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GIS Postgrad - UCC and Maynooth

  • #1
    Registered Users Posts: 107 ✭✭ Demosthenes


    Hi all,

    I'm considering my options for returning to college to do a postgrad. I have a an arts degree in Outdoor Education and Leisure with Geography, with a minor module in GIS (all ARCmap based) undertaken in my final year.

    The sector interests me but I'm not entirely sure how well this module I've done has prepared me for the course. I reckon I'm good with computers although have no real college background in the area.

    Has anyone out there any recent experiences in these courses in UCC or NUIM? Or have any knowledge of alternative courses? Most importantly, would I be able walk in knowing the basics of ARCmap and keep-up with the course or would I be at a disadvantage?


Comments



  • I did the Maynooth one and I cannot recommend it.

    Here is why:

    First, the structured programming it on before the year actually starts, but the didn't tell me this until about 2 weeks before so I missed out. Was intensive and about a week long.
    Spatial databases was on one day a week. I didn't do it, but of my classmates who did, told me that the 'lecturer' just handed them a book, didn't speak to them and that was about it. Not sure if anyone actually finished it.
    Digital Image Processing - lecturer was awful (and is no longer there). They use a program called Erdas and the actual handbook they teach you is the original stuff from the company, which is a few years out of date (one of the lads worked with them for a spell and told us). In the two hour lecture, the 'lecturer' would come in late, tell us she was getting a coffee, come back about an hour later and listen to music on her computer.
    Remote sensing - Lecturer knows his stuff, but he is a cranky a$$, can be rude, short tempered and don't always give a full lecture. Usually says, sure you can read that later while running through his slides. Though, he'll sell you his remote sensing book for a discount, which is actually ok.
    GIS in Practice was painful. Lecturer stated he hated ArcGIS (which we were getting taught) and never used it. He favoured QGIS and liked to talk about coding and little else.

    Only useful guy was the course director, who was only there for part of our year. He did actually teach and did so quite well. He did an Intro to GIS class and was interested in what he did. If you did a module in GIS already you'd fly this.


    UCC is heavier on the coding end and had a thesis IIRC. I worked with two girls who were doing it and I remember them saying the had to take time off work to go back to Cork for it. However, that's all I can tell you on that.




  • Mod snip.




  • I'm pretty sure I did the same degree as yourself (it's the only one in the country I think) and I went on and did the masters in UCC.

    It was very intensive in terms of workload but I found it fine for the most part. Don't expect to have much free time until the summer when you're doing the dissertation. You'll definitely be ok with the GIS side of things I think but the remote sensing is a lot more technical and requires some maths.

    There is a computer programming (python) module, but it's only for the first half of the year, I found it very easy but I had done a bit of programming before and the module only teaches the basics as if you had no done any before. Some people struggled with the module a little though. You could get a head start on it by doing the free beginners python course on code academy.

    The dissertation is only s difficult as the topic you decide to do it on, you'll have a much easier time if you focus on a GIS topic than a remote sensing one. I did a remote sensing one though as I found that side of things a ot more interesting. You also have the option of not doing the dissertation and walking away with a higher diploma instead of a masters

    If you're decent with computers you should be fine overall. From what I've heard of the Maynooth one it's a bit less technical and the workload is a good bit lighter in terms of number of assignments.

    How did you find the GIS module in outdoor ed? If you thought it was very easy then I woldn't worry too much, though it only barely touches on some of the stuff you'll be doing.




  • Apologies for the late reply I'm currently travelling so it can be tricky to get on here at times.

    This is all more info than I could have expected - cheers Maldesu and Mickeroo. I've my application sent in to UCC so fingers crossed.

    @Mickeroo I found the module to be pretty easy and if I did any more than the classic outdoor ed bare minimum I could have pulled off near full marks I reckon. My only worry is the programming - my only experience here is a Python module done in NUIG that I didn't really pay much attention to before bailing on the course I was studying. I think with a bit of focus though I could maybe have a head for it.

    Out of interest, did you go on to use the qualification in a professional context? As in was employment in Ireland easy to find for the majority of the class?




  • Apologies for the late reply I'm currently travelling so it can be tricky to get on here at times.

    This is all more info than I could have expected - cheers Maldesu and Mickeroo. I've my application sent in to UCC so fingers crossed.

    @Mickeroo I found the module to be pretty easy and if I did any more than the classic outdoor ed bare minimum I could have pulled off near full marks I reckon. My only worry is the programming - my only experience here is a Python module done in NUIG that I didn't really pay much attention to before bailing on the course I was studying. I think with a bit of focus though I could maybe have a head for it.

    Out of interest, did you go on to use the qualification in a professional context? As in was employment in Ireland easy to find for the majority of the class?

    Sorry for the delay, hadn't looked in here in a good while.

    If you've done a bit of python then you'll be fine as, unless they've changed the course much since I finished 2 years ago the only programming you'll be doing is a very basic python module that is pretty much aimed at folks who have never programmed, I think I got about 90% in it in the end and as I say it only ran for half the year.

    Regards work, there are jobs out there but mostly looking for experienced folks I'm afraid. Having said that a fair few of my classmates are working and mostly in Ireland too. There's also loads of work outside of Ireland if you're willing to travel, even in the UK the amount of GIS jobs going is huge compare to here. I'm not in a position to move abroad at the moment but if you are then you'll be flying.


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