Master of Geographic Information Science


The Master of Geographic Information Science is the only degree of its kind in New Zealand offering specialist subjects and research. It provides an interdisciplinary approach to Geographic Information Science, including taught courses and supervised research.

Graduates will have advanced knowledge in the field, with the ability to carry out original research and plan, execute and present the findings of applied GIS projects. They will be qualified to work as GIS professionals in research, government and industry.

Entry requirements

Normally the minimum requirement is a three-year bachelor’s degree from a New Zealand university, or a qualification or combination of qualifications considered to be equivalent. If you gained your qualifications overseas, these will need to be assessed to make sure they are of an equivalent standard. You are also required to meet UC’s English language requirements.

Qualification specific requirements

Candidates wishing to enrol in the MGIS must have either:

  • qualified for the Postgraduate Diploma in Geographic Information Science, or an equivalent postgraduate qualification, normally with a B average or better; or
  • qualified for a bachelor's degree in a New Zealand University which is of relevance to the proposed course of study, normally with a B average or higher; and
  • presented evidence of ability for advanced level academic study

and either:

  • completed at least two undergraduate courses in GIS, at least one of which should be at 300-level or higher, as approved by the Programme Director of GIS; or
  • have significant relevant work experience to serve as adequate preparation for the MGIS, as approved by the Programme Director of GIS.

A special application is required – see 'How to apply' below.

For full requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Geographic Information Science or use the admission requirements checker.

Qualification structure and duration

The Master of Geographic Information Science consists of two parts; coursework and a thesis allowing for students to further investigate areas of interest to them and conduct independent and original research. A minimum of 120 points must be completed successfully for each part, totalling a minimum of 240 points. For the up-to-date schedule of courses, visit our University Regulations website.

Note: a candidate who is admitted with the Postgraduate Diploma in Geographic Information will complete the MGIS Part II by Thesis-only (120 points).


Part I and Part II: two years full-time or equivalent part-time.

Part II (thesis-only): one to two years full-time or equivalent part-time.

How to apply

Students must apply for admission to the MGIS programme. Applications must be received by the Department of Geography on the prescribed form no later than 1 February. It is the responsibility of the student to ensure that an up-to-date official academic record is sent to the Department of Geography as soon it is available. Students must also apply to enrol via MyUC.

Find further information on how to apply for graduate and postgraduate qualifications

Career opportunities

Postgraduate study can bring many career benefits eg, specialist skills and enhanced knowledge, entry into specific occupations, higher starting salary/progression rates, research capability/achievement and evidence of high academic attainment/self-discipline. 

Useful resources:

More information

For full requirements see the Regulations for the Master of Geographic Information Science.

For study planning help contact the Department of Geography or the College of Science:

College of Science
University of Canterbury
Okeover House
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

Phone +64 3 364 2312
Email collegeofscience@canterbury.ac.nz

Emir Hartato

Emir Hartato

'Living as a student at UC is very dynamic...'