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Topographical Engineering

2014 unit code: CVE20001 (formerly HES2131)

Please note that unit codes have changed from 2014.
Credit points12.5 Credit Points
Duration1 Semester
Contact hours68 hours
CampusHawthorn, Sarawak
CorequisitesHES2146C Computer Aided Engineering Civil

Aims and objectives

This unit of study aims to provide you with an introduction to and application of surveying theory and fieldwork techniques, including data analysis.
After successful completion of this unit, you should be able to:
1. Use an automatic level. (K1, K3, S1)
2. Use a Total Station to undertake a traverse. (K1, K3, S1)
3. Quantify a distance to an accuracy of 1:6000 or better. (K1, K2, K3)
4. Quantify an angle/Bearing to an accuracy of 10” of arc or better. (K1, K2, K3)
5. Quantify and analyse digital data. (K1, K2, K3)
6. Generate high quality documentation and plans as part of a team. (A2, A7)
Swinburne Engineering Competencies for this Unit of Study
This Unit of Study will contribute to you attaining the following Swinburne Engineering Competencies:
K1 Basic Science: Proficiently applies concepts, theories and techniques of the relevant natural and physical sciences.
K2 Maths and IT as Tools: Proficiently uses relevant mathematics and computer and information science concepts as tools.
K3 Discipline Specific: Proficiently applies advanced technical knowledge of the specific discipline within that context.
S1 Engineering Methods: Applies engineering methods in practical applications.
A2 Communication: Demonstrates effective communication to professional and wider audiences.
A7 Teamwork: Demonstrates effective team membership and team leadership.

Teaching methods

Lectures (24 hours), Fieldwork (36 hours), Laboratory Work (8 hours)



Individual or Group Assessment




60% - 70%


Individual & Group

30% - 40%


  • Types of Survey and required accuracies and precisions
  • Levelling
  • Contouring
  • Angles and Bearings
  • Measurement Principals and application
  • Data collection using Electronic Total Station
  • Digital data processing

Reading materials

HES2131 Topographical Engineering: Tutorials and Practical Notes, Swinburne University Press (reviewed annually)
HES2131 Topographical Engineering: Lecture Series, Swinburne University Press (reviewed annually)
Survey Field Book (Student Bookshop)
Full scientific alpha-numeric calculator

Text books

Bannister, A. & Raymond, S. (1998). Surveying, Longman Scientific & Technical, Harlow, Essex; Wiley.
McCormick, J. (2013). Surveying, Wiley.