About this course
Use geographical data to solve real-world problems on this master’s degree in applied geographical information systems and remote sensing. On this UK MSc course you’ll use the latest technology and develop key programming and analytical techniques. You'll learn the skills to work in a range of careers, from environmental consultancy to government research.
Gain the knowledge and practical skills to analyse geospatial data from remote sensing technology such as satellites and radar. You'll be able to use that data to create geographical information systems (GIS).
These interactive applications are used in everything from engineering and disaster management to understanding the carbon cycle.
On this master's degree from a UK Russell Group university you’ll:
- focus on real-world problems in areas such as public health and environmental management
- study 2 key technologies in a single programme
A unique feature of the course is the chance to learn programming in both IDL (remote sensing) and Python (GIS), to allow you to automate big GIS and remote-sensing tasks. These programming skills are often required by employers in this field.
Our academics are all active researchers, so you’ll directly benefit from their latest findings. And you’ll be able to choose your own specialism through your choice of optional modules.
Your studies will be enhanced by the use of facilities such as a high-end geoprocessing suite and terrestrial laser scanning equipment.
Your course leader is Dr Gareth Roberts. His research interests include how satellite data can be used to help understand and tackle the effects of fire in the natural environment. Read Dr Roberts’s profile to find out more about his research interests and publications.
This course is based at Highfield.
This qualification is awarded by the University of Southampton.
Download the programme specification
The programme specification sets out the learning outcomes of this course and details how the course is taught and assessed.
In light of COVID-19, we’ve made changes to some elements of course delivery for 2020-21. For details as to how this has changed delivery for this course, please view the Addendum to the Programme Specification PDF.
You’ll need a 2:1 degree in one of these subjects:
- environmental science
- social science
Find the equivalent international qualifications for your country.
Recognition of professional experience
If you don't have the exact entry requirements, but you have significant work experience in this sector we’ll assess your relevant professional experience, your subject knowledge and your aptitude for learning.
Your application will be considered on individual merit and you may be asked to attend an interview.
Got a question?
If you're not sure that you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course please contact our enquiries team; we're very happy to help.Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000
COVID-19: we've made some changes to the structure of the course for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
Your studies run for a full 12 months, from September to the following September.
For the first 8 months (semesters 1 and 2) you'll focus on the taught part of your course. This consists of modules that everyone on the course takes and modules that we’ll ask you to choose from a list of options.
During semester 2 you’ll begin preparing for your final project.
Exams take place at the end of semesters 1 and 2.
For the last 4 months, over the summer, you’ll work independently on your research project. You’ll have one-to-one meetings with your supervisor during this time to discuss your progress.
Want more detail? See all the modules in the course.
COVID-19: we've made some changes to our modules for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
For entry in Academic Year 2020-21
You must study the following modules in year 1:
You must also choose from the following modules in year 1:
Learning and assessment
COVID-19: we've made some changes to our learning and assessment methods for this academic year. Download the programme specification addendum in 'About this course' to learn more.
You'll learn through a variety of methods, including lectures, seminars and tutorials.
Other learning methods will vary according to your choice of modules but could include:
- guest lectures
- independent study
- group and individual work
We’ll assess you using a variety of methods. These include:
- group assignments
- in-class tests
- research project
For your final project you’ll research and write a dissertation on a subject of your choice, to be agreed with your supervisor.
The project is an opportunity for you to show your research skills and knowledge of your subject. You’ll have regular meetings with your supervisor to discuss your progress.
You might decide that you want to carry out your research project with a partner organisation.
Previous research projects have included:
- investigating the use of remote sensing to assess recovery after the 2010 Haiti earthquake
- the use of satellite data to detect near-real time deforestation in the Democratic Republic of Congo
- The use of GIS to plan stroke-related healthcare delivery
We'll assign you a personal academic tutor, and you'll have access to a senior tutor.
Programming skills are in great demand with employers, and our GIS and remote sensing master's graduates enjoy very high employment rates.
After graduating from this vocational course you’ll be in an ideal position to work in Earth observation and GIS communities, in programming, development, analysis or consultancy roles.
Your practical knowledge and skills will put you in demand with organisations such as:
- environmental consultancy firms
- software companies
- government research institutes
Alternatively, you might choose to stay with us to continue your researches at PhD level.
The course will develop your knowledge of the subject area in order to enhance employment opportunities within Earth Observation and GIS communities, consultancies, private and public sectors.
Careers services at Southampton
We're a top 20 UK university for employability (QS Graduate Employability Rankings 2019). Our Careers and Employability Service will support you throughout your time as a student and for up to 5 years after graduation. This support includes:
- work experience schemes
- CV/resume and interview skills workshops
- networking events
- careers fairs attended by top employers
- a wealth of volunteering opportunities
- study abroad and summer school opportunities
We have a vibrant entrepreneurship culture. You'll be able to take advantage of:
Fees, costs and funding
Fees for a year's study:
- UK/EU students pay £9,250.
- International students pay £21,800.
What your fees pay for
Your tuition fee covers the full cost of tuition and all examinations.
10% alumni discount
If you’re a graduate of the University of Southampton you get a 10% discount on your postgraduate tuition fees.
Postgraduate Master’s Loans (UK and EU nationals only)
This can help with course fees and living costs while you study a postgraduate master's course. Find out if you're eligible.
Funding your postgraduate studies
A variety of additional scholarships, grants and bursaries may be available to help you fund your master’s study, both from the University and from other organisations.
How to apply
You can apply directly through our online form by using the apply button on this page.
Applications must be received no later than 4 weeks before the start of the course. You must supply all supporting documentation at least two weeks before starting your course.
We recommend you apply at least 6 weeks before the start of the course to ensure you're able to meet our requirements and apply for a visa in time.
We cannot guarantee students who do not meet these deadlines will be able to begin their course.
When you apply you’ll need to submit a personal statement explaining why you want to take the course.
You’ll need to include information about:
- your knowledge of the subject area
- why you want to study a postgraduate qualification in this course
- how you intend to use your qualification
You'll also need to send 2 academic references.
Please include the required paperwork showing your first degree and your IELTS English language test score (if you are a non-native English speaker) with your application. Without these, your application may be delayed.
Learn more about how to apply with our postgraduate application guide.
What happens after you apply
You'll be able to track your application through our online Applicant Record System.
We will assess your application on the strength of your:
- academic achievements
- relevant professional experience
- personal statement
- academic references
We'll get back to you within 6 weeks with a decision about your application.
Equality and diversity
We treat and select everyone in line with our Equality and Diversity Statement.
Got a question?
Please contact us if you're not sure you have the right experience or qualifications to get onto this course.
Tel: +44(0)23 8059 5000