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 the data science domain 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 Social Sciences more broadly, or in numerate sciences such as Computer Science and Engineering, this programme will help you succeed in the dynamic field 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.

Programme structure

You will take the following 20 credit compulsory units:

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

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

  • Geographic Information Retrieval and Integration
  • Consultancy Project
  • An Introduction to GIS and Remote Sensing for Environmental Policy and
  • Quantifying Climate Risks
  • Earth System Modeling
  • Qualitative Research Methods in Human Geography

A key component 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 will provides you with practical experience of formulating, designing, and undertaking a substantive and original piece of geographic data science research. You will be 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

An upper second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) and have studied one or more modules in Applied Statistics or Mathematics. Applicants with a lower class of degree with relevant work experience of at least one year will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

See international equivalent qualifications on the International Office website.

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

Go to admissions statement

If English is not your first language, you will need to reach the requirements outlined in our profile level C.

Further information about English language requirements and profile levels.

Fees and funding

UK: full-time
£11,400 per year
UK: part-time (two years)
£5,700 per year
Overseas: full-time
£25,900 per year

Fees are subject to an annual review. For programmes that last longer than one year, please budget for up to an 8% increase in fees each year.

More about tuition fees, living costs and financial support.

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 2023/24

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

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

Career prospects

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.

Contact us

Dr Emmanouil Tranos, Programme Director