MEng Civil Engineering with Industrial Experience / Course details

Year of entry: 2024

Course unit details:

Course unit fact file
Unit code CIVL20252
Credit rating 10
Unit level Level 2
Teaching period(s) Full year
Available as a free choice unit? No


Surveying is an essential part of the design and construction of civil engineering projects.  It comprises measuring the shape, size and position of existing features, setting out markers for construction, and checking the completed works.

The unit is delivered by a combination of lectures, campus practical exercises, and a field course.  On the field course, students survey an area and make a map which they will later use for a design project.


The unit aims to enable students to describe and explain common civil engineering surveying instruments, procedures and calculations, and to perform the procedures and calculations in practice to produce a realistic site survey. In addition, the students learn about latest technologies relevant to surveying including 3D laser scanning and point cloud data registration.


The lectures and associated tutorial problems cover:

- Nature and purpose of civil engineering surveying

- Operating principles and procedures for "level" and "total station" and “3D laser scanner” instruments

- Height measurement by "levelling": procedures, calculations, checks and adjustments

- Height measurement by "trigonometric heighting": procedures, calculations and checks

- Coordinate systems and map projections

- "Control" surveys for accurate positioning by "triangulation" and "traverse": procedures, calculations, checks and adjustments
- "Detail" surveys for measuring features and relief: procedures, calculations, checks and adjustments

- Principals of 3D laser scanning and point cloud registration
- Basic theory of measurement errors and its application in surveying
- Introduction to GPS/GNSS and its surveying applications

The lecture material is assessed by an unseen examination.

Cluster computer sessions and exercises cover:

- Specialist surveying software, such as “Microsurvey Starnet” and “Topcon’s MAGNET”.

- Point cloud data registration and editing using “Leica’s Cyclone REGISTER 360”. This exercise will be assessed and marked by staff.

Campus practical exercise (group exercise):

- Total station: setting up the instrument and target over designated points, conducting (control survey) using total station instrument. This exercise will be assessed and marked by staff.

On the field course (approximately 5 days per student), students work in small teams to carry out various surveying tasks. These are organised so that the combined output from the teams is a map of the site (and associated data if relevant), which the students then use in a design project in Design 2.  The work is managed by student managers in each team, and by staff.  The students gain experience in surveying measurements, data checking and editing, paper and computer calculations, plotting, report writing, team working and management including risk assessment.  The field course is assessed on a written report (including measured data, calculations, plots, etc.) from each team and an individual peer assessment score for each student.

Assessment methods

Method Weight
Other 10%
Written exam 50%
Report 37%
Practical skills assessment 3%

Feedback methods

Assessed practicals will be marked and returned to students.
Feedback reports on the field course submissions will be provided.

Study hours

Scheduled activity hours
eAssessment 4
Lectures 16
Practical classes & workshops 3
Project supervision 40
Tutorials 12
Independent study hours
Independent study 25

Teaching staff

Staff member Role
Mojgan Hadi Mosleh Unit coordinator

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