This MSc is an intensive study of the technical, analytical and professional aspects of modern land surveying. The programme gives students a broad range of experience in methods of spatial data acquisition, with a curriculum that includes exposure to terrestrial survey equipment (levels, total stations and laser scanners), close range sensors, aerial imagery and GNSS techniques.

Key Information

Modes and duration

  • Full-time: 1 year

Tuition Fees (2015/16)

£10,765 (FT)
£22,350 (FT)

Application deadlines

All applicants:
31 July 2015
Optional qualifications: This degree is also available as a PG Diploma with fees set accordingly.

Entry Requirements

The minimum entry requirements are a good second class honours degree in a cognate subject or related discipline from a UK university or the equivalent from an overseas institution. Acceptable degrees include geography, civil engineering, geology, mathematics, physics, and archaeology. Extensive work experience covering related areas will be considered. As preparation for the MSc if you are offered a place, you will be expected to revise your knowledge of mathematics in certain topics such as trigonometry, geometry and differential calculus if you have not studied these for some time. The most comprehensive text to use would be "Engineering Mathematics" by K.A. Stroud (6th Edition), but many other text books covering an equivalent level of mathematics are also available.

English Language Requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency.

The English language level for this programme is: Standard

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

International students

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below.

Select your country:

Degree Information

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

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of four core modules in term one, followed by two core modules and two specialist options in term two, and a research project.

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) is offered.

Compulsory Modules

  • Mapping Science
  • GIS Principles and Technology
  • Principles and Practices of Surveying
  • Data Analysis

Plus 2 Options:

  • Ocean and Coastal Zone Management
  • Terrestrial Data Acquisition
  • Airborne Data Acquisition
  • Positioning*
  • Survey Project*
  • *Compulsory


Students on the MSc programme embark on an individual project after the examinations in May, which lasts until the end of the programme in September. The department enjoys strong links with industry, and projects are often carried out in collaboration with organisations outside the college.

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 information on modules and degree structure available on the department web site Surveying MSc


Scholarships relevant to this department are displayed below. For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Brown Family Bursary - NOW CLOSED FOR 2015/16 ENTRY

£15,000 (1 year)
UK students
Based on both academic merit and financial needs

SPDC Niger Delta Postgraduate Scholarship - NOW CLOSED FOR 2015/16 ENTRY

Tuition fees, plus stipend, flights and allowances.(1 year)
Overseas students
Based on academic merit

More scholarships are listed on the Scholarships and Funding website


Surveyors have good prospects in research organisations, in government mapping agencies such as the Ordnance Survey and the Hydrographic Office, and in the private sector in both large multi-nationals (such as oil companies) and smaller specialised surveying, mapping and laser scanning companies.

Top career destinations for this degree

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

Why study this degree at UCL?

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

Students benefit in particular from the advanced research work being carried out in laser scanning and global navigation satellite systems and from the department’s strong links to industry.

The Department has worked particularly closely with the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) who have accredited this programme and a satisfactory performance on the programme will grant you an exemption from the RICS's final written examinations.

Student / staff ratios › 36 staff › 140 taught students › 79 research students

Department: Civil, Environmental and Geomatic Engineering

Application and next steps


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.

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.

Application deadlines

All applicants
Applications are accepted throughout the year but applicants are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. It takes approximately 4 weeks from submission of an application to receiving an offer letter. Overseas student requiring a visa should apply no later than 15th June.

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

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
  • how this degree fits to your career aspirations
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.


  • Register interest in your chosen subjects
  • Receive notice of graduate open days, events and more
Register now

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