The University of Edinburgh
Earth Observation and Geoinformation Management MSc
The University of Edinburgh

Course modalities offered

Key Course Facts

Course Description

Combine satellite data, technology and science to find new solutions to the world's biggest challenges.

The MSc Earth Observation and Geoinformation Management aims to provide you with the theoretical and practical skills to use and analyse Earth observation data in conjunction with broader skills in handling geospatial data.

This unique programme is well-embedded in an active research and industry environment. It works alongside our successful MSc Geographical Information Science degree, which was the first of its type in the world with a heritage of over 30 years.

This MSc reflects on the use of geospatial technologies in the detection and mitigation of climate change, sustainability and social responsibility.

What is Earth Observation and Geoinformation Management? Earth observation (EO) involves gathering information about the Earth's physical, chemical, and biological systems using remote sensing technologies such as satellites.

Earth observation is growing in social, economic and political importance by helping us better understand and manage Earth and its environment in areas such as:

  • agriculture

  • infrastructure and transportation

  • mineral resource management

  • land use and planning

  • monitoring pollution

  • deforestation and land degradation

  • climate change monitoring and action

With Earth observation data and solution delivery now transitioning onto cloud-based service models, it is important to understand the parallel tools in Geographical Information Science (GIS). In particular, those that support storing, analysing and displaying data related to positions on the Earth's surface to understand spatial patterns and relationships.

What will I learn?

Under the guidance of our internationally recognised staff, you will:

  • be equipped with critical theoretical knowledge

  • develop strong practical skills

  • undertake supervised independent research

You will gain extensive experience applying Earth observation data 'in the field', including remote sensing. In addition, you will benefit from access to projects that involve the use of equipment such as survey-grade GPS and Unpiloted Aerial Vehicles.

In addition, you will become part of our unique Edinburgh Earth Observatory Seminar Series. We run these events in association with AGI-Scotland (Association For Geographic Information). The events will enable you to meet a range of professionals and become exposed to new ideas, together with educational and job opportunities.

Who will teach me? Our teaching staff are very research active and benefit from international reputations. We are often invited to engage with other academic institutions, organisations and companies around the world. In addition, we are developing new Earth observation applications and publishing in top tier journals regarding the cryosphere, biosphere and atmosphere.

We have staff who are part of the science teams for:

  • European Space Agency's 'Biomass Mission'

  • NASA's GEDI LiDAR on the international space station

We are also working in international groups to develop the next generation of satellite sensors.

We also promote a culture of entrepreneurism. For example, several of our staff and former students have set up new Earth observation companies. These companies contribute to Edinburgh's "space ecosystem", which currently includes more than eight space data companies, who can also act as dissertation hosts.

We are also involved with the Bayes Centre within the University, an international leader in data-driven innovation. Our staff are engaged in organisations such as the UK Space Agency and the Intergovernmental Group on Earth Observations (GEO), which shape the UK and worldwide policy on Earth observation. As such, you will learn from experts who have first-hand knowledge of the bigger picture and what is coming next.

Entry Requirements / Admissions

Get advice on which foundation courses are best for you to still study Earth Observation and Geoinformation Management, MSc, if you do not meet the minimum requirements in terms of UCAS score, A levels, or English language requirements.

Entry requirements for individual programmes vary, so please check the details for the specific programme you wish to apply for on our website. You will also need to meet the University’s language requirements.


Average student cost of living in the UK

Rent £518
Water, gas electricity, internet (at home) £50
Supermarket shopping £81
Clothing £35
Eating out £33
Alcohol £27
Takeaways / food deliveries £30
Going out / entertainment (excl.alcohol, food) £24
Holidays and weekend trips £78
Transport within city £17
Self-care / sports £20
Stationary / books £13
Mobile phone / internet £13
Cable TV / streaming £7
Insurance £51
Other £95
Average student cost of living £1092

London costs approx 34% more than average, mainly due to rent being 67% higher than average of other cities. For students staying in student halls, costs of water, gas, electricity, wifi are generally included in the rental. Students in smaller cities where accommodation is in walking/biking distance transport costs tend to be significantly smaller.

University Rankings

Positions of The University of Edinburgh in top UK and global rankings.

See all 39 university rankings of The University of Edinburgh

About The University of Edinburgh

The University of Edinburgh is located in the Scottish city of the same name, and is one of the oldest universities in the entire United Kingdom, having opened in the year 1583. The university enjoys a strong reputation for its contributions to international research efforts, which is reflected in their inclusion in the Russell Group, Universitas 21, and Una Europa. Edinburgh offers its residents a historic yet modern city, with a lively nightlife scene, reliable public transport, and friendly locals.

Where is this programme taught

Central area campus
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