Learn to use cadastral intelligence for designing and applying responsible land administration solutions

Land is at the basis of all societies. A healthy land administration means secure land tenure, and efficient land markets and land development. In the process it contributes to developing and supporting local economies as well as reducing poverty and helping to avoid related disputes. Unfortunately, less than a quarter of the world’s countries maintain a complete land administration system. Would you like to be a change agent helping countries achieve and sustain societal stability and prosperity? Then ITC’s specialization in Land Administration is your perfect choice. 

With our courses we will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to design and apply responsible land administration solutions to address real life challenges. To this end we take a multi-disciplinary approach, with considerable emphasis on land information systems. For your MSc research you’ll have the option of joining forces with dedicated ITC research group PLUS.

Upon graduation land sector agencies as well as local and international NGOs will be very interested in your services as a land professional. You could also become a private practitioner or opt for an academic future.

Are you a mid-career professional and national of -and living and working in one of the countries listed here? You might consider applying for a scholarship from the Orange Knowledge Programme (former NFP).  

Specialization courses 

See the full programme structure for a complete overview of courses in the Master's Geo-information Science and Earth Observation. 

Responsible land administration (7 credits)

Responsible land administration
The aim this course is twofold. First, it introduces the fundamental concepts and approaches related to securing land tenure. The concepts of land tenure, land rights, land law, the continuum of land rights, security of tenure – including  ways to assess land tenure security – and the need for securing land rights in both urban and rural settings are covered. The course addresses conventional and innovative approaches and systems of securing land rights, such as systems of land registration and cadaster and land administration systems.

Secondly, attention is paid to cadasters and land registration systems in the broader context of land policy and land management. The relationship between land policy and land administration functions – tenure, land use, land value, and land development –  is analyzed and applied. The economic, environmental, and social drivers underpinning land policy development are examined. Importance of country context is considered. The course relates state-of-the-art scientific knowledge (theory) to students' professional working or country experiences (practice).

Land information systems and models (7 credits)

Land information systems are systems for acquiring, processing, storing, and distributing information about land. They provide for secure land tenure and support land valuation, land use planning and land development. Whilst the design of land administration systems must align to the context where they are to be applied, there are fundamental concepts that apply to all land information systems. The main objective of this course is to discover, apply, and assess these concepts and technologies – and inspire students to deploy them in the creation and maintenance of scalable real-world land information systems.

Cadastral data acquisition technologies and dissemination methods (7 credits)

Land Informatics is the science and technology that deals with the creation, maintenance, and dissemination of land information. It uses the existing structures of geoinformatics to design fit-for-purpose land administration systems. 3D Cadastres are land administration concepts, technologies, and systems that deal with the height dimension. Moreover, the use of ICT, open source, proprietary and web-based services, have seen an emergence of innovative cadastres. They can efficiently support unconventional land administration through documentation and management of land rights.

This course aims to provide contemporary knowledge, hands-on experience, and implementation know-how in land informatics and 3D Cadastre using innovative tools. Through practical sessions, you obtain experience and a better understanding of the possible innovations and their applications. Their relevance for different country contexts and scenarios are evaluated.

Organizing land information (7 credits)

Land administration has long been executed through state-based agencies such as cadastral departments, land registry offices, ministries of land, or local governments. These organizations do not act in a vacuum, but within larger institutional fields and forces. The broader environment of land governance, in which public organizations operate, is characterized by the interactions of multiple state and non-state actors, formal and informal practices, and various regulatory frameworks. In recent years this environment has been quickly changing in the course of public sector reform, budget constraints, and increased adoption of (geo)Information and Communication Technologies (ICT), including mobile technologies and social media.

It is important therefore to understand: how public land administration agencies have developed historically within the broader institutional setting of land governance and in response to external changes; how these agencies work internally in both formal and informal ways; how organizational change can take place in order to adapt to new developments; and which innovative services in land administration are available/under development. Within this course, that would be made possible via lectures, discussions of relevant literature, as well as workshops on the use of tools, which can aid in organizational strategy building and development.

Student Experiences

Master's specialization

This specialization is part of the Master's Geo-information Science and Earth Observation.

Joint Master's

ITC has entered into partnerships with reputable qualified educational institutes for the purpose of providing joint courses in several countries. Under this arrangement, (part of) the programme, leading to a diploma in Geo-information Science and Earth Observation from the University of Twente, can be conducted at the partner institute.

Key information

Top rated programme
Geo-information Science and Earth Observation
2 years
Full-time (no part-time programs possible)
100% English taught
Starting date
25 August 2019
End date
23 July 2021
Tuition fees
2019 / 2020
full-time, institutional
€ 26.775