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Undergraduate Requirements

What do I study in my First Year at Otago?

In order to gain formal entry into the BSurv degree at the end of your first year at university, you need to have met the following requirements.

You must have successfully passed all required first-year papers (i.e., SURV101, SURV102, ENGL228, and MATH160, plus at least three other elective papers of your choice). Your elective papers should offer you an alternate major if you are not successful in gaining entry to the BSurv degree. Unless you are a part-time student, you must demonstrate that you can pass at least four papers in one semester and seven papers in two semesters.

When choosing your three elective papers, we encourage first year intermediate students to take at least two papers in the same area (e.g., two accounting, two music, two geography etc etc) so that there is an escape route into another major should a student not wish to continue with Surveying. This will enable you to go on to enrol in 200 level papers in your alternative degree in your second year. It is still possible to complete a three year degree in three years, as the four surveying papers will count as elective points towards the new degree.

As entry is competitive, your grades need to be sufficiently high so as to place you in the top 60-65 first-year surveying students. We sometimes have students who have met the entry criteria but are not gaining entry due to their grades not being high enough. At the start of each year, we can provide better guidance on what we expect for that year.

While by no means essential, surveying work experience can be very helpful. The Admissions Committee gives particular recognition to those who have 60 or more days of such experience.

At the present time the first year surveying requirements are normally undertaken at Otago University.

While SURV101 is offered as a distance taught course, and equivalent papers to ENGL228 and MATH160 can be found at other universities, SURV102 is only available at Otago. In rare circumstances, it may be possible to find a combination of papers from other universities that would allow one or all of these papers to be specifically cross credited.  If you are considering going down this route, it is essential that you discuss this with the National School of Surveying so that your 'Surveying First Year (BSc)' programme can be approved at another university.