Available in 2022
Course code



10 units


6000 level

Course handbook


Due to rapid growth of easily accessible high-quality spatial data, Geographic Information Systems (GIS) are widely used by private sector, government agencies and research organisations to assist with resource and environmental management decision making. This course provides students with an introduction to spatial science and its applications in land and water management, climate science, geoscience, biodiversity studies, planning and social research. The aims of this course are to introduce the principles and theories of GIS and remote sensing and develop practical skills in obtaining, interpreting, analysing and developing spatial datasets. The practical component is implemented through a series of computer laboratories that use real world examples from the earth, environmental and life sciences.



  • Trimester 1 - 2022

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Interpret and explain the principles of geographic information systems (GIS) and formulate a workflow for solving a spatial problem.

2. Interpret and explain the principles of remote sensing and digital image processing techniques.

3. Apply a range of remote sensing and GIS techniques to evaluate and solve spatial problems in the earth, environmental and life sciences.

4. Use image processing and GIS software.


  • Principles of GIS
  • Data input, processing and manipulation
  • Querying datasets and spatial modelling
  • Principles of aerial photography and satellite remote sensing
  • Sensor types and platforms
  • Digital image processing
  • Application in the earth, environmental and life sciences

Assumed knowledge

Students taking this course must be reasonably experienced using computers and know how to use Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Office (Word and Excel), understand file paths and folder structures, know how to save and back up work.

Assessment items

Written Assignment: Short essay responses

Tutorial / Laboratory Exercises: Written assessment based on laboratory exercises

Quiz: Online quizzes based on lecture material and lab exercises

Contact hours



Online 4 hour(s) per Week for 6 Weeks starting in week 1


Online 4 hour(s) per Week for 6 Weeks starting in week 1

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.