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Boost your career and make your data work for you

Boost your career and take control of your data

This fully online, three-year, part-time Master’s is ideally suited for busy professionals interested in taking their careers to the next level.

Data doesn’t only exist in databases. Satellites, social media and IoT sensors make it possible to collect data – including essential spatial information – from multiple sources. But it is only when these data are assembled into a clear, understandable map that swift analysis and useable insights become possible.

Whether you need to track specific behaviours or events or create entire ‘digital twins’ of a region, the UNIGIS Master’s gives you all the skills you need to turn data into decisions.

How can solar panels ideally be placed, given the angle and orientation of rooftops in a certain neighbourhood? How do you ensure accessibility to public spaces during a global pandemic in which people need to maintain 1.5-metre distance from each other? And how can you track the spread of the virus in a community or country? What impact do a brick-and-mortar store’s location and resident demographics have on online shopping habits? What areas of a region are most prone to flooding, or most suitable for agriculture or development?

These are only a few of the many questions that GIS can help you answer. The programme will enrich your career and offer you new opportunities for growth and success.

During the programme, you will not only learn how to build complex, multi-dimensional maps based on data, but also how to analyse the information these maps provide and use it to make effective decisions. You’ll work independently, yet with the support of a small group of fellow professionals and a dedicated staff with extensive GIS experience. The staff will closely monitor your progress and help you overcome any challenges.

As part of the global UNIGIS network, the GIS Master’s at VU Amsterdam is one of only two of its kind in all of Europe. Our membership in UNIGIS International offers you the opportunity to take online courses from other UNIGIS universities.

You will be able to apply what you’ve learned to your current professional role. By learning Big Data management strategies and sustainable, secure, stored data solutions, you will develop into a reflective practitioner, instead of just a number-cruncher. You will, therefore, become an insightful professional with a helicopter view of your area of focus, able to analyse, predict and contribute to development.

The start date of this programme is September 1st.

Year 1

The first year of your part-time, online Master’s programme begins with four required core modules (20EC).
These modules will give you a thorough grounding in relevant GIS concepts, methods and tools, and a view into the most recent developments in the field.
You will receive fundamental training in the different elements of GIS.
• Geovisualisation
• Geoprocessing
• Geodatabases
• Geodata capture, standards and quality
The year ends with a workshop in which you will apply and integrate what you’ve learned to solve a contemporary and relevant case for a client organisation.
If you wish, you may conclude your GIS study at the end of this year and will be awarded a certificate of completion for the courses.

Year 2

Year 2 (20 EC) is when you can tailor your GIS degree to suit your specific interests or professional goals. Choose from several electives related to specific techniques or areas of application.


Your second year is all about innovation and revolution. You’ll use both conventional and brand-new GIS concepts to complete hands-on work on both the front end and the back end. From scripting, web viewer configuration and remote sensors to evaluating how your analysis and visualisations have impacted your business or organisation. In short, Year 2 is when the rubber hits the road.
The year ends with a Capstone project in which you will either professionally reflect on a new GIS trend, or develop a research proposal for your thesis.


If you wish, you can conclude your GIS study at the end of this year, and receive a diploma in GIS for completing this level of study.

Year 3

In your third year, you will focus entirely on your Master’s (MSc) thesis. In it, you will apply what you have learned and make your own contribution to the development or application of GIS in your field of work.


If you successfully complete all three years of this part-time programme, you will receive your Master’s in Geographical Information Sciences from VU Amsterdam, a highly respected European research institution.

Change your future with the Geographical Information Sciences programme

Change your future with the Geographical Information Sciences programme

After completing this Master’s programme, you will have skills and tools that are applicable across a wide range of in-demand positions. You can immediately put them into practice in your day-to-day professional work.

Whether you are a Market Analyst for a retail chain, an urban or rural City Planner, a Data Manager for an NGO or a Consultant for local or national agriculture legislators, the GIS knowledge and skills you acquire in this Master’s programme will help you analyse data and create physical, tangible maps to tell your story clearly and convincingly. You will make more informed decisions, based on better data. You will, therefore, become an invaluable member of your project team.

From sustainability to crowd control, from global pandemics to food security. From market domination to land preservation and from health crises to financial opportunities: knowing how location data impacts the crucial decisions we make is the key to unlocking the potential for a better future.

Explore your future prospects