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SURV480 Research Project

A supervised project involving research and leading to the production of a research report.

The Research Project provides students with the opportunity to choose a surveying theme of particular relevance, interest or concern for them, enabling further specialisation of their learning outcomes. The goal of the Research Project is to enhance a student's intellectual faculties and capability for learning and problem solving by researching a question relevant to any aspect of surveying. This is a paper that combines research as well as teaching and learning aims. It also places responsibilities for its successful attainment on both students and supervisors. Being a 36-point paper, it is expected that students will put in around 360 hours of work over the 30 weeks of the academic year on the research and completion of the written report (dissertation) associated with their research. The project equips students with experience in researching and writing up results and gives them valuable critical and analytical skills.

Please consult with potential supervisors as early as possible - preferably towards the end of your third year of study - to decide on an interesting and viable research topic.

Paper title Research Project
Paper code SURV480
Subject Surveying
EFTS 0.2668
Points 36 points
Teaching period(s) Full Year (On campus)
1st Non standard period (10 July 2023 - 19 June 2024) (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $2,346.77
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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SURV 481
Schedule C
Students must seek approval from the Dean of the School of Surveying before enrolling in this paper.

Available only as an undergraduate paper.

Enrolments for this paper require departmental permission.
View more information about departmental permission.

Teaching staff

Co-ordinator: Dr Mick Strack
Lecturer: Dr James Berghan
Supervisor: As negotiated, with appropriate staff expertise

Paper Structure

Supervised research requiring the output of a written research proposal, an oral presentation of the completed research and a professionally written and presented report in the order of 10,000 to 15,000 words.

Teaching Arrangements

A series of lectures as an 'Introduction to Research' in conjunction with SURV 590.

Regular meetings with your research supervisor.

There are no assigned textbooks, although these are particularly useful:
  • Babbie, E. 2010. The Practice of Social Research. Wadsworth. USA
  • Blaikie, N. 2010. Designing Social research. polity Press. USA
  • Leedy, P.D. & Ormond, J.E. 2005. Practical Research: Planning and Design. Prentice Hall
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Research, Self-motivation.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
Students who successfully complete the paper will demonstrate the ability to
  • Formulate an academically acceptable programme of research
  • Organise and carry out a programme of research
  • Synthesise the results and grasp the bigger picture
  • Report on factual data and information, arguments and conclusions in a clear and concise manner

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Full Year

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Monday 15:00-16:50 28-34, 36-41
Wednesday 15:00-16:50 9-10, 12-14, 16-22

1st Non standard period (10 July 2023 - 19 June 2024)

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system