M.Sc. Geographical Information Management

Cranfield University

Tuition fee: Not specified
Start date: October  2014
  • English
Delivery mode: On Campus
Educational variant: Part-time, Full-time

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Geoplan course bursary available*

Suitable for graduates wishing to specialise in or develop knowledge in the practical application of the geographical information technologies of remote sensing, geographical information systems (GIS), spatial data management and the global positioning system (GPS). The part-time option will allow practitioners to enhance their professional development within their current employment.

Takes you on to a wide range of career opportunities in government, advisory services, environmental agencies, universities, research organisations and commercial consultancies.

You will be taught by a wide range of subject specialists from the academic community at Cranfield and from outside the University, including practitioners from industry with global experience of the potentially far-reaching applications of GIM.

Course description

Geographical Information Management (GIM) is an exciting and rapidly growing branch of Information Technology (IT), incorporating satellite remote sensing, aerial photography, Geographical Information Systems (GIS) and Global Positioning Systems (GPS), to derive information which is essential for the management of the earth´s resources.

Accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS), this course provides students with a thorough training in the technical, analytical, research and knowledge skills required to develop innovative, quality-assured solutions by integrating components from geographic information technologies.

Students develop a sound understanding of the principles of remote sensing, geographical information systems, global positioning systems, field methods and statistical analysis. This will be applied practically through the use of market leading image processing, spatial analysis software and access to a coarse resolution satellite receiving station as well as what is probably the largest archive of satellite data held by a UK university.

The MSc course consists of eight taught modules, a group project, a consultancy project and an individual research project. Students undertaking the Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip) complete the eight modules, the group projects and the consultancy group project.

Group projects

The group project experience during the course is highly valued by both students and prospective employers. It provides students with the opportunity to take responsibility for a consultancy-type project, while working under academic supervision. Success is dependent on the integration of various activities and working within agreed objectives, deadlines and budgets.

Consultancy Project

The consultancy project provides students with the opportunity to practice working as part of a small team, focusing on a brief provided by an external customer involving the application and integration of the component technologies (GIS, GPS and remote sensing, field methods, statistical analysis) to produce quality-assured innovative solutions.

Individual project

Students select the individual project in consultation with academic staff. The individual project provides students with the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to carry out independent research, think and work in an original way, contribute to knowledge, and overcome genuine problems in geographical information management. Many of the projects are supported by external organisations.


* Modules: * Advanced GIS Methods
* Aerial Photography and Digital Photogrammetry
* Environmental Resource Survey
* GIS Fundamentals
* Image Processing and Analysis
* Physical Principles of Remote Sensing
* Spatial Data and the Internet
* Spatial Data Management


The course comprises eight assessed modules, three group projects and an individual research project.

The early part of the Geographical Information Management programme is structured around a series of taught modules consisting of lectures, tutorials, demonstrations and practical classes taken during the autumn and spring. Each module forms the sole unit of study for a period of two weeks. One examination is sat at the beginning of January and the second examination takes place at the end of April. An opportunity to undertake a project in the style of a consultancy is offered on the full time programme and is conducted during May. The period June to August is devoted to an individual project. Additionally, the taught component of the programme is supported by visits and seminars. The individual modules are linked through case studies and practical work so that different aspects of the geographical information technologies are integrated.The three elements of the course are assessed as follows:

Taught modules: 40%
Group projects: 20%*
Individual project: 40%

*For part-time students a dissertation can replace the group project.

The full-time course is of 12 months' duration. The modular format of the taught element permits a high degree of flexibility of attendance at Cranfield for part-time students who may commence the course at any time during the year.

Part-time programmes are structured in a similar way to the full-time programme and comprise eight one-week assessed modules, a group project (or dissertation), and an individual project, which results in the production of a thesis. Part-time students are normally expected to complete their MSc in two to three years. The modular nature of the programmes allows students a degree of flexibility in the number and order of modules completed each year. Students may commence the course at any time during the year.

Postgraduate Diploma (PgDip)
Delivered and assessed at Masters level, the PgDip represents the taught element of the associated MSc. Students are expected to complete eight modules and a group project.

Postgraduate Certificate (PgCert)
Delivered and assessed at Masters level, the PgCert comprises a subset of the syllabus for the taught element of the associated MSc/PgDip course. Students are expected to complete six modules.


Candidates must possess, or be expected to achieve, a 1st or 2nd class UK honours degree or equivalent in a relevant discipline such as agriculture, engineering, environmental sciences, forestry, geography and geology. Other relevant qualifications, together with considerable experience, may be considered.

English Language Requirements

IELTS band: 6.5
CAE score: (read more)

Cambridge English: Advanced (CAE) is part of the Cambridge English suite and is targeted at a high level (IETLS 6.5-8.0). It is an international English language exam set at the right level for academic and professional success. Developed by Cambridge English Language Assessment - part of the University of Cambridge - it helps you stand out from the crowd as a high achiever.

60 (Grade C)
TOEFL iBT® test: 92

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