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Geographic Information Science BSc Honours

  • UCAS code: F862
  • Full time
  • 3 years
  • Next start date: September 2023

Use systems and software to analyse geographic data about the world around us.

Fees (per year)

  • Home: £9250
  • International: £26400

Entry requirements and offers

  • A-Level: BBB
  • IB: 32 points

UCAS Institution name and code:

  • NEWC / N21

Course overview

Geographic Information Science BSc is a highly practical degree. You’ll work with satellite imagery and informatics to collect, analyse and visualise location-based information. Throughout the course, you'll work with the latest industry software, technology and tools. Along with our other teaching methods, this will help develop your skills in programming and data collection.

This accredited degree has a large focus on information and communications technology (ICT). It’s a part of our Geospatial subject area. It’s a fascinating subject for anyone who enjoyed and excelled in:

  • geography
  • science
  • mathematics
  • ICT

Find out more about Geospatial Surveying, Mapping & GIS at Newcastle University.

During Year 3, you can take an optional year in industry in the UK or abroad. This opportunity offers invaluable experience in the sector, which will help build your industry knowledge and expertise.

This experience highlights our graduates as attractive job candidates in the industry. This is reflected in our exceptional graduate employment rates.

Our course work reflects the current challenges engineers are facing in the real world. Our staff work closely with the industry, so you can be prepared to address these challenges once you graduate.

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Your course and study experience - disclaimers and terms and conditions  
Please rest assured we make all reasonable efforts to provide you with the programmes, services and facilities described. However, it may be necessary to make changes due to significant disruption, for example in response to Covid-19.

View our Academic experience page, which gives information about your Newcastle University study experience for the academic year 2022-23.

See our terms and conditions and student complaints information, which gives details of circumstances that may lead to changes to programmes, modules or University services.

Quality and ranking

Professional accreditation and recognition

All professional accreditations are reviewed regularly by their professional body.

Modules and learning

Modules

The information below is intended to provide an example of what you will study.

Most degrees are divided into stages. Each stage lasts for one academic year, and you'll complete modules totalling 120 credits by the end of each stage. 

Our teaching is informed by research. Course content may change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback.

Optional module availability
Student demand for optional modules may affect availability.

Full details of the modules on offer will be published through the Programme Regulations and Specifications ahead of each academic year. This usually happens in May.

To find out more please see our terms and conditions.

You’ll learn the fundamentals of:

  • Geographic Information Science (GIS)
  • data collection from surveying
  • remote sensing satellites
  • global navigation satellite systems, like GPS

You’ll also use data science and code (Python) to process and analyse geospatial data.

This year is very hands on. You’ll have plenty of opportunities to use our state-of-the-art equipment, particularly on our residential field course in the Lake District.

Modules

Compulsory Modules Credits
Mapping Fieldcourse 20
Geographic Information Systems 10
Surveying 20
An Introduction to GNSS and its Applications 10
Principles of Remote Sensing 10
Tutorial Study Skills for Geospatial Engineering 10
Data Science 1 10
Geospatial Mathematics and Statistics 30

During stage 2, we’ll focus on:

  • advanced studies in GIS, such as 3D visualisation, spatial analysis, and network modelling
  • using data science and Python to handle large data sets in databases
  • how to handle digital data collected from laser scanners and drones
  • the fundamental principles of modelling the Earth, including coordinate systems

Modules

Compulsory Modules Credits
Professional Practice 10
Geographic Information Systems: Theory and Application 10
Map Projections and Geodetic Datums 10
Applied Remote Sensing and Image Processing 10
Geospatial Engineering Practice and Research 10
Data Science 2 10
Digital Data Acquisition 20
Geospatial Data Analysis I 10
Foundations of Data Science 20
Law and Land Use 10

Your final year will start with a field course, where you’ll explore a real-world sustainable planning scenario.

You’ll learn about new technologies which are being used in web-based mapping, such as Google Maps and OpenStreetMap. We’ll also look at industry examples of advanced geospatial analysis and modelling.

Throughout your final year, you’ll develop an independent research project. This will be your chance to apply the geospatial techniques you’ve learnt throughout the course.

