Remote Sensing and GIS

Key Facts

Course Code F994
  • Qualification


  • Typical Course Length

    1 Year

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This highly interdisciplinary Masters course will expose you to the cutting edge of understanding in Remote Sensing and GIS. Administered by the Department of Geography and Earth Sciences, but accessing interdepartmental expertise, this course will provide you with both a strong theoretical and conceptual background and vocational training in Remote Sensing and GIS. You will be taught by lecturers who are active researchers working at the cutting edge of their disciplines, and will benefit from being taught the latest geographical theories and techniques. Graduates of this course progress to a wide range of employment positions in both the industry and academia.


Why study MSc Remote Sensing and GIS at Aberystwyth University?

• Study in a high quality outdoor physical environment and multi-national community

• The Department of Geography and Earth Science is top in Wales, with 78% of its research classified as either ‘world leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’ - REF 2014

• Aberystwyth DGES is in the top ten of UK Geography departments with regards to research power, which provides a measure of the quality of research, as well as of the number of staff undertaking research within the department

DGES receives funding from organisations such as United Nations, WHO and the European Research Council

• Students have access to a dedicated computer laboratory for research in GIS and remote sensing which is fully equipped with the latest software platforms.

• Masters students have the opportunity to participate in significant meetings and conferences, such as the Remote Sensing and Photogrammetry Society Annual Conference

• This course has a strong vocational aspect and offers an integration of cutting-edge theory and practical application

• Remote Sensing Masters are offered through the collaboration of three world-class institutes at the university, giving students access to this collective expertise and experience as well as to superb departmental facilities

Course Details


One year full-time or two years part-time. The academic year (September to September) is divided into three semesters: September to January; January to June; June to September.

Contact Time:

Approximately 8-10 hours a week in the first two semesters.  During semester three you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned supervisor.


The taught part of the course (Part 1) is delivered and assessed through lectures, student seminars, practical exercises, case studies, course work and formal examinations. The subsequent successful submission of your research dissertation (Part 2) leads to the award of MSc.

Entry Requirements:

Good Undergraduate degree 2.2 (UK) (or above) equating to a mark of 56.5 or above in a related subject. European and International applicants can find their grade equivalence on our comparability page. Those who are not graduates must satisfy the University that they are of the required academic standard to pursue postgraduate study.

English Language Requirements:

If you have a Bachelor’s degree from a UK University, you do not need to take an English proficiency test.

Non-native English speakers who do not meet this requirement must take a University-recognised test of academic English language proficiency. For further information please see our English Language requirements page.

Course Fees:

Please see the tuition fee pages for current tuition fees. Please note that all fees are subject to an annual increase.


Funding opportunities may be available, please check our funding calculator for details.




Our alumni have taken positions with UK and international government bodies, private enterprises and leading research establishments. This MSc in Remote Sensing and GIS will open up a diverse range of careers for its students. 

By studying this course, you will be a highly competent contributor to any work relating to:

• climate change 

• human impacts on terrestrial ecosystems 

• glaciology 

• hydrology 

• forestry 

• coastal change 

• carbon cycle science 

• biodiversity 

• consultancy 

Skills through this programme you will enhance your:

• Presentation and communication skills 

• Research and study skills 

• Field expertise and data collection skills 

• Critical analysis and evaluation 

• Academic and practical knowledge 

• Understanding of scientific processes and advanced technical tools 

• Confidence with GIS and remote sensing software systems, technologies and programming languages •

 Project management skills 

Field Trip 

As a highly practical Masters course, it offers also the opportunity for students to gain hands-on experience in the use of field equipment and the collection of ground truth data to support the interpretation and analysis of remote sensing and GIS datasets. This will allow you to covert the academic theory of research and data collection into the proven know-how of experience. 

Learning & Teaching

How will I learn?

This course can be studied either one year full-time or two years part-time. The academic year is divided into three semesters. When studied full time, in the first two semesters, students will complete the taught part of the course, which is delivered through a combination of lectures, workshops, practical exercises, fieldwork and a 20 day work placement (agreed in advance between the Department, the work placement partner and the student). 

During the final semester, you will arrange your level of contact time with your assigned dissertation supervisor.

What will I learn?

In the first two semesters you will undertake a number of core modules, worth a total of 120 credits. This includes modules on Remote Sensing Issues and the Fundamentals of Remote Sensing and GIS, alongside modules on Advanced Research Skills, Skills in Remote Sensing, and Work Experience in Geographical Information Systems/Remote Sensing.

In the third semester, students will undertake the independent research component of the course, and will complete a 60 credit Research Dissertation in Geographical Information Systems/Remote Sensing.

How will I be assessed?

Assessment during the first two semesters is varied and consists of a combination of essays, practical-based examinations, written examinations and reports. The work experience module is assessed via a presentation, a report and a report from the employer.  Successful submission of the master’s dissertation in semester 3 leads to the award of an MSc.