This course examines the methods by which data can be stored, accessed and manipulated in order to provide high quality databases for GI Systems


This course examines the role of databases within the GI industry. It aims to enable participants to appreciate the need for database skills that are used in GIS applications. The course is interactive and discusses a range of spatial issues.. A range of database skills are introduced which equip the participant with knowledge of the potential and scope of databases within various applications. Participants will be introduced to a range of open source DBMS and GIS software including MySQL, PostgreSQL, PostGIS and Quantum GIS.

This course can be taken individually or combined over a period of time towards a Postgraduate Certificate of Professional Development https://www.ulster.ac.uk/courses/201819/postgraduate-certificate-of-professional-development-16046

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About this course

In this section


Central to the use of Geographic Information Systems (GIS) is the quality and storage of data. This short course examines the methods by which data can be stored, accessed and manipulated in order to provide high quality databases for GI Systems. Organisations may use a range of database systems to store data for analysis within the GIS and it is important that participants are aware of the widespread technologies deployed.

The aims of this course are to provide an understanding of the role of GIS databases and equip participants with the key concepts and skills required relating to database design, Structured Query

Language and manipulation of non-spatial and spatial data. Practical exercises allow the demonstration and exploration of concepts introduced, focusing on MySQL, PostgreSQL and PostGIS.

Linked programmes

PgDip/MSc Geographic Information Systems, PgCertPD Postgraduate Certificate of Professional Development,


100% Coursework – (1) Weekly Blog on a topic of interest to spatial datasets (5%), (2) Project Plan to provide an overview of the tables, data and software that will be used for the project (10%), (3) Project to produce a spatial database through SQL statements in either MySQL or PostgreSQL (60%) and (4) Online Test testing knowledge and understanding of course concepts (25%).


This course is delivered online for 6 weeksstarting 5 November 2018 with no on-campus attendance requirements.

Entry requirements

Applicants are generally expected to have a minimum 2.2 honours degree with a substantial component of geography, environmental science or computing.

Applicants with qualifications in other relevant disciplines or with academic qualifications below 2.2 honours will also be considered on individual merit. In such cases, previous experience of GIS and competence in day-to-day computing will be an advantage, and should be explained in detail on the application form.

English Language Requirements

Applicants whose first language is not English must meet the minimum English entrance requirements of the University and will need to provide recent evidence of this (certified within the last two years).

Most of our courses require a minimum English level of IELTS 6.0 or equivalent, with no band score under 5.5. Trinity ISE: Pass at level III also meets this requirement.

Please see details of the English language qualifications and certificates we can accept - https://www.ulster.ac.uk/__data/assets/pdf_file/0005/177404/Other-english-language-tests-and-qualifications-2017.pdf

International applicants will also require a short-term study visa. Further information is available at https://www.ulster.ac.uk/international/visa-immigration

Start dates

  • 5 November 2018
How to apply


How to apply

The following page explains the postgraduate short course application procedure:

https://www.ulster.ac.uk/apply/how-to-apply/short-courses (choose postgraduate short courses)

Start dates

  • 5 November 2018

Fees and funding

In this section


Northern Ireland & EU:
England, Scotland & Wales:

Fees information

Information about how to pay for a course including different payment options is available at https://www.ulster.ac.uk/finance/student/tuition-fees-payments

Scholarships, awards and prizes

Fee waivers may be available to those who meet the eligibility criteria. More information is available from FlexEd@ulster.ac.uk.


Email: FlexEd@ulster.ac.uk

Telephone: (+44) 028 9036 6680

For more information visit

Faculty of Life and Health Sciences

School of Environmental Sciences