Study for GIS qualifications online

Please note that recruitment to this programme is withdrawn from September 2018. Please go to to link to information on GIS courses offered by the University of Leeds, including the new MSc in Geographical Information Science by online distance learning (launched September 2019) and the campus-based (full-time or part-time) MSc GIS programme.

Our postgraduate courses in Geographical Information Systems are taught jointly between the University of Leeds and the University of Southampton. This joint collaboration allows us to draw on a wealth of expertise from some of the UK’s leading academics to provide world-leading, research-led teaching to all our students.

Our courses are designed with working professionals in mind. With four start dates per year and a suite of materials which you can work through in your own time, we offer a flexible, part-time study schedule which can be tailored to meet your needs.

Our courses focus on the scientific, technical and computational aspects of GIS which have wide ranging application to a number of fields. Our graduates work in areas such as oil and gas, local government, health, consultancy and GIS development, to name but a few. You can specialise in an application area of your choice (Environment, Health, Remote Sensing, Developer, Business or Planning) and upon completion you will graduate with a qualification from a Russell Group University.

We offer three programmes of study in GIS and a number of standalone modules which can be studied as short courses over a 12 week period:

Why Online?

Online learning is a truly flexible mode of study. No matter where you are located, take advantage of our international distance learning courses in GIS. There are many benefits to this type of study. You can:

  • Proceed at your own pace, studying at any time of the day or night that suits you
  • Study anywhere you wish, using a computer connected to the Internet from your home, office, hotel or even while travelling
  • Experience a rich set of learning materials including a broad mix of delivery media
  • Benefit from online tutor support if you need help, advice or encouragement
  • Take part in online discussion groups and work in collaboration with fellow course participants
  • Enjoy access whenever you wish to the online resources at Leeds and Southampton Universities, including journals, reference databases and downloadable reading material
  • Save money by gaining an internationally recognised university qualification without incurring any costs for accommodation or travel.

Programme Aims

Our courses are purpose-built for online delivery and are continually updated with the latest theory and practice in GIS. We use a virtual learning environment called Minerva; using your web browser you will be able to access your modules containing all the necessary materials and discussion tools for online collaboration. The overall aim of the programme is to provide online distance learning for people working in areas requiring core training and skills development in Geographical Information Systems, or for students who want to study in their own environment and in their own time. More specifically the programme aims:

  • To provide widening opportunities to pursue a postgraduate programme using distance learning materials and resources
  • To provide learning and teaching experiences that are relevant to the work place and which use practical ‘real world examples’
  • To develop technical skills and competence in: data and information acquisition, extraction, management and analysis; spatial and statistical modelling; mapping and visualisation
  • To develop transferable skills in the use of information technology, virtual working and electronic communication
  • To encourage innovative use of information about customer markets that have a significant geographical component
  • To increase awareness of GIS and modelling tools for improving competition and business potential.