Accessibility Skip to Global Navigation Skip to Local Navigation Skip to Content Skip to Search Skip to Site Map Menu

SURV459 Engineering Surveying

Precise surveying for engineering, scientific or industrial purposes. Includes survey techniques and management for major structures, tunnels, mining, deformation, and industrial measurement applications.

The paper aims to provide an understanding of the technologies and methodologies required in advanced engineering surveying projects. It provides an understanding of the activities involved in the planning, execution, processing and presentation of surveys for the operation and maintenance of engineering projects. The paper covers instrumentation and advanced methods for surveying in land development, mining, tunnelling, deformation monitoring, building construction, highways and industrial measurement projects.

Paper title Engineering Surveying
Paper code SURV459
Subject Surveying
EFTS 0.1334
Points 18 points
Teaching period Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $1,173.39
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

^ Top of page

(SURV 301 or SURV 311) and (SURV 302 or SURV 312)
SURV 431, SURV 559
Schedule C
May not be credited together with SURV421 passed before 2005.
This paper is an elective paper of the BSurv or BSc (Survey Measurement) and is suitable for students interested in surveying within engineering and construction settings.
Teaching staff
Co-ordinator and Lecturer: Richard Hemi
Paper Structure
There will be two lectures and one 3-hour practical session scheduled each week.

Some weeks will only have two lectures, other weeks will use the practical session for a lecture or guest lecture. This allows the guest lecturers to go beyond one hour if required.
Teaching Arrangements


Internal Assessment

  • A number of practical survey projects involving field measurement, post-processing and calculation of results, and presentation of data. The purpose of this is to reinforce the theory of the engineering surveying methods described in the course and to provide experience in the use of these survey methods. Use of computer software also instills knowledge in the transfer and processing of survey data
  • Undertaking a large data capture project and presenting the results in a written report demonstrating students' surveying field work techniques, research, and writing skills
  • Total internal contribution to the final grade: 60%

Final Examination

  • Two hours' duration; 40% contribution to the final grade
  • A minimum mark of 40% in the final exam is required to pass this paper

To gain terms in this paper, all students must obtain at least 50% of the total internal assessment.


Availability and use of resources:

Library Resources Available
All key supporting texts are on reserve in the Central or Surveying library.

Required textbooks
There are no prescribed textbooks for this paper. However, students will be provided with references to relevant material throughout the paper, as well as notes at each lecture.

Recommended readings
ICS (Smith, J ed);  The management of setting out in construction.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Global perspective, Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Critical thinking, Information literacy, Research, Self-motivation, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will
  • Obtain practical experience using different engineering surveying methods and instruments
  • Learn various surveying solutions available for complex engineering and construction situations
  • Understand the technologies and methodologies required in advanced engineering surveying projects
  • Understand the activities involved in the planning, execution, processing and presentation of surveys for the operation and maintenance of engineering projects
  • Learn an appreciation of the limitations and errors associated with different engineering surveying methods

^ Top of page


Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Wednesday 13:00-13:50 28-34, 36-41
Thursday 13:00-13:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Wednesday 14:00-16:50 28-34, 36-41