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Study information

Surveying and Land/Environmental Management (2023)

1. Programme Title:

Surveying and Land/Environmental Management

NQF Level:


2. Description of the Programme (as in the Business Approval Form)

The master’s programme in Surveying and Land/Environmental Management will provide you will the skills that form the basis for an exciting and rewarding career as well as a qualification accredited by both the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors and the Chartered Institute of Civil Engineering Surveyors helping you to accelerate your progression to Charted Surveyor status.  As a result, employability for graduates from this programme is excellent with opportunities in a wide range of industries across the globe.  Although a significant number of graduates seek employment in the mining industry (where the Camborne School of Mines background can be a great asset), the course is broadly based and provides a sound basis for a career in any aspect of surveying.  For instance, past graduates have flourished in land survey, environmental survey and hydrographic survey roles. Our geographic location provides outstanding opportunities for practical fieldwork with easy access to environmental remediation sites, an underground mine, coastal sites, underwater sites and many other exciting locations.

3. Educational Aims of the Programme

The programme aims to produce graduates who can practice effectively in surveying (geomatics) and land and/or environmental management which requires appropriate training in management, geomatics, legal and environmental subjects. The programme continues the practical traditions established at The Camborne School of Mines for more than a century and has an MSc status. Many jobs are of an increasingly technical nature and require the numeracy and computer literacy that the programme also aims to develop. Whilst many students enrolling upon the programme regard it as a vocational degree, the scientific training received will facilitate careers in many fields. In addition, the programme aims to develop the transferable skills frequently sought by potential employers, such as those associated with verbal and written communication and teamwork. The Course is accredited by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors, and the Chartered Institute of Civil Engineering Surveyors so graduates can acquire chartered status much more rapidly than would otherwise be possible.

4. Programme Structure

Your MSc Surveying and Land/Environmental Management programme is a (1) year programme of study at National Qualification Framework (NQF) level (7) (as confirmed against the FHEQ). This programme is divided into (1) ‘Stages’. Each Stage is normally equivalent to an academic year.  The programme is also divided into units of study called ‘modules’ which are assigned a number of ‘credits’. The credit rating of a module is proportional to the total workload, with 1 credit being nominally equivalent to 10 hours of work. The programme can be taken as a part-time, and in this case is designed for all Stage 1 modules to be completed in two or in three academic years.


Interim Awards

If you do not complete the programme you may be able to exit with a lower qualification.

Postgraduate Diploma: At least 120 credits of which 90 or more must be at level 7.

Postgraduate Certificate: At least 60 credits of which 45 or more must be at level 7.



5. Programme Modules

The following tables describe the programme and constituent modules. Constituent modules may be updated, deleted or replaced as a consequence of the annual programme review of this programme. Details of the modules currently offered may be obtained from the College web site

You may take Option Modules as long as any necessary prerequisites have been satisfied, where the timetable allows and if you have not already taken the module in question or an equivalent module. Descriptions of the individual modules are given in full on the College web site


Stage 1

Code Title Credits Compulsory NonCondonable
CSMM118Project and Dissertation60YesYes
CSMM131Health and Safety in the Extractive Industry15YesNo
CSMM134Land Surveying15YesYes
CSMM136Project Management15YesNo
CSMM139Advanced Surveying15YesNo
CSMM143GIS For Surveyors15YesYes
CSMM185Soil and Water Contamination15YesNo
CSMM190Site Investigation Including Near Surface Geophysics15YesNo
CSMM191Mineral Property Management and Law15YesNo

Full-time students will take all modules.

Part-time students who study modules over two years, must take at least 60 credits in the first year. The remaining credits and dissertation are taken in the second year.

Part-time students who study modules over three years will take credits each year in negotiation with the Programme Leader. The dissertation will always be taken in the final year.

6. Programme Outcomes Linked to Teaching, Learning & Assessment Methods

On successfully completing the programme you will be able to: Intended Learning Outcomes (ILOs) will be accommodated & facilitated by the following learning & teaching and evidenced by the following assessment methods:

A Specialised Subject Skills & Knowledge

demonstrate subject knowledge and understanding of:
1. geomatics: levelling, traversing, operation of traditional and modern geomatics equipment, data processing including knowledge of specialist surveying software
2. geomatics: modelling of spatial data in GIS.
3. project management: Methods and tools for planning and executing large scale multi-disciplined projects including elements of contract law and financial considerations.
4. the UK legal system pertaining to land ownership, contracts, mineral planning, mineral rights and royalties
5. design and execution of environmental management programmes
6. occupational health and safety, environmental, industrial relations and cultural obligations.
7. professional responsibility towards the broader community, and of its expectations related to the industry and chosen discipline.
8. at a basic level, geology, mineralogy, mining engineering and general engineering disciplines.

