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Principles and Applications of Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing

Online course Principles and Applications of Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing
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Geographical information science (GIS) and Earth Observation are scientific disciplines that develop methods to extract information about the earth surface and use this information for solving real-world problems. Many tools and services that are now main-stream like GPS, route planners in cars and Google Earth were developed by GIScientists. Spatial data and methods to combine and analyse spatial information can help to solve complex issues concerning health care, water and food security, climate change, urban planning, natural hazards and land scarcity.


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). 

For whom?

Are you a mid-career professional (scientist of practitioner) with an academic background working with geospatial data but do you have only a limited knowledge of the principles of GIS and earth observation in your application field? Or have you just finished your BSc and are you eager to continue you scientific studies? Then this online course will be relevant for you!

What will be achieved?

Upon completion of this online course you will be able to generate information from earth observation and GIS data to support the study and visualization of processes in system Earth and the related role of human beings. In addition to a providing a strong theoretical basis, you will also develop practical skills in the capture and analysis of spatial data and the visualization of the resulting information.

Course content

The whole course consists of three separate but connected 5 EC courses. You can follow all these three courses and get the full certificate of 15 EC, but also one of the courses and get a certificate of 5 EC.

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

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: the course code, subject, ECTS credits, exam date, location and the mark awarded.

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

First step for a Master's

This course is a head start of a full Master's. This means that upon successful completion of all the three courses, in addition to the certificate of 15 EC, you may also qualify for an exemption of 15 EC of the full Master's Geo-information Science and Earth Observation!

Online learning what's it like?

This 15 EC (9-months) online course consists of three separate but connected courses. Each 5 EC online course takes 10 weeks. This means, on average you’ll need to dedicate 14 hours a week to studying, two 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 online 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.

Learn with open source software

This course is entirely based on Open Source Software, more specifically QGIS. You will be learning with a tool that will always be there for you, even after you graduate. Please note that the techniques and concepts you will learn are valid for any other software package but with the open source approach you will always be free to apply your knowledge in any professional or academic context.

Admission requirements

Academic level and background

Applicants for an online course should have a Bachelor degree or equivalent from a recognised university in a discipline related to the course, preferably combined with working experience in a relevant field.


The faculty accepts transcripts, degrees and diplomas in the following languages: Dutch, English, German, French and Spanish. It is at the discretion of the faculty to require additional English translations of all documents in other languages as well.

English language

As all courses are given in English, proficiency in the English language is a prerequisite.

If you are a national of one of the countries in this list (PDF), you are exempted from an English language test.

Please note: the requirements when applying for fellowships may vary according to the regulations of the fellowship provider.

English language tests: minimum requirements

Only internationally recognized test results are accepted.

TOEFL Paper-based Test (PBT)


TOEFL Internet-based Test


British Council / IELTS



C2 Proficiency / C1 Advanced

Computer skills

Applicants for the online education programme must have elementary computer experience, regular access to internet and e-mail. For some courses additional computer skills are required (see description of specific course).

GIS and remote sensing

Most online courses, except for the introductory course, require knowledge of, and skills in, working with GIS and/or digital image processing of remotely sensed data.

Candidates are asked to provide proof of identity during the registration process.

Key information

9 months
100% English taught
Registration deadline
13 January 2020
Starting date
3 February 2020
End date
30 October 2020
Tuition fees
2019 / 2020
part-time, institutional
€ 3.347
part-time, ODA-rate
€ 2.510