Geospatial Science – Postgraduate Diploma in Arts

Take your study of geospatial science to the next level with Massey’s Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Geospatial Science). Build on your undergraduate interests and develop your analysis and technical skills.

Where you can study

Distance and online

International students

International students are not New Zealand citizens or residents.

Definition of New Zealand citizens and residents

Open to international students studying online from outside New Zealand

Specialise in Geospatial Science for your Postgraduate Diploma in Arts at Massey

Geospatial science is a cross-disciplinary field that deals with the use of spatial information technologies to understand people, places and earth processes. It has application in a breadth of disciplines including:

  • urban and regional planning
  • agriculture
  • public health and policy
  • land management
  • social work
  • information management
  • business marketing.

Practising geospatial science involves collecting, managing, analysing and disseminating geospatial data.

Follow your interests

Many of our students have a degree in social or physical sciences but little or no previous knowledge of geospatial science. Through our qualification you’ll receive a solid education in the fundamentals of geospatial science at a postgraduate level, with courses in:

  • geographic information systems (GIS)
  • cartography and web-based mapping
  • geoinformatics
  • Python programming for GIS
  • remote sensing
  • geospatial analytics.

With one core course and a choice of electives, you have the opportunity to select a programme of study suited to your needs. The qualification structure also offers you the flexibility to integrate geospatial science with an outside interest through a one-semester research report course.

Take your study to the next level

The role of geospatial science in research is firmly established. It is expected to grow as more academic disciplines adopt geospatial science methods to address important research questions of the 21st century. You may be able to take your interest to master’s level.

A Postgraduate Diploma in Arts in Geospatial Science is a good fit if you:

  • have an undergraduate degree in social or physical sciences
  • want to develop technical skills to boost your career
  • are interested in land and natural resource issues.

Planning information

Completing an endorsement is compulsory. A Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Geospatial Science) requires 120 credits.

If you study full-time, you’ll take 120 credits per year or 60 credits per semester.

You will take a compulsory course in GIS Principles and Applications and 90 credits from a choice of courses. For these 90 credits it is possible to take a combination of courses in GIS, GIS Programming, Geoinformatics and Remote Sensing. Alternatively, you can choose to focus on GIS or Remote Sensing and you can even include an individual project in your area of interest.

Official regulations

To understand what you need to study and must complete to graduate read the official rules and regulations or this qualification.

You should read these together with all other relevant Statutes and Regulations of the University including the General Regulations for Postgraduate Degrees, Postgraduate Diplomas, and Postgraduate Certificates.

Returning students

For returning students, there may be changes to the majors and minors available and the courses you need to take. Go to the section called ‘Transitional Provisions’ in the Regulations to find out more.

In some cases the qualification or specialisation you enrolled in may be no longer be taking new enrolments, so may not appear on these web pages. To find information on the regulations for these qualifications go to the Massey University Calendar.

Please contact us through the Get advice button on this page if you have any questions.

Courses you can enrol in

Course planning key

Courses that need to be completed before moving onto a course at the next level. For example, a lot of 200-level courses have 100-level prerequisite courses.
Courses that must be completed at the same time as another course are known as corequisite courses.
Some courses are restricted against each other because their content is similar. This means you can only choose one of the offered courses to study and credit to your qualification.

Compulsory course

Course code: 145739 GIS Principles and Applications 30 credits

A conceptual and operational understanding of Geographic Information Systems (GIS). This course provides a postgraduate-level introduction to fundamentals of spatial data creation, manipulation, management, visualisation and analysis.

Restrictions: 132738

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Subject courses

Choose 90 credits from
Course code: 145740 GIS Programming and Practice 30 credits

This course focuses on principles and practices of programming within the GIS context. Issues in GIS project design and implementation are addressed.

Prerequisites: 132738 or 145739 Restrictions: 132740

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Course code: 145790 Applied Geography Project 15 credits

Engagement in a self-directed geography project with supervision.

