KE6018 - Advanced Geospatial Applications

What will I learn on this module?

You will learn about the design and implementation of geospatial Applications using evidence based practice extending practical knowledge of the techniques and analysis tools gained from level 5 (Second year). This will involve you critically reviewing existing published and adopted practice in topic areas such as:
• environmental planning,
• landcover change,
• resource management and
• risk assessment.
in order to design, cost and implement your own geospatial application. You will be taught advanced concepts of method design and how
to cost and respond to a tender request. You will also learn advanced IT skills on data compilation, download, generation, analysis, interpretation and presentation within the context of ‘fitness of use’ using image processing and GIS software. As you explore evidence based practice you will be asked to design your application with key consideration to the following questions. Can geospatial Applications be:
• value free and what role does positionality and ethics play?,
• simply sticks which powerful groups in decision making processes use to beat smaller groups with?, and
• a key determinant of planning and policy success in an organisational context?

How will I learn on this module?

In this module, you will learn through lectures, IT workshops and seminars. In addition to timetabled sessions, your independent study will be guided and supported through your engagement with a range of interactive learning resources accessible on-line via the module eLP site, including electronic reading lists.

Lectures will be focused on geospatial applications and associated theoretical concepts and principles, thus acting as a framework to support your learning. You will develop your practical and technical skills with guided exercises with directed learning between sessions. The IT workshops enable you to generate and add value to a wide of range of geospatial digital datasets, applying the latest techniques using industry-standard software. The exercises are designed to improve your ability to create your own datasets, download and edit existing data and solve complex problems. The IT workshops are supervised but you will be expected to finish the project work in your own time whilst exploring in more detail, in the literature and using online resources, examples of the techniques you are learning implemented in research or in the public and private sector as well as identifying and teaching yourself additional technical skills to add to what you have been taught. You are expected to research geospatial applications for evidence of best-practice in method design and application as well as how to cost and tender for a project as a geospatial consultant. In seminars you will get to carry out a mock tender design by discussing around tasks set by teaching staff, reinforcing your leaning and allowing you to explore topics in more depth as part of a smaller group.

How will I be supported academically on this module?

Module content and guidance will be made available by your module tutor in lectures as well as via the virtual learning platform, Blackboard. During IT sessions, you will interact closely with teaching staff who will provide formative support (demonstrations are often provided at the start of the class) and feedback on activities leading up to the assessment tasks. You will also benefit from interaction and problem solving with your fellow students in working through guided exercises. The first assessment is designed as a formative tool: you are asked to justify and generate a method workflow. Designing a method workflow will aid you in identifying key tasks needed to put together a tender document as you would in the public and private sectors a key employability skill. Feedback from both assignments will then allow you to improve your method as part of the project assignment. An interactive reading list with on-line access to a number of key articles is available to you, some of which will be linked to the weekly lecture programme. Teaching staff operate an ‘open door’ policy for students meaning you can approach them anytime during normal office hours, or via email, to answer questions, receive feedback and support your learning on the module.

What will I be expected to read on this module?

All modules at Northumbria include a range of reading materials that students are expected to engage with. The reading list for this module can be found at:
(Reading List service online guide for academic staff this containing contact details for the Reading List team –

What will I be expected to achieve?

Knowledge & Understanding:
• MLO 1: Critically evaluate and review the process of method design including geospatial data collection and generation, and implications upon resulting output (research and in practice).
• MLO 2: Evaluate the role of geospatial applications in implementation of policy by researching real world examples in both research and in practice.

Intellectual / Professional skills & abilities:
• MLO 3: Independently, develop research questions / hypotheses and design a methodology based on evidence of best practice for a significant analytical geospatial project of your own choosing.
• MLO 4: Competently gather and generate appropriate geospatial data using appropriate techniques and software tools, producing results that are then discussed and critically reviewed.
• MLO 5: Produce a competitive tender document to answer a set of objectives for a geospatial application.

Personal Values Attributes (Global / Cultural awareness, Ethics, Curiosity) (PVA):

• MLO 6: Develop a critical and ethical awareness of the design and resulting impact of geospatial applications in policy and practice.

How will I be assessed?

Summative assessment:

Tender Application - 2000 words
Weighted 50% of module mark
This assessment is focused on the production of a tender application for your chosen geospatial application. This assessment task will require you to design a method, budget and timeline focused on answering set terms of reference, justifying digital datasets you have selected and presenting a repeatable flow of actions (workflow) that you will need to implement within the software in order to generate output. You will be expected to creatively use tables, figures and diagrams to get this information across effectively. Addresses MLOs 1, 2, 3, 4 and 5.

Individual Project 2500 words
Weighted 50% of module mark
Continuing on from the first assignment and using feedback provided you are asked to submit a project in the style of a consultancy report where you will convert the terms of reference into objectives. You will then present the method and your results in the context of a critical and ethical review of the application. Addresses MLOs 1, 2, 3, 4 and 6.

Formative assessment/support process:
You will receive formative feedback on work to be submitted during practical classes where you can float ideas or obtain formative feedback on thinking processes and assignment tackling strategies you and your peers are developing. This will provide guidance on the expected style and standard of work, and engender confidence and engagement. Before the submission of your project you have the opportunity to submit material of your choice for formative feedback on a page of A4. Detailed comments will be provided.


KE5017 Earth Observation and GIS



Module abstract

Developing problem solving skills and identifying objectives in order to answer a geospatial application (resource management, environmental planning, habitat and land cover management, and risk assessment) is a key employability skill. Combined with the ability to generate and download geospatial datasets and then be able to identify the tools within the software to answer these objectives is an essential requirement in a wide range of sectors in the job market such as, environmental consultancy, rural and town planning for local authorities, government agencies and are transferable to other job markets. On this module you are given first-hand experience of completing your own consultancy project and using experience gained in the process to generate your own tender to submit for consideration. Combined with your knowledge and understanding of geospatial datasets gained on this and other modules you have the skills to enter straight into the geospatial job market.

Course info

UCAS Code F840

Credits 20

Level of Study Undergraduate

Mode of Study 3 years Full Time or 4 years with a placement (sandwich)/study abroad

Department Geography and Environmental Sciences

Location City Campus, Northumbria University

City Newcastle

Start September 2024 or September 2025

Fee Information

Module Information

All information is accurate at the time of sharing. 

Full time Courses are primarily delivered via on-campus face to face learning but could include elements of online learning. Most courses run as planned and as promoted on our website and via our marketing materials, but if there are any substantial changes (as determined by the Competition and Markets Authority) to a course or there is the potential that course may be withdrawn, we will notify all affected applicants as soon as possible with advice and guidance regarding their options. It is also important to be aware that optional modules listed on course pages may be subject to change depending on uptake numbers each year.  

Contact time is subject to increase or decrease in line with possible restrictions imposed by the government or the University in the interest of maintaining the health and safety and wellbeing of students, staff, and visitors if this is deemed necessary in future.


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