The MSc Geoinformatics addresses the need for technically aware and competent postgraduates to work in the field of geoinformatics, particularly as applied to environmental and resource management. This twelve month full-time course covers both the theoretical and practical aspects of geoinformatics, including Geographical Information Systems and Science (GIS), Remote Sensing (RS), geospatial data analysis and visualisation, programming and internet GIS. The course consists of 60 credits of taught modules, followed by independent research towards a dissertation, written up as an 8,000 word scientific paper, worth 30 credits. In addition to the taught modules, you will have the opportunity to meet practitioners through regular seminars led by experts from Ireland and abroad, visits to local geoinformatics enterprises and attendance at relevant Irish conferences. The course introduces you to the foundational concepts of geoinformatics in the first teaching period, with lectures and practical classes. These skills are developed in the second teaching period with more advanced digital image processing, internet GIS and applications of geoinformatics, again taught through lectures, practical classes and workshops. On completion of the taught modules you undertake the dissertation (research project) in an area of your choice within the geoinformatics discipline over the summer.
During the two teaching periods, there are daily classes of one to two hours of lectures followed by two to three hours of 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. Students are made aware of the dates of these events at the earliest opportunity and they are a compulsory part of the course. Due to the very practical nature of the subject, there is a large element of coursework with many modules assessed entirely through computer-based exercises, written reports, projects and practical activities. Some modules also have practical or written exams at the end of the semester. Students are assessed on valuable transferable skills within written, mathematical, computing, 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, Dr Paul Holloway and Dr Dipto Sarkar, from the Department of Geography, complemented by guest speakers, who are practicing geoinformaticians from a variety of academic, commercial and government settings.
Why Choose This Course
This course is unique in Ireland in offering a diverse range of skills and techniques in GIS, RS, spatial data analysis and visualisation, programming and internet GIS, with an opportunity to develop those skills through an independent dissertation (research project). By drawing on the research interests and expertise within the department, in addition to those of invited speakers, you will be exposed to a wide range of different applications of geoinformatics, allowing you to build on your existing thematic knowledge and skills. You will graduate with a broad knowledge of geospatial techniques that are highly desired by employers, in Ireland and other countries, in a range of applications.
Placement or Study Abroad Information
There are no compulsory placement requirements as part of the course. You are actively encouraged to seek opportunities to develop your skills in a commercial environment and several successful partnerships have been developed in this way.