FAQs

  1. Do you accept professional experience as a substitute for a degree?
  2. How much does it cost?
  3. When is the application deadline?
  4. Can I take a break between modules?
  5. Is there an online PhD programme?
  6. How long does it take to complete the programme?
  7. What is the final assessment?
  8. Is it really all online? Do you have module timetables?
  9. What are the prerequisites?
  10. What is the mode of interaction with tutors/advisers?
  11. I have worked in GIS for ten years. Am I entitled to bypass any modules?
  12. Will I be required to take an English Language test?
  13. Are your programmes validated by the European Credit Transfer System?
  14. I want to learn how to use a GIS but I do not really need a degree. Do you offer anything suitable?
  15. Is there a requirement for me to visit the University at any point during my studies?
  16. Do you offer any form of financial support for homeland or international students?
  17. I have been out of education for 5 years. Do I still need an academic reference?
  18. How should I send my references to you? Do you have a template?
  19. I am ready to send my documents through the post. Who should I address these to?
  20. I want to apply for your Certificate / Diploma / MSc. What should I select on the application form?
  21. I want to apply for a single module. How do I apply?
  22. I am interested in the Postgraduate Certificate. Can I mix-and-match modules or must I complete the four modules listed as part of this programme?
  23. You also offer a full-time MSc in GIS. Is the distance learning MSc in GIS equivalent to the full-time degree?

1. Do you accept professional experience as a substitute for a degree?

We regard professional experience very highly. Our entry requirements stipulate that potential students must have EITHER an appropriate first degree(with a 2:I or equivalent internationally) OR some related GIS experience. If you do not have a degree but have been working within a GIS environment for a number of years, we will certainly consider your application. All applications are considered on an individual basis. Please contact us to discuss your situation. It would be useful if you could provide some information on your working history and a copy of your CV.

2. How much does it cost?

Our three programmes are very competitively priced and reflect the level of choice and availability of modules open to you as a student. Our current fees are:

  • Postgraduate Certificate in GIS – £3200
  • Postgraduate Diploma in GIS – £6400
  • Master of Science in GIS – £8000
  • Short Courses – £850

If you are a self-financing student, you will normally pay your fees by debit or credit card. The first installment may be paid by a cheque or bank transfer but subsequent payments must be paid by debit or credit card online. You can pay us on an annual basis at the beginning of the year or on a six-monthly basis.

If you are a sponsored student, then you may have your fees paid for by your organisation, in which case you must provide a sponsor letter on Headed paper clearly stating how much the organisation is paying for how long, your full name and more importantly who to invoice.

For full details on course fees please see our Fees page.

3. When is the application deadline?

We have four intakes per academic year in October, January, April and July. The application deadline is around 3 weeks before the start date but please refer to the Application page for specific dates.

You should ensure that your application and supporting documents reach us by the specified deadline to avoid disappointment.

4. Can I take a break between modules?

Yes you may take temporary leave between modules. One attraction of the course is its flexibility. We appreciate that you are likely to be balancing study with other commitments such as employment and family and so we will do our best to accommodate any requests that you make.

5. Is there an online PhD programme?

There is currently no online PhD programme. However, if you live in the UK or the EU, then you might wish to consider a part-time PhD. A former distance learning student recently completed a part-time PhD with the University of Leeds, which they studied remotely from Cyprus. Please contact us if you would like more details. Also, please take a look at our PhD webpage for further information.

6. How long does it take to complete the programme?

Depending on the programme you are enrolled upon, the duration is as follows:

  • Postgraduate Certificate in GIS – 12 months
  • Postgraduate Diploma in GIS – 24 months
  • Master of Science in GIS – 36 months
  • Short Course in GIS – 3 months

You will study one module per 12 week period and will therefore complete four modules per year.

Further details are available from the Courses page of our website.

7. What is the final assessment?

When undertaking taught modules, you will usually be assessed via two summative assignments submitted at the end of the module. For some modules, you may also be assessed via your contribution to the module discussion forum.

If completing the MSc programme, the final assessment consists of a dissertation completed in Year 3 (or equivalent). This is an independent research project enabling you to focus on an area which has attracted your attention whilst completing the taught modules or it can be a completely new topic. You will devise a topic with your dissertation tutor and receive ongoing support and guidance through to completion.

