Available in 2021
Course code



10 units


3000 level

Course handbook


The course involves:

1. the fundamentals and modern concerns of geodesy, recent developments and applications of global and satellite geodesy;

2. the gravity field of the earth and how it affects observations;

3. the geometry of the ellipsoid;

4. determination of geographical and map projection coordinates from geodetic observations; and

5. the concept of a geodetic datum and how to transform coordinates from one datum to another.

Availability2021 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2021

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Apply an elementary understanding of the way the earth's gravity field affects surveying observations, and how these observations can be reduced from the earth’s topography to the map.

2. Implement foundational knowledge of the geometry of the ellipsoid and of map projections.

3. Incorporate the Geocentric Datum of Australia, Australian Height Datum and Map Grid of Australia principles into geodetic surveying tasks.

4. Apply fundamental practice on establishing geodetic datum and transforming positions from datum to datum.

5. Apply industry standard practices to perform computations on the ellipsoid and map projection.

6. Apply practices of a nationally accepted set of technical standards and specifications for horizontal and vertical control surveys.

7. Identify, locate and use web-based resources for latest developments in geodesy.


  • The geoid, the ellipsoid and the earth's gravity field
  • Elementary geometry of the ellipsoid
  • Determination of geodetic position in terms of geographical coordinates
  • Map projections
  • Coordinate systems in geodesy
  • Geodetic datum concepts and datum transformations
  • The Geocentric Datum of Australia
  • Standards and practices for control surveys in Australia

Assumed knowledge

Content covered in:

MATH1110/MATH1120 Mathematics for Engineering, Science and Technology 1&2

PHYS1205/PHY1210 Fundamentals of Engineering Physics/Advanced Physics I;

and successful completion of

SURV1200 Introduction to Surveying

SURV2210 Engineering Surveying

SURV2220 Surveying Methods and Equipment

SURV2230 Surveying Techniques and Computations

Assessment items

In Term Test: Class Exam 1

In Term Test: Class Exam 2

Formal Examination: Formal Examination

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 3 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

The University of Newcastle acknowledges the traditional custodians of the lands within our footprint areas: Awabakal, Darkinjung, Biripai, Worimi, Wonnarua, and Eora Nations. We also pay respect to the wisdom of our Elders past and present.