Course Title: Geodesy

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Geodesy

Credit Points: 12.00

Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


145H Mathematical & Geospatial Sciences


Sem 1 2006,
Sem 1 2007,
Sem 1 2008,
Sem 1 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 1 2014,
Sem 1 2015,
Sem 2 2016

Course Coordinator: Assoc Prof Don Grant

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 2424

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 12.11.09

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

GEOM2093 Surveying 4

Course Description

This course introduces you to Geometrical and Physical Geodesy.  It reinforces your knowledge and skills about the concepts upon which the science of geodesy is based and the mathematical tools applied.  It examines how terrestrial and increasingly space-based geodetic measurements and techniques are used to define, maintain and use global and local coordinate reference systems.  The Earth’s gravity field, and how it is used to define and relate gravimetric and geometric vertical reference surfaces, is investigated through the study of physical geodesy.

Please note that if you take this course for a bachelor honours program, your overall mark in this course will be one of the course marks that will be used to calculate the weighted average mark (WAM) that will determine your award level. (This applies to students who commence enrolment in a bachelor honours program from 1 January 2016 onwards. See the WAM information web page for more information.)


The WAM web page link:;ID=eyj5c0mo77631

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

On completion of this course you should be able to:

1. Compare global geometric coordinate reference frames and their application to a dynamic Earth for the definition of local geodetic datums.
2. Apply gravity-based coordinate reference systems (physical geodesy) for defining and comparing heights and height datums.
3. Integrate and analyse measurements from terrestrial and space-based measurement systems to generate coordinates in terms of coordinate reference frames.
4. Generate, apply and assess transformations between local and global coordinate frames.

This course contributes to the following Program Learning Outcomes for BH116 (Bachelor of Applied Science (Surveying) (Honours):

1.2 Demonstrate in-depth understanding of the spatial models and mathematical methods used in contemporary practice.
1.3 Understand specialist bodies of knowledge in surveying and geospatial science.
2.1 Apply standard and advanced techniques to solve a range of measurement and data management problems.
2.2 Proficiently perform survey computations in two and three dimensions
2.3 Be proficient in the recording, storage, management and reporting of spatial information.
4.1 Communicate effectively by means of oral, written and graphical presentations to peers and a wider audience.
5.1 Appreciate the environmental, social, legal and international aspects of actions and decisions in Surveying and the geospatial sciences.

Overview of Learning Activities

In this course you will be involved in a series of lectures, tutorials, class tests and assignment projects. You will work both individually and in groups on assignments that are designed to apply knowledge gained in lectures and tutorials; build your skills in operating geodetic software and web-based services;  and gain overall experience in current geodetic practices within the geospatial and surveying industry sector.

The course will involve 44 hours of lectures, tutorials and class tests over the semester. Sixty (60) hours of independent study time is expected.

Overview of Learning Resources

Learning resources will consist of lecture materials; online websites and databases; reference papers and texts; and software applications.
As an RMIT student you have access to extensive learning resources provided in the school and in the RMIT Library. Our library offers comprehensive services and facilities, geared to assist you in completing your studies successfully.  The Geospatial Subject Guide ( provides access to reference information. 

Overview of Assessment

This course has no hurdle requirements.

Assessment Tasks

Assessment Task 1: Assignments
Weighting 40%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4

Assessment Task 2: Class Tests
Weighting 20%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4

Assessment Task 3: Final Exam
Weighting 40%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 3, 4