8. Is it really all online? Do you have module timetables?

Absolutely! All materials are made available online as you progress through the course. You will be given access to our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) enabling you to view video content, download files, and interact with fellow students and tutors via discussion boards. All course content is delivered entirely online.

We do not schedule specific time periods where you must be online. Study is conducted at times suited to you, enabling you to study 24/7 if you wish. In most cases, it is also possible to download materials and work offline if you know you will not have internet access at certain times (e.g. whilst travelling or working offshore).

9. What are the prerequisites?

In order to join any of our programmes, we stipulate that potential students must have either an appropriate first degree (of upper second class standing) OR some related GIS employment. If the latter, students must convince the University of their ability to study at postgraduate level(See FAQ 1).

It is possible, however, to study single modules or short-courses (see FAQ 14). These courses do not normally require any prerequisites and are a good way to get started if you are unsure about committing to a more formal qualification. Satisfactory achievement in one of these courses can often be enough to grant you admission onto one of our more recognised courses (Certificate, Diploma, or Masters). See our Courses page for the full list of short courses.

10. What is the mode of interaction with tutors/advisers?

Course tutors will always be happy to assist you through a variety of communication methods. Typically, email and discussion boards are the predominant mode of interaction. You can expect to receive a prompt response to your emails, i.e. within 48 hours on working days.

Online discussion boards enable you to interact with fellow students on your module, ask questions, answer questions, and raise concerns. These boards are regularly visited by course tutors who also contribute to the discussions. Further methods include telephone or Skype conversations and we also make use of web conferencing software to host tutorials and online meetings.

11. I have worked in GIS for ten years. Am I entitled to bypass any modules?

In certain circumstances we do offer a process whereby you can apply for module exemption. This process involves making a strong case to the University that you have already met the academic learning outcomes of the modules you wish to be exempt from. This case can be based on work experience, prior education or a combination of the two.

Exemptions are only available on the following Year 1 modules and will be reviewed in line with the University of Leeds Accreditation of Prior Learning Policy.

  • Principles of GIS
  • Using GIS
  • Spatial Analysis
  • GIS in the Workplace

Students wishing to be considered for module exemptions should email us to discuss this further and request a Module Exemption Form. Please note that exemption is not guaranteed. There is no charge for processing this information, but if you wish us to take account of your experience, you must do this when you apply and not after you have started the course.

12. Will I be required to take an English Language test?

Students living in countries where the home language is NOT English will more than likely be required to take an IELTS or TOEFL test. If you are unsure as to your eligibility then please contact us to discuss this further. It should be noted that overseas students who have studied for a degree at a British University will not be required to undertake proof of English Language testing.

If required to sit a test, our requirements are as follows:

  • International English Language Testing System (IELTS)- An average score of 6.5. You must achieve a minimum of 6.0 or above in listening, speaking and reading and 6.5 or above in writing
  • Teaching of English as a Foreign Language TOEFL)- 94 on TOEFL IBT (internet-based), with minimum scores of 21 in listening, 23 in reading, 23 in speaking and 24 in writing.

13. Are your programmes validated by the European Credit Transfer System?

Yes, all of the degree programmes at the Universities of Leeds and Southampton are validated in this way, including our distance learning courses. Currently, one credit is equal to 0.5 credits on the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

14. I want to learn how to use a GIS but I do not really need a degree. Do you offer anything suitable?

Yes, we offer various short-courses designed to introduce you to specific aspects of GIS. A full list of the courses available can be found here. All short-courses cost £850 and take around three months to complete on a part-time basis. There are usually no prerequisites for these courses, however you may be required to provide proof of English Lanaguage and we may ask for the names of two referees who would be willing to support your application should we choose to contact them.

Many students use these short-courses as tasters to see what it would be like to complete a more formal qualification, such as the Certificate, Diploma or Masters. If you do this and then opt to upgrade to a full qualification later on, we will carry forward the marks obtained in the short-course.

