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Department Of Geography.
MSc Applied GIS.
“This is a really exciting time to be in GIS, with new tools and new software allowing the application of GIS techniques to an ever-increasing range of fields. Whether you want to be a GIS analyst or just want to add GIS to your existing skillset - now is the time to do it!”
MSc Applied GIS.
Dr Ruth Hamilton, Course Director
MSc Applied GIS. Our MSc Applied GIS (Geographic Information Systems) will provide you with the mix of technical skills, practical experience and theoretical understanding to launch a successful career in the fields of GIS, applied policy research or spatial data analysis. You’ll develop a wide variety of knowledge, in areas such as advanced spatial analysis, geovisualisation, policy applications of GIS in practice, and thematic mapping and cartogram creation. We expect that some applicants will have some prior GIS experience, but this is not a requirement for admission.
The course has a strong applied emphasis and draws upon the extensive expertise of teaching staff in the Departments of Geography and Urban Studies and Planning. This means that in addition to developing strong analytical and technical skills using GIS software, you’ll be immersed in the practical applications of GIS and its potential to solve real world problems.
Inter-departmental Teaching. The MSc Applied GIS programme is unique amongst UK GIS postgraduate programmes in that it is delivered by two internationally-recognised centres of excellence in teaching and learning: the Department of Geography and the Department of Urban Studies and Planning. We are able to bring together the expertise of staff from these two departments to deliver a highly relevant, applied GIS programme which focuses on the development of skills for professional practice or further study at the PhD level. Teaching on the MSc Applied GIS is split evenly (50/50) between departments, which are conveniently housed in the same building on the University of Sheffield campus, on the edge of the picturesque Weston Park.
Both departments are based in the Geography and Planning Building on the University of Sheffield campus. Here you’ll have access to dedicated teaching and learning spaces and the teaching staff who you’ll work closely with during the MSc. Our postgraduate study rooms are equipped with the latest industry-standard GIS software and a range of other more specialist tools. GIS facilities are also available on all 1,500 networked computers across the campus and the main University library is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, so you can be flexible about when and where you work.
You’ll also be able to install copies of course software on your own computers at no extra cost. In addition to separate postgraduate study space, the recently refurbished Geography and Planning Building also houses a dedicated cafe-style social area where you can meet to discuss group work, chat with friends or take time out.
Course Structure. The MSc Applied GIS programme is structured in a way that maximises the development of skills and knowledge throughout the course of the 12 month programme. The first semester focuses on core skills and knowledge acquisition, whereas the second semester focuses on the development of more advanced skills. The Dissertation provides students with the opportunity to put their knowledge into practice in a relevant area of their own choosing.
Autumn Semester • Data, Visualisation and GIS • Quantitative Analysis 1 • Applications of GIS • Open Source GIS and Spatial Data Analysis Spring Semester • Research Proposal for Applied GIS • Advanced GIS Methods • The Professional GIS Project • One module from available unrestricted Geography or Urban Studies and Planning modules
Full-time students complete 180 credits of study over a 12 month period. Modules are delivered through lectures, seminars, workshops, supervision and independent study. Each module draws heavily on the latest research and developments in the field and utilises the individual expertise of each of our academic staff. Assessments methods on this course vary per module but can involve group work, presentations, individual reports or essays and portfolios or a combination of the aforementioned.
Summer Dissertation A substantial, planned programme of research that develops to a high level: personal skills; research skills; and specialist knowledge and understanding of a selected subject area. The Dissertation is prepared under the individual guidance and supervision of a member of staff in Geography or Urban Studies and Planning. You will have the opportunity to nominate a member of staff whom you wish to supervise your study.
Careers. Our approach to postgraduate study places a strong emphasis on the development of skills and techniques which will be useful in the world of professional work and practice. Therefore, the MSc Applied GIS involves the development of expertise in a wide range GIS competencies. GIS professionals enter a range of diverse and fast-changing careers from managers, co-ordinators and specialists to programmers, analysts and technicians – all realising the potential of GIS to meet the needs of their chosen career. Our teaching staff work in the Departments of Urban Studies and Planning and Geography and have excellent contacts with employers across a range of relevant industries, including GIS, planning, surveying, academia, local and national government, and a wide range of
other private sector employers. The Department of Urban Studies and Planning also has a dedicated Employabilty Officer who can support you with contacting employers for placement opportunities, writing your CV or helping you prepare for interviews, Maximising the employability of graduates is a core aim of the MSc Applied GIS. Graduates from this programme will typically go on to work for organisations such as the Office for National Statistics, Ordnance Survey, ESRI, the civil service and local government. The course will also equip you with the knowledge and skills to pursue a PhD in GIS or spatial analysis.
Graduate Profile. “I am currently working as a GIS Research Analyst at Midland Heart, a housing association based in Birmingham. I am part of the Research Intelligence team and assist in projects across all parts of the business including, digitising site plans, creating and maintaining an online mapping service of our properties, providing effective maps and visualisations and carrying out strategic research projects. There is also a strong emphasis on innovation in my team and so we are constantly finding new and exciting ways to present our data, which has meant I have had the opportunity to increase my skills even further. I definitely wouldn’t have had the skills necessary to even consider applying for my current position had I not completed this course. This course allowed me to gain skills in GIS software which I was previously unaware of, such as QGIS, as well as developing my analytical and statistical skill set. Gaining skills in more than just proprietary GIS has undoubtedly increased my confidence when introduced to unfamiliar software such as Tableau and Cadcorp. The course also increased my confidence in understanding both how GIS can be used in real life situations and where it’s limitations lie.” - Emma Holgate, GIS Research Analyst
Contact us. The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it is up-to-date and relevant. This is in response to discoveries through our worldleading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. While every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy of the information in this publication, for the reasons detailed above, changes may need to be made to modules, course, entry requirements and fees between the date of this publication and the start of your course. This publication is correct at the time of print, but please see our website for the most up-to-date information. If there is any inconsistency between this publication and our website, the information on our website should be taken as correct.
Department of Geography The University of Sheffield Geography & Planning Building Winter Street, Sheffield S10 2TN General Enquiries Tel.: +44 (0) 114 222 7900 E-mail: [email protected] Web: www.sheffield.ac.uk/geography @sheffieldgeography @sheffieldgeog