MSc in Engineering Surveying and Geodesy


Program Description

MSc in Engineering Surveying and Geodesy

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

Versions of this MSc have been running at the University of Nottingham, the UK for almost 20 years. This course runs entirely at the University of Nottingham Ningbo China. This course provides students with the ability to appreciate and apply state of the art engineering surveying techniques within a practical context. The course includes the principles behind 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.

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 will develop:

  • The ability to apply their skills directly to the surveying industry
  • The ability to react quickly to new technologies and innovations
  • The ability to communicate ideas effectively in written reports, verbally and by means of presentations to groups
  • The ability to exercise original thought
  • The ability to plan and undertake an individual project
  • Interpersonal, communication and professional skills

Course Structure

The course consists of 120 credits of core and optional taught modules along with a 60 credit major individual research-based project undertaken over the summer term. It also available as a Postgraduate Diploma which covers the same taught modules but does not undertake the research project. Please be aware modules are subject to change.

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

Core Modules

Autumn Semester

  • Fundamentals of Satellite Positioning 15 credits
  • Analytical Methods 15 credits
  • Geodetic Reference Systems 15 credits
  • Physical Geodesy 15 credits

Spring Semester

  • Advanced Satellite Positioning 15 credits
  • Engineering Surveying 15 credits
  • Photogrammetry and Remote Sensing 15 credits
  • Practical Field Course 15 credits

The finale of the taught aspect of the course is the surveying field course, which brings together all the taught aspects through a week-long series of practical tasks.

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 employment. Previous research projects have included:

  • Deformation monitoring of the Forth Road Bridge using GPS
  • Laser scanning and photogrammetry for forest and woodland surveys
  • Testing of a new small format integrated sensor airborne mapping system

Premaster Programme

The Premaster Programme is part of the Two-year Postgraduate Programme. It is designed for those students who have not reached the language level required to enter postgraduate degree programmes directly, and its overall aim is to help these students succeeded in their future studies at the University of Nottingham Ningbo, China. It equips students with the language and study skills that they need to manage their studies independently so that they can meet the demands of their academic courses.

Entry Requirements

Applicants are usually required to have a 2.1 honours degree (or international equivalent) for the MSc, in a relevant discipline, for example, science, engineering or mathematics. Other qualifications and/or extensive professional experience may also be accepted.

English language requirements are:


  • IELTS 5.5 with the writing band no less than 5.0 or
  • TOEFL (paper-based) 525 + TWE no less than 4.0 or
  • TOEFL (computer based) 196 + TWE no less than 4.0
  • TOEFL (IBT) 71 (no less than 17 in any element)


  • IELTS score of at least 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.0 in any element or
  • TOEFL (paper-based) score of at least 550 + TWE no less than 4.0 or
  • TOEFL (Computer-based) score of at least 210 + TWE no less than 4.0 or
  • TOEFL (IBT) 79 (minimum 17 in any element)
Last updated Jan 2018

About the School

The University of Nottingham Ningbo China was the first Sino-foreign university to open its doors in China, in 2004, with the full approval of the Chinese Ministry of Education. It is run by The Unive ... Read More

The University of Nottingham Ningbo China was the first Sino-foreign university to open its doors in China, in 2004, with the full approval of the Chinese Ministry of Education. It is run by The University of Nottingham (UK) with cooperation from Zhejiang Wanli Education Group, a key player in the education sector in China. The University of Nottingham has recently been ranked 9th in the UK by the Shanghai Jiao Tong World Rankings and 75th in the world by the QS World Rankings 2014. Read less