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Course content

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.

Visit the Hydrography - MSc page on the Plymouth University website for more details!

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