Learning & Teaching Activities

Material is introduced by lectures and directed reading/research and students are given very clear guidance in how to manage their learning. Understanding is developed and consolidated in tutorials and by fieldwork and private study exercises, carried out individually and in groups, both self-assessed and tutor marked to provide rapid feedback. Project work is used extensively to integrate material and make knowledge functional.

1 is supported explicitly by dedicated lectures/practicals giving the students hands-on experience of modern and traditional techniques.
2 is supported by the GIS for Surveyors module
3 is supported explicitly by the Project Management  module
4 is supported explicitly by the Land Management and Law for Surveyors modules supplemented by elements of other modules
5 is supported by the Mine Wastes: Principles, Monitoring and Remediation
6 is supported explicitly by the Health, Safety in the Extractive Industries module
7 & 8 are supported implicitly by the nature of the material used for case studies in the modules taught on the course.

Assessment Methods

Direct assessment is through a range of formal written examinations, and marked coursework in the form of problem sheets, fieldwork reports, reports/essays based on directed reading and research. Project work is assessed through a combination of supervisor's report, and formal assessment of final reports and presentations.

B Academic Discipline Core Skills & Knowledge

Intellectual (thinking) skills – able to:
1 demonstrate a systematic and creative approach to problem solving.
2. apply appropriate mathematical methods, scientific principles and computer based methods to the modelling, analysis and solution of practical engineering problems.
3. create a complete design, product or service to meet a customer need, starting from negotiation of specifications, showing creativity and justifying all decisions.
4. take a holistic approach to design and problem solving.
5. assess and manage risks (e.g.: commercial, safety, environmental etc.).
6. take personal responsibility for acting in a professional and ethical manner.

Practical skills – able to:
7. select and use appropriate ICT based tools for analysis, design and communication of designs.
8. select and use field equipment appropriately and correctly.
9. work safely in the field and office environments etc., and promote safe practice.

Learning & Teaching Activities

1 and 2 are integrated into most modules and developed steadily throughout the programme. 3 and 4 are introduced in the Professional Development module and developed in other modules. 5 and 6 are developed by use in the Professional Development module with specific areas developed in the Project Management and Health & safety in the Extractive Industries modules.

7 and 8 are introduced in the Advanced Surveying module.

9 is developed in the Health & Safety in the Extractive Industries and Project Management modules.

Assessment Methods

Analytical skills are assessed within many modules through a range of formal written examinations, and marked coursework in the form of problem sheets etc. These skills are primarily shown in project work however. This leads into the final Project and Dissertation, assessed on the basis of practical work/results and final report by a supervisor and second examiner against clearly set out assessment criteria.

These practical skills are assessed through fieldwork exercises and associated reports and simulated management situation exercises.

C Personal / Transferable / Employment Skills & Knowledge

1 . communicate effectively and persuasively using the full range of currently available methods.
2. manage resources and time.
3. work in a team, which may be multi-disciplinary.
4. learn independently, identifying own personal development needs and goals, reflecting on own performance and managing own personal development.
5. obtain and process information from a wide range of sources, which may be conflicting, analyse it critically and apply this information in engineering applications.
6. sort, manipulate and present data in a way that facilitates effective analysis and decision making.

Learning & Teaching Activities

These skills are developed through all modules of the programme. In particular, Skill 2 will benefit from material delivered in the Project Management module.

Assessment Methods

Assessment of key skills is mostly through items of coursework: written presentations, and through project work. 3 is implicitly assessed in the continuous part of many other module assessments. 4 is implicit in the Professional Development module. 5 and 6 are implicitly assessed in many modules.

7. Programme Regulations

The programme consists of 180 credits with 90 credits taken at each stage where the programme is offered part time.  The pass mark for award of credit in an individual PG module is 50%.

