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2023/24 Taught Postgraduate Module Catalogue

GEOG5937M Applied GIS and Retail Modelling

15 creditsClass Size: 165

Module manager: Nick Hood

Taught: Semester 1 (Sep to Jan) View Timetable

Year running 2023/24

Pre-requisite qualifications


This module is mutually exclusive with

GEOG5005MBusiness and Service Planning

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. Through both lectures and supported practicals, 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. Lectures are used to introduce concepts, theories and case studies, supported by guided practicals in which 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. They consider opportunities for new store development, network rationalisation, competitor expansion and opportunities for the development of e-commerce and ‘click and collect’ services. 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:
1. be able to explain and evaluate the role of GIS and spatial modelling for location-based decision making in the retail sector
2. be able to apply appropriate spatial analytical techniques to assemble demand and supply side data for use in spatial modelling in a retail context
3. be able to develop and calibrate a spatial model in order to assess ‘what if?’ scenarios relevant to the retail sector
4. 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.


Retail growth strategies and location based decision making

Store location research and techniques

Retail demand estimation

Understanding store attractiveness

Model calibration and testing

Network planning and optimisation

E-commerce and multi-channel retailing

Challenges and opportunities for retail modelling and location based decision making

Teaching methods

Delivery typeNumberLength hoursStudent hours
Private study hours132.00
Total Contact hours18.00
Total hours (100hr per 10 credits)150.00

Private study

Undertaking core and wider reading, research and preparation of independent assessed work.
Independent work to develop and calibrate retail model, following on from supported practical work.

Opportunities for Formative Feedback

Student progress monitored via informal formative assessment of student progress during practical sessions.

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

There is no reading list for this module

Last updated: 04/08/2023


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