Programme Objectives
The objectives of the programme can be summarized as follows:

  • To introduce students to GIS science and technology, thereby providing them with background knowledge to assist them advance the technology;
  • To develop students’ confidence in handling new problems and processing, analyzing and visualizing data to support the decision-making process;
  • To build competence in independent learning skills, research methodology, research implementation, oral presentations, report writing, web-based and multimedia communication and team work skills; and
  • To educate students on both the potential and limitations of current software, spatial data resources and information quality.

Profile of the Graduate from the Programme
Initially, the programme prepares students to understand the fundamentals of  geographical information and how it differs from other types of information. Later on, students are facilitated to gain expertise on building and manipulating databases of geographical information. Students use examples from their respective application areas which helps them to build more expertise in building analyzing geo-information in their areas of specialty. Finally, the programme facilitates students to understand the principles and technologies for sharing spatial information across institutions. In summary, a graduate of this programme has both the theory of managing geo-information as well as hands on skills in building, maintaining and using geographical information for decision making. Such skills are essential for people working as GIS Analysts in government/non-governmental organizations, Spatial Database developers, GIS Consultants and GIS educationists.

Target Group
As mentioned in Section 2 above, the demand for GIS professionals is increasing in Uganda. GIS professionals are required in all government departments, NGOs and the private sector. This programme targets people who need to do research at graduate level in order to advance GIS as a technology. In addition, it targets professionals who need to acquire skills so as to implement GIS in their organizations. Many studies (see Section 1) have indicated that this target audience is growing day by day. The list includes: Surveyors, Engineers, Physical Planners, Application Developers, Health Care Planners/Implementers, Natural Resource Managers, Emergency Workers, Defence (Armed) Forces-Engineers Brigade, Economic Planners, Conservationists and so on.

Nature of Programme
The MSc. (GIST) will be run as a day/evening programme with privately sponsored students.  The duration of the day/evening programme will be two years spanning through four semesters. The programme shall offer two options for students to select according to their preference. These choices are termed – Plan A and Plan B in conformity with University regulations.

Plan A
Students under Plan A will be required to take two semesters of course work and two semesters of research leading to a dissertation in any area of GIS. To qualify for Plan A, a student will have developed an acceptable research proposal, within the first three weeks of semester three. Students intending to later on undertake PhD studies or a career in research will be encouraged to go through this plan.

Plan B
Students under Plan B will be required to undertake three semesters of coursework and one semester of a mini- project. The project may not necessarily be research oriented but should be investigative and will hence involve data collection, data analysis and report writing. To qualify for Plan B a student shall have developed a project proposal, within the first three weeks of the last semester (semester four).

Admission Requirements
Applicants for the MSc (Geo-Information Science and Technology) should have at a minimum, a lower second class Bachelor’s Degree or equivalent from a recognized university preferably combined with one year working experience in a relevant field where spatial data analysis is relevant. The relevant disciplines are: Surveying/Geomatics, Engineering, Architecture, Natural Resources, Geography, Physical Planning, Land Administration/Management, Tourism, Public Health, and Development Studies. For other disciplines, the Graduate Studies and Research Committee will decide whether spatial data analysis forms an integral part so as to determine whether candidates from such disciplines qualify to be admitted to the Msc Programme. On the same principle therefore, applicants from Arts/Social Sciences who specialized in spatial related subjects at the undergraduate level and have a working GIS experience will also be accepted. Applicants with a first class or upper second honors degree will be admitted soon after graduation.

Programme Duration
The minimum duration of the Master of Science in Geo-Information Science and Technology shall be two (2) years while the maximum shall be four (4) academic years.

The Msc Geo-Information Science and Technology Programme shall run on a semester system. In each semester, a number of courses will be conducted to broaden the knowledge of the students in the various sub-disciplines of GIS. The programme will begin with foundation courses which will be compulsory for all students registered for the programme. In the second semester (and 3rd semester for Plan B), elective courses will be offered, in which students will be permitted to select courses that are relevant to their application areas of interest.

The overall sequence will be as follows:

Year 1

Semester1:               5 Compulsory Courses

Semester 2:              4 Compulsory Courses

1 course to be selected from 3 elective Courses

Year 2:    

Plan A:                 Semester 3 and 4:            Masters Dissertation

Plan B:                  Semester 3:                       3 Compulsory Courses

1 course to be selected from 2 elective


Semester 4:                        Masters Project

Tuition Fees
Tuition fees payable by the students will be based on whether a student is a Ugandan or a foreigner. Ugandan students will pay Three million eight hundred twenty five thousand shillings (3,825,000/=) per year. Foreign students will pay tuition fees of 3,300 US Dollars per year. Fees for both local and international students will be reviewed from time to time.

