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The surveying profession has been active in New Zealand since the earliest day of European settlement and has contributed significantly to the development of the country. Its core business of cadastral surveying, the defining of land title boundaries, underpins the security of land ownership necessary for the development of the economy through the creation of collateral for securing finance.

The University of Otago Surveying programme offers the only academic qualification leading to professional recognition as a professional land surveyor in New Zealand. To complete that recognition a period of post graduation training is required, and is examined by the New Zealand Institute of Surveyors.

The Master of Surveying (MSurv) is a one- or two-year postgraduate programme that has, as its prerequisite for entry, an undergraduate degree in surveying. Applicants with a strong academic record, possibly evidenced by an Honours degree, may be permitted to complete the degree in one year by thesis only. Other applicants will generally be required to undertake a year of coursework followed by a thesis year, although the course work requirements may be reduced in certain cases.

It is expected that the thesis incorporate a substantial research project that either contributes to existing fields of research, or begins to develop a new area.

Structure of the Programme

  • The programme of study shall consist of appropriate papers, normally as prescribed for the Postgraduate Diploma in Science in Surveying or as separately prescribed, and taken in the first year of the programme, and a thesis embodying the results of supervised research.
  • A candidate whose qualification for entry to the programme is the degree of Bachelor of Surveying or the Postgraduate Diploma in Science in Surveying may achieve the degree by completing a thesis alone.
  • A candidate may be exempted from some of the required papers as prescribed in regulation 2(a)(i) on the basis of previous study.
  • A candidate shall, before commencing the investigation to be described in the thesis, secure the approval of the Dean of Surveying for the topic, the supervisor(s), and the proposed course of investigation.
  • A candidate may not present a thesis which has previously been accepted for another degree.
  • A candidate taking the degree by papers and thesis must pass both the papers and the thesis components.
  • For the thesis,the research should be of a kind that a diligent and competent student should complete within one year of full-time study.

Duration of the Programme

  • A candidate achieving the degree by papers and a thesis shall normally follow a programme for the equivalent of not less than two years of full-time study and not more than three years of full-time study, and a candidate achieving the degree by thesis alone shall normally follow a programme of study for the equivalent of not less than one year of full-time study and not more than two years of full-time study. Exceptions shall be permitted only with the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences).

Visit the Master of Surveying (MSurv) page on the University of Otago website for more details!

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