School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences

GIS and Surveying & Mapping

GIS, Surveying & Mapping


Surveying, mapping and Geographical Information Systems (GIS) learning and research has a long, rich history at Newcastle University.

Our courses

Led by the university’s Geomatics group, there are the following degree courses:


From satellite analysis of environmental change to precision measurement of major civil engineering projects, these courses really do help you to see the world differently. These courses attract students from a wide range of backgrounds including science, geography, maths and ICT.

Fieldwork and placement

Field and practical work are key parts of the courses. And there are fantastic links to employers for both placement and graduate jobs.

An introduction to GIS, Surveying and Mapping at Newcastle.
Take a 60-second look at the GIS degree course at Newcastle.

Together with Industry

You will benefit from excellent links to the international geomatics industry throughout your degree.

Our Together with Industry programme is how we ensure your degree is closely aligned to the needs of employers.

Throughout our courses, students get to meet and hear from our industrial partners and potential employers.

Guest speakers deliver lectures and demonstrations throughout each year and even visit students during their field courses.

Life During and Beyond Geomatics

Every year starts with our annual professional awareness evening where companies and institutions come in to meet with students.

Many of the exhibitors are represented by our alumni, giving you the chance to hear from people who have studied the same course as you.

Industry Advisory Panel

Our Industrial Advisory Panel includes people from across the surveying, mapping and GIS industry.

The panel provides advice and guidance to staff and students about teaching, learning and career prospects.

Guest Speakers and Visitors

Your lectures and field courses are supported by industrial partners. From giving an update on the newest technology to joining you in the field in the Lake District, you'll become very used to hearing from practising professionals.

This video is about the industry and professional links we have.


Accreditation of our courses is a mark of assurance that the programmes meet standards set by industry.

Professional institutions

The Surveying & Mapping and GIS degrees are accredited by two professional institutions, the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) and Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors (ICES).


RICS is the world's leading professional body for setting standards in the surveying industry.


The ICES is an international qualifying body dedicated to the regulation, education and training of surveyors working within civil engineering.

Both groups prepare industry reports, news, events, training and development opportunities to help the profession grow and develop. 

Free membership

Our students can sign up for free student membership of the accrediting bodies, which can be a boost to your CV.

It also gives you access to resources and materials that may help you in your studies.

The logos for the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Chartered Institution of Civil Engineering Surveyors.


With such a hands-on subject, you need great facilities and state-of-the-art equipment. That is exactly what you’ll get when you study at Newcastle.

We work with a wide range of partners and suppliers to ensure our equipment and software is of a professional, industry-grade standard.

Geomatics Laboratory

You will have access to a dedicated Geomatics Laboratory that contains specialist computers, software and surveying instruments.

There are also two members of staff based there so you have easy access to specialist support.

You will use the laboratory to complete coursework, undertake experiments and work alongside fellow students.

Field equipment

During the degree you will get hands-on with a wide range of surveying instruments and software.

Our equipment pool includes basic field surveying equipment such as:

  • levels
  • advanced engineering surveying total stations
  • precision GPS receivers

We even have an unmanned airborne vehicle (UAV) to capture aerial survey data.

Professional GIS and Mapping software

To help manage the data that we collect from all of our equipment, we rely on a suite of professional software.

Data analysis & processing, mapping, GIS analysis, programming and 3D data visualisation can all be done using our broad range of software solutions.

The unmanned airborne vehicle our GIS students use for aerial survey data. Photo: David Bell
The unmanned airborne vehicle used for aerial surveys.

Field Courses

There are three residential field courses on both the Surveying and Mapping Science and Geographic Information Science degrees.

Induction field course

In the first week of your degree you’ll complete a two-day field course in North Yorkshire.

You’ll get to meet your new course mates and the staff who’ll be teaching you throughout your studies.

Outdoor work includes orienteering and a wide range of team building tasks.

This field course is free including your accommodation, meals and transport.

Stage one field course

Based in Borrowdale in the Lake District, this course typically lasts eight days.

In the first half of the week, our GIS students use industry-standard software to collect and analyse different data about the Seathwaite Valley.

Surveying and mapping students work to introduce a 3D co-ordinate system into the valley.

In the second half of the week, all students work together to do detailed surveying of the valley and prepare hand-drawn 1:1250 plots.

Industrial partners often visit the field course to spend time with the students and lend their insight as to its relevance to the world of work.

This field course costs £180, which includes all meals, transport and accommodation.

Stage three field course

The third year of the degrees start with an eight-day field course based in rural Northumberland.

The Advanced Survey field course focusses on precise monitoring, control surveys, data capture and road design.

The Advanced GIS field course explores the GIS data flowline practical field-based skills and use of new technology and software.

This field course costs £200, which includes all meals, transport and accommodation.

The surveying and mapping science first-year field course at Glaramara in the Lake District. Photo: Dave Fairbairn
Students on the first-year field course in the Lake District.


The school is proud to be able to offer a range of financial help for our GIS and Surveying & Mapping students. You can also apply for industrial and professional funding.