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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

GEOG5008M GIS and Environment

15 creditsClass Size: 40

Module manager: Steve Carver

Taught: 01 Oct to 31 Dec, 1 Feb to 31 May (4mth)(adv yr), 1 Mar to 31 May, 1 Sep to 31 Dec (adv yr) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications

Students should have completed the PGCert year of the programme before attempting this module, or be able to evidence equivalent prior learning through other educational programmes or work experience.

This module is mutually exclusive with

GEOG5051MApplied Environmental GIS, WUN
GEOG5060GIS and Environment

This module is not approved as an Elective

Module summary

This module looks at the many ways in which GIS can be applied to the study of the environmental sciences including modelling terrain, hydrology, ecology and land use. The module considers important issues in the application of GIS such as sampling strategies, scale and generalisation, error and uncertainty, and grid-based modelling before moving on to look at how these methods can be applied to gain a better understanding of landscape processes. The module concludes with a look at how GIS is being applied to inform better decisions about the natural environment within the human dimension of the planning process. The module is assessed through the completion of practical assignments and an individual project report.


This module seeks to:

1. Introduce the role of GIS in environmental modelling with reference to spatial and temporal variability, scale and uncertainty in environmental systems, pattern and process.

2. Work with a range of commonly used/available environmental datasets to develop spatial models and applications across a range of environmental themes and topics including ecology, hydrology and geomorphology.

Learning outcomes
On completion of this module, students will have acquired:
1. an understanding of the role of GIS in mapping and analysing the environment
2. knowledge of the use of GIS across a range of applications in the environmental sciences including terrain analysis, spatial ecology, hydrology, and environmental assessment
3. familiarity with the use and application of ArcGIS and other GIS packages; and
4. knowledge of environmental data sources, skills in the interpretation of spatial environmental data and an awareness of specific problems and issues relating to data quality, spatial data models and methods of analysis


An indicative syllabus for this module is show below:

1. Spatial & temporal variability and environmental data
2. Error and uncertainty
3. Terrain modelling: the basics
4. Terrain modelling: applications
5. Spatial ecology: habitat suitability
6. Spatial ecology: connectivity modelling
7. Hydrological modelling: catchment models
8. Hydrological modelling: process models

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Discussion forum82.0016.00
Individual Support81.008.00
Independent online learning hours48.00
Private study hours78.00
Total Contact hours24.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Private study and online learning includes directed and independent wider reading, independent practical work and researching/undertaking module assessments and related tasks.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Formative feedback will be provided via discussion boards where students are encouraged to post questions, comments, practical outputs etc. Note that the outputs requested here will differ from those required as part of the summative portfolio.
The module leader will also provide support via email and Skype/Collaborate Ultra during the learning stages, in advance of assessment.

Methods of assessment

Assessment typeNotes% of formal assessment
ReportReport (2,500 word equivalent)70.00
PortfolioWeekly outputs from practicals (1,500 word equivalent)30.00
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: 28/04/2023 14:56:06


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