2. Programme Specification MSc Geographical Information Systems -Programme Specification

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1 2. Programme Specification MSc Geographical Information Systems -Programme Specification Section 1: Summary information Awarding body Location of Study School of Study Faculty University of Brighton Moulsecoomb Campus School of the Environment Faculty of Science and Engineering Professional accreditation Award and titles Title Final award MSc GIS & Environmental Management Intermediate award PgDIP GIS & Environmental Management Intermediate award PgCert GIS & Environmental Management Course codes UCAS Code QAA Subject Group Geography, Environmental Sciences and Environmental Studies. Subject Benchmark Geography, Environmental Sciences and Environmental Studies. Programme regulations Maximum Period of Study 48 months Mode of Study Full-time 12 Months Part-time 24 Months Credit ratings MSc 180 Credits (M level) PgDIP 120 Credits (M level) PgCert 60 Credits (M level) Programme Specification January 2008 approved at: Contact: Dr. N.G.Burnside School of the Environment

2 Section 2: Aims and objectives Aims: The aims of the programme are: To develop a critical awareness and understanding of the concepts and philosophies of Geographical Information Systems, and their application in environmental management. (PGCert; PGDip; MSc) To develop advanced knowledge of GIS and apply the principles of Geographical Information Science to geographical and environmental problem solving (PGDip; MSc) To develop a range of academic, transferable, and professional skills through a combination of class, laboratory, and project modules using a student-centred and skills-based learning approach (PGCert; PGDip; MSc) Learning outcomes: The objectives of the programme provide information of how the primary aims are demonstrated in students following this programme: Knowledge and theory students will: have acquired a comprehensive understanding and critical awareness of GIS theory and concepts (PGCert; PGDip; MSc - GYM01) be able to provide feasible solutions to complex environmental management problems by applying GIS-based technology (PGCert; PGDip; MSc - GYM01, GYM02, MSM02, optional modules) critically evaluate current research and advanced scholarship in the GIS and environmental management field (PGDip; MSc - GYM02, optional modules) evaluate methodologies and develop critiques of them and, where appropriate, to propose new hypotheses (PGDip; MSc - GYM02, MSM02) develop the capability to plan, carry out and report on a research project that has significance within a sector of GIS and addresses important GIS and environmental management issues (MSc GYM03). Subject Skills students will: have developed a sound understanding of GIS skills within alternative GIS platforms, including ESRI and MapInfo platforms (PGCert; PGDip; MSc - GYM01, GYM02, MSM02) have the ability to appreciate and apply the core GIS skills in a

3 number of environmental management circumstances and scenarios (PGDip; MSc GYM02, MSM02, optional modules) have developed their understanding of how the boundaries of knowledge are advanced through research (MSc - GYM03) have developed an independent learning ability required for continued professional learning (MSc - GYM03) Transferrable Skills students will: At the end of the programme of study students will be: Experienced in a range of presentational skills including report writing, individual and team oral presentations and poster presentations (PGCert; PGDip; MSc - GYM01, GYM02, MSM02, optional modules). Proficient in IT skills including report writing, data handling, statistical analysis and GIS-based modelling (PGCert; PGDip; MSc - GYM01, GYM02, MSM02, optional modules) Able to conduct independent research work in such a way as to promote independent learning to support continuing professional development (MSc GYM03).

4 Section 3 - Teaching, Learning and Assessment Learning and teaching Teaching and Learning The course will focus on the acquisition of theoretical and practical GIS skills and provide a solid grounding in the use of various software platforms. These practical skills will then be contextualized by the development of understanding of contemporary environmental issues and concerns (via appropriate modules from the existing MSc module pool). Course material is typically delivered through a suite of lectures, practicals, seminars, tutorials, fieldwork and projects. All taught modules require students to allocate equal time in class and private study to meet the assessment requirements. Teaching methods for the modules will vary according to the topic under consideration. Generally, however, there will be a practical component in core subject modules. This may involve laboratory work, computing exercises related to spatial analysis and environmental models, or field work in the case of the data acquisition and dissertations. The emphasis of the curriculum will be upon Geographical Information Systems, as a core skill, and placed within an environmental management context. The course follows a modular structure which provides considerable flexibility for students, in consultation with course and module leaders, to develop and study programmes which are structured around three environmental pathways. Assessment To ensure compatibility between modules, 20 credits worth of coursework will normally be approximately the equivalent of 8000 words with a 2 hour exam equalling 2,000 words. Core modules There are three core modules valued at 20 CATs points each. The core modules are assessed by a combination of continuous assessment and examination. There is typically summative assessment for each consisting of lab-based practicals, essays, reports and examinations. Other assessment varies according to the nature of the module so that those in Semester one may include formative practical work, whilst those in semester two will include case studies to test the application of frameworks, theories and techniques. This will also test the ability to work independently as a self-directed learner. Optional modules The optional modules will include summative assessment that may include essays, reports, presentations and examination depending upon the subject area.

