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BSc (Hons) Surveying and Mapping Sciences (with Foundation year)

Course summary

This extended course is perfect if you want a degree in Surveying, but you don’t meet the standard entry requirements. 

First we prepare you for your degree during the Foundation year, bringing you up to speed with academic skills and a firm grounding in the subject. Then you can go on to do the full undergraduate degree.

Surveyors are in high demand, and this course will give you the skills to take advantage of a worldwide employment market.

We have superb links with industry and run a regular programme of guest speakers. You’ll also visit major projects in London - one of the world’s most dynamic construction areas.

You’ll undertake a 50-50 split of academic and practical work. This will involve fieldwork projects, including a residential scheme, and classroom and laboratory exercises.

You’ll also be able to apply for student membership of the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors - an international qualifying body dedicated to the regulation, education and training of surveyors working in civil engineering.

Return to campus: dual delivery

In a Covid-secure environment, enjoy learning on our state-of-the-art campuses and flex between online delivery

Find out more


Optional placement year available

We’re one of only two institutions in the UK that can offer you a Surveying and Mapping course at undergraduate level and our students gave us high marks across the board in the 2014 National Student Survey.

Surveyors command very high salaries – and they’re in short supply, both on land and offshore. Most of last year’s graduates had the choice of at least two jobs offers.

This course is very popular among international students from countries where precision in measuring boundaries and buildings is an integral part of property sales.


Mudassar Rasul

BEng Electrical & Electronic Engineering

I studied Electrical and Electronic Engineering at UEL - starting with my Foundation Studies in Engineering year, and graduating with a First Class Honours BEng award.

While studying at UEL, I was impressed by the nurturing attitude of the staff, and the quality of the Foundation year. These helped me develop a thorough understanding of the core elements of engineering, and the confidence to approach any problem in a methodical way. I’ve also had an opportunity to build long-lasting friendships with fellow students and staff members alike.

Since leaving UEL, I’ve completed a project at the European Centre for Nuclear Research (CERN), a PhD at Harvard University, and now work as a consultant for Goldman Sachs. 

What you'll learn

You’ll learn the techniques required to produce the reliable spatial data on which all construction tasks depend.

You won’t just be measuring. You’ll be analysing data, presenting it and managing it. And of course re-measuring… just to be sure.

The course involves a range of ways to map geographical features. You’ll learn about land surveying and geodesy, which involves taking into account the earth’s curvature when you are measuring large areas.

Other fields of study will involve photogrammetry – the science of making measurements from photographs – laser scanning, remote sensing, and hydrographic surveying, typically investigating the seabed.

We’ll also introduce you to cadastral surveying, which combines technical and legal knowledge to establish boundaries.

The modules you’ll take include land and construction surveying, legal and regulatory framework, computer programming, data acquisition and 3D modelling, engineering surveying and sea surveying.

All match the required standards of the Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES).

What you'll study and when

We consistently review our courses to ensure we are up-to-date with industry changes and requirements from our graduates. As a result, our modules are subject to change.

Mathematics Core
Physical Science Core
Engineering in Society Core

Mental Wealth; Professional life 1
The Built Environment
Construction Technology
Land and Construction Surveying
Analytical skills in built environment

Mental Wealth; Professional life 2
Contract Procedures
Engineering Surveying
Ground Engineering
3D Data Modelling and Analysis
GNSS & Reference System

This course offers the opportunity of year-long placement between years two and three. If you choose to take this option, you’ll spend your third year on a placement with a relevant company or organisation, adding valuable practical experience to your growing academic knowledge. 

The extra placement year means it will take four years to complete your studies, instead of three.

Mental Wealth; Professional life 3
Capstone Project
Land Law and Registration
Geospatial Practice
Sea Surveying

How you'll be assessed

The way we assess you varies from module to module but will include examinations, coursework, project work, laboratory reports, presentations, and tests of competence in practical sessions.


Course specification Foundation year specification

How you'll learn

With more than 60 years' experience, surveying is one of the longest established areas of teaching within the University of East London.

Most of our students on this course work part-time in the profession, including during the summer break, while they’re studying. This is usually on a paid basis.

Throughout your studies you’ll undertake a number of small projects, usually based on practical work. Your final year will include a project involving independent research and study of a technical subject.

This project will be supervised by a member of staff with an interest in the field and will normally include some laboratory work or the analysis of a specific surveying problem. Throughout, you’ll be working with the very latest surveying equipment and software.

Each term, we’re visited by around 20 local industry professionals – known as the Industrial Advisory Board (IAB) – to update us on changing requirements for graduates. They also supervise final-year projects, when they’ll be looking out for likely candidates to recruit for jobs.

This course also has regular contact with Fugro UK, the offshore surveying and exploration company, Plowman Craven, one of the UK’s biggest land surveyors, and other major construction companies such as Skanska and Costain.

Who will teach on this course

Richard Latham

The teaching team includes qualified academics, practitioners and industry experts as guest speakers. Full details of the academics will be provided in the student handbook and module guides.

Your future career

This course has a superb record in getting graduates into employment.
Likely UK destinations include the Highways Agency, Network Rail, Thames Water and local authorities.

The emphasis placed internationally on precision measurement of boundaries in property sales means surveyors are hugely valued worldwide.
Many overseas students who graduate from this course return home to work in their government land survey departments.

Other graduates have moved into UK companies specialising in surveying land for new houses or roads.

The course is also a route into forensic surveying, which establishes precise data for use in court cases. You might be involved in checking measurements following a serious road accident, or attending a serious crime scene, such as the aftermath of bomb explosion.

Your knowledge of hydrographic surveying will equip you for worldwide employment opportunities in the fields of offshore gas and oil exploration.
These skills are also required for tasks such as searching for aircraft which have disappeared over the ocean. The search in the Pacific for a missing Malaysian Airlines plane in 2014 involved hydrographic surveyors.

Recent UEL graduates in Surveying and Mapping Sciences have gone on to land jobs with FUGRO, Plowman Craven, Ordnance Survey, Scopus, Survey Solutions and Crossrail.

Explore the different career options you can pursue with this degree and see the median salaries of the sector on our Career Coach portal

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Meet us in your country

Our international team travel overseas regularly to meet prospective students and attend recruitment fairs. Our academics also give regular lectures overseas and are happy to speak to prospective students. In addition, we have a large worldwide network of advisors who can provide guidance and support with applying to study at the University of East London.

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