Study  ›   Postgraduate Taught courses

Geographic Data Science

We've set the country or region your qualifications are from as United Kingdom. Change it here

Apply for this course

UK students

Apply for this course by:

There is no fee to apply for our courses.

What you'll need

As part of the application process, you'll need to submit:

  • School or college transcripts/certificates
  • University transcripts and certified translations if applicable
  • Degree certificates
  • Personal statement outlining your learning ambitions

Our application process

  • Sign into our online portal, Apply Yourself, and start your application
  • Submit your application
  • We'll email you to let you know we're processing your application
  • Track the progress of your application using the Postgraduate Application Tracker (we'll send you a link to the tracker)
  • We'll email you when a decision has been made
  • If you've been made an offer, you can then accept or decline it using the Postgraduate Application Tracker.

Already a University of Liverpool student?

Apply faster with the quick apply form for current University of Liverpool students.

Need help applying?

Our how to apply pages provide further information about applying online for our taught postgraduate courses.

If you are unable to apply via our online form, or need further support, please contact the postgraduate enquiries team.

Related courses

There are two courses related to Geographic Data Science that you might be interested in.

Change country or region

We’re showing entry requirements and other information for applicants with qualifications from: United Kingdom.

Commonly selected...

Change to the United Kingdom


Not on the list?

If your country or region isn’t listed here, please contact us with any questions about studying with us.

Get a master's guide

Our master's guide gives you an overview of what studying a master's course at Liverpool is like and why you should join us.

Complete form

Master of Science

A Master of Science (MSc) is a master’s degree awarded for a postgraduate programme in the sciences.

Return to top

Course overview

This course will enable you to develop a high level understanding of quantitative and computational geographical methods. This includes skills in GIS software and statistical programming languages, such as R or Python.

Introduction

Within an applied setting, you will develop skills in the visualisation, modelling and statistical analysis of conventional and novel sources of data, ranging from censuses and social surveys through to satellite imagery and social media using both web-based and traditional techniques.


More about Geographic Data Science

Human activity is increasingly associated with the generation of large volumes of data. For example,  transactional data collated by retailers for marketing and store location purposes, administrative data assembled to help with the efficient running of public services, data shadows created through social media use, and an increased prevalence of smart-card linked transport systems record our travel behaviours.

Many grand human challenges concern problems of a geographical nature; be this how we can mitigate the human impact of climate change; ensure global food and water security; design energy systems that are resilient within the context of future population dynamics; or, how to design future cities where spatial inequities in health and wellbeing might be eradicated. The growing volumes of big data about the form, function and dynamics of human activities are providing new opportunities to advance such debates within a framework of Geographic Data Science.

Who is this course for?

This course is for you if you want to understand and analyse the role of geography in everyday life through geographical and computational reasoning.

What you'll learn

  • How the modern GIS toolkit can be integrated with Data Science tools to solve practical real-world problems
  • You’ll gain the practical ability to apply GIS in the handling and analysis of spatial data in a context of planning and social sciences
  • Research methodology, philosophy, strategy and design, and to the ethical and practical considerations associated with conducting research
  • How to analyse of social survey data, covering descriptive and inferential statistics, data visualisation, regression modelling and model diagnostics
  • A range of analytical techniques and approaches suitable for the analysis of spatial data
  • Some of the major debates of society, environment, space and place and the relationships between them.

Course content

Discover what you'll learn, what you'll study, and how you'll be taught and assessed.

Studying this course part-time

International students may be able to study this course on a part-time basis but this is dependent on visa regulations. Please visit the Government website for more information about student visas.

If you're able to study part-time, you'll study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.

Studying part-time means you can study alongside work or any other life commitments. You will study the same modules as the full-time master's degree over a longer period, usually 24 months. You can make studying work for you by arranging your personal schedule around lectures and seminars which take place during the day. After you complete all the taught modules, you will complete your final dissertation or project and will celebrate your achievements at graduation the following term.

Semester one

Our compulsory modules in Geographic Data Science (GDS) will give you a comprehensive introduction to the field where GIS and Data Science intersect. You’ll cover programming with Python, the industry-leading language for GIS packages like Arc/GIS and QGIS.