5 Examination/Test (including open book, seen and unseen examinations): a demonstration of knowledge, understanding, analytical skill and ability to apply knowledge. Essay: a demonstration of understanding and analytical and written communication skills. Project: a demonstration of independent research skills and written communication skills. Report (including laboratory reports and field reports): a demonstration of reporting and written communication skills. Laboratory reports additionally demonstrate laboratory skills whilst field reports demonstrate field and group research skills. Seminar presentation: a demonstration of knowledge, understanding, verbal communication, presentation skills, and ability to respond to questioning. Poster presentation: a demonstration of knowledge, understanding, and written and visual communication skills. Portfolio (including article reviews): a demonstration of reflective engagement in workshop activities, reflective reading skills, and written communication skills. Other methods (including assessment methods such as mapping and bibliographic writing exercises Dissertation The dissertation is valued at 60 Cats points and will be between 15,000 20,000 words in length. Students will agree dissertation projects with their supervisor and course leader. They must relate to the application or development of GIS within environmental management and allow the student to develop particular expertise within a sector that relates to the student's previous academic or professional experience or to a chosen area within the Course. The role of the dissertation is to allow students to develop their research interests in GIS-EM and to carry out independent and original research. Students are expected to apply the integrative and synthesising methodologies of GIS-EM within the context of their work. Students are encouraged to select topics that are relevant to their existing and prospective professional or career interests. The Course team may suggest a list of potential topics for dissertation work but students are also encouraged to develop their own topics subject to scrutiny for suitability.

6 Assessment Criteria Indicative criteria used for assessment are given here, mapped against award classification (as identified within University of Brighton General Examination and Assessment Regulations). Full details are published within the module handout issued to students. The award of Postgraduate Certificate Geographical Information Systems (PgCert) The candidate must obtain a minimum of 60 CATs points, having successfully completed the 3 core modules. The award of Post Graduate Diploma in GIS & Environmental Management (PgDip) In order to be eligible for the award of Postgraduate Diploma in GIS & Environmental Management the candidate must obtain a minimum of 120 CATs points including: successful completion of the 3 Core modules (60 CATS); and 3 appropriate optional modules (60 CATS) The award of Master of Science in GIS & Environmental Management (MSc) In order to be eligible for the award of Master of Science in GIS & Environmental Management the candidate must attain a minimum of 180 CATs points including: 60 CATs points for the dissertation; having successfully completed the 3 Core modules (60 CATS); and appropriate optional modules (60 CATS) In awarding the MSc with Distinction the Examination Board will look for: a dissertation accepted with distinction; an average mark normally in excess of 70%; absence of areas of significant weakness or failure. In awarding the MSc with Merit the Examination Board will look for: a dissertation accepted with a mark in excess of 60%; an average mark in excess of 60%; absence of areas of significant weakness or failure. In awarding the MSc with Pass the Examination Board will look for: a dissertation accepted with a mark in excess of 50%; an average mark in excess of 50%; Regulations The course regulations are in accordance with the

7 University's General Examination and Assessment Regulations (available from the school office or the Registry). The pass mark for MSc modules is 50% with an assessment component threshold of 40%. Specific course regulations allow a referral of GYM03, the dissertation module, however, a fail and repeat decision will not be allowed.

