UCL Home

MRes Advanced Spatial Analysis & Visualisation

Overview

MRes ASAV PDF leaflet - click to download

The MRes in Advanced Spatial Analysis and Visualisation at UCL Centre for Advanced Spatial Analysis (CASA) started in September 2011. The course is designed to reflect the latest developments in spatial data analysis and visualisation reflecting CASA's reputation in the fields of geographic, urban and architectural information systems. This innovative course provides an exciting opportunity to study at UCL with an MRes acting as a pathway to a PhD or further career in Advanced Spatial Analysis and Visualisation (ASAV). 

CASA is concerned with the development of research in emerging computer technologies in several disciplines dealing with geography, space, location and the built environment. This interdisciplinary research centre draws expertise from the fields of archaeology, architecture, cartography, computer science, environmental science, geography, geomatic engineering, planning, remote sensing and transport studies. CASA is a department within the Bartlett Faculty of the Built Environment and often has associated students in other departments. This structure generates a unique blend of knowledge forming the core of the MRes ASAV.

Programme objectives

The MRes is unique in its focus on complexity, modelling, mapping and visualisation, pulling together the latest research in urban form, functionality and communication. Recent changes in the rise of web-based technologies and the development of low cost yet complex visualisation and analysis packages have generated a notable change in the demand for more traditional vendor-specific information systems and computer-aided design courses.

The MRes ASAV reflects this change with a look towards Web 3.0 (Read, Write, Execute) technologies and methods to deliver skills required for current/future professionals and policy makers engaged in spatially related projects.

The programme aims to provide training in the principles and skills of social and spatial research. Its aims include a strong understanding of qualitative and quantitative research methodology and methods of data collection and analysis to support and enable independent and group research projects. 

Structure

This is an interdisciplinary course designed to raise awareness of new task-specific software and techniques that have emerged as part of what may be termed the 'Web Revolution'. CASA has been at the forefront of the changes that have impacted the way we share, communicate and distribute information, specifically information relating directly to geographic and spatial entities.

These changes have steadily emerged since the mid 1990s and it is clear that location and space now represent a third force in information technology besides more traditional computer and communication science. These changes are reflected within the interlinked laboratory research-based student projects (specifically a group visualisation project and the MRes dissertation), with data collection focused on 'remote data mining' rather than field work in the traditional planning/geographical/architectural sense. Indeed, these research-led skills are increasingly becoming a key element in shaping our understanding of complex spatial functions.

The course runs full time over 12 months starting late September, a part-time option over is available which is typically completed within 2 years, but can be spread over 5. The taught element of the full-time course is usually delivered on two days per week, for part-time study this is limited to one day per week.

Content

The MRes comprises six mandatory modules which equate to 180 credits in total.  Days/ times below will be confirmed in August.

Communication Skills [15 credits] - Term 1 Wednesday 10-12pm

This module is run by CASA and the UCL Energy Institute and is offered to MRes students across the faculty. The module focusses on the skills of academic communication: critical reading, writing, citation, presentation, public engagement and rapid dissemination (blogging and social media). The course is structured around a series of workshops to give students crucial feedback and advice on their written work and outputs.

GI Systems and Science [15 credits] - Term 1 Wednesday 1-4pm

GI Systems and Science aims to equip students with an understanding of the principles underlying the conception, representation/measurement and analysis of spatial phenomena. It presents an overview of the core organising concepts and techniques of Geographic Information Systems, and the software and analysis systems that are integral to their effective deployment in advanced spatial analysis.

Knowledge Power: The Fundamentals of Research [15 credits] - Term 1 Thursday 4-6pm

Knowledge Power introduces the students to routes beyond traditional disciplines to explore core interdisciplinary skills relating to the notions of superconcepts and methodologies on new ways to undertake research. Knowledge Power focuses on a series of key themes and challenges: the knowledge challenge; the knowledge space; beyond disciplines: systems and superconcepts; knowledge development; requisite knowledge; knowledge power and universities; employers in the knowledge economy; and knowledge power: a sea change?

