Start with a short course

Our online short courses provide an alternative entry route to this online Masters degree if:

  • you want to get your postgraduate studies started without committing to a full Masters
  • you’ve missed the deadline to apply for the full degree, or
  • you do not meet the formal degree entry requirements.

A way to study for this online Masters without a degree

Our entry-route short courses are self-evaluating.

This means you do not need to provide formal qualifications to study them. If you believe you’re academically capable, you’re welcome to join a course.

To help you decide if a short course is right for you, check the entry guidance on each course page. It explains the level of teaching involved.

How it works

  • Complete 30 credits’ worth of the recommended short courses for this online Masters.
  • Then apply to transfer to the online Masters in August.

By earning 30 credits from the recommended courses successfully, you’ll have proved you’re capable of learning at this level.

You’ll then be eligible to apply to transfer to the online Masters, even if you do not hold the formal degree entry qualifications.

Degree transfers take place once a year, in August only.



Purchase and complete at least 30 credits’ worth of the recommended short courses for this online Masters degree.



We’ll contact you during your studies to help you apply to transfer to the online Masters in August.



Provided the degree coordinator is happy with your performance, and you meet our English language requirements, we can transfer you in August.

Get started on the short course route

To start on the entry path to this online Masters, complete these two recommended courses.

They’re compulsory courses for online MSc GIS.

Both courses run in September and January. You can study them in any order.

2-colour map of a city

Introduction to GIS Tools, Techniques, Cartography and Geovisualisation (15 credits)

Learn to use the tools and techniques geoscientists use to collect, analyse, map, and visualise spatial data.

Buy Introduction to GIS Tools
A drone in flight

UAV Remote Sensing, Monitoring and Mapping (15 credits)

Gain skills in aerial photography, photointerpretation, satellite remote sensing, digital image processing, and the collection of aerial imagery using UAVs and softcopy photogrammetry.

Buy UAV Remote Sensing, Monitoring and Mapping

These courses are delivered at MSc level. At this level of teaching, you would normally have:

  • a 2:2 (lower-second) honours degree or equivalent in Agriculture, Archaeology, Computing Science, Ecology, Engineering, Environmental Science, Forestry, Geography, Geology, Geomatics, Marine & Coastal Science, Marine Biology, Marine Science, Mathematics, Physics, Planning, Plant Science, Soil Science or Zoology, or

  • a degree in another subject area and can show your interest, aptitude and/or experience in a field relevant to the application of geospatial technologies.

Purchasing your courses

To join a course, apply via the course page and follow the application and checkout process.

Courses are available to purchase until one week after their start date, but we encourage you to purchase your courses as early as possible to ensure a smooth start to your studies.

Study at your own pace

We estimate that each 15-credit course is around 10 – 15 study hours per week.

If you’re planning to study part-time, especially if you’re studying around full-time work, we recommend taking a maximum of 30 credits per term.

You’re welcome to go at a slower pace and begin with one 15-credit course. But you cannot transfer to the degree until you have 30 credits from courses that are part of this online Masters.

Online Masters route not for you?

You do not have to transfer to the Masters degree. Our online short courses give you the flexibility to:

  • study any short course standalone, earning credits with each one
  • build your credits up to a Postgraduate Certificate or Postgraduate Diploma instead
  • continue course by course, at your own pace, with the option to transfer to the online Masters when you’re ready.

Frequently asked questions

Here are answers to the most common questions we receive about our short course routes.

If your question is not answered here, we’re here to help. Get in touch.

We recommend these courses for this entry route for two reasons.

  • These are the courses that students taking the online Masters degree will typically be starting with too. This means you’ll be studying alongside a cohort of online degree students. When you then transfer into the online degree, you’ll continue on with these same students, whom you’ve already met and worked with. So, it gives you a smoother transition into the degree programme.
  • It’s the recommended route set out by the programme coordinator.

You’ll be eligible to apply to transfer to the online Masters when you:

  • pass 30 credits’ worth of recommended short courses from this Masters degree successfully
  • receive your official passing grades for these courses, and
  • meet this degree’s English language requirements if English is not your first language.

If you fulfil these requirements, you can apply to transfer. The programme coordinator makes the final decision on degree transfers.

You can transfer once a year, in August. We carry out transfers in August because:

  • August is the start of the new academic year, and
  • it gives you time to choose your courses ahead of teaching starting in September.

The transfer process takes place once a year, in August only.

The School will contact you during your studies to find out what your intentions are for the next term. It’s at this point you can apply to transfer in August. The School will support you through the transfer process.

If you’re taking the short course route, you do not need to apply for the Masters degree separately via our Applicant Portal. Instead, the School will fast-track you into the online Masters, providing you meet the eligibility criteria.

If you fail your first attempt at a short course, you’ll be offered one chance to resit the course assessment.

If you fail this resit, you cannot take the course again.

We would then be able to advise you as to your options – you may still be able to qualify with a postgraduate qualification in a different specialism.

No. Once you’ve completed your entry-route short courses, you will not need to study them again when you transfer to the Masters degree.

The credits you have completed will count towards the Masters degree.

Once you’ve transferred to the Masters, you will not need to pay for the courses that you have already studied. Your Masters fee will be adjusted to deduct the cost of the courses you have already paid for.

A pay-as-you-go degree

We never charge the full fee for a Masters degree upfront. Instead, we charge for our degrees one term at a time, so you can spread the cost.

How pay-as-you-go works

Each term, you decide how many courses you’d like to take. Then you pay for these courses just before term starts. This gives you control over your degree fees and your workload, term by term.

Each 15-credit course is around 10 – 15 study hours per week.

This is an indicative guide to the time required for a typical student at this level to achieve the learning outcomes. This includes time for independent study, as well as teaching and assessments.

You’ll find more detailed and course-specific study hours on each of our online course pages.

Studying around work?

If you’re planning to study part-time, especially if you’re studying around full-time work, we recommend taking a maximum of 30 credits per term.

If you’ve already submitted an application for this degree, please: