UCL Department of Geography


Description Photo Here

Personal tools
Log in
This is SunRain Plone Theme
UCL Home  /  Geography  /  Study  /  Graduate Taught  /  MSc Geospatial Analysis

MSc Geospatial Analysis



There is ever-growing national and international demand for qualified professionals with expertise in the acquisition, representation and analysis of geographic information. UCL’s Department of Geography offers an MSc course in Geospatial Analysis (GSA) to provide rigorous scientific and technical training for the next generation of geographic information scientists and geospatial analysts. Students will also be introduced to machine learning and artificial intelligence applied to geospatial data: this is a key skill for future practitioners and researchers. Students are taught by research leaders that are shaping the discipline and are offered the opportunity to participate in the research for their dissertation projects.

The home of GIS

Roger Tomlinson, the ‘father of GIS’, completed his PhD thesis at the Department of Geography at UCL in 1974. His research was based on his development of the Canada Geographic Information System (CGIS), the world’s first integrated GIS capable of mapping and analysing geographical information and applying it to a comprehensive range of planning and management functions.

Tomlinson’s thesis was recently digitised and can now be accessed on UCL Discovery.


World leading Research

The UCL Department of Geography remains a leader of GIScience research and is currently awarded over £10 million in funding on GIS related projects. The Department also hosts the UK Consumer Data Research Centre (CDRC) which offers data services and opportunities for research with consumer-facing organisations. This includes the CDRC Masters Research Dissertation Programme which offers Masters students the opportunity to undertake research with a commercial partner. Sponsors have included Sainsbury’s, Boots, Tesco, Barclays, Shop Direct, M&S and many more. The department is also at forefront of the area of spatio-temporal computational modelling of human behaviour and social systems using new forms of data such as mobile data, sensors and internet of things data, social media, user-generated content and so on. In addition, Extreme Citizen Science (ExCiteS) are also based in the Department of Geography. ExCiteS create bespoke technologies to address the challenges around collecting, sharing and visualising geographic information with a variety of communities and focus on bottom-up solutions to community problems around the world.


Best selling publications

A number of internationally best-selling textbooks have been written by staff at the UCL Department of Geography. This includes Geographic Information Science and Systems (Longley et al), Geospatial Analysis (Longley, De Smith and Associates) and Interacting with Geospatial Technologies (Haklay). In addition, our team have also published infographic books such as the award-winning London: The Information Capital (Cheshire and Uberti) and Where the Animals Go (Cheshire and Uberti).



The UCL Department of Geography develops high impact research and encourages student participation in the research process. The department has built a range of user-friendly UK focused web-mapping portals including DataShine and CDRC Maps. UCL also hosts online interfaces for bespoke projects such as named which maps the distribution of surnames in the UK. Together, the department's geographic data visualisation websites receive over 750,000 visits a year and regularly feature in the media. The department also offers online resources in the form of free online textbooks (such as spatialanalysisonline and statsref) and training courses in R.



Module codeModule titleUCL Credit value
TBC Geographic Information Systems and Science 15 credits
GEOG0114 Principles of Spatial Analysis 15 credits
GEOG0115 Introduction to Data Science 15 credits
TBC Geospatial Science 15 credits

The four optional modules are normally selected from the following list, but not exclusively so. Due to sabbaticals and staff changes, not all modules are available every year, and module availability is subject to change. If you have questions relating to a specific optional module available in the forthcoming year, please contact the course convenor.

Module codeModule titleUCL Credit value
GEOG0125 Advanced Topics in Social Data Science 15 credits
GEOG0051 Mining Social and Geographic Datasets 15 credits
GEOG0152 Introduction to Citizen Science & Scientific Crowdsourcing 15 credits
GEOG0035 Environmental GIS 15 credits
GEOG0099 Cities and Climate Change 15 credits
GEOG0112 Climate Risks to Hydro-ecological Systems
15 credits
GEOG0034 Coastal Change 15 credits
GEOG0141 Community Participation in City Strategies
15 credits
GEOG0138 Creative Cities 15 credits
GEOG0149 Urban Policy 15 credits

In Term 3, students on the MSc Programme embark on a Dissertation (60 credits).

Please note these may be subject to change.


  • Nick Bearman Senior Tutor of the MSc Geospatial Analysis programme, Lecturer in Geographic Information Science
  • James Cheshire Senior Lecturer in Quantitative Human Geography
  • Rory Coulter Lecturer in Housing and Urban Analytics
  • Mat Disney Reader in Remote Sensing
  • Jon French Professor of Coastal Sciences
  • Muki Haklay Professor in Geographic Information Science
  • Matthew Hopkinson Visiting Professor in Retail Geography
  • Guy Lansley Manager of the CDRC Masters Research Dissertation Programme
  • Philip Lewis Professor of Remote Sensing
  • Paul Longley Professor of Geographic Information Science
  • Mirco Musolesi Director of the MSc Geospatial Analysis programme, Reader in Data Science
  • Oliver O'Brien Data Scientist in Webmapping
  • Martin Squires Visiting Professor in Big Data Analytics

Fees and funding

Information on fees and funding can be found on the main UCL website.


You can apply for a place on this Programme via UCL Admissions (in the application form, please select 'Geography' as the department and 'Postgraduate Taught' as the Programme Type).

For any enquiries or more information, please e-mail



There is a wide interest in spatially referenced datasets and how to analyse them in a range of different industries. The skills taught in this programme are applicable to the following careers: GIS, marketing & business intelligence, location planning, digital health & epidemiology, data science, resource management and exploration and many more. Furthermore, MSc GSA provides an ideal foundation for PhD research.

Take a look at our Careers page to see where some of our students have gone on to work.