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School of Geography, Planning, and Spatial Sciences

Within the School of Geography, Planning, and Spatial Sciences we focus on complex human-environment interrelations, across scales from the within the household to the entire globe.

Through the study of places, landscapes, and regions, geographers and spatial scientists tackle problems such as food and energy security, economic inequality, biodiversity conservation, and climate change.

Our strength is our ability to fuse insights from natural and social sciences, and to choose information and skills from a range of areas to find solutions to complex problems. At the heart of Geography, Planning, and Spatial Sciences are some of today’s most pressing questions:

  • What is the best way to measure, map and manage our planet and infrastructure as it is shaped by human action and natural processes? These are the domain of surveyors and spatial scientists.
  • How does the structure of a city (compact or sprawling) and distribution of green-space (e.g. parks and gardens) shape loneliness, feelings of isolation, and poor mental health outcomes? This is a question being answered by urban geographers.
  • Why are some habitats well-protected and cherished whereas the same habitat on the other side of a border – in a different country of different state – is severely environmentally degraded? This is a question being answered by biogeographers and environmental managers.

Why study Geography, Planning, and Spatial Sciences with us?

Geography, Planning, and Spatial Sciences teaching programs provide globally relevant learning through a distinctive, place-based curriculum that takes advantage of the unique attributes of Tasmania. Our unique World Heritage Wilderness Areas, and diverse island places provide a rich living laboratory in which to study biodiversity, geodiversity, and urban and regional communities.

Our programs include focused undergraduate degrees such as the Bachelor of Natural Environments & Conservation or the Bachelor of Surveying & Spatial Sciences and opportunities to tailor your degree, majoring in Geography & Environment through the Bachelor of Science, and the Bachelor of Arts. Honours programs are available to extend your knowledge and expertise.

For those interested in graduate study, Masters programs are available in planning, environmental protection and management. There are postgraduate Research Higher Degree opportunities to work alongside our high-calibre researchers and academics.

You’ll learn from people who are experts in the areas they teach. To ensure lessons stay relevant, they maintain strong relationships with industry, professional associations, other academics and government.

You'll gain the skills and learn the tools employed by the School including, GPS (global positioning system), geographic information systems (GIS), remote sensing (satellite and drone technology), and quantitative and qualitative techniques in both the field and desktop.

Our programs lead to meaningful careers across a wide range of complex issues that will help move our communities towards sustainable environmental and social outcomes.

Learning in the uniquely Tasmanian outdoors

10 years after finishing high school, Gemma realised her passion for the environment and the outdoors, and decided to relocate to Tasmania to learn more through the Bachelor of Natural Environment and Wilderness Studies.

50 years of Spatial Science

This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of Spatial Science at the University of Tasmania.

What Careers relate to Geography, Planning, and Spatial Sciences?

Geography, Planning, and Spatial Sciences offers professionally accredited programs in planning and surveying, as well as undergraduate majors in the Bachelor of Arts and the Bachelor of Science, and degrees in Natural Environment and Conservation, Environmental Management, and Protected Area Planning. Graduates from Geography, Planning, and Spatial Sciences programs are in-demand professionally around the world. Career destinations for graduates include:

  • Surveyor
  • Spatial analyst
  • Town planner
  • Environmental manager
  • Remote sensing technician
  • Coastal manager
  • Energy planner
  • Urban manager
  • Sustainability officer
  • Conservation planner

Our Geography, Planning, and Spatial Sciences Research

Our research is world-leading, building on decades of pioneering research in Geography, Environment and Spatial Sciences. We undertake research addressing problems of direct societal significance by harnessing the value of spatial data and integrating with human geography, physical geography, and environmental studies.

Our ideas, and the new knowledge that flows from them, influence scientists, industry and policymakers globally and makes a difference locally. Our past and present scholars have helped establish the global permaculture movement, the world’s first green political party, the scientific basis for establishing Tasmania’s World Heritage Areas, novel drone technology for understanding our changing planet, and the first agreed estimate of Greenland and Antarctica’s contribution to sea-level change.

Watch: Matt King talks about research in Geography and Spatial Sciences