Postgraduate taught 

Computational Geoscience MSc

Topographic Modelling and Landscape Monitoring GEOG5025

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 2
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

An introduction to Digital Elevation Modelling. Basic coverage of photogrammetric and remote sensing principles Monitoring  and modelling of landscape change.


All classes will normally be on one day of the week during the first half of semester 2 (normally Fridays)


GEOG 5019 Principles of GIS or equivalent


Assessment is based on a research briefing note  (30%) and a report on a computer practical exercise (70%).

Main Assessment In: April/May

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 


The coursework exercise cannot be repeated.

Course Aims

To introduce the production of Digital Elevation Models

To introduce the fundamentals of traditional and Structure form Motion Multi View Stereo photogrammetry

To introduce selected principles and applications of Remote Sensing

To introduce the acquisition of data using Unmanned Aerial Vehicles

To give practical skills in using topographic information for monitoring and mapping the landscape and landscape change.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ Assess data sources for digital terrain modelling.

■ Discuss the applications of topographic mapping and digital terrain models.

■ Evaluate and compare algorithms for creating digital terrain and surface models from different types of data.

■ Describe and evaluate the concepts and models used in digital terrain and surface modelling.

■ Explain the principles of LiDAR and critically assess its use for Digital Elevation Model generation.

■ Explain the flowline for Digital Elevation Model production using Structure from Motion Multi View Stereo.

■ Apply methods for visualising Digital Elevation Model data.

■ Critically assess the use of topographic information in monitoring and mapping landscape change.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Attendance at all practical sessions