GEOG20230 Intro: GIS for Sustainability

Academic Year 2023/2024

Welcome to GEOG20230 - Intro: GIS for Sustainability. This module will introduce you to the use and application of a Geographic Information System (GIS) which allows the acquisition, processing, analysis and visualisation of location-based data. With the increasing application of GIS in research and practice across a wide range of disciplines and sectors including the three pillars of sustainability and, as such, this technical skill is valuable, transferable and highly sought after.

This module will particularly introduce you to the basics of GIS and its applications in sustainable development using mainly the ArcGIS Online (AGOL) software. Applying the problem-solving approach and hands-on practical sessions, you will be trained on the collection, visualization and analysis of sustainability-related geographic data with real-world working examples, and exercises focused on broad analytic themes that GIS is designed to handle.

The lectures will initially focus on mapping and the main parts of a GIS. Later lectures and the assessments will be concerned with the tasks that GIS is designed to handle, i.e. digitisation, spatial analysis, data management. An aspect of the course, for which you will be assessed, is the integration of GIS work with broader analyses and writing skills to produce relevant and comprehensible reports.

In the end, you will have technical skills and competencies in GIS which is highly desirable while your problem-solving, decision making, and academic writing skills will be sharpened.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of the module the student will have:
• Gained knowledge of GIS as a geographic and sustainability research tool;
• Learned the ArcGIS Online software system;
• Demonstrated an understanding of GIS including data collection, visualization, analysis and visualization through exercises.

Indicative Module Content:

For the first few weeks, each session will be a lecture format with the later session changing to a
workshop format after week 3. After this time, a problem for resolution will be set each group at
the end of the week's first session. The indicative content of the module is as follows:

Introduction to GIS and GI software
ArcGIS Online and its interface; files, layers and data management
Digitising vector layers
Editing digitised layers
Field data gathering and visualization in GIS
Map layouts, symbology and simple spatial analysis
Data sourcing, visualization and management
Demography mapping

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours
Autonomous Student Learning








Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
This sunsetting module is assessed on the twin bases of technical competence and formative learning techniques. The initial part of the module is about familiarity with data entry and software familiarisation and so the short task-based components are used. Later in the module, students are asked to compile report-style components that allow for them to formatively assess their own work according to the criteria set out in the module rubric. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
GEOG20220 - Intro to GIS for the Social Sc

Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Assignment: Assignment 1 - This assessment will test your understanding of geospatial data collection, and visualisation techniques leading to the production of an area map. Week 6 n/a Graded No


Assignment: Assignment 2: - In this assessment, you would explore the space-people relationship using open source spatial datasets, visualization techniques, demography mapping and reporting skills Week 9 n/a Graded No


Class Test: GIS Test: This is the final assessment of this module testing all the indicative outcome of this module 1 hour End of Trimester Exam n/a Graded No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Online automated feedback

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

A rubric for this module will be provided on Brightspace as per its usual running. Also, students will be given in-class feedback on the three main exercises.

[1] Longley, P. A., Goodchild, M. F., Maguire, D. J., & Rhind, D. W. (2005). Geographic information systems and science. John Wiley & Sons.

[2] Ballas, D., Clarke, G., Franklin, R. S., & Newing, A. (2017). GIS and the social sciences: Theory and applications. Routledge.

[3] Steinberg, S. J., & Steinberg, S. L. (2005). Geographic information systems for the social sciences: investigating space and place. Sage Publications.

Name Role
Assoc Professor Ainhoa Gonzalez Del Campo Lecturer / Co-Lecturer
Zikang Ji Tutor
Benjamin Obe Tutor
Oluwafemi Obe Tutor
Mr Dominic Robinson Tutor