You’ll also learn about the importance of GDS for social science applications through a combination of lectures, practical classes, and independent study. Another compulsory module delves into using GIS tools to create digital representations of the world, with a focus on avoiding potential problems. Our qualitative research module covers a range of methods and emphasizes the importance of careful research design.

We’ll also introduce you to analysing social survey data through descriptive and inferential statistics, using the R programming language. As for optional modules, we offer a comprehensive overview of key algorithms and approaches for Big Data problems, as well as a focus on database systems and SQL.

Please see below for semester one modules. Select the next tab to view semester two modules.

Compulsory modules

Qualitative Research Methods (ENVS441)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module is intended to explore qualitative research methods in a holistic manner; moving from research philosophy, through design to individual research methods and analysis. The module covers a range of qualitative research methods through a mixture of lectures and workshops. In undertaking this module students will consider how research design and individual research methods need careful selection to suit the specific research problems or questions under investigation.

Social Survey Analysis (ENVS450)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

An introduction to analysis of social survey data, covering descriptive and inferential statistics, data visualisation, regression modelling and model diagnostics. The module is taught using ‘R’  – a statistical programming language – to which the module will also provide an introduction.

Geographic Data Science (ENVS563)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module will introduce students to the nascent field of Geographic Data Science (GDS), a discipline established at the intersection between Geographic Information Science (GIS) and Data Science. The course covers how the modern GIS toolkit can be integrated with Data Science tools to solve practical real-world problems. Core to the set of employable skills to be taught in this course is an introduction to programming tools for GDS in R and Python. The programme of lectures, guided practical classes and independent study illustrate how and why GDS is useful for social science applications.

Applied Geographic Information Science (ENVS609)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module introduces how the tools of GIS can be used to create digital representations of the world and, through a framework of Geographic Information Science, reviews the potential problems and pitfalls of doing so. The module is delivered through lectures supplemented by practical labs that develop familiarity and skills in the application of GIS.

Optional modules

Database and Information Systems (COMP518)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module focuses on how databases are used in modern information systems. They are at the heart of almost all systems, such as supermarket checkouts, online banking, home rentals, and much more. One of the most successful data definition and manipulation languages is SQL, which will be covered in detail. The module will also introduce some of the fundamental concepts in computer science, as well as the mathematical underpinnings of relational databases and the techniques used to support concurrency and reliability in large information systems.

Big Data Analytics (COMP529)

Credits: 15 / Semester: semester 1

This module provides an initial overview of key algorithms and algorithmic approaches and corresponding software environments used when developing solutions to Big Data problems and explains how to use these to analyse data. A significant portion of statistics, some advanced AI approaches as well as key deterministic and hybrid algorithms are included to support the development of future data analytics and to understand how to develop stochastic, machine learning and hybrid algorithms that can exploit Big Data and can be applied to solve real life problems.

Programme details and modules listed are illustrative only and subject to change.

Our curriculum

The Liverpool Curriculum framework sets out our distinctive approach to education. Our teaching staff support our students to develop academic knowledge, skills, and understanding alongside our graduate attributes:

  • Digital fluency
  • Confidence
  • Global citizenship

Our curriculum is characterised by the three Liverpool Hallmarks:

  • Research-connected teaching
  • Active learning
  • Authentic assessment

All this is underpinned by our core value of inclusivity and commitment to providing a curriculum that is accessible to all students.

Your experience

You will work with academic staff within the Geographic Data Science Laboratory and the Centre for Spatial Demographic Research.

You can also access the Consumer Data Research Centre; created as part of a £6m investment in Big Data by the Economic and Social Research Council.

Virtual tour

Supporting your learning

From arrival to alumni, we’re with you all the way:

Careers and employability

This program will give you the high-level skills you need to kickstart your career in applied geographical information science, data science with a geographic focus, or research with expertise in spatial analysis, GIS, and data science.

Career planning

Three career coaches standing outside the Careers Studio

Our campus Career Studio is a space for students and graduates to drop into and talk to a career coach. Career coaches are highly trained to help no matter what stage you are at in your career planning. You can access support to find and apply for full-time and part-time roles, placements, internships and graduate schemes. You will also find the help you need if you have a start-up idea or want to create a business plan. You can explore the world of work, prepare for job interviews, and access careers events and workshops. The Career Studio is open Monday to Friday from 10am-5pm, simply drop in at a time that works for you.

From education to employment

Two graduates in postgraduate robes.

We develop our programmes with employers in mind. You will be supported to enhance your long-term employment prospects as you learn. We do this by exposing you to professionals, a variety of sectors and supporting you to work collaboratively with others to develop transferable skills. You are equipped with a clearer view of what to focus on in your area of interest, and to reflect on your studies. Our digital employability tools give you a tech-enhanced curriculum experience and make it easy for you to prepare for the world of work. You can use tools like the Handshake platform to connect with employers and message the Career Studio 24/7.

Networking events

Postgraduate students hold a discussion while sat round a table in in the Liverpool Guild of Students.

You can start building good professional networks by attending events and employability activities. Our events are designed to develop your skills and expose you to many different employers, as well as to help you make contacts in your field. We help you improve your confidence when speaking to employers and give you access to unique opportunities. Our networking events also boost your understanding of the competencies and skills that employers are looking for in their recruitment process, giving you a competitive edge.

Your future

Your career options after graduation are diverse and exciting. You might pursue a PhD or postdoctoral research, work as a GIS/Data Science consultant, be employed in the commercial or public sector, work in IT consulting, or teach in higher education. With the programming and web development skills you’ll gain, you’ll be in high demand in the job market for your newer spatial data handling skills, which are more in demand than traditional GIS skills.

Fees and funding

Your tuition fees, funding your studies, and other costs to consider.

Tuition fees

UK fees (applies to Channel Islands, Isle of Man and Republic of Ireland)
Full-time place, per year £11,600
Part-time place, per year £5,800
International fees
Full-time place, per year £26,400
Part-time place, per year £13,200
Fees stated are for the 2024-25 academic year.

Tuition fees cover the cost of your teaching and assessment, operating facilities such as libraries, IT equipment, and access to academic and personal support.

If you're a UK national, or have settled status in the UK, you may be eligible to apply for a Postgraduate Loan worth up to £12,167 to help with course fees and living costs. Learn more about paying for your studies..

Additional costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about the additional study costs that may apply to this course.

Additional study costs

We understand that budgeting for your time at university is important, and we want to make sure you understand any course-related costs that are not covered by your tuition fee. This could include buying a laptop, books, or stationery.

Find out more about additional study costs.

Scholarships and bursaries

We offer a range of scholarships and bursaries that could help pay your tuition and living expenses.

We've set the country or region your qualifications are from as United Kingdom. Change it here


Postgraduate Global Advancement Scholarship

  • International students

If you’re a new international student starting this course with us from September 2024, you could be eligible to receive a discount of £5,000 off your tuition fees.

Graduate Loyalty Advancement Scholarship

  • Home and international students
  • University of Liverpool current students and alumni only

Completed your undergraduate degree, or studied as an undergraduate exchange student, at the University of Liverpool?

You could get a loyalty discount of up to £2,500 off the tuition fees for this course from September 2024 entry.

  • £1,500 tuition fee discount for eligible UK University of Liverpool graduates
  • £2,500 tuition fee discount for eligible international University of Liverpool graduates.

ANID Chile Scholarship

  • International students
  • Chile

Postgraduate taught and research students from Chile are eligible for this scholarship.

Chevening Scholarships

  • International students

The University, in partnership with Chevening, is delighted to offer this generous scholarship to students who are studying a master’s programme and who have future leadership potential. Please note that there is a fee cap applied to MBA programmes that requires applicants to cover any additional tuition costs over £18,000. You will still receive all additional allowances.

CONACYT Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

The University of Liverpool has an agreement with CONACYT to support postgraduate taught and research students from Mexico.

FIDERH Award

  • International students
  • Mexico

20% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate taught and research programmes. Must be Mexico national.

Fulbright Scholarship

  • International students
  • University of Liverpool alumni only
  • United States

One scholarship is available for a master’s student from the US and another is available for a postgraduate research student to undertake a three to six month research stay from the US

FUNED Awards

  • International students
  • Mexico

Up to ten awards are available for Masters or Research students from Mexico in receipt of FUNED loans. The award gives students a 20% reduction in fees for all applications received.

