Geomatics staff and students in the School of Civil Engineering and Geosciences carry out cutting-edge research encompassed under two main themes; Geodesy and Geospatial Engineering, participating in major projects funded predominantly by research councils, industry and government.

Our research transcends traditional scientific disciplinary boundaries such as geography, mathematics and IT.

The work that we undertake has significant relevance in non-academic settings and we regularly apply it through consultancy to industry, from the global offshore industry to local authorities and survey and engineering companies.

Research Areas

In geodesy we focus predominantly on:

• computations and analysis for GPSIGNSS
• satellite tracking and Earth’s gravity field
• engineering and geophysical inferences (including ice sheet mass balance, hydrological loading and sea level change)

Postgraduate training in geodesy provides a diverse set of sought after geophysical skills and we collaborate with a wide range of other geophysicists to work on problems of wide societal and scientific interest.

Geospatial engineering covers the collection, management, processing, analysis and application of geographic information encompassing the disciplines of photogrammetry and laser scanning, remote sensing and geoinformatics (including GIS).

Our scientific research is conducted at a variety of scales relating to the natural and built environment.

This research forms an essential element of the Centre for Earth Systems Engineering Research, which tackles the complexity of coupled technological, human and natural systems with research that is shaping the management of long-term change and associated uncertainties, in particular in river basins, urban areas and national infrastructure provision.


You will be fully integrated into our research community and enjoy access to world-class facilities for geomatics research, including:

• a suite of the latest generation GNSS receivers
• three terrestrial laser scanning instruments
• an advanced geospatial engineering computing facility

MPhil/PhD Study

You will be matched with research-active academics, who will provide advice and support throughout your research project.

The first three months of study involve quite intensive theoretical and practical tuition to ensure that you have the study skills to plan your project and can use the equipment and software related to your research.

Research students are also supported in their studies through a structured programme of supervision and training via our faculty specific  Research Training Programmes which have been endorsed by the UK research councils and adhere to their framework of excellence.

Your Study Experience

You will be encouraged to attend our weekly research seminar series and to present your work at our annual postgraduate research conference, group seminars and relevant international conferences.

You will also be encouraged to publish your work in international leading journals in our fields of research.

Professional Development

• Geomatics research students are also encouraged to actively engage with both industrial partners and key stakeholders within our research portfolio.
• Our research students gain excellent preparation for a potential career within academia and also within geomatics-related industries and technological sectors.

Postgraduate degrees in this subject area: