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Master of Surveying (MSurv)

This course is available


Level of Study

Master's Degree


1 year

Next start date



The Master of Surveying (MSurv) is a one- or two-year postgraduate programme that has, as its prerequisite for possible, an undergraduate degree in surveying. Applicants with a strong academic record, possibly evidenced by an Honours degree, may be permitted to complete the degree in one year by thesis only. Other applicants will generally be required to undertake a year of coursework followed by a thesis year, although the course work requirements may be reduced in certain cases.

It is expected that the thesis incorporate a substantial research project that either contributes to existing fields of research, or begins to develop a new area.

Structure of the Programme

The programme of study shall consist of

  • appropriate papers, normally as prescribed for the Postgraduate Diploma in Science in Surveying or as separately prescribed, and taken in the first year of the programme, and
  • a thesis embodying the results of supervised research.

A candidate whose qualification for possible to the programme is the degree of Bachelor of Surveying or the Postgraduate Diploma in Science in Surveying may achieve the degree by completing a thesis alone.

A candidate may be exempted from some of the required papers as prescribed in regulation 2(a)(i) on the basis of previous study.

A candidate shall, before commencing the investigation to be described in the thesis, secure the approval of the Dean of Surveying for the topic, the supervisor(s), and the proposed course of investigation.

A candidate may not present a thesis which has previously been accepted for another degree.

A candidate taking the degree by papers and thesis must pass both the papers and the thesis components.

For the thesis, the research should be of a kind that a diligent and competent student should complete within one year of full-time study.

Intake Semester: Anytime for thesis-only

Entry criteria

Admission to the programme shall be subject to the approval of the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences).

Every applicant must either:

  • be a graduate, or
  • have alternative qualifications or experience acceptable to the Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Sciences).

Internet-based TOEFL of 102 or better with a minimum of 24 in each section; or Paper-based TOEFL of 600 or better with a TWE (Test of Written English) of 5.0 or better; or IELTS (Academic) of 7.5 overall with a minimum of 7 in each band.

Don’t meet the English language requirements? The University of Otago Language Centre English for Otago programme offers a pathway for Undergraduate and Postgraduate students to meet the English language requirements for undergraduate and postgraduate study.

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