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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental Science

Geography and Environment students to gain invaluable experience through industrial partnership

Published: 12 July 2013

Two Geography and Environment students are celebrating after being accepted on Ordnance Survey’s (OS) prestigious MSc dissertation programme.

Heidi Clough and Thomas Forbes have been selected to work with Great Britain's premier mapping agency, gaining invaluable practical experience in a real world situation as they complete their dissertations for their research projects.

Thomas will be estimating high resolution population maps by combining high resolution remote sensing data and OS mastermap layer, and Heidi will be exploring the sensitivity analysis of various hydrographic metrics using different DEMs from different sources. Both are students on Southampton’s MSc in Applied Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing.

OS has more than 10 years’ experience of supporting MSc projects and will give the pair the chance to work with an industrial partner, gaining an insight into the world of research, while working on a project dealing with real world issues.

Heidi’s supervisor Julian Leyland said: "The Ordnance Survey MSc Dissertation Programme is a great opportunity for the best students to collaborate with a prestigious industrial partner. By agreeing to collaborate with Heidi and Tom, OS recognise that their research will be of a high quality and will be relevant to the applied nature of the OS portfolio of products. The University of Southampton are pleased to strengthen further the close working relationship that Geography and Environment has with Ordnance Survey."

As well as Heidi and Thomas, two other Geography and Environment students have been selected for competitive industry-led dissertations funded by the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC).

Adam Dales will be working with Co-op on how the 2011 Census data can be used to optimise their store locations, while Ioanna Chounta will be working with Camelot UK Lotteries Limited on using population and retail geography to estimate accurate measures of local demands and the impact of new outlets opening and closing in an area.

This year’s student success is the latest in a history of achievements by Geography and Environment MSc students. Last year Applied GIS and Remote Sensing MSc student Matt Pratt was awarded first prize in an ESRC scheme to link up masters students with the retail industry. His dissertation involved a partnership with the retailer Boots and looked at an innovative way of defining retail conurbations; collections of stores that attract customers from a similar catchment area.

"We are delighted that once again our students have been selected to work with prestigious industrial partners gaining invaluable experience as they carry out their dissertations. This shows our on-going commitment to providing an industry-facing masters programme in GIS and remote sensing and the quality of training our students receive," said Programme Leader, Jadu Dash

To find out more about our MSc programmes visit

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