National Diploma in Surveying Level 6

Want to know the difference between a patch of grass and a land of opportunity? This unique course will set you straight! Designed solely for people already in the surveying industry, this Diploma allows workers to upskill without leaving their jobs.

As the only flexi-learn surveying course of its kind in New Zealand, you can attend campus classes one day each fortnight or attend them in real-time online from wherever you’re living.

It’s a stimulating learning environment which benefits from the wide variety of locations and ages of the students taking part.

Papers include topics such as heights and levelling, survey law, engineering design and planning, and survey methods. You’ll need a good head on your shoulders, a keen interest in maths, and a practical can-do attitude to carry out the physical tasks.

Graduates go on to work as survey technicians – measuring and plotting out land, processing and calculating the data using computer software, drafting and interpreting the ways the land can be used, and supervising field assistants.

Content Details

The programme is designed to be completed over three years and the following courses make up the qualification. Some students may currently have unit standards that can be credited and may therefore may be able to complete the qualification over a shorter period.

Course 1 - Computer Skills (9 credits) Gain computer spreadsheet and database skills.

Course 2 - Research & Report Writing (15 credits) Develop research skills and learn how to present ideas in letters and analytical reports.

Course 3 - Safety (16 credits) Learn about safety in the workplace, as well as road safety. You will be able to work as a Traffic Controller for Level 1 roads.

Course 4 - Understanding Height Differences in Levels (11 credits) Gain knowledge of heights and levelling with regard to datums.

Course 5 - New Zealand Survey Law (12 credits) Gain an overview of the New Zealand surveying system and legislation governing surveying in New Zealand.

Course 6 - Survey Instruments (8 credits) You’ll gain practical knowledge of survey instruments and how to use them.

Course 7 – Survey Measurement Practices (14 credits) You’ll record linear and angular field measurements using standard surveying instruments.

Course 8 – Survey Instruments and Measurement (10 credits) Learn about global positioning systems for survey practice.

Course 9 – Survey Computations (14 credits) You’ll use contemporary software to carry out survey computations, as well as gain an understanding of how to calculate areas, contours and volumes.

Course 10 – Maths in Surveying (19 credits) You will explore the use of mathematics in surveying.

Course 11 - Draughting & Topographical Plans (16 credits) Learn to produce a topographical survey plan and use a computer-aided draughting programme to produce scale drawings.

Course 12 - Engineering Design & Plans (21 credits) Learn about the design of infrastructure and services for subdivisions, including the preparation of working drawings.

Course 13 - Land Administration (12 credits) This course focuses on land administration around land development and surveying.

Course 14 - Land Development Planning (20 credits) You’ll develop skills to assess a site for subdivision and prepare resource consent application documents for subdivision.

Course 15 - Cadastral Surveying (22 credits) You’ll gain the skills in the production of cadastral survey data.

Course 16 - Survey Measurement Techniques (18 credits) Learn techniques to confirm the reliability of survey marks and methods around construction control and setout.

Course 17 - New Zealand Land Law (12 credits) Develop an overview of the legislation governing land development in New Zealand.

Course 18 - Geodesy & Reference Systems (13 credits) You’ll gain practical knowledge about map projections, geodetic reference systems and geodetic datums.

Optional Specialisation: Māori Land Tenure (13 credits) You may choose to add this option to your qualification. During the course you will review the differences in Māori and Pakeha views of the natural world to then build on knowledge about the Māori land judicial system and legislation surrounding Māori land.


Flexi-learn is designed for students who have current work experience and knowledge within the land surveying profession.

The programme is taught over three years. Courses commence on 13 February and finish on 20 November 2015 but you may join the programme during the year dependent on the courses that are available. Refer to the timetable available from the Information Centre or School of Applied Technology.

You attend class one day each fortnight from 8.00am to 4.30pm. You will be required to undertake self-directed study of approximately 10 hours per week.

