For more information on any of these courses, please see either the University of Canterbury Course Information System, or the Victoria University of Wellington Course Information System, or the Auckland University of Technology Course Information System

GISC 401: Foundations of Geographic Information Science (GIS)

This course will provide students with an introduction to Geographic Information Science (GIS), which will enable them to approach the remainder of the MGIS programme with a solid base knowledge. In this course, students will be presented with and encouraged to explore the breadth of research in GIS, and gain awareness of some of the key debates in the field.  Course topics will include the conceptual foundations of GIS, data modelling, management, manipulation, analysis and geocomputation, as well as cartography and visualisation, and the legal, ethical and social issues pertaining to GIS.  The residential week will also develop students’ knowledge and skills in the use of field techniques for data capture, including GPS.

GISC 402:  Geographic Information Science (GIS) Research

This course has the dual purpose of educating students in the nature and breadth of GIS research undertaken in academia, industry and government as well as to guide students in the development of a proposal to undertake their own research in GIS.  The course will include a series of guest lecturers from experts across academia, industry and government providing insight into the landscape of employment or further research.  In proposal development, students will learn how to plan, execute and present a research proposal and project. Students will also be exposed to some of the social, legal and ethical issues associated with GIS research.

GISC 403: Cartography and Geovisualisation

The presentation and visualisation of geographic data is a key part of communicating research results.  This course provides a theoretical grounding in and practical introduction to the various ways in which geographic data can be visualised. Key topics in this course will include advanced cartographic design, geovisualisation, human-computer interaction, and augmented and virtual reality.

GISC 404: Geospatial Analysis

This course provides an introduction to a range of statistical techniques used in the analysis of spatial data. A comprehensive lab programme uses a variety of software packages to explore visualisation, exploratory spatial data analysis, spatial autocorrelation, point pattern analysis, spatial statistics and the modifiable areal unit problem (MAUP).

GISC 405: GIS Programming and Databases

This course will develop students’ ability to use programming methods for extending existing GIS software and composing open source components for GIS functionality.  The knowledge and skills learned in this course will support a range of applications including data processing, visualisation, advanced spatial analysis, public participatory GIS and webGIS.  This course take students through a basic introduction to programming in Python, with the first term concentrating on basic programming concepts including expressions, strings and modules, objects methods and lists, conditionals, and repetition, followed by the second term that will delve into spatial databases, their design, structure and access.

GISC 406: Remote Sensing for Earth Observation

This course explores the use of data from earth orbiting satellites for monitoring and analyzing the state of the environment from local to regional scales. It provides practical experience in data analysis from a range of earth observation sensors to obtain information on surface properties in 3 dimensions. The derived information can be used for further analysis in Geographic Information Systems.

GISC 411: Geographic Information Systems (GIS) in Health

This course will provide students with an introduction to the use of Geographic Information Science (GIS) in health geography. Health geography is the application of geographical information, perspectives, and methods to the study of health, disease and health care, and can provide a spatial understanding of a population’s health, the distribution of disease, and environmental effects on health and disease. Health geography also deals with accessibility to health care and the spatial distribution of health care providers. GIS is a powerful tool that can integrate geographical information for application in the study of health, disease and health care.

GISC 412: Spatial Algorithms and Programming for GIS

This course builds on an introduction to python programming course (e.g. MGIS405), developing students’ ability to use python in GIS software such as ArcGIS as well open source GIS software, and to understand and create spatial algorithms.  This course is heavily lab and project based, where the context and theoretical framework is presented in lectures and tutorials in order to guide the hands on development.

GISC 413: Special Topic - Geomatic Data Acquisition Techniques

The course will give the student a broad understanding of the techniques and issues involved with position measurement and capture of geographic data or images. Much of the course material will concentrate on airborne photography, but other remote sensing and data gathering platforms will be included. The interdependence of the three cornerstones of Geomatic Data Acquisition (Platforms, Sensors, Positioning) will be covered.

GISC 415: GIS Internship

This course allows students to utilize knowledge gained from the PGDipGIS/MGIS postgraduate courses within business, government and non-profit organisations while gaining career-related work experiences, exploring compatibility with specific careers and companies, and becoming more mature professionally. Sponsorship for internship positions may be available.

GISC 416: Special Topics - Conservation GIS

This paper is designed to advance students' skills in information location and retrieval, understanding of spatial conservation ecology, foster critical analysis of the research and statistical bases underlying conclusions reached in the literature, examine the relative strengths and weaknesses of different methods of spatial analyses, literature synthesis, understand theoretical perspectives relevant to the conservation GIS, and demonstrate an ability to identify the limitations of current research, and potential areas for further research.

GISC 690 (UC) or GISC 591 (VUW): Masters in Geographic Information Science (GIS) Thesis

This is the thesis component of the Masters in GIS. It provides the opportunity for graduate students to engage in specialised research areas related to GIS . Approval of topics is subject to approval by the course director and suitable provision for academic supervision.


As well as the courses listed above, you can also select a maximum of 2 local elective courses in relevant subjects (as approved by the MGIS Director). Electives may include 400-level courses from a variety of departments within the university, such as Geography (e.g. GEOG401, GEOG404), Hazard Management (e.g. HAZM401, HAZM403), Health Science (e.g. HLTH401, HLTH402), Biology (e.g. BIOL474, SEAF401), and Forestry (e.g. FORE442).



Contact Email