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Masters Degrees (Geodesy)

We have 7 Masters Degrees (Geodesy)

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Ranked 2nd in the UK by Research Fortnight, our geomatics research is ground breaking. We publish in leading international journals, at conferences, in the media and through educational outreach programmes. Read more
Ranked 2nd in the UK by Research Fortnight, our geomatics research is ground breaking. We publish in leading international journals, at conferences, in the media and through educational outreach programmes. Whether focusing on geodesy or geospatial engineering, you will work with experts to produce research of an international standard.

The School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences enjoys an international reputation for using the latest science to solve problems of global importance. Our research has significant relevance in non-academic settings and we regularly apply it through consultancy to industry, from the global offshore industry to local authorities and survey and engineering companies. We are a key part of the TSB Satellite Applications Catapult North East Centre of Excellence.

For geomatics we have MPhil and PhD supervision in the following areas:

Satellite geodesy

-GPS and geophysical modelling
-GPS/GNSS geodesy
-Precise orbit determination of altimetric and geodetic satellites
-Sea level
-Ice sheet mass balance
-Satellite altimetry
-Static and temporal gravity field and reference frame analyses from dedicated satellite missions
-SAR interferometry
-Geophysical and industrial deformation monitoring
-Geodynamics and geohazards
-Integration of GPS and INS
-Engineering geodesy

Geospatial Engineering

-Geoinformatics and advanced GIS
-Geospatial algorithm development
-Spatial modelling including network modelling, cellular automata and agent based approaches to spatial complexity
-Multimedia cartography and information delivery
-Temporal GIS
-Geospatial data management
-Airborne and satellite remote sensing applied to environmental impact assessment
-Land use, vegetation and pollution monitoring
-Earth observation of urban systems
-Photogrammetry
-Laser scanning
-Precise non-contact dimensional control

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Measuring, describing and depicting the seabed is crucial to the maintenance and development of ports, safe navigation, offshore renewables and the continuing search for hydrocarbons. Read more
Measuring, describing and depicting the seabed is crucial to the maintenance and development of ports, safe navigation, offshore renewables and the continuing search for hydrocarbons. Yet there is an international shortage of hydrographic surveyors. Seize this opportunity to gain a thorough knowledge of the science and technology of hydrography, experiencing the latest methods and equipment involved in exploring and managing the seabed whilst preparing for a career in this growth area.

Key features

-Graduate from a course that crosses different disciplines and is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Chartered Institute of Civil Engineering Surveyors (CICES).
-Study with the ocean right on your doorstep in our waterfront city. Benefit from the practical research opportunities and links to international marine businesses this brings, as well as access to the University’s specialist Marine Institute.
-Study aboard the University’s own survey vessel the Falcon Spirit, and develop hands-on experience in current survey techniques and different methods of data collection and analysis.
-Prepare yourself on a commercially focused programme that’s been developed in response to industry requirements and an expressed commercial need. Progress to a career in hydrographic research and development, port and offshore/ nearshore surveying or environmental support.
-Equip yourself with the latest knowledge relating to hydrography in the fields of marine geophysics, oceanography, land survey techniques, geodesy, bathymetric surveying, tides, acoustic theory and marine resource management. Learn to use equipment including GNSS, SBES, MBES, ADCP and sidescan sonar.
-Engage in debates around the wider aspects of hydrography and the implications for data capture, data management, processing and information systems.
-Attend lectures and receive support from our specialist staff, as well as access to a series of industrial speakers and demonstrations of the latest technologies.
-Gain the knowledge and skills you need to design, develop and implement a final research project at postgraduate level.
-Benefit from our good relationship with industry – a number of companies visit each year. There is excellent recruitment from the programme to the marine sector with global opportunities and the potential to travel in conjunction with your employment.

Course details

Period 1 — an intensive 15 week programme of classroom learning and field activities prepare you for the technical aspects of surveying and the research required in master’s study. 70 per cent lectures/seminars and 30 per cent practical, either within the laboratory or afloat. Assessment is continual or by coursework.

Period 2 — includes specialisms in advanced studies with a combination of the digital mapping and survey project management modules, designed to prepare students for practical roles and management decisions when completing hydrographic tasks on behalf of future employers. Modules are selected based on industrial expectations and potential career requirements. 80 per cent lectures/seminars, 20 per cent practical. Assessment is 50/50 coursework and formal examination for core modules, continuous for the one optional module.

Period 3 — undertake a self-managed final dissertation, supervised by an assigned academic. May comprise a desk study, laboratory experimentation, field observations, data acquisitions and processing.

