terrain Evaluation and Natural Hazards

Key information

Start dates & application deadlines

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More details



IELTS admission requirements IELTS


On Campus

Academic requirements

We are not aware of any academic requirements for this programme.

English requirements

IELTS admission requirements IELTS

Student insurance

Make sure to cover your health, travel, and stay while studying abroad. Even global coverages can miss important items, so make sure your student insurance ticks all the following:

  • Additional medical costs (i.e. dental)
  • Repatriation, if something happens to you or your family
  • Liability
  • Home contents and baggage
  • Accidents
  • Legal aid

We partnered with Aon to provide you with the best affordable student insurance, for a carefree experience away from home.

Get your student insurance now

Start from €0.53/day, free cancellation any time.

Remember, countries and universities may have specific insurance requirements. To learn more about how student insurance work at University of Portsmouth and/or in United Kingdom, please visit Student Insurance Portal.

Other requirements

General requirements

  • A second-class honours degree or equivalent in Geography, Geology, Earth Science, Applied Geology, Civil Engineering, Environmental Science or a related discipline. Professional experience in a relevant area and other qualifications may be taken into consideration for applicants not meeting this requirement.
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5 with no component score below 6.0.

Tuition Fee


Visit official programme website

Living costs for Portsmouth

710 - 1099 GBP /month
Living costs

The living costs include the total expenses per month, covering accommodation, public transportation, utilities (electricity, internet), books and groceries.


Studyportals Tip: Students can search online for independent or external scholarships that can help fund their studies. Check the scholarships to see whether you are eligible to apply. Many scholarships are either merit-based or needs-based.

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Geographical Information Systems
University of Portsmouth


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