MSc Hydrography

General information

Measuring, describing and depicting the seabed is crucial to the maintenance and development of ports, safe navigation, offshore renewables and the continuing search for hydrocarbons. Yet there is an international shortage of hydrographic surveyors. Seize this opportunity to gain a thorough knowledge of the science and technology of hydrography, experiencing the latest methods and equipment involved in exploring and managing the seabed whilst preparing for a career in this growth area.

The MSc in Hydrography gives you the s opportunity to gain a thorough knowledge of the science and technology of hydrography, experiencing the latest methods and equipment involved in exploring and managing the seabed whilst preparing for a career in this growth area.This is a commercially focused programme that’s been developed in response to industry requirements and an expressed commercial need.

Programme overview

Period 1: an intensive 15 week programme of classroom learning and field activities prepare you for the technical aspects of surveying and the research required in master’s study. 70 per cent lectures/seminars and 30 per cent practical, either within the laboratory or afloat. 

Period 2: specialise in advanced studies with a combination of the Digital Mapping and Survey Project Management modules, conforming to the academic requirements of the FIG/IHO Surveying Courses Board as Category A. Modules are selected based on industrial expectations and potential career requirements. 80 per cent lectures/seminars, 20 per cent practical. 

Period 3: undertake a self-managed final dissertation, supervised by an assigned academic. May comprise a desk study, laboratory experimentation, field observations, data acquisitions and processing.

Core modules

  • Acoustic and Oceanographic Surveying
  • Digital Mapping
  • Hydrography
  • MSc Dissertation
  • Research Skills and Methods
  • Survey Project Management
  • MSc Dissertation

Optional modules

  • Coastal Erosion and Protection
  • Economics of the Marine Environment
  • Managing Marine Ecosystems
  • Marine Planning
  • Remote Sensing and GIS
Contact Person: Gwyn Jones (


The highlighted icons, represent the fields of education (in compliance with ISCED Classification) engaged during this course/programme.

0312 - Policy and governance", "0731 - Marine spatial planning", "0532 - Marine Geology", "0031 - Project management", "0311 - Maritime economy", "0532 - Physical and chemical oceanography


Venue: Plymouth University
Plymouth, United Kingdom

School of Marine Science and Engineering
Smeaton building, Drake Circus
Plymouth PL4 8AA


  UK/EU International Islands
Full-time £8.250 £13.500 To be advised
Part-time per 10 credits £460  £750 To be advised


Degree Requirements 
A good degree in survey, technology or science. Applicants without recent formal qualifications may be acceptable - enquire about your suitability. Candidates interested in following the programme on a part-time basis are encouraged to contact the programme leader. Applicants with overseas qualifications can check their comparability with the UK equivalent through NARIC, who provide an advisory service.

Language Requirements 
If your first language is not English then evidence of English proficiency is required. The minimum IELTS score for acceptable English proficiency for entry is normally 6.5.

Application Procedure:

Apply using the online postgraduate application form. Alternatively you can download a copy of the application form to be submitted by hand, by post or via email with accompanying attachments. You will need the following documentation for both application ways:

  • Your fully completed and signed application form.
  • Original, or certified copies, of your qualifications to date, for example first degree certificate and full transcripts. 
  • Two references; at least one from an academic who has taught you. Both must be on headed paper and in sealed envelopes, signed across the seal by your referees.
  • A copy of the information page of your current passport (inform us immediately if you get a new passport at any time before you come to the UK to study).
  • A copy of any previous or current UK visa.
  • Any English language qualification.
  • Your curriculum vitae (CV) or resume detailing relevant work experience, if you feel it will contribute to your application.
  • Your personal statement.

Grant Opportunities:

Postgraduate Loan (PGL) for masters study. The new Postgraduate Loan for masters degrees in the UK will be introduced for students commencing in the 2016-17 academic year. As part of a new government funded masters loan scheme, masters students who are under the age of 60 can now access a loan of up to £10,000 as a contribution towards the cost of their study. The loans will be available for both taught and research masters programmes across all disciplines and subject areas (excluding PGCE, PgCert, PgDip, MClinRes or ResM). Find out more information on the new postgraduate loan.

Scholarships are available for international students.


Accredited by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science & Technology (IMarEST), the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and the Chartered Institute of Civil Engineering Surveyors (CICES).


Academic level: Master


Period 1: continual assessment is or by coursework.
Period 2: 50/50 coursework and formal examination for core modules, continuous for the one optional module.

Qualification: Master of Science
Occupations (not validated):
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