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2020/21 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

GEOG5851M Applied GIS and Retail Modelling (WUN)

15 creditsClass Size: 30

Module manager: Andy Newing

Taught: 1 Apr to 31 Jul, 1 Apr to 31 Jul (Adv pre 2223), 1 Oct to 31 Jan, 1 Oct to 31 Jan (Adv pre 2223) View Timetable

Year running 2020/21

This module is mutually exclusive with

GEOG5937MApplied GIS and Retail Modelling

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

The retail sector is a major applied user of GIS and spatial modelling to address strategic and operational decision making. This applied module provides students with hands on experience of using GIS and spatial models to support the retail location and network planning process. Students gain experience in the application of spatial analysis to estimate changing consumer demand and geodemographics, manage store-networks, inform new store development and support the expansion and evaluation of multi-channel retailing. Students build and calibrate powerful models to estimate consumer interactions between retail supply and demand. Students use a ‘spatial interaction model’ (SIM), widely applied in academia and industry to recommend network development opportunities for a case study retailer. These ‘what if?’ scenarios closely reflect industry concerns and this module equips students with a thorough grounding in applied modelling for retail analysis.


This module seeks to:
demonstrate, in an applied context, the importance of GIS and spatial analysis for operational and strategic decision making in the retail sector
outline and explain appropriate spatial modelling techniques to evaluate the interactions between retail demand and supply
give students practical experience in developing and calibrating powerful spatial models for retail site evaluation and planning
enable students to test and evaluate alternative retail development scenarios based on demand and supply side changes

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will:
be able to explain and evaluate the role of GIS and spatial modelling for location-based decision making in the retail sector
be able to apply appropriate spatial analytical techniques to assemble demand and supply side data for use in spatial modelling in a retail context
be able to develop and calibrate a spatial model in order to assess ‘what if?’ scenarios relevant to the retail sector
be able to evaluate model outputs, explain and justify retail network development opportunities and assess their strengths and weaknesses in an applied context and understand limitations of modelling work.

Skills outcomes
Pursuit of knowledge in an in-depth, ordered and motivated way
Learning and independent study
Information processing (including IT skills): literature searches, use of bespoke software
Data manipulation (including IT skills): analysis of data (especially spatial data); statistical methods
Communication: report writing, e-mail
- Management: safe and effective project planning and execution; time management.


Introduction and trends in retailing
Retail growth strategies and location based decision making
GIS and store location research and techniques
Retail demand estimation
Understanding store attractiveness
Model calibration and testing
Network planning and optimisation
Challenges and opportunities for retail modelling and location based decision making

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Discussion forum101.0010.00
Independent online learning hours50.00
Private study hours90.00
Total Contact hours10.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

This is a distance learning module so the students must work through weekly online materials and then complete practical work and further reading (both online and paper-based). The online materials provide students with the conceptual background while practical sessions provide students with the opportunity to apply their knowledge and problem-solving skills using customised spatial interaction and GIS software.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Through email communication, the online discussion room and attendance monitoring via activity on VLE

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
Report2,000 word equivalent report (1,000 words plus modelling outputs)70.00
Written WorkWorkbook - 2,000 word equivalent30.00
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: 29/04/2022 15:32:21


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