Engineering Surveying is a key facet of all civil engineering practice. This unit (NEC2104) of study promotes students' knowledge and skills in the sub-discipline of surveying - including the ability to select and operate basic and specialised surveying equipment appropriate to specific engineering tasks. Students learn to perform an engineering survey and critically analyse survey data results to inform subsequent design and construction considerations. The development of survey practices from their origins to contemporary contexts is also addressed. Students work in small teams to carry out eight fieldwork projects drawn predominantly from the areas of building and road engineering. Each survey project involves project analysis, calculations, practical use of surveying equipment and project evaluation. Topics include: Surveying reference and basic computations; Mapping, Vertical measurement and note keeping; Angular measurement and note keeping; Circular curves, Contours and Contouring; Area computations for polygons; Rectangular co-ordinates; Computations for earth works; Digital terrain models; Geographic positioning systems; and the Victorian land title system.

Unit details

Study level:
Credit points:
Unit code:


NEF1201 - Engineering Mathematics 2 or

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, students will be able to:
  1. Select, justify and use a range of survey equipment appropriate to specific design and construction tasks;  
  2. Measure and evaluate observational data according to established principles and regulations and critically analyse results to inform subsequent practice;  
  3. Design and set out circular curves, e.g. road alignments;  
  4. Produce appropriate scale contour maps of differing terrains;  
  5. Calculate areas and volumes of polygonal shapes for infrastructure design and construction;  
  6. Formulate and test solutions to specific survey problems, working both autonomously and as a member of a team.  


Assessment type Description Grade
Practicum Individual Fieldwork Practicals (3) 30%
Assignment Individual Written Assignment 20%
Test Individual Tests x 2 (25% each) 50%

Required reading

Refer to VU Collaborate for recommended reading and additional resources.

Elementary Surveying: An Introduction to Geomatics 13th ed.
Ghilani, C D & Wolf, P R. (2011)
New York: Pearson Education

Where to next?

As part of a course

This unit is studied as part of the following courses. Refer to the course page for information on how to apply for the course.

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