Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Research Dissertation in Geographical Information Systems/Remote Sensing
Academic Year
Semester 3 (Dissertation)
Successful completion of core and optional semester 1 and 2 Masters level modules

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Produce a 13,000 (minimum) - 15,000 word (maximum) research thesis.  90%
Semester Assessment Present a research seminar.  10%
Supplementary Assessment Presentation marks to be carried forward. Resubmit research thesis. 

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this module students should be able to:

1. Independently formulate research design and hypotheses.

2. Demonstrate their knowledge of the theoretical principles of scientific research.

3. Place research in appropriate wider contexts.

4. Search relevant databases.

5. Undertake independent fieldwork (if applicable)

6. Undertake appropriate laboratory analyses of GIS/remotely sensed data.

7. Demonstrate proficiency in appropriate GIS/remote sensing software.

8. Present the results and conclusions of their research in a coherent manner in the form of professional quality thesis.

9. Present the results and conclusions of their research in a coherent manner in the form of an oral presentation.

10. Work to a tight schedule.

Brief description

The research project is an independent study on a chosen research question in GIS/remote sensing. Students will have the possibility to specialise in the use of specific technique(s) in order to solve particular research questions. Students will be encouraged to regard GIS/remote sensing as a tool and therefore should be used in the context of a particular research problem. Students will be able to use data from the substantial archive of remotely sensed imagery available in the GIS/Remote Sensing Laboratory or alternatively may acquire their own from data providers, in consultation with members of IGES staff.

Students will be expected to devise a research enquiry and to use appropriate GIS/remote sensing techniques to solve the research problem.


  • Devise research enquiry.
  • Complete necessary background reading.
  • Complete necessary field and laboratory work.
  • Complete written thesis.
  • Prepare and deliver research presentation.

Module Skills

Skills Type Skills details
Application of Number The research will involve the analysis of data. Statistical tests will be performed on the data set.
Communication Students will present their work to their colleagues and to members of staff through the medium of a formal presentation.
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will conduct much of this work independently; therefore there is a requirement for them to read appropriate literature and to ensure that maintain good time management to complete the research on time.
Information Technology Students will use a variety of advanced GIS/remote sensing software.
Personal Development and Career planning Skills gained in specialist GIS/remote sensing software will directly aid those seeking a career in GIS/remote sensing.
Problem solving Students are expected to devise a research enquiry and to use appropriate techniques to solve the problem.
Research skills Research skills are integral to the successful completion of the module as it is based on a research enquiry.
Subject Specific Skills Students will further their skills in GIS and remote sensing through the use of specialist software packages.
Team work Team work will be required for the acquisition of ground truth data.


This module is at CQFW Level 7