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Indicative Fees

Course 1 - $209 Computer Skills

Course 2 - $350 Research & Report Writing

Course 3 - $373 Safety

Course 4 - $257 Understanding Height Differences in Levels

Course 5 - $280 New Zealand Survey Law

Course 6 - $186 Survey Instruments

Course 7 - $327 Survey Measurement Practices

Course 8 - $234 Survey Instruments and Measurement

Course 9 - $327 Survey Computations

Course 10 - $444 Maths in Surveying

Course 11 - $373 Draughting & Topical Plans

Course 12 - $492 Engineering Design & Plans

Course 13 - $280 Land Administration

Course 14 - $468 Land Development Planning

Course 15 - $515 Cadastral Surveying

Course 16 - $421 Survey Measurement Techniques

Course 17 - $280 New Zealand Law

Course 18 - $302 Geodesy & Reference Systems

Optional Strand: Māori Land Tenure - TBA

As a guide, allow for additional costs throughout the programme, for example, $150 for a traffic management course, $300 for reference text, $100 for Landonline Digital Certificate and $250 for a programmable calculator.

The fee shown for domestic students is applicable to New Zealand citizens and permanent residents. If an international fee is not listed above please refer to the international fees page. All fees are indicative only and subject to change.

You may be eligible for a StudyLink Student Loan for your tuition fees. If you also need to pay course related costs, i.e. if outlined in programme costs above, you need to apply separately to StudyLink (up to $1,000/academic year for eligible students). Note course related costs are paid directly into your bank account by StudyLink and you will be required to pay this to Bay of Plenty Polytechnic.

Qualifications Gained

  • National Diploma in Surveying Level 6

Career Opportunities

  • Land surveying technician
  • Land surveyor

Other Study Pathways:

  • Bachelor of Surveying - BSurv
  • Bachelor of Applied Science BAppSci (GIS) (Geographic Information Systems)
  • Bachelor of Science BSc (LPD) (Land Planning and Development)
  • Bachelor of Science BSc (SM) (Survey Measurement) - students can specialise in hydrographic surveying, engineering surveying or photogrammetry

Entry Criteria

To gain entry into this programme, you must meet the following criteria:

  1. 36 NCEA Level 2 credits in four subjects (English, Graphics and/or Design, Computing and/or Physics)
  2. A minimum of 12 achievement standard credits from the Mathematics subfield at Level 3 including one achievement standard in each of the algebra, trigonometry and geometry domains
  3. Currently working in the industry (Flexi students only)
  4. The Polytechnic will consider students for special admission who do not satisfy the standard academic entry requirements of a programme but who, in the opinion of the Programme Co-ordinator, are capable of achieving the programme outcomes

The level of mathematics required for this programme is demanding.  Applicants may be recommended to summer school where some level 4 content will be introduced.

If you don't meet the entry requirements, take a look at our Certificate in Foundation Studies (Pathway to Diploma/Degree).

English Language Requirements

International applicants for whom English is not their first language will be required to show evidence of language competency, issued within the last two years, before being eligible to enrol in any non-English programme. The level of competency required is outlined in Rule 18 and Appendix 2 of the NZQF Programme and Accreditation Rules 2013 and below under the title English Competency.

International applicants who have English as their first language, or as one of their first languages, must have either:

  • Completed all primary education and at least 3 years secondary education at schools where English was the language of instruction
  • Completed at least 5 years of secondary education at schools using English as the language of instruction

Applicants who cannot provide evidence that supports the above criteria must provide evidence of English language competency before being eligible to enrol.
For domestic applicants for whom English is not their first language evidence of language competency may be required.

English Competency

  • IELTS Academic score of 6 with no band score lower than 5.5 or completed Certificate in Foundation Studies (ESOL) L4 OR
  • A score of Level 7 in the University of Waikato Language Institute – Certificate of Attainment in Academic English or meets a relevant English Proficiency Outcome as outlined in Rule 18 and Appendix 2 of the NZQF Programme and Accreditation Rules 2013