Graduate Association Hong Kong & Tung Postgraduate Scholarships

  • International students
  • China
  • Hong Kong

The University is able to offer competitive scholarships for both postgraduate taught master’s and research programmes.

HRM Princess Sirindhorn University of Liverpool Scholarship (Thailand)

  • International students
  • Thailand

The University is able to offer one award to a new postgraduate taught master’s student from Thailand.

The scholarship is open to all subjects offered as a one-year taught master’s programme.  However, priority will be given to those students who wish to study in a subject area associated with HRH Princess Sirindhorn such as science, IT, medicine, the arts, geography, history and languages.

JuventudEsGto Scholarship

  • International students
  • Mexico

Residents of State of Guanajuato, Mexico, wishing to study at postgraduate taught and research levels are eligible for this scholarship.

Marshall Scholarship

  • International students
  • University of Liverpool alumni only
  • United States

One scholarship is available for a master’s student from the US to cover the cost of tuition fees. Another, to the value of £20,000, is available for Doctoral study visit: https://www.marshallscholarship.org/

Scottish Power Scholarships

  • Home students
  • University of Liverpool current students and alumni only

The Scholarships Programme is designed to train top-calibre professionals in the energy sector, who are capable of contributing to the development of a sustainable energy model that meets the energy needs of society and promotes environmental protection. The scholarships are for graduates and final-year students who have a permanent right to work in the UK after graduation.

The scholarships are for graduates and final-year students who have a permanent right to work in the UK after graduation.

The following subjects are eligible:

-Energy and Power Systems MSc (Eng)
-Advanced Mechanical Engineering MSc
-Environmental Assessment and Management MSc
-Environmental Sciences MSc
-Microelectronic Systems MSc (Eng)
-Telecommunications and Wireless Systems MSc (Eng)
-Big Data and High Performance Computing MSc
-Geographic Data Science MSc
-Sustainable Civil and Structural Engineering MSc

Scottish Power have confirmed that they will consider MSc degrees within the themes they have specified and may consider applications from applicants to other programmes if they have relevant undergraduate experience linked to the themes.

Turkish Ministry of Education Scholarship

  • International students
  • Turkey

Postgraduate taught and research students from Turkey are eligible for this scholarship, see the Turkish Ministry of Education website https://meb.gov.tr/ for more information.

University of Liverpool Humanitarian Scholarships for Master’s Programmes

  • International students

The three awards available cover full tuition fees, visas and support for accommodation and living expenses.

This scholarship is open to support people who have recognised status as either refugees or are under humanitarian protection under the 1951 Refugee Convention. This status must be held outside of the UK.

The scholarship is open for all postgraduate-taught programmes, excluding medicine, dentistry, veterinary and nursing.

University of Liverpool International College Excellence Scholarship

  • International students

The University of Liverpool will award five University of Liverpool International College students, who achieve the highest academic excellence (minimum 75%) in their UoLIC Pre-Master’s programme, the prestigious UoLIC Excellence scholarship.

University of Liverpool International College Impact Progression Scholarships

  • International students

University of Liverpool International College recipients of the Kaplan awards will receive the £3,000 Progression Impact Scholarship, deducted from first-year tuition fees, on successful progression to their UoL degree programme.

To be eligible for our Impact Progression Scholarships, students must apply for one of the Kaplan Impact Scholarships demonstrating their commitment to making an impact across issues of importance to the University and Kaplan. Themes include:

Sustainability
Women in STEM
Community
Career Focus (Employability)

Vice-Chancellor’s International Attainment Scholarship for China

  • International students
  • China

Details are:
1 (one) Full scholarship
2 (two) £10,000 scholarships
5 (five) £5,000 scholarships
10 (ten) £1,000 scholarships
All scholarships will be awarded after the formal registration at the University and will take the form of a fee waiver.

Please note: This scholarship cannot be combined with any other scholarships or bursaries provided by the University.

Entry requirements

The qualifications and exam results you'll need to apply for this course.

