Hydrography is crucial to the sustainable management of marine environments. Yet there is an international shortage of hydrographic surveyors, data processors and analysts, during a period when technology is rapidly advancing. Seize this opportunity to gain a thorough knowledge of the science and technology of hydrography, experiencing the practical application of modern methods and equipment involved in exploring and managing the seabed whilst preparing for a career in this growth area.

Key Features

  • Graduate from a course that spans a range of disciplines and is accredited by the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Chartered Institute of Civil Engineering Surveyors (CICES).
  • Work towards developing your own professional hydrographic competencies through engaging with our International Marine Contractors Association (IMCA) industry supported competency scheme.
  • Study with the ocean right on your doorstep in our waterfront city. Benefit from the practical research opportunities and links to international marine businesses this brings, as well as access to the University’s specialist Marine Institute and the active South West Hydrographic community who actively support the course including Valeport, Fugro and Sonardyne.
  • Study aboard the University’s fleet of hydrographic research vessels and develop hands-on experience in state-of-the-art and progressive survey techniques including a variety of methods of data collection.
  • Develop your expertise in a broad range of industry standard software including data processing, visualisation, analysis and developing programming skills in our specialist hydrographic processing suite.
  • Prepare yourself on a commercially focused programme that has been developed in response to industry requirements and an expressed commercial need. Progress to a career in hydrographic research and development, port, nearshore and offshore surveying or environmental support and management.
  • Learn to use equipment on aerial, surface and subsurface platforms including GNSS positioning, acoustic mapping and positioning (e.g. single beam, multibeam, sidescan sonar, USBL), oceanographic survey (e.g. ADCP), aerial survey (e.g. photogrammetry) and geophysical survey (e.g. subbottom assessment).
  • Take the opportunity to engage with recent technological developments in autonomous and remotely operated surveying techniques through specialist industry-led workshops and our own fleet of remotely operated and autonomous vehicles.
  • Engage in debates around the wider aspects of hydrography and the implications for data capture, data management, processing and information systems including participating within our affiliated societies e.g. the Hydrographic Society and the Society for Underwater Technology.
  • Benefit from support from our specialist technical and teaching staff, as well as access to a series of industrial speakers and demonstrations of the latest technologies.
  • Develop your research skills through engaging in an active research community with internationally recognized expertise from the coast to deep-water. Gain knowledge, practical and analytical skills needed to design, develop and implement a final research project at postgraduate level.
  • Enhance your career opportunities through engagement in our structured employability programme including industry-led career events, industry placements, student presentation evenings with commercial partners and attendance at international hydrographic conferences.
  • There is excellent recruitment from the programme to the marine sector with global opportunities and the potential to travel in conjunction with your employment.

Entry Requirements

You will need a 2:1 or above degree in survey, technology or science. Other qualifications with relevant experience will be considered on a case by case basis; please contact the admissions tutor to enquire about your suitability.

If you are interested in following the programme on a part-time basis you’re encouraged to contact the programme leader.

Employment opportunities

There’s an international shortage of skilled hydrographic surveyors, meaning great opportunities and strong industrial and employment links for successful graduates.

Our graduates are employed worldwide in careers including hydrographic surveyors, geophysicists, research and development specialists and operational managers.

Surveying is a core activity in the sustainable management of our coastal and marine environment and resources. Most commercial work is in ocean exploration for the renewable energy sector, maintenance and development of coastal and marine environmental management, maintenance and development of ports, safe navigation, and exploration for energy and minerals.

Funding Information

Find out more about what funding options are available to you as a taught postgraduate student.

For more information, including details of how to apply please visit our website

Postgraduate open evening

Our Postgraduate Open Evenings are designed to help you find out about the range of postgraduate and professional development opportunities. Both academic and professional support staff from the University will be available to answer your questions and give you advice, guidance and information about our programmes.

Find out more about our next Postgraduate Open Evening

Funding Information

Funding applies to:

UK, EU and International applicants.

Please see our website for how to apply:
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