MSc Hydrographic Surveying

The MSc Surveying and the MSc in Hydrographic Surveying will not be running in the 2017-2018 session due to staff changes and a forthcoming re-design of our programmes. We plan to offer a full set of programmes again from September 2018. We shall be accepting applications to these courses from late 2017 onwards. Please note that the Geomatics for BIM programme WILL be running in 2017-2018, and you may like to consider this as an alternative.


Graduates of the MSc will gain a qualification recognised internationally and nationally by several organisations: the MSc is recognised abroad as a "Category A" programme by The International Hydrographic Organisation (IHO), The International Federation of Surveyors (FIG) and The International Cartographic Association (ICA). This is the highest level of accreditation offered, and is an internationally recognised qualification that is increasingly demanded by employers worldwide. The course is also officially recognised as providing specialist training in Nautical Charting Hydrography, Hydrography to Support Port Management and Coastal Engineering, and Offshore Construction Hydrography.

In addition the MSc is accredited by
The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS).



What is the structure of this degree?
The programme consists of 4 core modules in Term 1, four specialist modules in Term 2, and a research project.

A Postgraduate Diploma (120 credits) is offered.

Download the full 2016-2017 timetable (PDF).


Mapping ScienceGIS Principles & TechnologyData AnalysisPrinciples & Practices of SurveyingHydrographic ApplicationsPositioningManagement / Group ProjectOcean and Coastal Zone Management?
A full MSc brochure is available for applicants to look through. The brochure contains more details about the course content, structure, UCL and PLA staff involved and course assessment.

Field Trips
A field trip is held at the end of the second term. This is designed to give practical experience of advanced techniques and technologies, and to highlight issues relating to the management of projects. It will be assessed as a component of the Management/Group Project module.

Although for practical reasons the field trip is assessed separately, in educational terms it is seen as forming a continuum throughout the second term along with the additional days afloat that form part of the Hydrographic Applications module. Collectively, these practical elements are sometimes referred to as the Integrated Marine Field Trip, with students taking on an increasing level of responsibility as the year progresses.

There are also Boat days held in conjunction with the PLA which take place on the river.

Total costs to the student are approximately £350.

​​What are my career prospects after this degree? Download e-Brochure

This programme offers exceptionally good career prospects. Many of our graduates go on to work for offshore surveying companies including Fugro, Gardline, Schlumberger, Horizon and Stolt Offshore (now Acergy). Others prefer shore-based jobs, or those that offer a mixture of time in the office and aboard survey vessels - examples include GEMS Survey and Netsurvey, or port authorities such as the Port of London or Singapore and Hong Kong.

Other careers include work for equipment manufacturers (Sonardyne), cable companies (Alcatel), national hydrographic offices (UKHO) or research careers (UCL).

Recent graduate career destinations include:

  • Senior Surveyor, Fugro Survey
  • Hydrographic Surveyor, GEMS
  • Hydrography Surveyor, Gardline Marine Science Ltd

For more information on fees, funding, applications and entry, visit the UCL prospectus page.

If you have any queries or would like further information, please contact our admissions team on (+44) (0)20 3108 4046 or email or Programme Director Dr Jon Iliffe.