8 Section 4 - Programme structure, level, modules, and credit and award Indicative course structure and indicative modules available for course programme. Semester 1 Semester 2 Core Module 1 Core Module 2 Dissertation 20 Credits 20 Credits 60 Credits Core Module 3-20 Credits Optional Modules - 60 Credits Code Module Title CATS points Delivery Leader Type Theme GYM01 Introduction to GIS 20 S1 N Burnside C GIS GYM02 Applications in GIS 20 S2 N Burnside C GIS MSM02 Spatial Data Analysis 20 S1,S2 R Castle C GIS IAM02 Ecological Principles 20 S1 S Waite O EAM IAM20 Impact of Building on the Environment 10 S2 A Miller O EAM IAM25 Life Cycle Analysis 10 S2 D Hill O EAM IAM27 Environmental Impact Assessment 20 S1 D Hill O EAM IAM28 Systems for Environmental Management 20 S1 D Hill O EAM IAM29 Environmental Policy and Law 20 S2 D Hill O EAM IAM30 Environmental Assessment in Practice 20 S2 D Hill O EAM GFM01 Geoframeworks I 10 S1 R Mortimore O AG GFM02 Field and Core Logging 10 S1 R Mortimore O AG GFM04 Hydrogeology and Hydrology 20 S2 M Smith O AG GFM05 Geohazards 20 S1 R Mortimore O AG GFM06 Geoframeworks II - Synthesis 20 S2 R Mortimore O AG GFM12 Site Investigation 10 S2 P Ashton O AG GFM14 Environmental Geology 10 S1 N Moles O AG GFM17 Applied Geology Field Course 10 B R Mortimore O AG GFM18 Professional Practice 10 S2 N Moles O AG GFM22 Applied Geology of Your Home Area 10 S1 R Mortimore O AG WEM01 Water Resources Management 20 S1 S Mitchell O WEM WEM02 Water Treatment Technology 20 S1 S Mitchell O WEM WEM03 Wastewater Treatment Technology 20 S2 H Taylor O WEM WEM04 Water Quality Analysis 10 B H Taylor O WEM WEM05 Quantitative Techniques for Water and 10 S1 V Bewick Environmental Management O WEM GYM03 Masters Project 60 S1,S2 N Burnside GIS GIS EAM AG WEM Geographical Information Systems Environmental Assessment and Management Applied Geology Water and Environmental Management S1 Semester 1 S2 Semester 2 B Block week C O Compulsory Optional

9 Section 5 Learning Support Central support: All students benefit from: University induction week Student Handbook Course Handbook Extensive library facilities StudentCentral Computer pool rooms (50+ Terminals) Licensed GIS application software (ESRI, MapInfo, Idrisi, Surfer32) address Welfare service Course Leader/Personal tutor for advice and guidance Careers Advice service Accommodation Office Course specific: In addition, students on this course benefit from the following: a) Handbooks and Guidance Notes MSc Courses handbook Course specific guidance Skills handbook Dissertation handbook b) Academic and Administrative Support Course Leader who monitors academic and personal progress of students on the course StudentCentral that hosts supplementary learning resources in support of modules as well as providing links to additional resources School administrative support for module registration School Information Advisor who works with staff and students to enable access to paper-based and electronic resources School Computing Officer who works with staff and students to enable access to, and use of, Information Technology facilities Open-door policy of tutors during office hours where possible School based programme of internal and external research and teaching seminars c) Computing and Laboratory Facilities GIS laboratory (c. 60 terminals) Industry standard GIS software (ESRI, MapInfo, Idrisi, Surfer32) Water Laboratory Soils Laboratory Geology Laboratory

10 Section 6 Admissions criteria This section shows the standard admissions criteria for the course (Text can be drawn from current course database) Typical entry Entrants to the course will normally be expected to possess requirements a Lower Second Class degree in an appropriate subject, or an equivalent qualification. Exceptionally, candidates without a 2:2 degree but with relevant knowledge and skills may be admitted to the course. Candidates must meet the University-based language criteria of IELTS (Academic) 6.5 overall and 6 for individual written skills (or equivalent). Section 7 Quality indicators Candidates with Lower Second-Class degrees or higher in Geographical Information Systems, Geography and Environmental Science areas would represent those with the most appropriate qualifications. Where candidates with degrees do not fall into this category the selection process will look for evidence of a strong commitment to environmental management combined with demonstrable scientific abilities. Such applicants might be required to submit evidence of work which demonstrated these abilities. The academic qualifications of overseas applicants will be assessed in accordance with NARIC: the National Academic Recognition Information Centre for the U.K. In exceptional cases candidates without a 2:2 degree or higher may be considered for admission to the course. Such candidates will be expected to possess either academic or work experience relevant to Geographical Information Systems, environmental management. Such candidates will be required to demonstrate during the admissions process abilities broadly corresponding to those of honours degree level. Candidates may be interviewed by the Course Leader or Admissions Tutor. Depending upon the interview and other evidence a decision will be made about the need for the candidates to provide further evidence of ability through written work or other tests. Applicants may apply to register for an award with advanced standing by claiming prior credit relating to previous qualifications or experience for modules which are required by the award. This section details external indicators of the quality of the provision QAA Subject Review outcome N/A Professional accreditation: As a relatively new, but expanding, industry there has not yet been time to develop an organised professional work structure but organisations such as the

11 National student awards: AGI (Association for Geographic Information) are in discussion with a variety of professional bodies such as the RICS with regard to developing a professional structure. None Section 8 Additional information This specification summarises the key elements of the provision, and the learning outcomes achieved by the typical student. More detailed information can be found in a range of documents, including: Course Document StudentCentral University Student Handbook MSc Skills Handbook Module Handbooks General Examination and Assessment Regulations for Taught Courses

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