Condonement is the process that allows you to pass a ‘stage’ should you fail to achieve the required number of credits in any stage.

You are required to achieve 180 credits in each stage of the programme. You must have achieved an average mark of at least 50% across the 180 credits of assessment including the marks for any failed and condoned modules. You will not be allowed reassessment in the condoned credit.  Up to 45 credits of failure can be condoned in a stage. However, you must pass the modules marked with a 'Yes' in the 'non-condonable' column in the tables above. The pass mark for these modules is 50%.

Assessment and Awards

The award will normally be based on at least 180 credits of which 150 or more must be at level M


The marking of modules and the classification of awards broadly corresponds to the following percentage marks:

Postgraduate Degrees

Distinction   70%+

Merit            60-69%

Pass            50-59%

Full details of  PGT programmes assessment regulations can be found in the Teaching Quality Assurance Manual (TQA) on the University of Exeter website.  Generic marking criteria are also published here.

Please see the Teaching and Quality Assurance Manual for further guidance.


8. College Support for Students and Students' Learning

Personal and Academic tutoring: It is University policy that all Colleges should have in place a system of academic and personal tutors. The role of academic tutors is to support you on individual modules; the role of personal tutors is to provide you with advice and support for the duration of the programme and extends to providing you with details of how to obtain support and guidance on personal difficulties such as accommodation, financial difficulties and sickness. You can also make an appointment to see individual teaching staff.

Students have access to good computing and library facilities at Tremough. Computer-based exercises and web-based learning materials are a feature of the programme, which can be accessed via the internet. IT Services provide a range of central services, including open and training clusters of PCs (available on a 24/7 basis) within the Centre. Network access is available from all rooms in the hall of residence on site. On the Tremough campus in Cornwall, the Learning Resource Centre contains a library of 70,000 volumes and some specialist collections. In addition, students have full access to the central University of Exeter library, including the electronic library resources.

Online Module study resources provide materials for modules that you are registered for, in addition to some useful subject and IT resources. Generic study support resources, library and research skills, past exam papers, and the 'Academic Honesty and Plagiarism' module are also available through the student portal (

Student/Staff Liaison Committee enables students & staff to jointly participate in the management and review of the teaching and learning provision.

10. Admission Criteria

 All applications are considered individually on merit. The University is committed to an equal opportunities policy with respect to gender, age, race, sexual orientation and/or disability when dealing with applications. It is also committed to widening access to higher education to students from a diverse range of backgrounds and experience.

Candidates must satisfy the general admissions requirements of the University of Exeter.


11. Regulation of Assessment and Academic Standards

Each academic programme in the University is subject to an agreed College assessment and marking strategy, underpinned by institution-wide assessment procedures.

The security of assessment and academic standards is further supported through the appointment of External Examiners for each programme. External Examiners have access to draft papers, course work and examination scripts. They are required to attend the Board of Examiners and to provide an annual report. Annual External Examiner reports are monitored at both College and University level. Their responsibilities are described in the University's code of practice.  See the University's TQA Manual for details.



12. Indicators of Quality and Standards

Certain programmes are subject to accreditation and/ or review by professional and statutory regulatory bodies (PSRBs).

The MSc Surveying and Land/Environmental Management is accredited by the Royal Institute of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and by the Chartered Institute of Civil Engineering Surveyors (CICES).

A degree in an accredited programme (RICS) forms part of the requirements for the graduate route to chartered membership of the RICS. The dates applicable to the current accreditation of this degree programme can be viewed on the RICS list of accredited degrees:

A degree in an accredited programme (CICES) is a mark of assurance that the programme meets standards set by industry. The dates applicable to the current accreditation of this degree programme can be viewed on the ICES list of accredited degrees:

14 Awarding Institution University of Exeter
15 Lead College / Teaching Institution College of Engineering, Mathematics & Physical Sciences, Camborne School of Mines
16 Partner College / Institution
17 Programme accredited/validated by RICS/CICES
18 Final Award(s) MSc
19 UCAS Code (UG programmes) C704
20 NQF Level of Final Awards(s): 7
21 Credit (CATS and ECTS) 180 credits (90 ECTS)
22 QAA Subject Benchmarking Group (UG and PGT programmes) Building and Surveying
23 Origin Date February 8th 2023 Last Date of Revision: February 8th 2023