Group Project: Digital Visualisation [30 credits] - Terms 2 & 3 Wednesday 10-1pm

This module introduces students to methods of visualisation and data mining within the geospatial domain. Developed as a group project, the module aims to provide an understanding of the juxtaposition between research, data capture and data display methodologies. It is designed to build upon the taught sections of the course to develop initial research questions for the dissertation. Project assessment will be on a group basis.

Dissertation  [90 credits] - Term 2 Wednesday 3-4pm, self study during Summer

The dissertation is based around the writing and preparation of an original research project in the form of a master's dissertation. Students will be required to plan the research their dissertation from an early stage, with ongoing development building on both the mini-project and taught courses developed through the year. The research topic will be defined under the guidance of your dissertation supervisor with the support of the course director. The aim is to produce a unique piece of work with an emphasis on data collection, analysis and visualisation linked to policy and social science orientated applications.

Spatial Modelling and Simulation [15 credits] - Term 2 Thursday 4-6pm

This module introduces students to the theory, principles and applications of mathematical and computer modelling as applied to cities. It will be based on five unified themes: an introduction to definitions of models as they relate to the philosophy of science; the model-building process involving calibration and prediction; types of urban models ranging from land use transportation models, microsimulation, discrete choice, cellular automata and agent-based models (ABM); the exploration of two specific types of model, namely land use transportation; and cellular automata ABM.

Part-time study

A recommended route for part-time study within 2 years is:

Year 1

Term 1 Wednesday 10-12pm: Communication Skills [15 credits]

Term 1 Wednesday 1-4pm: GI Systems and Science [15 credits]

Term 2 Thursday 4-6pm: Spatial Modelling and Simulation [15 credits]

Year 2

Term 1 Thursday 4-6pm: Knowledge Power: The Fundamentals of Research [15 credits]

Term 2 Wednesday 10-1pm: Group Project: Digital Visualisation [30 credits]

Term 2 Wednesday 3-4pm, self study during Summer: Dissertation [90 credits]

Term 3 Wednesday 10-1pm: Group Project: Digital Visualisation continued [30 credits]

Staff

Programme Director

Dr Andrew Hudson-Smith
View Andrew's profile
Send Andrew a message

Course Co-ordinator

Dr Martin Zaltz-Austwick
View Martin's profile
Send Martin a message

Staff teaching on the programme currently include

Professor Sir Alan Wilson
View Alan's profile
Send Alan a message

Professor Michael Batty
View Mike's profile
Send Mike a message

Dr Martin Zaltz-Austwick
View Martin's profile
Send Martin a message

Dr Hannah Fry
View Hannah's profile
Send Hannah a message

Dr Adam Dennett
View Adam's profile
Send Adam a message

Dr Elsa Arcaute
View Elsa's profile
Send Elsa a message

Teaching and Learning Administrator

Lisa Cooper
Send Lisa a message



Applying

To apply online, please visit this UCL Admissions page and select the course mode and year you are interested in.

The course code for the MRes in Advanced Spatial Analysis & Visualisation is TMRASAAVIS01

Prior qualifications

Students are required to have a minimum of a 2:1 or equivalent degree from a recognised institution and be a proficient English language speaker.

Contact

If you wish to discuss this course or have any other questions please contact Lisa Cooper in the first instance.

Opportunities

In addition to focusing on research skills, subject-specific modules provide students with the opportunity to develop an excellence in spatial analysis with the skill set to engage with and contribute to the current debates in urban and spatial continuums.

Fees

UCL publishes its Postgraduate Research Fee Schedule annually, see here.

The fees for our MRes [programme code TMRASAAVIS01] starting in September 2013 are as follows:

Full-time (UK/EU students) - £6,000
Full-time (Overseas students) - £17,250

Part-time study is charged on the basis of credits taken in each academic year.  The full MRes course is made up of 180 credits and each module is weighted by credit values.  If 45 credits were taken in Year One, then 25% of the Full-time course fee would be payable in year one.

Installments

Self paying students enrolling at the start of session can pay fees in 2 instalments. 50% due at enrolment (or by 31st October) and 50% due by the following 1st February.

