MSc Geographic Data Science and Spatial Analytics

Find a programme

New programme for 2022

Faculty Faculty of Science
Awards available MSc
Programme length One year full-time;
two years part-time
Location of programme Clifton campus
Part-time study available Yes
Part-time study requires daytime weekday attendance.
Start date September 2022

Programme overview

Are you passionate about using data and analytics to improve cities and solve spatial problems? The MSc in Geographic Data Science and Spatial Analytics will help you achieve your ambitions. Join a School ranked #1 in the UK for ‘Geography and environmental studies’ research (THE analysis of REF 2021) and learn how to utilise cutting edge tools and methods from data science to analyse spatial data in order to tackle challenges spanning across various spatial scales: from neighbourhoods and cities to regions and supra-national systems.

Whether your background is in Geography, Planning and, more broadly, Social Sciences or in numerate sciences such as Computer Science and Engineering this programme will help you succeed in the dynamic fields of Geographic Data Science and Spatial Analytics.

You will master data science and machine learning algorithms, tools, and data structures and apply them to understand the core theories and concepts in urban analytics and city science. You will be able to employ cartographic and geographic theory and concepts to map and model big geographic data. You will understand the main engineering concepts and principles around scientific computing and data infrastructure and use them to model smart cities and urban digital infrastructure.

The MSc in Geographic Data Science and Spatial Analytics builds upon the Quantitative Spatial Science (QuSS) research group within the School of Geographical Sciences and its longstanding history and excellence in quantitative geography and spatial analysis.

Fees for 2022/23

We charge an annual tuition fee. Fees for 2022/23 are as follows:

UK: full-time
UK : part-time (two years)
Overseas: full-time

Following the recent changes to fee assessment regulation, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students will no longer be charged a separate tuition fee. From the 2021/22 academic year they will be charged the same fees as Home students.

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to a five per cent increase in fees each year. Find out more about tuition fees.

Alumni discount

University of Bristol students and graduates can benefit from a 25% reduction in tuition fees for postgraduate study. Check your eligibility for an alumni discount.

Funding for 2022/23

Students from developing Commonwealth countries may be eligible to apply for the Commonwealth Shared Scholarship SchemeUniversity of Bristol Think Big Postgraduate Scholarship, and the School of Geographical Sciences Phyllis Mary Morris Bursaries.

Further information on funding for prospective UK, EU and international postgraduate students.

Programme structure

You will take the following 20 credit compulsory units:

- Data Science and Machine Learning in Geography
- Introduction to Scientific Computing
- Mapping and Modelling Geographic Data in R
- Urban Analytics and City Science

Then, you will be able to choose 40 credits from the list of postgraduate units offered by the School of Geographical Sciences. For example:

- An Introduction to GIS and Remote Sensing for Environmental Policy and Management
- Consultancy Project
- Qualitative Research Methods in Human Geography

A key components of the programme is the 60-credit dissertation, which is well aligned with programme's philosophy. Dissertations will be written in a paper format following the principles of reproducibility – for instance using open-source computational notebooks such as Rmarkdown/Jupyter. The bulk of the dissertation work will take place during summer months. The dissertation provides students with practical experience of formulating, designing, and undertaking a substantive and original piece of geographic data science research. Students are introduced to key principles of research design and research ethics through intensive training in this unit.

Visit our programme catalogue for full details of the structure and unit content for our MSc in Geographic Data Science and Spatial Analytics.

Entry requirements

Applicants must hold/achieve a minimum of an upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) and have studied one or more modules in Applied Statistics.
Relevant professional experience or qualifications may also be considered as equivalent to the academic entry requirements given above and considered on a case-by-case basis.

Correction: This information was amended in May 2022 to clarify that an upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) is a minimum requirement for entry.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, you need to meet this profile level:
Profile C
Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Admissions statement

Read the programme admissions statement for important information on entry requirements, the application process and supporting documents required.

Admissions statement


This MSc provides graduates with the skills needed for successful careers as data scientists and data consultants in private and public sector. They have gone on to work in consultancy and engineering companies, and also governmental and third sector organisations. Top graduates can populate research institutes and think-tanks and support the advancement of Geographic Data Science.

Expected application closure date

Applications for 2022 have now closed and will reopen for 2023 entry in October 2022.

Request more information

Find out more about studying with us or request a prospectus.

Get in touch

Contact details

Enquiries Team Phone: +44 (0) 117 394 1649 Email:

Dr Emmanouil Tranos Programme Director

School website: School of Geographical Sciences

International students

Find out more about becoming a student at Bristol, applying for a visa and the support we offer to international students.

REF 2021 results

The University of Bristol is ranked fifth for research in the UK (Times Higher Education), with 94% of our research assessed as world-leading or internationally excellent.

Full REF 2021 results for the University of Bristol.


Important disclaimer information about our programmes.

Edit this page