15. Is there a requirement for me to visit the University at any point during my studies?

No, because all teaching, assessment and interaction are conducted online. However, we would welcome you to the School of Geography should you decide to pay us a visit. As a registered student you are given access to a multitude of learning facilities, and, although the online material is sufficient, this also includes our onsite library facilities which you are more than welcome to use.

At the completion of your studies, we offer you the chance to visit us to attend a formal graduation ceremony where you will receive your certificate. This is a further opportunity for you to visit Leeds but this is by no means compulsory.

16. Do you offer any form of financial support for homeland or international students?

The financial support we offer is open to both British and overseas students and comes in the form of a partial-fees scholarship(currently £1400). Please see the Scholarships section for further information.

17. I have been out of education for 5 years. Do I still need an academic reference?

No, if you have been away from studying for several years and feel that it may be difficult to approach your previous institution for a reference then we would accept references relating to your current / previous employment.

18. How should I send my references to you? Do you have a template?

You can upload referee statements alongside your online application, or alternatively, either you or your referee can email the reference directly to us and we will append it to your application. References may also be posted to our Postgraduate Admissions Team(see FAQ 19). If your references are being posted to us, please ensure they are written on letter headed paper.

19. I am ready to send my documents through the post. Who should I address these to?

In the first instance, it is possible to upload supporting documents (degree certificates, transcripts, references, English language certificates etc.) to your online application. However, if you are offered a place, you will be asked to provide original or certified documents. All such documents should be sent directly to the Faculty of Environment and marked for the attention of our Postgraduate Admissions Team:

Taught Postgraduate Admissions Team
Faculty of Environment
University of Leeds
Leeds
LS2 9JT
United Kingdom

20. I want to apply for your Certificate / Diploma / MSc. What should I select on the application form?

Once you have created an online account with a username and password, login to your University of Leeds account and follow the instructions below:

  1. Select the New application link under the heading of Admission Year.
  2. In the Application Type drop-down box, choose Taught Postgraduate – Excl. MBA and click continue.
  3. You will then be presented with a screen enabling you to select the academic year in which you wish to begin your programme of study. Academic years run from September to September. Use the Admission Year drop-down menu to select your chosen year.
  4. A screen will then appear comprising thirteen sections which require completion. Work your way through these sections filling in all the required information.
  5. The second of these thirteen sections requires you to select your programme of study. Select this from the Planned Course of Study drop-down menu. You will need to select one of the following (please ensure that you choose the programme followed by the DL notation for distance :
    • MSC Geographical Information Systems DL (for the MSc)
    • PGD Geographical Information Systems DL (for the Diploma)
    • PGC Geographical Information Systems DL (for the Certificate)
    • Non-degree in GIS (short courses) DL (for short courses)
  6. For Proposed start dates, please see FAQ 3 and enter the appropriate intake date.
  7. You can upload any supporting documents in section thirteen, headed Supporting Documents by simply browsing for these on your machine and attaching them to your online application.
  8. The remainder of the form should be self-explanatory but please do not hesitate to contact us if you require any further assistance.

 

For further details regarding the application process, please visit our Application page.

21. I want to apply for a single module. How do I apply?

In this situation, you should select Non Degree in GIS (one-off distance learning module) option and make a note in the comments box stating which particular short course you are interested in. Remember, if you are applying from an English speaking country for a single module or short course, we do not require any supporting documents – simply completing the application form is sufficient. If you are from a non-English speaking country then you will need to submit a recent IELTS/TOEFL test result – please refer back to Q12.

22. I am interested in the Postgraduate Certificate. Can I mix-and-match modules or must I complete the four modules listed as part of this programme?

If you wish to complete the certificate, you must complete the following four modules:

  • Principles of GIS
  • Using GIS
  • Spatial Analysis
  • GIS in the Workplace

These modules have been selected to give you a broad but comprehensive introduction to GIS and therefore cannot be changed. Many of these modules also act as prerequisites for our Year 2 courses.

23. You also offer a full-time MSc in GIS. Is the distance learning MSc in GIS equivalent to the full-time degree?

These degrees are completely equivalent. Moreover, your degree certificate will state ‘MSc in GIS’ and not make reference to distance learning.

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