Surveying MSc

Options: PG Diploma

This MSc is an intensive study of the technical, analytical, professional and managerial aspects of modern land surveying. The programme is designed to give students a broad range of experience in methods of spatial data acquisition, ranging from terrestrial survey equipment through close range and aerial photography to satellite surveying.

Mode of study

  • Full-time 1 year

Tuition fees

  • UK/EU Full-time: £10,450
  • Overseas Full-time: £21,700

Application date

  • All applicants: 1 August 2014

More details in Application section.

What will I learn?

Students are trained in the techniques and methodology of data acquisition, and develop skills to apply those techniques to specific problems and analyse the quality of results. Emphasis is placed on understanding the principles that underlie the analysis and use of spatial data, and on the acquisition of management skills.

Why should I study this degree at UCL?

UCL Civil, Environmental & Geomatic Engineering at UCL is an energetic and exciting environment in which to explore surveying.

Students have the advantages of studying at a multi-faculty college with a long tradition of excellence in teaching and research, situated within the heart of one of the world's greatest cities.

The Department has worked particularly closely with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) who have accredited this programme. This means that graduates of the programme will have met the RICS academic requirements for membership.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of six core modules (90 credits), two optional modules (30 credits), a field module (not credit bearing) and a research dissertation (60 credits).

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) is offered.

Compulsory Modules

  • Mapping Science
  • GIS Principles and Technology
  • Principles and Practices of Surveying
  • Data Analysis
  • Management/ Group Project
  • Positioning

Plus 2 Options:

  • Ocean and Coastal Zone Management
  • Terrestrial Data Acquisition
  • Airborne Data Acquisition
  • Hydrographic Applications
  • Geographic Information System Design
  • Research Methods


All students undertake an individual research project, often in collaboration with industrial partners, which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000–15,000 words.

Teaching and Learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, tutorials, seminars, practical work and field courses. Visits to government establishments and private companies may be organised in order to gain greater insight into current practice. Assessment is through written papers, coursework, the dissertation and an oral presentation.

Further details available on subject website:

Scholarships available for this department

Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS)

This scholarship is to assist prospective Master's students from developing Commonwealth countries who are of excellent academic calibre but for financial reasons would not otherwise be able to afford to study in the United Kingdom. Students must not have previously studied for one year or more in a developed country and must hold the equivalent of a UK first- or upper second-class undergraduate degree. Students must have applied to study one of the 10 eligible Master's programmes. Students must return to their home country on completion of their degree.

SPDC Niger Delta Postgraduate Scholarship

For prospective Master's students from the Nigerian Delta States. Students must be applying for the Chemical Process Engineering MSc, the Civil Engineering MSc or the Mechanical Engineering MSc, and must not have aleady had the chance of studying in the UK or another developed country. Students must not be current or former employees of SPDC, the Royal Dutch Shell Group of Companies or Wider Perspectives Ltd, or be a the relative of a current employee, and must intend to return to Nigeria after completion of the degree. These awards are based on intellectual ability and leadership potential.

Brown Family Bursary

This award is based on financial need.

R.C. Vaughan Bursary

Founded in 1976 by Dr K.K. Gupta as a memorial to Mr R.C. Vaughan who was a Lecturer and Senior Lecturer in the Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering from 1940 to 1952

Further information about funding and scholarships can be found on the Scholarships and funding website.

Entry requirements

A minimum of an upper second-class UK Bachelor's degree in a relevant discipline or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Acceptable degrees include geography, civil engineering, geology, mathematics, physics, and archaeology. Extensive work experience covering related areas will be considered. Formal qualifications in mathematics are not a prerequisite for entry to the programme but students are expected to have an aptitude for mathematical studies and if necessary to undertake revision prior to the start of the programme.

International equivalencies

Select your country for equivalent alternative requirements

English language proficiency level: Standard

How to apply

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

The deadline for applications is 1 August 2014.

Who can apply?

The programme is suitable for students from a variety of backgrounds who wish to develop the skills necessary for careers in the land survey profession, and for other areas that require a knowledge and understanding of the acquisition, processing, and analysis of spatial data.

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Surveying at graduate level
  • why you want to study Surveying at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to this programme
  • how your personal, academic and professional background meets the demands of a challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree
Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.


Surveying MSc graduates are to be found in surveying companies all over the world (e.g. Plowman Craven, Technics Group, Marshall Surveys and the Severn Partnership); others work within the surveying teams of major construction and transportation projects, either employed directly with organisations such as Network Rail, or working for contractors such as Jacobs and Skanska. Some graduates have found employment within emerging fields such as the development and exploitation of GNSS technology and laser scanning, or in research, or in the broad field of geomatics companies supporting the acquisition and processing of spatial data.

Top career destinations for this programme

  • Skanska, Tunnel Surveyor, 2011
  • Site Engineering Surveys, Site Engineer, 2011
  • Gleeds, Surveyor, 2009
  • Jacob's, Surveyor, 2009
  • Treasury Department, Civil Servant, 2009

Next steps


Miss Shani Crawford

T: +44 (0)20 3108 4046


Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering

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