The MGIS and PGDipGIS programmes provide full time and part time opportunities for students with an interest and background in Geographic Information Science. Students must be resident in either Christchurch, Wellington or Auckland, New Zealand, in order to attend classes at either Canterbury University, Victoria University of Wellington or Auckland University of Technology.

The programme aims to provide a model for exceptional collaborative teaching and research, using new technology and media to enhance the learning experience for students.  The program will use a blended learning approach, involving synchronous seminars and labs (via the KAREN network), residential intensive sessions, and online synchronous and asynchronous learning support.  Once a year, students will be brought together for a one week gathering, which will serve to introduce the programme and enable a week of intensive teaching for the ‘GIS401 Foundations of GI Science’ course.

The current programme has two qualifications on offer: a Postgraduate Diploma of Geographic Information Science (PGDipGIS) and a Masters in Geographic Information Science (MGIS). The qualifications provided include a range of courses covering geoinformation processing, analysis, visualisation and applications, as well as the one week intensive course at the field station in Kaikoura.

Please note: This programme is currently NOT offered via distance learning. Students must be present at one of the three participating institutions.


The PGDipGIS is a one year (full time) or two year (part time) postgraduate diploma which is comprised of coursework only. To complete the PGDipGIS, students need to successfully complete at least 8 of the courses offered in the course schedule.

For full time students:

Core courses: GISC401, GISC402, GISC403, GISC404
Electives: GISC405, GISC406, GISC411, GISC412, GISC413, GISC415, GISC416
Additional: Up to two additional elective courses from relevant programmes as approved by the MGIS Director

For part time students:

Year 1: GISC401, GISC403, GISC404, plus one elective within or outside the MGIS programme
Year 2: GISC402, plus three electives, one of which may be outside the MGIS programme


The MGIS is a two year (full time) or four year (part time) research masters programme, which is comprised of coursework and a research thesis. Students need to complete the coursework as per the PGDipGIS, as well as an additional masters thesis (GISC690) in the second half of their study.

Semester 1 Core GISC690 (UC) or GISC591 (VUW): Research Thesis
GISC 401: Foundations of GI Science
GISC 404: Geospatial Analysis
Electives (choose 2)
GISC 405: GIS Programming and Databases
GISC 406: Remote Sensing for Earth Observation
GISC 411: GIS in Health
1 local elective*
Semester 2 Core
GISC 402: GI Science Research
GISC 403: Cartography & Visualisation
Electives (choose 2)
GISC 412: Spatial Algorithms and Programming
GISC 413: Special Topic: Geomatic Data Acquisition Techniques
GISC 415: Internship
GISC 416: Conservation GIS
1 local elective*


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