Core modules
-MAR513 Research Skills and Methods
-MAR520 Hydrography
-MAR521 Acoustic and Oceanographic Surveying
-MAR524 MSc Dissertation
-MAR522 Survey Project Management
-MAR523 Digital Mapping

Optional modules
-MAR517 Coastal Erosion and Protection
-MAR529 Marine Planning
-MAR530 Managing Marine Ecosystems
-MAR507 Economics of the Marine Environment
-MAR518 Remote Sensing and GIS

Every postgraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the programme aims, the programme structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

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This Masters in Geospatial & Mapping Sciences focuses on understanding the theory and practice of geospatial data collection, land and hydrographic surveying, data and information quality, applications of survey information, and research and development in the field of geomatics. Read more

This Masters in Geospatial & Mapping Sciences focuses on understanding the theory and practice of geospatial data collection, land and hydrographic surveying, data and information quality, applications of survey information, and research and development in the field of geomatics. It is strongly endorsed by industry, accredited by the RICS and has an excellent employment record.

Why this programme

  • This programme meets the academic requirements for membership of relevant professional bodies and is accredited by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors.
  • If you are seeking a career in geomatics: land and engineering surveying; hydrographic surveying; land registration/cadastre and LIS; photogrammetric and remote sensing engineering; management of geospatial information; this programme is for you.
  • The School of Geographical and Earth Sciences is proud to announce that it is ranked 28th in the world (QS World Rankings 2016).
  • The School is consistently ranked amongst the top 10 in the UK and top 5 in Scotland, recently achieving 2nd in Scotland and 9th in the UK (Guardian University Guide 2017).
  • The MSc in Geospatial and Mapping Sciences is an industry-sponsored programme and has been developed in close collaboration with industry to meet global demand for professionals in this field.
  • You will benefit from access to the latest surveying equipment and software, including RTK GPS and terrestrial laser scanners.
  • You will attend a week long practical surveying course (included in fees).

Programme structure

Semester 1 – 60 credits

  • Fundamentals of Geomatics GEOG5008 (20 credits)
  • Principles and Practice of Land Surveying GEOG5017 (20 credits)
  • Principles of GIS GEOG5019 (10 credits)
  • Topographic Mapping and Landscape Monitoring GEOG5025 (10 credits)

 Semester 2 – 60 credits

  • Applied Land Surveying GEOG5099 (10 credits)
  • Engineering Surveying GEOG5007 (10 credits)
  • Geodesy & GNSS GEOG5012 (10 credits)
  • Hydrographic Survey GEOG5014 (10 credits)
  • Research & Professional Issues in Geomatics GEOG5021(10 credits)

One of:

  • Applied Hydrographic Surveying GEOG5098 (10 credits)
  • Geospatial Data Infrastructures and Land Administration GEOG5013 (10 credits)

Summer – 60 credits

  • MSc Project GEOG5085P (60 credits)

Career prospects

Career opportunities include land surveyor, engineering surveyor, hydrographic surveyor, GIS specialist, environmental consulting. There is currently a very high demand for surveyors, especially in hydrographic survey, in support of offshore oil and renewable energy engineering and maintenance. Several of the key employers visit us each year to recruit students. In addition to the offshore energy industry, land surveyors are in demand in many parts of the world to support mining operations, major civil engineering projects and to provide surveying services for Land Registration. A strong background in data capture, datums and co-ordinate systems, and data processing can also be of value in the GIS and environmental management sectors.

Graduates of this programme have gone on to positions such as:

Offshore Surveyor at NCS Survey

Hydrographic Surveyor at Subsea 7

Offshore Surveyor at Subsea 7

Analyst at Morgan Stanley

Offshore Surveyor at UTEC

Offshore Surveyor at iSurvey Offshore Ltd

Research Scientist Associate at a university

Fellow at European Organisation for Nuclear Research

Offshore Surveyor at Marine Offshore Designer

Hydrographic Surveyor at UTEC

Assistant Land Surveyor at UTEC Star net

Trainee Surveyor at Fugro

Hydrographic Surveyor at Harkand Andrews Survey

Offshore Supporter at Subsea 7

Offshore Surveyor at Fugro

Offshore Hydrographic Surveyor at UTEC

Graduate Supervisor at AECOM

GIS Technician at Farazamin Company Tehran

Graduate Surveyor at Met Geo Environmental Ltd.



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The Masters in Geomatics & Management is aimed at graduates in geomatics (surveying and mapping). It will enhance your career progression in the field of geomatics, and provide you with the necessary skill set to succeed in managerial positions. Read more

The Masters in Geomatics & Management is aimed at graduates in geomatics (surveying and mapping). It will enhance your career progression in the field of geomatics, and provide you with the necessary skill set to succeed in managerial positions. The combination of geomatics with management offered by this programme has been strongly endorsed by industry.

