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Course content

About the course

The course is designed for students who wish to develop an understanding and working knowledge of the principles and applications of a variety of surveying devices and techniques.

Versions of this course have been running at The University of Nottingham in the UK for almost 20 years. This course runs entirely at The University of Nottingham Ningbo China (UNNC), providing students with the ability to appreciate and apply state-of-the-art engineering surveying techniques within a practical context. It includes the principles underpinning surveying, such as reference systems and geodesy, as well as the techniques and equipment used in engineering surveying, photogrammetry and satellite positioning systems such as GPS. UNNC is located in an excellent GNSS coverage area, from which both BeidouI+II/Compass and QZSS satellites can be observed.

In addition to the formal part of the course, we run practical classes that allow students to see and learn how to use and operate a very wide variety of state-of-the-art surveying equipment and software, including laser scanners, servo driven total stations, RTK and Network RTK GPS, digital and analogue photogrammetry, LiDAR, SAR and InSAR.

Students studying this course will be develop the ability to:

  • apply their skills directly within the surveying industry
  • react quickly to new technologies and innovations
  • communicate ideas effectively in written reports, verbally and through making presentations to groups
  • exercise original thought, as well as gain interpersonal, communication and professional skills 
  • plan and undertake an individual project

The course is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES).

Course structure and content

The course consists of 120 credits of taught modules along with a 60 credit major individual research-based project undertaken over the summer term. It is also available as a postgraduate diploma which covers the same taught modules, but does not include the research project. Please be aware modules are subject to change.


Autumn semester:

  • Analytical methods
  • Geodetic reference systems
  • Fundamentals of satellite positioning
  • Engineering surveying

Spring semester:

  • Advanced satellite positioning
  • Photogrammetry and remote measurement
  • Physical Geodesy

Individual project

Once you have completed the modules, you will undertake a supervised research project over the summer term. Students receive dedicated supervision from staff members. This is a key component of the degree, affording students the opportunity to conduct independent research which may be related to their future employment. 

It provides the student with an opportunity to undertake a substantial personal project appropriate to their interests. It will normally take the form of scientific investigation whether it involves experimentation or an extensive review of work already completed by others. Typically (but not exclusively) it will include the following:

  • project definition and aim (choice of subject is at the discretion of the convenor)
  • literature review
  • practical experimentation/investigation
  • critical analysis of findings
  • presentation of results

Career options for this degree

This degree offers career opportunities in a variety of careers such as Engineering Surveying in Private and Government Sectors (e.g., Construction, Deformation Monitoring, Utility Departments and Companies), GNSS Software Engineering, GNSS Receiver Sales and Marketing, Digital Mapping, 3D Modelling, Smart City Development, Consultancy.

All our graduates of the course found good relevant jobs within 6 months after graduation – 100% employment rate!!

Visit the Engineering Surveying and Geodesy (MSc) page on the University of Nottingham in China website for more details!






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Recipient: University of Nottingham in China

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