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The University of Southampton

GEOG6033 GIS for Health Care Management (ODL)

Module Overview

To enable students to effectively use GIS tools in support of health care system management decisions. The aim is to critically evaluate contemporary developments in health care from a spatial analysis perspective; to discuss discuss definitions of health and health care and explain how these definitions impact on the real-world planning of health services using GIS, to explore issues involved in representing people, and their spatial behaviour as objects in GIS; to be able to articulate and evaluate the complex inter-relationships between the need for, provision of, access to, and utilisation of, health services; to appreciate the approach necessary to design and evaluate a GIS application to solve a specific problem or fulfil a specific operational requirement in health care management and to be able to use GIS tools to describe and evaluate patterns of health care provision and utilization.

Aims and Objectives

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Gain detailed knowledge of selected parts of the subject that allow you to study the current literature and engage in discussion with peers – in relation to the spatial organization of health care services.
  • Critically analyse the literature relating to remote sensing and spatial analysis
  • Abstract and synthesise information from a range of different sources – in relation to sources of health, population and relevant environmental data
  • Use appropriate principles, theories and methods to design and undertake primary research within the subject area.
  • Analyse and critically interpret primary and secondary data.
  • Gain knowledge of contemporary methods used to analyse remotely sensed imagery and other spatial data sets – in relation to the management of the health care system.
  • Pursue knowledge in an in-depth, ordered and motivated way.
  • Learn and study independently
  • Conduct information processing (including IT skills): literature searches.
  • Conduct data manipulation (including IT skills): analysis of data (especially spatial data); statistical methods.
  • Communicate: oral and written presentation; scientific writing.
  • Manage: safe and effective project planning and execution; time management.
  • Conduct Spatial data analysis – including measuring and modelling need; facility location and accessibility.


This module examines the way in which Geographical Information Systems can be used to plan for the delivery of healthcare. The module is particularly concerned with measuring healthcare access, utilisation, and the optimisation of healthcare facility locations. This contrasts with the companion module ‘GIS for Analysis of Health’ which is concerned with the spatial analysis of disease. The module draws on a mixture of international and UK-based applications of GIS for healthcare management, thereby providing exposure to healthcare systems not funded through taxation. Specific topics are as follows: 1. International context of health care management and planning 2. Spatial aspects of health care planning 3. Data source considerations for GIS 4. Measuring and modelling need for health care 5. Exploring inequalities in health care provision and utilization 6. Approaches to facility location 7. GIS for measuring and modelling accessibility 8. Special topics in GIS and healthcare planning

Learning and Teaching

Independent Study130
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Other. All online materials for this module are provided through Blackboard, including links to online reference sources. Students will use ArcGIS and standard office software. ArcGIS is available through iSolutions for installation on students’ own PCs, provided they are based in the UK.

Spatial analyst extension required.. 

Cromley, E.K. and McLafferty, S.L. (2012). GIS and Public Health. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework assignment(s) 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External


Costs associated with this module

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

In addition to this, students registered for this module typically also have to pay for:

Books and Stationery equipment

The cost of the core textbook is not currently covered by the programme, though a request has been made to the library for 3 digital copies of the e-book version. (books)

Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

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