Course Title: Terrestrial Surveying

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Terrestrial Surveying

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code




Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)


City Campus


145H Mathematical & Geospatial Sciences


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


City Campus


171H School of Science


Sem 2 2017,
Sem 2 2018,
Sem 2 2019,
Sem 2 2020,
Sem 2 2021,
Sem 2 2022

Course Coordinator: Dr Lucas Holden

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 9925 1916

Course Coordinator Email:

Course Coordinator Location: 012.10.14

Course Coordinator Availability: By appointment, by email

Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

Enforced prerequisite:

GEOM2089 Plane Surveying and Computations

Course Description

This course consists of four (4) key topics areas that provide core information for surveying students:

  • Surveying computations, applied least squares and coordinate transformation
  • Determine and set-out coordinated positions
  • Introduction to private sector and government surveying and data services used by surveyors
  • Total stations and survey instrument testing

Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

On completion of this course you should be able to:

  1. Undertake required computations, analysis, interpretation and presentation of survey information including coordinate transformations
  2. Determine and set-out coordinated positions in the field
  3. Explain and apply least squares adjustment of survey measurements and coordinates
  4. Conduct basic calibration of a surveying total station and other instruments
  5. Review the digital data and services available from government and private sector for surveying

This course contributes to the development of the following Program Learning Outcomes in BH116 (Bachelor of Applied Science (Surveying) and BH117 (Bachelor of Science (Geospatial Science):

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.
1.4 Understand and interpret the law as it relates to Surveying.
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.
3.1 Design and implement solutions to complex problems in survey measurement and land development.
3.2 Interpret and critically analyse results and make informed judgments on the appropriateness of solutions.
3.3 Apply critical and analytical skills in a scientific and professional manner.
5.3 Develop an understanding of the regulatory framework and the general professional environment graduates will encounter, including a commitment to continuing professional development and life-long learning.
6.2 Work with others and contribute in a constructive manner to group and team activities.
6.3 Professionally manage and use information.

Overview of Learning Activities

This course will actively engage you in a series of lectorials, tutorials, class quizzes and practical work. The tutorials, practicals and assignments are designed to apply and reinforce the theoretical concepts so you can develop a deeper understanding and sharpen your practical skills. The class quizzes will allow you to assess your level of understanding throughout the semester (formative assessment).

The course will involve approximately 74 hours of lectorials, tutorials practical projects and class quizzes over the semester.  60 hours of independent study time is also expected.

Overview of Learning Resources

Learning resources will consist of lectorial materials; online websites and databases; reference papers and texts; and software applications.
As a student enrolled in this course you have access to extensive learning resources provided in the school and in the RMIT Library. The 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: Assignment 1
Weighting 15%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 3

Assessment Task 2: Practical Field Projects
Weighting 45%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 2, 4

Assessment Task 3: Class Quizzes
Weighting 10%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 3, 4, 5

Assessment Task 4: Assignment 2 
Weighting 30%
This assessment task supports CLOs 1, 3, 4, 5