The Spatial Sysems major can be studied through both the Bachelor of Science and the Bachelor of Design.

Spatial Systems is the study of the science and technology of 3D measurement, mapping and visualisation. Spatial Systems is about spatial information – capturing, analysing, managing and presenting it.

Spatial information is an essential and indispensible part of any economy's infrastructure. It is needed in all walks of life and on many scales, with applications including land tenure systems, environmental modelling, food production, disaster management, health and artificial intelligence. It is one of the fastest-growing IT industries.

The major in Spatial Systems is a hands-on course that gives you the opportunity to acquire skills in modern, sophisticated technologies such as the Global Positioning System (GPS), 3D computer visualisations, Geographic Information Systems (GIS), surveying, and satellite and photographic image processing.

This major can lead to the Master of Engineering (Geomatics), and professional registration as an engineer.

Applicants for this major must have completed Units 3 and 4 Mathematical Methods or equivalent.


If you complete this major and the Master of Engineering (Geomatics) at Melbourne, you could pursue a career as an engineer, and be suited to local and international opportunities in the government and private sectors in the following areas:

  • Consulting
  • Engineering
  • Environmental science
  • Mapping.

Career pathways may include surveying, geographic information systems (GIS), environmental management, and computing.

Subjects you could take in this major

  • AIMS

    This subject will focus on how risk analysis and management principles and techniques can be applied to engineering projects. The subject introduces a range of risk analysis techniques, which are put in the context of engineering projects and analysed using the framework of the risk standard (AS/NZS ISO 31000:2009). Risk is a fundamental concept that is applied to every engineering project, whether it is ascertaining the risk of health impacts of water treatment processes, prevention of loss of life by flood mitigation projects, or catastrophic losses caused by the failure of structure in earthquakes or storms.
    The subject is of particular relevance to students wishing to establish a career in Engineering management, but is also of relevance to a range of engineering design disciplines where design for the total life cycle of the product or infrastructure should be considered.


    Topics covered include: an introduction to the history of engineering failures; the forms of risk and risk identification; project risk analysis; the sociological implications of acceptable risk; approaches to risk management, monitoring for compliance, risk perception and design implications.

  • AIMS

    This subject will introduce students to the use of imagery in the mapping of both human and natural environments. Imagery is often the cheapest way to gain spatial information about the environment, especially for large areas, but analysis and interpretation of the data requires sophisticated techniques. Usually the light or other electromagnetic radiation being emitted or reflected from the surface being imaged needs to be interpreted into another variable of interest, such as the type of vegetation on the surface. Once interpreted, the information must be communicated to others; usually in the form of maps or reports.

    This subject builds on a student’s knowledge of the physical and built environment relevant to their discipline and allows them to interpret and communicate that knowledge. On completion of the subject students should have the skills to perform routine image analysis tasks in the workplace using industry standard software. This subject partners with others to the Spatial Systems majors of the undergraduate science and environments degrees to allow the student to progress to the Master of Engineering (Spatial) or to enter the workforce in a paraprofessional role.


    • Image interpretation basics
    • Image acquisition and formation
    • Fundamentals of image processing and measurement
    • Both aerial photography and satellite imagery will be used to illustrate the techniques of measurement and interpretation by which both spatial position and semantic content can be extracted from image data.
  • AIMS

    Solutions to environmental dilemmas that face us in the 21st century require an integrated, multi-disciplinary approach. This subject, delivered in the final semester of the Bachelor of Environments, provides a basis for students to integrate and apply the knowledge they have gained throughout their studies in different disciplines to solve real world problems.

    The project will provide opportunities to apply knowledge of fundamental concepts, theory, and applications in core areas of positioning technologies and measurement integration, GIS, distributed spatial computing and mapping, web mapping, and location-based services. The application of these skills will be undertaken during a 4 day field work programme at the Dookie Campus.

    The subject will also provide ample opportunity for the students to gain experience and skills in how to perform a real-world, client-driven, interdisciplinary project, including important communication and organizational skills.

    This subject will have a 4 day residential field work at the Dookie Campus during the Semester 2 mid semester break. This field work is compulsory for all students.


    Project management, scientific communication, data collection and management, map design, GPS surveying

  • AIMS

    In this subject students will learn about systems of land administration to support sustainable land management. Emphasis will be placed on land information infrastructures that facilitate social, environmental and economic functions of land. International good practices of land administration will be introduced along with technical and institutional lessons learnt from developing and developed countries. The subject is of particular relevance to students wishing to establish a career in surveying, spatial information, civil and environmental engineering, property management, urban planning but is also relevant to a range of disciplines where land and land information should be considered. This subject forms one of the four required subjects for a student to graduate with a major in Spatial Systems in the Bachelor of Science and Bachelor of Environments. It also leads to further study in masters courses.


    Concept of land; evolution of land administration systems; land administration as a development strategy for economic growth and poverty reduction; the cadastral concept and legal, fiscal, multi-purpose and marine cadastres; cadastral surveying and mapping; land registration; rights, restrictions and responsibilities related to land in the context of informal, formal and customary tenures; cadastral systems in developing countries including informal cadastres, customary tenures; relevant international declarations and statements concerned with land administration; cadastral reform; land administration 'tool box'; institutional arrangements supporting land administration; spatial data infrastructures; digital cadastral databases; modelling, designing and evaluating cadastral and land administration systems; land markets and their relationship to planning, valuation and cadastre; access to land information; land administration and spatial information systems.

Entry requirements & Prerequisites

This major is available through more than one course, both of which have their own separate entry requirements.

You can read more on the the

Bachelor of Design&Bachelor of Science&Bachelor of Science Extended