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Two students operating a total station machine in the outdoor environment next to a stream

New Zealand Diploma in Surveying

Have you ever wondered how a GPS works, Google Maps is informed, how people navigate the earth, or who decides where and how to build skyscrapers? Join the profession that shapes the world we live in.

240 (2.0 EFTS)
Mt Albert
Start dates
February (full-time or part-time) or July (part-time only). The July intake is only open to domestic students.
Full-time for two years or part-time options can be negotiated.

Programme overview

Enter into the highly employable world of surveying and geospatial science, and you’ll enjoy a varied and outdoorsy career which involves interacting regularly with other businesses and sectors.

Surveyors have to be skilled in both measurement and resource management. They collect and analyse information about land, water and other natural resources, and help manage our environment by mapping the earth and the sea floor, establishing property boundaries, and providing accurate data for engineering works.

The New Zealand Diploma in Surveying will develop your knowledge and skills in a wide range of topics including:

  • Geodetic surveying
  • Cadastral surveying
  • Engineering surveying
  • Mapping
  • Computer Aided Design (CAD)
  • Satellite navigation systems
  • Geographic Information Systems (GIS)
  • Data management and land administration


  • Unitec's New Zealand Diploma in Surveying is recognised and supported by Survey and Spatial New Zealand. Successful completion of the programme enables you to apply for associate membership to the Survey and Spatial New Zealand.
  • A nationally recognised qualification that equips you with the skills to work as a land surveyor
  • A highly employable profession in New Zealand 
  • Emphasis on practical assignments, including a lot of time outdoors
  • Access to the latest surveying equipment and technology
  • A focus on technology: because surveyors have to be up-to-date with the latest technology, you’ll further your computer skills and learn to use surveying software
  • Well-connected to industry: our advisory boards include experts who keep us up-to-date with industry trends and relevant legislation. We’re also well-connected with all the top surveying employers in Auckland who are very keen to employ our students.

Qualification and what's next

Once you've successfully completed this programme pathway you'll receive the qualification: New Zealand Diploma in Surveying.

Required equipment for this programme

For this programme you will need:

  • Safety footwear: lace-up steel cap shoes/boots (avoid elastic-sided boots)
  • Orange high-visibility vest with zip
  • Sun protection: e.g., sun hat as you’re often outdoors

Textbooks are not required. Should you be interested in supporting texts, however, we recommend “Surveying for Engineers,” 5th edition by Uren and Price (also available on load from the Unitec Library)

Admission requirements

You will need the following:

1. 48 credits at NCEA Level 2 in four different subjects including:

  • 12 credits in Mathematics (preferably in algebra, geometry and trigonometry) or equivalent
  • 8 credits in English (4 in reading, 4 in writing)

High levels of oral, written and interpersonal communications and mathematical skills are required to complete this programme.

2. If English is not your first language, you will need one or more of the following:

  • Have achieved NCEA Level 3 and New Zealand University Entrance 
  • Be able to provide evidence you satisfy our criteria for existing English proficiency
  • Have achieved at least one English proficiency outcome in the last two years

Don't meet the requirements? We also accept:

  • Provide sufficient evidence to be eligible for special or discretionary admission

For more information, download the programme regulations:

Programme Regulations

Courses and timetables

For more details on the courses, please click on the course names below. Please note that our systems are updating with new course timetable information for 2024; please check back again soon.

Courses Credits Aim
Surveying Computations A (ENCE4201) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop understanding and techniques related to calculations involved in survey practice.
Technical Literacy (ENGGDE4103) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop technical research skills along with oral, written, graphical and interpersonal communication skills.
Land Surveying 1 (ENGGDE4202) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To understand and apply the theoretical and practical concepts of Land Surveying
Courses Credits Aim
Surveying Studies (ENCE5202) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To introduce the principles and safe practice of land surveying and its connections to the natural and cultural world of New Zealand.
Land Administration 1 (ENCE5203) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop introductory knowledge and understanding regarding the New Zealand surveying system, land settlement and use, land administration and registration systems
Surveying Drawing Skills (ENCE5206) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop skills required to produce surveying and civil engineering drawings.
Surveying Computations B (ENCE5210) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To further develop understanding and techniques related to calculations involved in survey practice.
Engineering Surveying (ENGGDE5205) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop further knowledge and understanding of surveying with specific reference to engineering applications.
Courses Credits Aim
Land Development 2 (ENCE6208) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop understanding and skills for the preparation of subdivision plans and resource consent applications in a surveying context.
Geodetic Surveying (ENCE6209) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop knowledge and skills related to geodetic reference systems and associated geodetic computations.
Land Administration 2 (ENCE6210) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To further develop knowledge and understanding of New Zealand land settlement and use, land administration structures and procedures
Surveying Project (ENCE6212) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To further develop understanding of surveying practice and to make connections between previously acquired knowledge and skills
Land Development 1 (ENCE6213) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop understanding and skills related to the concepts and design of services infrastructure for land subdivisions
Land Surveying 2 (ENGGDE6207) 15 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop further land surveying knowledge and skills.
Geographic Information Systems (NSCI6743) 15.0 credits (0.125 EFTS) To develop understanding in the use and application of GIS, GPS (Global Positioning Systems) and RS (Remote Sensing) for modelling and presenting spatial data and information.

Unitec is part of Te Pūkenga

On 1 October 2022 Unitec became part of Te Pūkenga. Find out more about Te Pūkenga and what this means for you.