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Geographic Information Systems 1 - Scientific Data, 7.5 Credits

Swedish name: Geografiska informationssystem 1 - naturvetenskapliga data

This syllabus is valid: 2018-12-31 and until further notice

Course code: 5GV083

Credit points: 7.5

Education level: First cycle

Main Field of Study and progress level: Earth Science/Physical Geography: First cycle, has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements

Grading scale: VG Pass with distinction, G Pass, U Fail

Established by: Faculty Board of Science and Technology, 2019-01-29


The objective of this course is to understand and use geographic information systems (GIS), using the software ArcGIS. This beginner course focuses on how to display, manipulate and create vector data (points, lines, polygons) and will introduce raster data (e.g., digital elevation models). The assignments will mainly use data from Sweden and Swedish coordinate systems and will focus on solving problems related to ecology and Earth science. There is also a strong focus on effectively communicating spatial data through maps.  

Expected learning outcomes

After completing the course, for the grade Passed, the student should be able to:
1 manipulate GIS-files with different coordinate systems
2 analyze vector data with accompanying attribute data
3 create and edit vector data
4 perform simple manipulations of raster data by georeferencing maps and manipulating digital elevation models
5 download and use GIS data from different sources6 Compile, interpret, and present spatial data in effective maps 

After completing the course, for the grade Passed with Distinction, the student, should be able to:
7 ndependently solve new problems within GIS

Required Knowledge

At least 30 ECTS credits in science or technology at university level, or equivalent knowledge. Proficiency in English equivalent to Swedish upper secondary course English A (IELTS (Academic) with a minimum overall score of 5.5 and no individual score below 5.0. TOEFL PBT (Paper-based Test) with a minimum total score of 530 and a minimum TWE score of 4. TOEFL iBT (Internet-based Test) with a minimum total score of 72 and a minimum score of 17 on the Writing Section).
Where the language of instruction is Swedish, applicants must prove proficiency in Swedish to the level required for basic eligibility for higher studies.

Form of instruction

The tuition is in the form of laborations and excercises on an internet platform.

Examination modes

Examination of the course is in the form of written presentation of smaller projects. The grades on these and the course as a whole, are Failed, Passed and Passed with distinction. For the grade Pass with Distinction, the student must also fulfill all expected study outcome for the grade Pass with Distinction. A student that has performed two test for a course or part of a course without getting the grade passed, has the right to get a new examiner appointed, if there are no particular reasons against it (HF 6 chapter 22§). The request for a new examiner is sent to the prefect for the department of ecology and environmental science. A student who has achieved a passed grade on an examination may not retake this examination in order to attampt to achieve a higer grade. To pass the whole course, all tests must be passed and compulsory parts performed. The grade on the course is a combined assessment of all the different parts of the examinations and is awarded when all compulsory parts are performed.

Students have the right to have their previous education or equivalent knowledge and skills acquired in the profession tested whether it can be credited for the corresponding course at Umeå University. Application for credit is submitted to the Student Centre / Examinations. For more information on credit transfer available on Umeå University's student web,, and the Higher Education Ordinance (Chapter 6). A refusal of accreditation may be appealed against (Higher Education Ordinance Chapter 12) to the University Appeals Board. This applies to the whole as well as part of the application if accreditation is refused.

Other regulations

In the event that the course plan ceases to apply or undergoes major changes, students are guaranteed at least three exam opportunities (including regular examinations) according to the rules in the syllabus that the student was originally registered for, for a maximum of two years from the date of expiry of the previous course plan or the course ends being offered.


Valid from: 2020 week 1

Material is provided by the department