Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


Everything on the Earth exists in some place and time. Location is an important part of understanding the nature of a phenomenon and its relationships with other aspects of a system. Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are now widely accepted as a technology for examining objects and events in space and time, and spatial analysis is an important skill which is required in many disciplines and careers. This unit introduces postgraduate students to GIS, providing training in both the use of the software and the analysis of spatial data. The unit covers the application of GIS in a number of fields/disciplines. Students are introduced to core concepts in GIS and analytical techniques, including spatial sampling, interaction models, and spatial statistics. Students are also provided instruction in the presentation of spatial data and the development of a spatial analytic project from start to finish.

The goal of this unit is to develop an understanding of spatial data and spatial analysis; develop spatial problem-solving abilities; acquire knowledge and skills in GIS across a broad set of applications. Lectures cover fundamentals in the spatial representation of real-world objects, map projections, cartography, data development, and spatial analytic techniques. Laboratories follow lecture/discussions to optimize learning.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 1UWA (Perth)Face to face
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Honours option in Agricultural Science; Botany; Conservation Biology; Environmental Science; Marine Biology; Marine Science; Natural Resource Management; Zoology [Bachelor of Science (Honours)]

Students are able to (1) recognize different types of spatial data and identify how geographic information is related through space and time using core GIS concepts such as interactivity and interdependency; (2) operate QGIS software to analyse different types of geospatial data; (3) apply a range of spatial processing techniques, including the use of spatial statistics, to assess both vector and raster datasets; (4) communicate geospatial information using clear and informative mapping approaches that follow fundamental principles of cartography; and (5) source spatial data and combine multiple analyses to address geographic research questions.


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) short report; (2) full report; and (3) quiz questions. Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Senior Lecturer Bryan Boruff
Unit rules
Unit(s) GEOG2201 Geographic Information Systems (ID 1384)
Contact hours
The total workload for the unit is 150 hours. This includes podcasts for viewing and reading to be undertaken prior to attending one compulsory 3-hour workshop per week where students will be contributing to interactive discussions together with practical lab work using GIS software. Completion of the practical workshop labs is necessary to enable skills for completing written unit assessment. Independent learning is required throughout the unit.
This unit is delivered twice in two different teaching periods.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.