Why this programme

  • The School of Geographical and Earth Sciences is proud to announce that it is ranked 28th in the world (QS World Rankings 2016).
  • You will be jointly taught by staff from the School of Geographical and Earth Sciences and the Adam Smith Business School and will benefit from their resources and expertise and from an industry-focused curriculum informed by experts in the field.
  • The School is consistently ranked amongst the top 10 in the UK and top 5 in Scotland, recently achieving 2nd in Scotland and 9th in the UK (Guardian University Guide 2017).
  • If you have a geomatics background, but with little management experience and you are looking to broaden your knowledge of management while also furthering your knowledge of geomatics, this programme is designed for you.
  • The programme is split into two semesters and a summer session. One semester will be based in the Adam Smith Business School and is aimed at developing knowledge and skills of management principles and techniques. An applied approach is adopted, with an emphasis on an informed critical evaluation of information, and the subsequent application of concepts and tools to the core areas of business and management.
  • The semester in Geomatics allows you to focus on land and hydrographic surveying, or GIS and cartography. Your programme will be customised depending on your background and interests.
  • While taking advanced courses in Geomatics you will have benefit from access to the latest surveying equipment, including GPS and Terrestrial Laser Scanning, and industry standard processing software, GIS and graphic packages as part of this programme.
  • You will attend either a week long survey field course or the three-day GIS Research UK conference as part of the programme (included in fees).
  • This programme has a September and January intake*.

*For suitably qualified candidates

Programme structure

Semester 1 – 60 credits in Management

  • Contemporary issues in human resource management MGT5210 (10 credits)
  • Managing creativity and innovation MGT5213 (10 credits)
  • Managing strategic change MGT5216 (10 credits)
  • Marketing management MGT5219 (10 credits)
  • Operations management MGT5222 (10 credits)
  • Project management MGT225 (10 credits)

Semester 2 – 60 credits in Geomatics

  • Research & Professional Issues in Geomatics GEOG5021(10 credits)

50 credits from:

  • Applied GIS GEOG5012 (10 credits)
  • Applied Hydrographic Surveying GEOG5098 (10 credits)
  • Applied Land Surveying GEOG5099 (10 credits)
  • Directed Studies in Geomatics GEOG5006 (10 credits)
  • Engineering Surveying GEOG5007 (10 credits)
  • Geodesy & GNSS GEOG5012 (10 credits)
  • Geospatial Data Infrastructures and Land Administration GEOG5013 (10 credits)
  • Geovisualisation & Map Use GEOG5026 (10 credits)
  • Hydrographic Survey GEOG5014 (10 credits)
  • Internet & Mobile GIS GEOG5015 (10 credits)
  • Remote Sensing of the Environment GEOG5056 (10 credits)

Career prospects

Career opportunities exist in both the private and public sectors and there are lots of possibilities for those with Surveying and Mapping skills. Positions include GIS specialist, ranging from support in large corporations (banking, insurance, retail), environmental consultancies, local authorities, utility companies, or mapping specialist with software house or geoinformation data provider. There is currently a very high demand for surveyors, especially in hydrographic survey, in support of offshore oil and renewable energy engineering and maintenance. In addition to the offshore energy industry, land surveyors are in demand in many parts of the world to support mining operations, major civil engineering projects and to provide surveying services for Land Registration.

Graduates of this programme have gone on to positions such as:

  • Assistant Surveyor General at Dept of Surveys, Ministry of Lands and Housing, Malawi
  • Regional Surveyor General at Dept of Surveys, Ministry of Lands and Housing, Malawi
  • Surveyor at Rudan Engineering Ltd, Ghana
  • Surveyor at KACST, Saudi Arabia
  • Surveyor at Environmental Sciences Group Pelorus Surveys
  • Senior Surveyor at North Ayrshire Council
  • Surveyor at Line Surveys Transmission Consultancy


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The course will offer an opportunity for students to study modern ground, mobile and airborne engineering surveying techniques. Satellite positioning technology and the sciences and technologies of remote measurement including photogrammetry, total stations and laser scanning, are still developing rapidly. Read more
The course will offer an opportunity for students to study modern ground, mobile and airborne engineering surveying techniques. Satellite positioning technology and the sciences and technologies of remote measurement including photogrammetry, total stations and laser scanning, are still developing rapidly. These primary data collection techniques with supporting subjects such as aspects of geodesy all form part of this course. The generation of traditional map information as well as 3D surface models and landscapes are covered. The course introduces data and information management, data integration and fusion, spatial analysis and visualisation through GIS and a range of modelling methods and software’s.

This course provides the opportunity to develop a knowledge and in depth of understanding of surveying practise and underpinning theory with an emphasis on geographical information science. Student will have an opportunity to develop practical skills, experience and a deeper understanding of the subject through some major practical tasks and modules

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