• Xi’an Jiaotong-Liverpool University Featured Masters Courses
  • FindA University Ltd Featured Masters Courses
  • Jacobs University Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Leeds Featured Masters Courses
  • Swansea University Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Cambridge Featured Masters Courses
  • University of Edinburgh Featured Masters Courses
  • Ulster University Featured Masters Courses
De Montfort University Featured Masters Courses
FindA University Ltd Featured Masters Courses
University of Leicester Featured Masters Courses
University of Northampton Featured Masters Courses
Goldsmiths, University of London Featured Masters Courses

Hydrographic Surveying - MSc/PGDip

Course Description

This MSc is designed to give students a broad range of experience in marine survey practice, including the acquisition and processing of hydrographic data, positioning, and charting. The programme is offered jointly with the Port of London Authority, which contributes through teaching and practical work aboard its survey vessels.

Degree information

Students develop an advanced knowledge of a broad range of topics, including error theory, quality control, GNSS, reference systems, electronic charting, and international boundaries. Particular emphasis is placed on understanding the principles that underlie the analysis and interpretation of survey data, in particular those issues that affect its quality.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. The programme consists of four core modules in term one, four specialist modules in term two, and a research project. A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) is offered.

Core modules
-Mapping Science
-GIS Principles and Technology
-Principles & Practice of Surveying
-Data Analysis
-Specialist modules
-Hydrographic Applications
-Management/Group Project
-Ocean and Coastal Zone Management

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 lectures, seminars, practicals, tutorials, and field courses including periods on Port of London Survey vessels. It is supported by a series of external speakers from industry and visits to industrial and government establishments. Assessment is through coursework, unseen written examinations, oral presentation, and the dissertation.

Fieldwork will take place aboard PLA survey vessels, and will include associated shore based activities. There are several boat days in the first and second terms, and a final fieldwork week at the end of the second term. Activities include the use of multibeam and single beam echo sounders, side scan sonar, tide gauges, and GNSS equipment. Students should allow up to £500 for travel and accommodation costs associated with field work.


This programme offers exceptionally good career prospects. Many of our graduates go on to work for offshore surveying companies including Fugro, Gardline, Schlumberger, Horizon and Stolt Offshore (now Acergy). Others prefer shore-based jobs, or those that offer a mixture of time in the office and aboard survey vessels - examples include GEMS Survey and Netsurvey, or port authorities such as the Port of London or Singapore and Hong Kong. Other careers include work for equipment manufacturers (Sonardyne), cable companies (Alcatel), national hydrographic offices (UKHO) or research careers (UCL).

Top career destinations for this degree:
-Hydrographic Surveyor, Environment Agency
-Hydrographic Surveyor, Government of New Zealand.
-Hydrographic Surveyor, Specialist Subsea Services
-Hydrographic Surveyor, Gardline
-Surveyor, Dolphin Geophysical

Our graduates benefit from strong contacts with professional surveyors at the Port of London Authority and from carrying out work aboard their fully equipped survey vessels. They have particular strengths in data analysis, GNSS (GPS, etc), and co-ordinate reference systems. Being based in a geomatics department, they gain a broad view of the subject area and thus have wider employment opportunities.

Why study this degree at UCL?

Students have the advantages of studying in a multi-faculty college with a long tradition of excellence, situated at the heart of one of the world's greatest cities. They also benefit from the training and facilities contributed by the surveyors at the Port of London Authority, one of the most advanced port hydrography departments in the world.

The Hydrographic Surveying MSc is recognised as a "Category A" programme by the IHO/FIG/ICA board. This is the highest level of accreditation offered, and is an internationally recognised qualification that is increasingly demanded by employers worldwide. It is also accredited by the RICS.

Visit the Hydrographic Surveying - MSc/PGDip page on the University College London website for more details!

All Available Videos:

Student Profiles

Brown Family Bursary - No. of awards TBC

Selection criteria:
- The bursary will be awarded based on financial need only as determined by the Student Funding Office.Value, Benefits and Duration:
- The value of the bursary is £15,000. The payment is to be applied to tuition fees in the first instance, with any remainder being paid to the successful applicant towards maintenance in termly instalments.
- The bursary is tenable for one year only.
- The bursary may not be held alongside other tuition fee only awards.

Value of Scholarship(s)



- prospective full-time UK Master's students who are undertaking a one-year programme of study in the Faculties of the Built Environment, Engineering Sciences or Mathematical & Physical Sciences (BEAMS) in 2015/16
- currently holding a first-class Bachelor's degree; and
- in financial need.

Application Procedure

See http://www.ucl.ac.uk/prospective-students/scholarships/graduate/UK-EU-Master/uclalumniandfriends

Further Information



Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme (CSSS) - 5 Awards

The Commonwealth Shared Scholarship Scheme is a joint initiative between the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission (with funding from the Department for International Development (DFID), and UK universities, to support scholarships for students from developing Commonwealth countries who would not otherwise be able to study in the United Kingdom.The aim of the scheme is to assist students from developing Commonwealth countries who are of excellent academic calibre but for financial reasons would not otherwise be able to afford to study in the United Kingdom. The scheme allows them to benefit from postgraduate study at a university in the United Kingdom which will help them to contribute toward the development of their home countries.Awards are for taught Master's programmes only, subjects must be related to the economic, social and technological development of a candidate's country. UCL expects to be able to allocate five awards this academic year.Applicants must:
- Be nationals of (or permanently domiciled in) a Commonwealth developing country, and not currently be living or studying in a developed country (please see the CSSS information booklet for a list of eligible countries);
- Hold a first degree at either first- or upper second-class level;
- Be sufficiently fluent in English to pursue the programme;
- Have not previously studied for one year or more in a developed country;
- Not be employed by a government department (at national level) or a parastatal organisation (employees of universities are normally acceptable);
- Be themselves, or through families, unable to pay for the proposed programme of study in the UK;
- Be willing to confirm that they will return to their home country as soon as their period of study is complete.Value, Benefits and Duration:
- The award will cover tuition fees, a maintenance allowance, economy air travel to and from the UK at the beginning and end of the scholar’s degree programme plus additional discretionary allowances.
- Awards are normally tenable for one year.

Value of Scholarship(s)

Full fees, flights, stipend, and other allowances (1 year)


- Be nationals of (or permanently domiciled in) a Commonwealth developing country, and not currently be living or studying in a developed country (please see the CSSS information booklet for a list of eligible countries);
- Hold a first degree at either first- or upper second-class level;

Application Procedure

- You must separately apply for admission to UCL for one of the eligible programmes through the standard admissions procedure.
- You must apply for the scholarship on the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission Electronic Application System (EAS) online following the procedures described on their website.
- In order to be considered for this scholarship at UCL, you must complete the Commonwealth Scholarship Commission Electronic Application System (EAS) online: by the deadline of T23:59 (UCT) Sunday, 21 February 2016.

Further Information


Entry Requirements

Upper second-class Bachelor's degree in a cognate subject or related discipline, including geography, geology, civil engineering, mathematics, physics, marine biology or marine studies, from a UK university or equivalent from an overseas institution. Extensive work experience covering related areas will be considered. 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.

Email Enquiry

Recipient: University College London
Insert previous message below for editing? 
You haven’t included a message. Providing a specific message means universities will take your enquiry more seriously and helps them provide the information you need.
Why not add a message here
* required field
Send a copy to me for my own records.
Email Sent

Share this page:

Cookie Policy    X