Unit description

This unit gives conceptual background and hands on experience with Geographical Information Systems (GIS), introducing and applying fundamental concepts of GIS, spatial data and spatial analysis. Students experience, via the use of industry standard GIS software, how GIS is used to store, analyse, visualise and communicate patterns of  spatial information. Applications in environmental science and management are explored and a key component of the unit is the completion of a student designed GIS analysis.

Unit content

  • Introduction to GIS
  • Maps and spatial information
  • Maps and spatial data models
  • Getting data into a GIS
  • Spatial data management
  • Basic analysis of data in a GIS
  • Topographic analysis and data visualisation
  • Environmental modelling: GIS in the real world
  • Current trends in GIS

Learning outcomes

Unit Learning Outcomes express learning achievement in terms of what a student should know, understand and be able to do on completion of a unit. These outcomes are aligned with the graduate attributes. The unit learning outcomes and graduate attributes are also the basis of evaluating prior learning.

Learning outcomes and graduate attributes

Prescribed texts

Session 2

  • Bolstad, P., 2016, GIS Fundamentals A first text on Geographic Information Systems, 5th, Eider Press, White Bear Lake, Minnesota. ISBN: 978-1-50669-587-7.
Prescribed texts may change in future study periods.

Teaching and assessment


Teaching method
Lecture on-site 2 hrs (11 weeks)
Laboratory session 2 hrs (11 weeks)
Practical skills30%
Project proposal20%
Project report30%


Teaching method
Structured online learning 2 hrs (11 weeks)
Residential session 3 days (1 week)
Practical skills30%
Project proposal20%
Project report30%

Intensive offerings may or may not be scheduled in every session. Please refer to the timetable for further details.

Southern Cross University employs different teaching methods within units to provide students with the flexibility to choose the mode of learning that best suits them. SCU academics strive to use the latest approaches and, as a result, the learning modes and materials may change. The most current information regarding a unit will be provided to enrolled students at the beginning of the study session.

Fee information


Commonwealth Supported courses
For information regarding Student Contribution Amounts please visit the Student Contribution Amounts.
Commencing 2016 Commonwealth Supported only. Student contribution band: 2

Fee paying courses
For POSTGRADUATE or UNDERGRADUATE full fee paying courses please check Domestic Postgraduate Fees OR Domestic Undergraduate Fees


Please check the international course and fee list to determine the relevant fees.