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The University of Southampton

GEOG6096 GIS for Healthcare Management

Module Overview

This module examines the way in which Geographical Information Systems can be used to plan for the delivery of healthcare.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

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.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Demonstrate a 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
  • Demonstrate a 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
  • Analyse and critically interpret primary and secondary data
  • Pursue knowledge in an in-depth, ordered and motivated way
  • Use appropriate principles, theories and methods to design and undertake primary research within the subject area
  • Demonstrate data manipulation (including IT skills): analysis of data (especially spatial data); statistical methods;
  • Demonstrate safe and effective project planning and execution; time management
  • Abstract and synthesise information from a range of different sources – in relation to sources of health, population and relevant environmental data
  • Demonstrate learning and independent study Information processing skills (including IT skills): literature searches
  • Communicate through oral and written presentation; scientific writing
  • Critically analyse the literature relating to remote sensing and spatial analysis


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. Introduction to healthcare systems 2. Spatial aspects of health care planning 3. Representing healthcare provision 4. Healthcare demand representation 5. Transportation and geographic access 6. Analysing healthcare utilisation 7. Planning healthcare services 8. Inequalities in service provision and usage 9. Special topics

Special Features

This module has no special features beyond PC use and seminar attendance

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

The module is delivered in ‘blended’ mode, with online materials supporting face-to-face delivery. Online content package is supported through a series of weekly tutorials and five computer labs, in which students can receive advice and technical support on both online practical exercises and coursework assignments.

Independent Study134
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Online Materials. All online materials for this module are provided through Blackboard, including links to online reference sources. Students will use of ArcGIS and standard office software. ArcGIS is available on-campus or available through iSolutions for installation on students’ own PCs. Additional freely available software (e.g. R) may optionally be used alongside this.



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite: GEOG6061

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