Flexible / Modular study

Our MRes is available to study part-time on a flexible modular basis over any duration between 2 and 5 years, making it an ideal choice for professionals seeking further study alongside work commitments.

Because the class contact time is restricted to only 2 days per week for full-time students, a part-time route can be followed with minimum study leave required.

There are 6 modules on our MRes and with modular study, you are able to select which modules you will take each year.  Each module has a different credit rating, and generally only runs over one term - all you pay for is the credit value of the module you are taking.

Term 1 - Wednesday AM
Communication Skills
15 credits (£500)
Term 1 - Wednesday PM
GI Systems and Science
15 credits (£500)
Term 1 - Thursday PM
Knowledge Power
15 credits (£500)
Term 2 - Wednesday AM
Digital Visualisation
30 credits (£1000)
Term 3 - Wednesday AM Digital Visualisation cont'd
included in above
Term 2 - Thursday PM
Spatial Modelling
15 credits (£500)
Final Year
Dissertation 90 credits (£3,000)

Some suggested options for modular study over various periods are shown below.

5 year suggested route:

Year 1
   
Term 1 - Wednesday PM
GI Systems and Science
15 credits (£500)
    Total £500
Year 2
   
Term 1 - Wednesday AM
Communication Skills
15 credits (£500)
    Total £500
Year 3
   
Term 1 - Thursday PM
Knowledge Power
15 credits (£500)
Term 2 - Thursday PM
Spatial Modelling
15 credits (£500)
    Total £1,000
Year 4
   
Term 2 - Wednesday AM
Digital Visualisation
30 credits (£1,000)
Term 3 - Wednesday AM Digital Visualisation cont'd
included in above
    Total £1,000
Year 5
   
Final Year
Dissertation 90 credits (£3,000)
    Total £3,000

2 year suggested route:

Year 1
   
Term 1 - Wednesday AM
Communication Skills
15 credits (£500)
Term 1 - Wednesday PM
GI Systems and Science
15 credits (£500)
Term 2 - Thursday PM
Spatial Modelling
15 credits (£500)
    Total £1,500
Year 2
   
Term 1 - Thursday PM
Knowledge Power
15 credits (£500)
Term 2 - Wednesday AM
Digital Visualisation
30 credits (£1,000)
Term 3 - Wednesday AM Digital Visualisation cont'd
included in above
Final Year
Dissertation 90 credits (£3,000)
    Total £4,500

Alumni

CASA recruits high-calibre students from a wide range of educational and professional backgrounds. This page shows profiles provided by our graduates showcasing some of their work after CASA.

Jack Harrison, MRes ASAV 2011-2012

Jack Harrison

Hi! My name is Jack Harrison, and I completed the CASA MRes Advanced Spatial Analysis and Visualisation course last year as part of its inaugural 2011/12 run. Since handing in my dissertation in September last year I've been working as a Product Developer at the Ordnance Survey, where I help to prototype new data products and services for the business. We use a wide range of changing and new technologies in our team, and the culture of experimentation & novel ideas at CASA was a great foundation for this way of working.


One of my current side projects is an end-to-end Twitter streaming analysis platform using open-source software like MongoDB and D3.js - you can follow its progress through tutorials on my blog or via its GitHub repo. I tweet regularly at @jhrrsn and I'm happy to answer any questions about the MRes, OS or spatial/visualisation queries in general!

Flora Roumpani, MRes ASAV 2011-2012

flora

I am Flora Roumpani and I was part of the 2011-2012 CASA MRes in Advanced Spatial Analysis and Visualization. Before joining CASA, I studied architecture engineering in the University of Patras in Greece and later on I worked as a Planner for 4 years. I was always interested in the future of the city, virtual environments and exploring the ways in which cities evolve, which is why in my MRes dissertation I worked on the development of urban modelling theories within interactive 3D enviroments. I am continuing my studies as a PHD student here at CASA UCL and you can take a look at my research blog at en-topia.blogspot.co.ukhttp://en-topia.blogspot.co.uk/. Please feel free to contact me at twitter @en_topia or send me an e-mail