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EV5517: APPLICATIONS OF GIS (2018-2019)

Last modified: 22 May 2019 17:07

Course Overview

Many types of biological and environmental data have a spatial component. Geographical Information Systems (GIS) provide the means to analyse data in their spatial context.

This course gives you an understanding of fundamental concepts in GIS, an appreciation of the ways in which GIS can be used in ecology and environmental sciences, and practical skills in using ArcGIS software to solve problems in a spatial context.

A flexible teaching and learning environment allows for individualised learning and enrichment for students with existing skills in GIS.

The course broadens your portfolio of research skills and enhance your employability.

Course Details

Study Type Postgraduate Level 5
Session Second Sub Session Credit Points 15 credits (7.5 ECTS credits)
Campus Old Aberdeen Sustained Study No
  • Dr Philip Smith
  • Dr Louise Page

What courses & programmes must have been taken before this course?

  • One of MRes Environmental Science or MRes Soil Science or Master Of Science In Marine Conservation or MSc Applied Marine and Fisheries Ecology or Master Of Science In Ecology & Conservation or Master Of Science In Environmental And Forest Management or MSc Soil Science or Master Of Science In Environmental Pollution And Remediation or Master Of Science In Environmental Management or Master Of Science In Environmental And Ecological Sciences or MSc Environmental Science or MSci Biological Sciences
  • Either Any Postgraduate Programme (Studied) or BI4015 Grant Proposal (Passed)

What other courses must be taken with this course?


What courses cannot be taken with this course?

Are there a limited number of places available?


Course Description

Most issues in ecology and environmental science have important spatial aspects that should be taken account of to fully understand the issues. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) integrate computer hardware, software and data for capturing, managing, analysing and displaying all forms of spatial information.

The aim of the course is to help you to develop a sound understanding of fundamental principles of GIS, and an ability to carry out a variety of GIS operations.

By the end of the course you should be able to:

Import, create, process and display spatial data

Create and export well-designed maps for use in different media

Explain fundamental concepts of GIS

Use the ArcGIS software suite to carry out spatial data analysis

Describe a range of uses of GIS in your field

Lectures and seminars will explain the fundamental concepts and give examples of the use of GIS in different fields.

Structured workshops allow you to develop your skills by working on a range of real-world examples from research in terrestrial and marine ecology.

An individual investigation gives you the opportunity to explore a specific case study of your own choosing, devise your own questions, and demonstrate your command of the conceptual underpinnings and proficiency with the software to address those questions.

Further Information & Notes

Lectures and seminars 18 hours, Practicals approximately 40 hours

Details, including assessment, may be subject to change until 31 July 2022 for 1st half-session courses and 23 December 2022 for 2nd half-session courses.

Contact Teaching Time

Information on contact teaching time is available from the course guide.

Teaching Breakdown

  • 4 Computer Practicals during University weeks 25 - 30
  • 2 Lectures during University weeks 25 - 30

More Information about Week Numbers

Details, including assessment, may be subject to change until 31 July 2022 for 1st half-session courses and 23 December 2022 for 2nd half-session courses.

Summative Assessments

Continuous assessment 100% (provisionally to consist of a map-making exercise, online test and a report).

Resit: Resubmission of failed individual elements of continuous assessment


Formative Assessment

One or more online quizzes, and peer and tutor assessment of work in practical classes.


Automated feedback on quiz answers, written feedback and rubric component scores on other assessed coursework.

Course Learning Outcomes


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