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Geographic Information Systems (GIS)

Geographic information systems GIS and geospatial data are incorporated in almost all aspects of our daily lives.

The intersection of geospatial and non-geospatial information provides goods and services to society as well as allows us to tackle complex issues due to changes in our climate and landscape. For example, the public sector uses GIS to plan train commutes, track forest fires and follow algae blooms while the private sector use GIS to create background scenes in video games, virtual walkthroughs of apartments and to track parcels. Scientists can, for example, leverage GIS to quantify impacts of sea level rise on coastal cities, estimate carbon storage at global scales and to evaluate ecosystem health.

The course is a elective component of the Bachelor's Programme in Earth Science, Distance Learning and it can also be taken as an individual course.

  • Course structure

    This is a distance course that will teach the fundamentals of GIS. Through this course, the student will learn the basics of data management and analysis of geospatial data with the program ArcGIS. The course is structured around literature, exercises and independent project work. GIS theories are provided through the textbook and is used to support the exercise methods and analyses while the project work will allow the student to apply the gathered knowledge to solve an emerging real-world problem.


    • Fundamental GIS Methods, 3.5 credits
    • GIS Theory, 2 credits
    • Advanced GIS Applications, 2 credits

    Teaching format

    The course is given only as a distance learning course. This can be completed at your own pace but shall be completed before the course end date. The teaching consists of web-based teaching and independent project work hosted on the Athena learning platform. All the course material is only provided in english (ex. course literature, exercises, supervision, exam, project).

    Currently, only ArcGIS Desktop is used in the course and not ArcPro.


    For details see syllabus.

    Plagiarism and regulations for disciplinary matters

    As a student you must be conscientious about clearly accounting for the material used in the texts that are submitted for examination. To use another person’s expressions or ideas without stating the source is plagiarism. To translate and/or change some words in someone else’s text and present it as your own is also a form of plagiarism. Plagiarism is considered cheating and if discovered in an exam or paper, the exam or paper will be failed immediately and disciplinary measures may be taken.

    Any student who is caught cheating or disrupting academic activities may be suspended from lectures and exams for a period of up to six months. The Vice Chancellor or the Disciplinary Council decide whether the student is to be subject to any disciplinary measures. 

    Read more about the rules and regulations here: Governing documents relating to education.


    Helle Skånes

  • Schedule

    The schedule will be available no later than one month before the start of the course. We do not recommend print-outs as changes can occur. At the start of the course, your department will advise where you can find your schedule during the course.

    The course is given only as a distance learning course. This can be completed at your own pace but shall be completed before the course end date.

  • Course literature

    Note that the course literature can be changed up to two months before the start of the course.

  • Contact

    Registration is normally done at the beginning of each semester. If you have not received information about registration you can contact the student office directly. 

    Student office (Registration questions) 
    Lena Åkerblom

    Study counsellor
    Elisabeth Sturesson

    Course responsible
    Helle Skånes