Modules

Compulsory Modules Credits
Professional Practice 10
Applied Remote Sensing and Image Processing 10
GIS Fieldcourse 20
Geohazards and Deformation of the Earth 10
Geospatial Informatics 10
Applied Geospatial Data Handling 10
Individual Research Project 30
Law and Land Use 10
Optional Modules Credits
Treatment of Waste Water 10
GNSS Theory and Practice 10
Engineering Ethics and Sustainability 10
Subsurface Investigations 10
Hydraulics 10

Teaching and assessment

Teaching methods

You'll study six modules per semester. Each module involves two one-hour lectures per week. You’ll also complete several field and computer based practical’s during the semester. Each of these will be three-hours long.

You will have an estimated 20 - 25 hours of contact time per week.

Other teach methods will include:

  • Lectures: Including guest lectures from visiting geospatial professionals
  • Practical work: Supervised computer-based and outdoor practical work with guidance from expert staff
  • Project work: To help you develop real-world business skills such as teamworking and project management
  • Industry visits: Explore geospatial applications in action
  • Field courses: Intensive residential programmes to consolidate your knowledge

Assessment methods

You'll be assessed through a combination of:

  • Assessments

  • Assignments – written or fieldwork

  • Case studies

  • Coursework

  • Dissertation or research project

  • Essays

  • Examinations – practical or online

  • Group work

  • Practical sessions

  • Presentations

  • Projects

  • Reports

Skills and experience

Practical skills

This degree is very hands-on and you'll take part in regular practical projects in and around Newcastle. These practical’s will be based in the field and in our computer labs, using the latest software and field equipment. You’ll also have opportunity to take part in residential field courses across the UK.

In your first year, you'll head to the Lake District to map the Borrowdale Valley.

In your second year, you’ll visit geospatial industry partners to see surveying, mapping and GIS in action.

Your final year will include an eight-day field course where you'll put all the skills and knowledge you've learned to the test.

Research skills

You'll undertake independent research as part of your final year project, this will help you to develop your research skills further and dig deeper into a topic that interests you.

Opportunities

Study abroad

Experience life in another country by choosing to study abroad as part of your degree. You’ll be encouraged to embrace fun and challenging experiences, make connections with new communities and graduate as a globally aware professional, ready for your future.

You can choose to spend up to a year studying at a partner institution overseas.

If you choose to study abroad, it will extend your degree by a year. 

Find out more about study abroad

Work placement

This geographic information science degree is also available with a year's work placement. This is a four-year programme.

You'll spend 9 to 12 months working in any organisation in the world. You'll receive University support from our dedicated team to secure your dream placement. Work placements take place between Year 2 and Year 3.

You'll gain first-hand experience of working in the sector. Here, you'll put your learning into practice and developing your professional expertise.

Placements are subject to availability.

Find out more about work placements

Facilities and environment

Facilities

As a geospatial and GIS student at Newcastle, you will join a close-knit community within the School of Engineering.

You’ll have access to advanced industry-standard field and computer lab equipment including:

  • 3D laser scanners and other reality capture sensors
  • high precision multi-constellation GNSS (GPS)
  • drone, aerial and satellite image capture
  • the latest topographic surveying instrumentation
  • state-of-the-art computer software and hardware
  • on campus dynamic navigation facility
  • dedicated workspace for undergraduates
  • access to live environmental data for cities and buildings

Support

To support you in your studies, all new students entering year 1 or year 2 will receive:

  • a tablet so you can download the online learning resources you'll need for your course (helping us to make our campus more sustainable)
  • a start-up pack containing essential personal protective equipment and textbooks

You'll have the support of an academic member of staff as a personal tutor throughout your degree to help with academic and personal issues.

Peer mentors will help you in your first year. They are fellow students who can help you settle in and answer any questions you have, when starting university.

