UCC Adult courses

Geographical Information Systems - HDip

About This Course

Fact File

  • Title

    Geographical Information Systems

  • Code


  • College

    Science, Engineering and Food Science, Adult Continuing Education

  • Duration

    1 year

  • Teaching Mode


  • Qualifications


  • NFQ Level

    Level 8

  • NFQ Award Title


  • Fees

    €2750 per academic year [Recommended course textbook €40] See Fees and Costs for full details.

  • Entry Requirements

    Applicants should have a primary degree in a related subject. Candidates with 2 years relevant professional experience may also be considered. See Requirements for full details.

  • Next Intake

    Not accepting applications for 2019/2020

  • Start Date


Course Outline

The Higher Diploma in Geographical Information Systems is a part-time course designed to give you a theoretical understanding of geographical information systems (GIS) and practical hands-on training in key GIS software. The course focuses on developing the skills and knowledge of the participants to enable the effective use of GIS technology in a professional environment. GIS is a fundamental technology for the effective management, manipulation, analysis and display of spatial data. The use of GIS technology has grown rapidly in the past 10 years and the demand for suitably qualified GIS professionals has increased significantly. The course has been designed to ensure that you will acquire the skills and expertise to meet the needs of potential employers.

The Higher Diploma in Geographical Information Systems is taken on a part-time basis over a 10 month period (10 x 3 day seminars). You will take five modules.

Course Practicalities

This course is delivered through a series of lectures and workshops.


Assessment for the course is a combination of written exams, continually assessed work and a research project.

Who teaches this course?

The core programme lecturers will be darius bartlett and helen bradley, from the department of geography. a range of guest lecturers from outside the department and the university present specialist sections of the course.

Why Choose This Course

The Higher Diploma in Geographical Information Systems has been running successfully in UCC for 13 years and has an excellent reputation within the Irish GIS community. It is highly regarded as a course for continuing professional development, with many organisations sponsoring staff participation on the course. It is also very popular with those looking to work in the GIS environment. The course has an excellent employment track record.

Having completed the course you will have comprehensive skills in the use of key GIS software and the underlying knowledge of how to effectively implement GIS, undertake analysis and ensure best practice. GIS is widely used in a variety of organisations in Ireland, including:

  • County and city councils
  • Government departments
  • The Defence Forces
  • Utilility companies
  • Marketing and insurance companies
  • Environmental and engineering consultancies

Upon finishing the course many students have found work in these organisations or if already employed have gain promotion.


  • Applicants will be at least 21 years of age by 1st January of the year of application. 
  • Applicants should have a primary degree in a related subject (Geography, Geology, Planning, Engineering, Computer Science, Environmental Science, Surveying, Marketing or other related subject). 
  • Candidates with 2 years relevant professional experience may also be considered as deemed appropriate by the GIS Higher Diploma Committee and the ACE Committee. 
  • All applicants whose first language is not English must have attained IELTS Level 6 or the equivalent TOEFL score.

Fees and Costs

€2750 per academic year [Recommended course textbook €40]

Students who are registered on this programme are eligible to apply for the Financial Aid Fund for Part Time Students. Eligibility criteria applies. For more information see https://www.ucc.ie/en/finaidpt

How Do I Apply

Not accepting applications for 2018/2019. Applications will re-open in 2019 for the 2019-2020 academic year. TBC

Year 1 Modules

  • GG5800: Introduction to Geographical Information Systems (10 credits)
    The nature of geographical data; data structures; data sources; basic GIS functions and introduction to GIS database features.
  • GG5801: Visualisation of Spatial Data (10 credits)
    This module will introduce students to the principles of cartography and visualisation. Emphasis will be placed on the production of effective maps based on established principles of cartographic design. The module will also focus on recent developments in geographic visualisation and the areas of internet mapping and interactive visualisation. Topics covered include projections and scale, cartographic design, symbology and colour, thematic and topographic mapping, 3D mapping and web GIS.
  • GG5802: Spatial Analysis and Geographical Information Systems (10 credits)
    The aims and purpose of spatial data analysis; boolean and other forms of logic; spatial autocorrelation; generalisation of spatial and non-spatial data; database querying through SQL; buffering, dissolve-and-merge and data overlay in vector GIS; map algebra and raster data analysis; interpolation and analysis of surfaces.
  • GG5803: G.I.S. Software and Systems (10 credits)
    Introduction to and overview of the functions of ArcGIS, MapInfo, Erdas. Practical experience using the leading commercial GIS software. Current and future trends in GIS. Web GIS and customisation.
  • GG5804: G.I.S. Research Project (20 credits)
    Students will develop their research proposal in agreement with relevant staff and carry out independent research over a 2 month period.

Year 2 Modules

Year 3 Modules

Year 4 Modules

For queries regarding course content or timetables please contact