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Unit information: An Introduction to GIS and Remote Sensing for Environmental Policy and Management in 2021/22

Unit name An Introduction to GIS and Remote Sensing for Environmental Policy and Management
Unit code GEOGM0013
Credit points 20
Level of study M/7
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 2 (weeks 13 - 24)
Unit director Dr. Max Stockdale
Open unit status Not open




School/department School of Geographical Sciences
Faculty Faculty of Science

Description including Unit Aims

This unit provides an advanced introduction to the science and practices behind geographical information systems (GIS) and remote sensing for a number of different environmental science themes/applications. These include (1) LAND COVER AND LAND USE change (including land degradation) with a strong focus on GIS; (2) NATURAL HAZARDS with a strong focus on water related hazards and management; (3) ENVIRONMENTAL APPLICATIONS with a strong focus on (i) environmental pollution; (ii) coastal zone and oceanographic applications; and (iii) water resources.

Intended Learning Outcomes

On completion of this unit students should be able to:

  1. Be familiar with key principles and applications of GIS.
  2. Identify the key concepts and approaches of applying GIS techniques to different themes, at different scales.
  3. Apply GIS and remotely sensed data to problem solving within environmental management.

Teaching Information

The unit will be taught through a blended combination of online and, if possible, in-person teaching, including

  • online resources
  • synchronous group workshops, seminars, tutorials and/or office hours
  • asynchronous individual activities and guided reading for students to work through at their own pace
  • computer practical work; students who either begin or continue their studies in an online mode may be required to complete practical work, or alternative activities, in person, either during the academic year 2020/21 or subsequently, in order to meet the intended learning outcomes for the unit, prepare them for subsequent units or to satisfy accreditation requirements

Assessment Information

(1) An assignment completed in the middle of the unit, comprising of short-answer questions about a geographic region. The data required to answer the questions can be accessed by employing the GIS skills introduced in the practical classes. The mid-unit assessment will be released early to enable students to manage their workload. (40% in total)

(2) One individual practical-based project around a given problem set in environmental policy and management which the individual needs to explore using the GIS techniques and remote sensing capabilities learnt over the whole Unit. This should engage with the recent scientific literature. The write up of the project should not exceed 1500 words. This will take place at the end of the unit. (60% in total)


If this unit has a Resource List, you will normally find a link to it in the Blackboard area for the unit. Sometimes there will be a separate link for each weekly topic.

If you are unable to access a list through Blackboard, you can also find it via the Resource Lists homepage. Search for the list by the unit name or code (e.g. GEOGM0013).

How much time the unit requires
Each credit equates to 10 hours of total student input. For example a 20 credit unit will take you 200 hours of study to complete. Your total learning time is made up of contact time, directed learning tasks, independent learning and assessment activity.

See the Faculty workload statement relating to this unit for more information.

The Board of Examiners will consider all cases where students have failed or not completed the assessments required for credit. The Board considers each student's outcomes across all the units which contribute to each year's programme of study. If you have self-certificated your absence from an assessment, you will normally be required to complete it the next time it runs (this is usually in the next assessment period).
The Board of Examiners will take into account any extenuating circumstances and operates within the Regulations and Code of Practice for Taught Programmes.