Geographical Information Systems is not new in CEDAT, and has been taught at the undergraduate level in the Department of Geomatics and Land Management for a period of more than 14 years. The Department has, during these years built reasonable capacity to start the programme as more capacity is being developed. Initially, the courses will be taught by existing staff in CEDAT backed up by staff from other colleges. The college will use existing resources to run the programme, but will seek funding support from development partners to further expand the programme.

It should be noted that Sida/Sarec supported the establishment of the University GIS Centre, which provides the foundation for the programme. Apart from funds generated from private students, more funds for sustaining the programme will be generated through provision of GIS related services which are on high demand in Uganda. The College is already in preliminary Contacts with the following Institutions/Agencies:- World Food Programme, Government of Southern Sudan, Directorate of Water Development, Electoral Commission, Uganda Electricity Transmission Company Ltd, Infectious Disease Institute, Iganga Demographic Surveillance Site, Ministry of Lands Housing and Urban Development and Wetlands Management Department.

The college of Engineering, Design, Art and Technology has recently signed Memoranda of Understanding (MoUs) with the Uganda Police and UPDF in which GIS is one of the areas of collaboration.

Assessment of courses

  1. Each course will be assessed on the basis of 100 total marks with proportions as follows:
    • Course work  40%
    • Written examination 60%
  2. Coursework consists of Laboratory work and Progressive Assessment (Tests and Assignments) each component assessed at 20%
  3. The GIS Consultancy Course is predominantly group work but individual reports will be marked. Marks will be awarded on the basis of group and individual performance. Group performance contributes 30% of the mark while individual performance contributes 70%.
  4. A minimum of two coursework assignments/tests are required per course.
  5. For Masters Seminars, written documents (proposals and Progress reports) and oral presentations will be marked. Under both Plan A and B seminars account for 37.5% of the overall project credits units.

Programme Courses

Semester I  ( 5 Courses) (Plan A and B)
Core Courses (Compulsory)        
GLM7101: Geographical Information  Systems Fundamentals 30 30 45 3
GLM 7102: Design and Management of Spatial Databases 15 60 45 3
GLM7103: Programming for GIS Applications 15 60 45 3
GLM7104: Managing Geospatial Information 30 30 45 3
GLM7105: Web Mapping and  Spatial Data Infrastructures 30 30 45 3
Total Credit Units       15
 Semester II ( 5 courses) (Plan A and B)
Core Courses (Compulsory)
GLM7201: Professional GIS: Consultancy Project 15 60 45 3
GLM7202: Geospatial Data Analysis 30 30 45 3
GLM7203: Global Navigation Satellite Systems and Mobile GIS 30 30 45 3
GLM7204: Research Methods  and Data Analysis 30 30 45 3
 Electives  (Students select ONLY 1 course)
GLM7205 : Application of GIS in Natural Resources Management 30 30 45 3
GLM7206: Application of GIS for Urban Planning and Utility Management 30 30 45 3
GLM7207: GIS Application for Risk/Hazard Assessment and Management 30 30 45 3
Total Credit Units 15
 Semester  III & IV ( Plan A) –(All Core)
GLM 8101:  Masters Research Seminar 1 15 60 45 2
GLM 8201 : Masters Research Seminar 2 15 60 45 2
GLM 8202: Masters Dissertation 30 180 120 10
Total Credit Units 14
 Semester III (Plan B) – 5  Courses
Core Courses (Compulsory)
GLM 8102: Advanced  Geo-Data Visualization and Map Projections 30 30 45 4
GLM 8103: Image Processing for Remote Sensing 30 30 45 4
GLM 8104: Building Geo-databases 15 30 30 3
 Elective (Students select ONLY 1 course)
GLM 8105: Geo-spatial data Capture techniques 15 30 45 4
GLM 8106: Land Information Systems 15 30 45 4
Total Credit Units 15
Semester IV (Plan B) – All Core
GLM 8203: Masters Project Seminar 15 30 45 2
GLM 8204: Masters Practical Project 30 60 60 5
Total Credit Units 7


Attachment Name Attachment Type

Master of Science in Geo-information Science and Technology