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SURV101 Introductory Surveying

An introduction to basic surveying principles, techniques, instruments and computational procedures.

SURV 101 introduces students to basic survey theory knowledge, 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 SURV 101 is distance taught, there are no lectures nor tutorials to attend; however, there is a week-long on-campus practical session that is compulsory to attend. This one-week practical session is often held during the University's mid-semester break.

Paper title Introductory Surveying
Paper code SURV101
Subject Surveying
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points 18 points
Teaching period(s) Second Semester, First Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,200.45
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $4,586.40

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SURV 111, SURX 101, SURX 111
Schedule C
This paper is suitable for all persons interested in surveying as a profession or for those interested in applying survey techniques to their associated field or to gain an understanding of spatial measurement and interpretation. There is no limitation on student enrolment for this class. SURV 101 is a core paper requirement for entry into the professional survey programme.

Enrolments for this paper require departmental permission. View more information about departmental permission.
Teaching staff
Course Co-ordinator and Lecturer: Mr James Bazsika
Survey Technical Staff will help run the practicals.
Mature survey students will assist staff with the practicals and tutorials.
Paper Structure
Learning Aims and Objectives of the Paper:

Students will
  1. Gain a basic knowledge in survey fieldwork
  2. Acquire basic skills in working with survey instruments
  3. Gain an ability to do basic survey calculations
  4. Learn survey theory and the use of basic mathematics
  5. Learn to draw basic survey plans, including plotting contours
  6. Be able to describe the functions of modern survey equipment and operations
  7. Develop problem-solving skills in a working situation
  8. Be able to differentiate between accuracy and precision in survey measurements
Workload Expectations:

Contact hours
  • 26 hours for lectures - two hours per week for 13 weeks
  • 11 hours for calculations - one hour per week for 11 weeks
  • 30 hours for practicals and tutorials - three hours per week for 10 weeks
  • Sub-total: 67 hours
Non-contact hours
  • To do your best you should plan on approximately 100 hours for class preparation, private study and taking tests and the final examination.
Teaching Arrangements
In the lectures we cover basic survey theory. The weekly calculation tutorial complements the lecture material. Within this calculation tutorial, a problem set is provided, and the student will require a basic mathematical calculator to work through problems. Every week there is a 3-hour practical session. The survey fieldwork in this practical brings the lecture theory and the tutorial calculation skills into practice in a survey field setting. The majority of these practicals are held around the School of Surveying on the surrounding grounds.
A course reader must be purchased at the start of semester (approximately $25), which contains all of the lectures, tutorials and practicals. This is purchased from the School of Surveying 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 textbooks can either be purchased or found at any library.

Library Resources Available:Textbook held on close reserve and three-day reserve. There are other basic survey books available.
Course outline
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Communication, Critical thinking, Cultural understanding, Information literacy, Research.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students will gain the following from SURV 101:
  • A working knowledge of survey methods, instrument use and applications
  • Lifelong 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 organised and methodical manner while understanding error sources and accuracy
  • The ability to understand and display spatial information in basic survey drawing and coordinate plotting

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
T1 Friday 09:00-09:50 28-34, 36-41

First Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Monday 11:00-11:50 9-13, 15-22
Tuesday 11:00-11:50 9-13, 15-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
P1 Monday 13:00-15:50 9-13, 15-22
P2 Monday 13:00-15:50 9-13, 15-22
P3 Tuesday 13:00-15:50 9-13, 15-22
P4 Tuesday 13:00-15:50 9-13, 15-22
P5 Thursday 13:00-15:50 9-13, 15-22
P6 Thursday 13:00-15:50 9-13, 15-22


Stream Days Times Weeks
T1 Thursday 11:00-11:50 9-13, 15-22