You'll also benefit from:

  • a team-building field trip in North Yorkshire in your first week, to help you quickly settle in
  • our high level of practical and group work, which helps you get to know staff and fellow students

Your future

Graduates from our Geographic Information Science degree have gone on to take up a range of roles, including:

  • GIS analysts
  • surveyors
  • CAD technicians
  • GIS consultants
  • transport planners

Our graduates work in a range of organisations, including:

  • specialist land, air and offshore mapping companies
  • central and local government agencies
  • cartographic publishers
  • suppliers of computer-based mapping technology and GIS
  • utility companies
  • civil engineering contractors
  • oil exploration multinationals
  • geophysical consultants

Make a difference

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Careers support

Our annual careers fair: GENIE - Geospatial Engineering Newcastle Industry Engagement, is held at the start of each academic year and allows students to engage directly with industry partners. With around 20 companies from the geospatial sector present, it allows you to get a flavour of what different organisations do in the industry.

You'll be able to find out more about:

  • career and placement opportunities and advice
  • industry trends/emerging areas
  • latest software/equipment demonstrations
  • postgraduate study options
  • professional qualifications and pathways

Our award-winning Careers Service is one of the largest and best in the country, and we have strong links with employers. We provide an extensive range of opportunities to all students through our ncl+ initiative.

Visit our Careers Service website

Recognition of professional qualifications outside of the UK

From 1 January 2021 there is an update to the way professional qualifications are recognised by countries outside of the UK

Entry requirements and offers

All candidates are considered on an individual basis and we accept a broad range of qualifications. The entrance requirements and offers below apply to 2023 entry.

A-Level
International Baccalaureate

Other UK and the Republic of Ireland qualifications

Contextual Offers

Through one of our contextual routes, you could receive an offer of up to three grades lower than the typical requirements.

What is a contextual offer? Find out more and if you’re eligible for this or our PARTNERS Programme supported entry route.

Qualifications from outside the UK

English Language requirements

Entrance courses (INTO)

International Pathway Courses are specialist programmes designed for international students who want to study in the UK. We provide a range of study options for international students in partnership with INTO. 

Find out more about International Pathway Courses

Admissions policy

This policy applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate admissions at Newcastle University. It is intended to provide information about our admissions policies and procedures to applicants and potential applicants, to their advisors and family members, and to staff of the University.

Credit transfer and Recognition of Prior Learning

Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) can allow you to convert existing relevant university-level knowledge, skills and experience into credits towards a qualification. Find out more about the RPL policy which may apply to this course.

Tuition fees and scholarships

Tuition fees for 2023 entry (per year)

Home Fee Students

£9250

International Fee Students

£26400

The maximum fee that we are permitted to charge for home fee-paying students is set by the UK government.

As a general principle, you should expect the tuition fee to increase in each subsequent academic year of your course, subject to government regulations on fee increases and in line with inflation.

Read more about fees and funding

Depending on your residency history, if you’re a student from the EU, other EEA or a Swiss national, with settled or pre-settled status under the EU Settlement Scheme, you’ll normally pay the ‘Home’ tuition fee rate and may be eligible for Student Finance England support.

EU students without settled or pre-settled status will normally be charged fees at the ‘International’ rate and will not be eligible for Student Finance England support.

If you are unsure of your fee status, check out the latest guidance here.

Read more about fees and funding

Scholarships

We support our EU and international students by providing a generous range of Vice-Chancellor's automatic and merit-based scholarships. See our undergraduate scholarship page for more information.

Year abroad and additional costs

For programmes where you can spend a year on a work placement or studying abroad, you will receive a significant fee reduction for that year. 

Some of our degrees involve additional costs which are not covered by your tuition fees.

Find out more about:

Scholarships

Find out more about:

Open days and events

How to apply

Apply through UCAS

To apply for undergraduate study at Newcastle University, you must use the online application system managed by the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). All UK schools and colleges, and a small number of EU and international establishments, are registered with UCAS. You will need:

  • the UCAS name and institution codes for Newcastle University (NEWC/N21)
  • the UCAS code for the course you want to apply for
  • the UCAS 'buzzword' for your school or college

If you are applying independently, or are applying from a school or college which is not registered to manage applications, you will still use the Apply system. You will not need a buzzword.

Apply through UCAS

Apply through an agent

International students often apply to us through an agent. Have a look at our recommended agents and get in touch with them.

Visit our International pages

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