Distance programme

in Geo-information Science and Earth Observation

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For whom is this programme relevant?

This option is attractive to professionals interested in a short training course on a specific topic, or those interested in a long training course (Postgraduate diploma or MSc degree level) but who are unable to leave their job for the full course duration.

Short distance courses

ITC offers several modules of their Postgraduate diploma and Master's degree courses as distance courses. The distance courses (5 credits) have a weekly study load of 20 to 24 hours. The courses combine self-study with online support by ITC staff. The general approach is task-based learning that blends theory and practice. Participants access the course material through internet. All materials and (most of) the software will be provided online within ITC’s digital learning environment Blackboard.

Courses offered in the distance programme

About your diploma

Upon successful completion of this course you will receive a Certificate which will include the name of the course.

Along with your Certificate you will receive a Course Record providing all the subjects studied as part of the course. It states for each module: the module code, number, subject, ECTS credits, exam date, location and the mark awarded.

If you decide to follow a full Postgraduate or Master’s programme at ITC, and after approval of the Examination Board, you will be exempted from the module(s) you followed successfully as a distance course.

A new distance course in analyzing and generating spatial information for creating sustainable environments

Would you like to take a course in Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation, which is an integral part of a full MSc programme, without having to spend any time away from home? ITC at the University of Twente (the Netherlands) now offers you this opportunity, with a brand-new distance course entitled “Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation: a Systems-based Approach”.

Depending on your circumstances, this could be a convenient first step towards taking the remainder of the ITC Master’s programme in face-to-face mode, or simply a smart and affordable way of getting a taste of the full programme. You could also use this distance course to, e.g., acquire a more in-depth understanding of the subject matter or see how your current knowledge level measures up to academic standards. The course consists of three separate but connected 5 EC modules:

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  • Module 1: Geo-Information Science and Modelling (5 EC)
    This module will deal with geo-information science covering a range of techniques for data modelling, data collection, data storage, analysis and visualisation of spatial-temporal data using Geographic Information Systems (GIS).
  • Module 2: Earth Observation (5 EC)
    This module will cover the complete process from the specification of image data acquisition requirements, through image enhancement to image analysis and classification.
  • Module 3: Data integration: Principles, approaches and user perspectives (5 EC)
    Module 3 includes three main topics offered through lectures, practical sessions, guided discussions and a project related assignment which are:
    - System Earth
    - Use and Users, SDI and Geo-Portals
    - Data Integration

Each module takes 10 weeks (as opposed to 3 weeks each in full-time face-to-face education). This means that on average you’ll need to dedicate 14 hours a week to studying, 2 of which are compulsory hours spent in virtual classroom sessions. You will achieve the same learning outcomes as in face-to-face. As to the educational quality − again, as in face-to-face − you’ll be studying under the guidance of highly qualified and thoroughly committed staff, at an accredited and internationally acclaimed faculty.

Added benefits

Make no mistake: even though you’ll be studying part-time for about 14 hours a week, this distance course constitutes quite a challenge. That being said, it should leave you with enough time for working a job, parenting or other activities. While there is no physical interaction, the digital learning environment encourages you to interact with your fellow students anywhere, anytime. The course is designed to keep you on track, and you stand to gain important additional skills such as studying independently in a virtual environment. Instead of taking the entire course you can also choose to take one or two separate modules. This could apply if for some reason you’re particularly interested in (a) specific field(s) covered by the separate modules. Each module is credited in itself.

A smart way to start the full Master’s programme

The distance course produces the same learning outcomes and has similar content to the face-to-face course that starts off ITC’s Master’s programme in Geo-Information Science and Earth Observation. Distance education also takes place in a similarly international (albeit virtual) environment. Consequently, this could be a head start of a full MSc or a sensible way for you to get a taste of the full face-to-face programme, and determine whether you’re up to it. The distance course will be completed 3 November 2017, which is one month before the start of the remainder of the regular face-to-face Master’s programme (4 December 2017). This could give you the time you need to make arrangements for your transfer into the regular programme, if that is what you want at that moment. If, for whatever reason, you want or need to be back home later on in the programme, you always have the option of working on your thesis there instead of in the Netherlands. Upon completing the distance course you can also choose to postpone enrolling in the rest of the Master’s programme. As module exam results remain valid for 6 years, after completing your first distance module you’ll have up to 6 years to complete the remainder of the full Master’s programme.

Instead of taking the entire course you can also choose to take one or two separate modules. This could apply if for some reason you’re particularly interested in (a) specific field(s) covered by the separate modules. Each module is credited in itself.

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