Master of Science (MSc) degree programme

in Geo-information Science and Earth Observation

MSc programme

Between 60 to 80 percent of all political, economic and private decisions are space oriented. Are you keen to explore how geo-information can help you to make better decisions in every field?

Geo-information is a rapidly growing industry worldwide. Geographical information systems (GIS) and remote sensing tools can be used for solving real-world problems and complex issues. This may involve determining places at risk for landslides, mapping forest fires and biodiversity, planning urban infrastructure, implementing land administration systems, monitoring and analysing food and water security, designing an effective wildlife management system or detecting environmental pollution. The uses are many and varied and have already made their appearance in our daily lives to some extent.

GIS and remote sensing were traditionally used by governments, ministries, research institutes, provinces and municipalities. In recent years, however, they have expanded to all organizations where spatial information plays an important role − from public service corporations and telecommunications companies to water authorities and retailers.

Skilled personnel with the appropriate expertise are needed to effectively manage the information and opportunities provided by these new technologies. A master's degree in Geo-information Science and Earth Observation enables you to put your skills and expertise to excellent use.

For whom is this master's programme relevant?

This 18-month programme (118 credits) leading to a Master of Science (MSc) degree in Geo-information Science and Earth Observation is designed for young and mid-career professionals who perform, or aspire to perform, tasks predominantly in applied research, or who require academic knowledge and skills to enhance the execution of their work.

Successful completion of the MSc degree programme provides graduates with a qualification that enables them to continue to PhD level, either in the Netherlands or abroad.

What will you learn?

Important elements of the programme include academic skills such as developing a critical understanding of appropriate tools; exposure to new methods and techniques; gaining competence in developing tools for the acquisition, processing, transformation, analysis, modelling, storage and presentation of spatial data; using geo-information in identifying and responding to development problems and in drafting development policies; and developing research skills.

What is the programme structure?

The MSc programme consists of four distinct blocks.


Block Modules Description
1 1-3 GI Science and earth observation: a process-based approach
Geographic Information Systems (GIS), Earth Observation (EO), relation to 'System Earth' and the user
2 4-10 Application of geo-information science and earth observation in the domain of interest
Learning in the domain
3 11-15 Research orientation
Research methods, advanced subjects of choice, engagement in a research team, and proposal writing
4 16-23 Individual research
Executing research and writing an MSc thesis

A master's programme based on research

The MSc degree programme is based on research. The development of research skills is given attention throughout the entire course. Each MSc candidate is required to design, undertake and report on research where geo-information science and earth observation is used to develop techniques and/or deal with a specific application problem connected with the field of interest of the course. The precise focus of the research will be determined by the candidate and supervising staff in dialogue, and will fall within the scope of the research themes of the Institute.

Where relevant, MSc research topics are related to the topics of candidates following other courses. The MSc research phase (six months) concludes with the presentation and defence of the MSc thesis.

About your diploma

Upon successful completion of this programme you are entitled to the degree Master of Science. You will receive an (Academic Education) Diploma in Geo-information Science and Earth Observation from the University of Twente.

Along with your diploma you will receive a Diploma Supplement, providing the name of the specialization, the description of the nature, level, context, and status of the study completed.

Distance supervision

There is an option whereby MSc programme participants can spend five months of the six-month thesis period in their home country under distance supervision (the tuition fee for the total programme remains the same). Participants have to meet the requirements set by the ITC programme management, and are selected on an individual basis.

Courses in the MSc degree programme

Six courses are offered in the MSc degree programme in Geo-information Science and Earth Observation:

Geo-information Science and Earth Observation for Environmental Modelling MSc degree programme

ITC is a partner in the MSc programme Geo-information Science and Earth Observation for Environmental Modelling and Management (GEM).

Geographical Information Management and Applications MSc degree programme

ITC is a partner in the MSc programme Geographical Information Management and Applications (GIMA).

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