Course Title: Geography - Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing
College: Science, Engineering and Food Science
Duration: 1 year
Teaching Mode: Full-time
NFQ Level: Level 9
Costs: The Irish/EU fee for 2013/14 for this partially-funded programme is expected to be €2,750
Entry Requirements: Minimum of a 2.2 honours degree or equivalent in geography, geology, environmental sciences, computer science, physics, maths, engineering, or a discipline relevant to geoinformatics, see detailed entry requirements
Course Code: CKR09
Closing Date: 1 June 2013
Next Intake: September 2013
The MSc in Geoinformatics addresses the growing need for science-trained postgraduates who are technically aware and competent to work in the field of geoinformatics, particularly as applied to environmental and resource management. This twelve month full-time course of study covers both the theoretical and practical aspects of geoinformatics, including Geographical Information Systems (GIS), Remote Sensing (RS), satellite navigation systems, cartography, visualisation, programming and web services.
The course consists of 60 credits of taught modules, followed by independent research towards a dissertation worth 30 credits. In addition to the taught modules, you will have the opportunity to meet practitioners through regular seminars led by experts in the discipline from Ireland and abroad, visits to local geoinformatics enterprises and attendance at relevant Irish conferences. With an MSc in GIS and RS, you will be highly sought after by employers on graduation.
The course introduces you to the foundational concepts of GIS, RS and cartography in the first teaching period, with lectures and practical classes which explore the underlying principles of the subjects. These skills are developed in the second teaching period with more advanced digital image processing, spatial analysis and computer programming, again taught through lectures and practical classes.
Running throughout both teaching periods are modules which develop your research skills and explore the applications, technologies and systems of geoinformatics. These modules are taught through a variety of methods which include workshops, seminars, fieldtrips, conferences, site visits, group projects and independent study.
Leading national and international geoinformatics practitioners are invited to lead seminars highlighting industrial, commercial and governmental applications and, where applicable, to demonstrate different equipment used in the discipline. You are encouraged to explore your own interests in geoinformatics through self-directed studies, oral presentations, networking with professional researchers and attending the annual national GIS and RS conferences held each autumn.
One of the highlights of the teaching period is the weekend field trip which allows students to gain hands-on experience with a variety of different instruments and to experience the complete data acquisition, processing, evaluation and presentation chain.
When you complete the taught modules you are eligible to undertake the research project in an area of your own choice within the geoinformatics discipline over a four month period from May to September. This research may be undertaken in the university or with the support of a commercial placement organised by you and culminates in a 15,000 word thesis. All students have a dedicated computer in the masters’ lab in the Department of Geography and are provided with student copies of relevant software as well as access to departmental equipment as necessary for research projects.
Further details on the content and modules are available on the Postgraduate College Calendar
Candidates must have obtained at least a Second Class Honours degree or equivalent in a subject related to that of the MSc in Applied Science programme, e.g. Geography, Geology, Environmental Sciences, Computer Science, Physics, Maths, Engineering or a cognate discipline. Graduates with equivalent qualifications in related areas of science and technology can be considered for places following inteview and/or assessment by the Director of the MSc in Applied Science (Geographical Information Systems and Remote Sensing) Programme. The programme Director and/or the College of Science, Engineering and Food Science, UCC must approve candidates. The number of places is limited and selection will be based on academic achievement, relevant work experience, a personal statement from the applicant and/or an interview.
Application for this programme is on-line at www.pac.ie/ucc. For full details of the application procedure click here. Please note that you will be asked to fill in a supplementary information form as part of the applications process for this programme and you are also asked to provide an academic reference indicating your potential for postgraduate study. The supplementary form is available to view here SupplementaryFormCKP08 (59kB)
All required documentation must be sent in hard copy to The Postgraduate Applications Centre, 1, Courthouse Square, Galway immediately once an application is made.
During the two teaching periods, there are daily classes that typically consist of one to two hours of morning lectures followed by two to three hours of afternoon practical sessions in the computer lab. For every hour of taught classes, students are expected to spend two to three hours on self-directed study. An overnight stay may be required for attendance at the national conferences, depending on their location, but the weekend field trip is within easy travelling distance of Cork. Students are made aware of the dates of these events at the earliest opportunity and they are a compulsory part of the course.
Because of the very practical nature of the subject, there is a large element of coursework with five of the taught modules assessed entirely through computer-based exercises, written reports, projects and practical activities. The remaining five taught modules are assessed through a combination of coursework and examination at the end of the second teaching period. Students are assessed on valuable transferable skills that include written, mathematical, problem-solving and oral assignments, many of which are completed individually or in small groups.
The core teaching staff for the course are Dr Fiona Cawkwell, Mr Darius Bartlett and Ms Helen Bradley, from the Department of Geography. Additional teaching is provided by colleagues from the Department of Computer Science and the university’s research centres. This teaching is complemented by an active programme of seminars presented by invited guest speakers, who are practicing geoinformaticians from a variety of academic, commercial and government settings.