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The University of Southampton
Geography and Environmental ScienceUndergraduate study

Qualifications required for Cartography

A brief overview of the qualifications and work experience generally required for those hoping to move into the field of cartography.


  1. You will need an undergraduate bachelor’s degree in a relevant subject, such as geography. Degrees with cartographic or GIS elements will give you a head start in applications so consider these in your optional modules.
  2. If you want to do a postgraduate study, a course in cartography, remote sensing, photogrammetry, digital mapping, GIS or surveying may also be helpful. This may increase your chances of getting employment, but are not always necessary.
  3. In applications, employers may ask for a portfolio of maps, which could be completed through your degree or through relevant work experience.

Work experience

Entry to the field of cartography tends to be fairly competitive. Therefore though pre-entry experience is not necessary, practical experience through work placements may place you at an advantage.

Alternatively, taking up a more basic post to start with can get you into the industry and allow you to work your way up. Cartographers may start out as mapping technicians and move on to cartography after further on-the-job and internal training.

Membership of the Society of Cartographers or the British Cartographic Society may assist you in making contacts and keeping up with new developments in the field

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