Postgraduate taught 

Geoinformation Technology & Cartography MSc/PgDip/PgCert

Principles of Cartographic Design & Production GEOG5018

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Geographical and Earth Sciences
  • Credits: 10
  • Level: Level 5 (SCQF level 11)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

This course provides students with an introduction to the theoretical and practical aspects of map design and production.


Classes will be on one day of the week in the second ½ of semester 1.

Excluded Courses

GEOG5081 Cartographic Design, visualisation & map use

GEOG4064 Geovisualisation

GEOG4098 Cartographic Design


Examination 60%,

Continuous Assessment - portfolio of small exercises and reflective analysis 40%

Main Assessment In: December

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 small exercises forming the portfolio cannot be re-assessed.

Course Aims

To examine theoretical and practical aspects of map design and the visualisation of geographic information;
To describe
modern map production processes;
To develop skills in processing and presenting geospatial data.

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

On completing this unit students will be able to:

■ Describe the map design process;

■ Explain the classification of, and relationship between, phenomena, data and representation methods;

■ Critically analyse methods of portraying different types of geospatial data;

■ Explain the characteristics of colour, its measurement, description and use in cartography;

■ Describe the elements of map generalisation and discuss the development of automated methods;

■ Describe the particular problems of geographic names, typography and name arrangement in relation to maps;

■ Assess and apply relief depiction methods;

■ Describe materials and processes of modern map production & reproduction;

■ Design and produce maps using appropriate techniques.

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

  Attendance at all practical sessions and tutorials