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2015/16 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

GEOG5010M Principles of GIS

15 creditsClass Size: 50

Module manager: Luke Burns

Taught: Semester 1 View Timetable

Year running 2015/16

This module is mutually exclusive with

GEOG5011MPrinciples of GIS (WUN)
GEOG5740MIntroducing GIS

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module introduces the diverse ways in which the concepts and theories that form the basis of modern GIS are implemented and applied to studies in human and physical geography. The module explores the origins of GIS, its conceptual and theoretical foundations as well as important issues related to applications of GIS such as sampling strategies, scale, generalisation, error, uncertainty and grid-based modelling and an understanding of technological developments e.g. the use of GPS.


The objectives of the module will be to:
- Introduce the concepts and theories that form the foundations of modern geographical information systems (GIS);
- Illustrate how an understanding of the concepts and theories is GIS essential if you are to become a proficient user of GIS;
- Introduce the scientific literature on concepts, theories and applications of GIS in selected fields of human and physical geography.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module students will have:

- an understanding of concepts and theories that underpin modern GIS and are applied in GIS application;
- an understanding of the analytical functionality of GIS;
- an appreciation of the advanced analytical functionality and how it is used in applications of GIS;
- an appreciation of conceptual and technical issues in using GIS;
- an understanding of the issues relating to project management and its use within organisations using GIS (e.g. data collection/data availability);
- an understanding of technological developments e.g. the use of GPS;
- an understanding of the sources, textbooks, scientific journals, selected websites and selected papers from the scientific literature offering information about concepts and theories of GIS and related technologies.

Skills outcomes
On completion of this module students will be able to:
- demonstrate a detailed knowledge of the concepts and theories of modern GIS;
- be familiar with resources, literature and techniques for applying GIS to problem solving within human and physical geography;
- be able to discuss the concepts, principles and methods of using GIS to solve specific spatial data mapping, management and analysis problems.


Indicative topics could include
- Introduction to GIS: Definitions and Characteristics of GIS
- Datums, Projections and Geocoding
- Spatial Data Models: The Digital Representation of Spatial Data
- Spatial Database Concepts
- Spatial Analytical Functionality in GIS
- Spatial Data Quality, Accuracy, Errors and Standards
- Spatial Interpolation and Surface Analysis
- Network Analysis - Route Finding through networks
- GIS and Spatial Modelling

This module provides an introduction to Geographical Information Systems (GIS), a rapidly evolving area within business, environment, health, planning and retail environments. This is a largely theoretical module that provides an essential grounding in the concepts and underpinnings of GIS.

We explore topics including spatial data models, data capture, spatial analysis and modelling.

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours126.00
Total Contact hours24.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

To undertake reading, research and preparation of assessed work

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress is monitored by a series of individual and group activities across the semester.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Essay2000 words50.00
Reportshort reports, 2000 words total50.00
Total percentage (Assessment Coursework)100.00

Normally resits will be assessed by the same methodology as the first attempt, unless otherwise stated

Reading list

The reading list is available from the Library website

Last updated: 11/03/2016


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