Introductory Surveying

University of Otago

Course Description

  • Course Name

    Introductory Surveying

  • Host University

    University of Otago

  • Location

    Dunedin, New Zealand

  • Area of Study

    Environmental Studies, Geography, Urban Studies and Planning

  • Language Level

    Taught In English

  • Course Level Recommendations


    ISA offers course level recommendations in an effort to facilitate the determination of course levels by credential evaluators.We advice each institution to have their own credentials evaluator make the final decision regrading course levels.

    Hours & Credits

  • Credit Points

  • Recommended U.S. Semester Credits
    3 - 4
  • Recommended U.S. Quarter Units
    4 - 6
  • Overview

    An introduction to basic surveying principles, techniques, instruments and computational procedures.
    SURV 101 introduces students to basic survey theory knowledge, necessary measurement skills and basic surveying calculations. It is offered with lectures, tutorials and practicals in the first semester. The practical hands-on component involves the use of various surveying instruments and measurement methods. This course is a basic introduction to surveying primarily treating the area to be surveyed as a small, flat area, also known as 'plane surveying'. SURV 101 is also offered in the second semester as a 'distance taught' paper. The material covered is identical to that taught in the first semester. A student in a distance taught paper can be either on the Dunedin campus or outside of Dunedin. When this paper is distance taught there are no lectures nor tutorials to attend, however, there is a one week long practical session which is compulsory to attend. This one week practical session is often held during the University mid-semester break.

    Course Structure
    Workload Expectations:

    Contact hours
    -26 Lectures - Two hours per week for 13 weeks
    -11 Calculations - One hour per week for 11 weeks
    -30 Practicals and Tutorials - Three hours per week for 10 weeks
    -67 Sub-total

    Non-contact hours
    -24 Class preparation - half an hour for each lecture/practical and tutorials/calculations
    -47 Private study - one hour per lecture/calculations/practical and tutorials
    -Four test preparation - four hours for one calculation test
    -18 Tests - Three hours for six Blackboard Tests
    -17 Final exam preparation
    -Three Final exam
    -113 Sub-total

    Total number of hours: 180

    Terms Requirements:
    The student must reach a satisfactory standard in every weekly practical/tutorial except for a maximum of one missed or failed practical/tutorial. In keeping with School of Surveying policy, there is a requirement to gain a minimum of 40% on the final examination.


    Internal Assessment
    Blackboard Tests - 15%
    Practicals - 10%
    Calculation test - 15%

    Missing/Failed Practical/Tutorial: One maximum. 1 % for practical & -3% penalty

    Final Examination
    3 hours duration - 60%

    The Blackboard tests cover all the material covered in the practical sessions, lectures and calculation tutorials and encompass objectives 1 - 6 and 8 listed above. The calculation test covers objectives 3 and 4 listed above.

    Use of Equipment:Wide variety of basic types of survey equipment for all fieldwork practicals

    Laboratories/ IT/Other physical resources:All practicals & tutorials are done from the survey school.

    Learning Outcomes
    Students will gain the following from SURV 101:
    -A working knowledge of survey methods, instrument use and applications
    -Life long learning skills applicable to all situations
    -The skills and knowledge used in typical New Zealand survey fieldwork
    -The ability to work through basic survey calculations in an organized and methodical manner while understanding error sources and accuracy
    -The ability to understand and display spatial information in basic survey drawing and coordinate plotting

    A Course Reader must be purchased at the start of semester (approximately $25) which contains the lectures, tutorials and practicals. This is purchased from the Survey School office.

    There is a textbook that is highly recommended - 'Surveying for Engineers', Uren & Price, 5th ed. 2010. This book, or any survey book for that matter, will strongly reinforce the survey theory and provide for much greater understanding of the material. Survey text books can either be purchased or found at any library.

    Library Resources Available:Textbook held on close reserve and 3 day reserve. Other basic survey books available.

Course Disclaimer

Courses and course hours of instruction are subject to change.

Eligibility for courses may be subject to a placement exam and/or pre-requisites.

Some courses may require additional fees.

Credits earned vary according to the policies of the students' home institutions. According to ISA policy and possible visa requirements, students must maintain full-time enrollment status, as determined by their home institutions, for the duration of the program.

Please reference fall and spring course lists as not all courses are taught during both semesters.

Availability of courses is based on enrollment numbers. All students should seek pre-approval for alternate courses in the event of last minute class cancellations

Please note that some courses with locals have recommended prerequisite courses. It is the student's responsibility to consult any recommended prerequisites prior to enrolling in their course.