Prerequisites: Appraisal required

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Course code: 145799 Research Report (30) 30 credits
Course code: 158740 Location Systems: Spatial Databases, Tools and Applications 15 credits

This course will develop knowledge and skills in the use of geographic information science in an interdisciplinary context. Students will learn how to work with clients to identify requirements, model and collect data and create a location-based web application. A range of areas and a variety of different uses of geographic information will be covered using open source tools. An interdisciplinary group project will form part of the course.

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Course code: 158741 Location Data: Mapping, Analysis and Visualisation 15 credits

This course will develop knowledge and skills in the processing, analysis and visualisation of data that has a location on the earth. Location data is more and more readily available, and students will learn how to transform and integrate data from multiple sources, consider the impact of data uncertainty and privacy, and perform appropriate analysis for environmental, social and economic applications. Different data collection methods will be discussed, and a range of open source tools will be used.

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Course code: 233712 Environmental Geographic Information Systems 15 credits

The application of geospatial analytical techniques within the environmental sciences is required as a key decision support tool in land management. This course will explore the way cartographic modelling, data fusion, database query, geostatistical analysis and image integration are applied to solve common environmental and resource management issues drawing on a range of software currently used in industry.

Restrictions: 233706

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Course code: 233713 Environmental Remote Sensing 15 credits

Remote sensing is the process of detecting and monitoring the Earth by measuring its reflected and emitted radiation, usually from satellites or aircraft. The course will focus on the use of digital analysis of remotely sensed imagery and data. The integration of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) and digital elevation models (DEMs) with remotely sensed data will be used to highlight practical solutions in land management.

Restrictions: 233707

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Entry requirements

Admission to Massey

All students must meet university entrance requirements to be admitted to the University.

Specific requirements

To enter the Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Geospatial Science) you will have been awarded or qualified for the Bachelor of Arts degree, with a major in the intended postgraduate subject, or equivalent.

You will need to have achieved a grade average in your bachelor degree that demonstrates an adequate level of preparation for the postgraduate qualification. This normally means that a B- grade average or above is required.

You will need to provide verified copies of all academic transcripts for studies taken at all universities other than Massey University.

English language requirements

To study this qualification you must meet Massey University's English language standards.

English language skills

If you need help with your English language skills before you start university, see our English for Academic Purposes (EAP) courses.

Fees and scholarships

Fees, student loans and free fees scheme

Your tuition fees may be different depending on the courses you choose. Your exact fees will show once you have chosen your courses.

There will also be some compulsory non-tuition fees and for some courses, there may also be charges for things such as study resources, software, trips and contact workshops.

Already know which courses you're going to choose?

You can view fees for the courses that make up your qualification on the course details pages.

Student loans (StudyLink) and Fees Free scheme

You may be eligible for a student loan to help towards paying your fees.

The New Zealand Government offers fees-free tertiary study for eligible domestic students. Find out more about the scheme and your eligibility on the Fees Free website. To use the site's eligibility checking tool, you will need your National Student Number.

Current and returning Massey students can find their National Student Number in the student portal.

Fees disclaimer

This information is for estimation purposes only. Actual fees payable will be finalised on confirmation of enrolment. Unless otherwise stated, all fees shown are quoted in New Zealand dollars and include Goods and Services Tax, if any. Before relying on any information on these pages you should also read the University's Disclaimer Notice.

Careers and job opportunities

Great job opportunities

New Zealand has a shortage of workers with knowledge and skills in geospatial science, so completing this qualification offers great job opportunities. The geospatial industry is particularly well established in New Zealand’s government sector. However, as a rapidly growing discipline based on new and evolving technologies, there’s significant potential for entrepreneurship and innovation, and an increasing number of people work in the private sector or are self-employed.

A wide range of careers

You can combine your Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Geospatial Science) with knowledge gained from your work experience, or with a bachelor’s degree in another discipline, to open up a wide range of career opportunities, including:

  • geospatial analytics
  • conservation management
  • urban and environmental planning
  • energy development
  • natural resource management
  • public policy and community service
  • public health
  • international development
  • business and market research
  • information management
  • teaching and training
  • tourism.

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