We've set the country or region your qualifications are from as United Kingdom. Change it here

Your qualification Requirements

About our typical entry requirements

Postgraduate entry requirements

You will normally need a 2:1 honours degree or above, or equivalent. This degree should be in a relevant subject.

Applications from those with significant relevant experience and professional qualifications will be assessed on an individual basis.

International qualifications

If you hold a bachelor’s degree or equivalent, but don’t meet our entry requirements, you could be eligible for a Pre-Master’s course. This is offered on campus at the University of Liverpool International College, in partnership with Kaplan International Pathways. It’s a specialist preparation course for postgraduate study, and when you pass the Pre-Master’s at the required level with good attendance, you’re guaranteed entry to a University of Liverpool master’s degree.

English language requirements

You'll need to demonstrate competence in the use of English language, unless you’re from a majority English speaking country.

We accept a variety of international language tests and country-specific qualifications.

International applicants who do not meet the minimum required standard of English language can complete one of our Pre-Sessional English courses to achieve the required level.

English language qualification Requirements
IELTS 6.5 overall, with no component below 5.5
TOEFL iBT 88 overall, with minimum scores of listening 17, writing 17, reading 17, and speaking 19
Duolingo English Test 120 overall, with no component below 95
Pearson PTE Academic 61 overall, with no component below 59
LanguageCert Academic 70 overall, with no skill below 60
PSI Skills for English B2 Pass with Merit overall and no band below B2 Pass
INDIA Standard XII National Curriculum (CBSE/ISC) - 75% and above in English. Accepted State Boards - 80% and above in English.
WAEC C6 or above

PRE-SESSIONAL ENGLISH

Do you need to complete a Pre-Sessional English course to meet the English language requirements for this course?

The length of Pre-Sessional English course you’ll need to take depends on your current level of English language ability.

Find out the length of Pre-Sessional English course you may require for this degree.

Pre-sessional English

If you don’t meet our English language requirements, we can use your most recent IELTS score, or the equivalent score in selected other English language tests, to determine the length of Pre-Sessional English course you require.

Use the table below to check the course length you're likely to require for your current English language ability and see whether the course is available on campus or online.

Your most recent IELTS score Pre-Sessional English course length On campus or online
6.0 overall, with no component below 5.5 6 weeks On campus
5.5 overall, with no component below 5.5 10 weeks On campus and online options available
5.5 overall, with no more than one component below 5.5, and no component below 5.0 12 weeks On campus and online options available
5.5 overall, with no component below 4.5 20 weeks On campus
5.0 overall, with no component below 4.5 30 weeks On campus
4.5 overall, with no more than one component below 4.5, and no component below 4.0 40 weeks On campus

If you’ve completed an alternative English language test to IELTS, we may be able to use this to assess your English language ability and determine the Pre-Sessional English course length you require.

Please see our guide to Pre-Sessional English entry requirements for IELTS 6.5, with no component below 5.5, for further details.

About our entry requirements

Our entry requirements may change from time to time both according to national application trends and the availability of places at Liverpool for particular courses. We review our requirements before the start of the new application cycle each year and publish any changes on our website so that applicants are aware of our typical entry requirements before they submit their application.

We believe in treating applicants as individuals, and in making offers that are appropriate to their personal circumstances and background. Therefore the offer any individual applicant receives may differ slightly from the typical offer quoted on the website.

More about life in Liverpool

Discover more about the city and University.

Why study at Liverpool? Victoria Gallery & Museum

Why Liverpool?

Liverpool bursts with diversity and creativity which makes it ideal for you to undertake your postgraduate studies and access various opportunities for you and your family.

Accommodation Postgraduate students walking through the campus.

Accommodation

To fully immerse yourself in the university experience living in halls will keep you close to campus where you can always meet new people. Find your home away from home.

Fees and Finance Image of the outside of the Management School building

Fees and Finance

Discover what expenses are covered by the cost of your tuition fees and other finance-related information you may need regarding your studies at Liverpool.

Changes to Geographic Data Science MSc

See what updates we've made to this course since it was published. We document changes to information such as course content, entry requirements and how you'll be taught.

23 March 2023: New postgraduate taught course pages

New course pages launched.