British Columbia Institute of

Important Notice: COVID-19 Institute response


SURV 2010 - Pre Entry Field Surveying

Surveying Part-time Studies Course

School of Construction and the Environment

To support you and your education, BCIT is adapting applied learning in formats appropriate to the unfolding global situation. Spring and Summer PTS classes are being delivered in an online format unless you are notified otherwise.

Course Details

This course is an introduction to the principles of field surveying with an emphasis on the care and use of instruments, observing procedures and note keeping formats. The field labs will introduce survey methods for measuring horizontal angles, vertical angles and distances through the use of differential levels, theodolites and total stations. Workplace hazards and safe working procedures will be introduced. This course will also cover the fundamentals of astronomy for surveying applications.


2 years post secondary education in any of the following: geography, geology, math, physics or engineering.



This course was retired after the Winter 2018 term and is no longer offered through BCIT Part-time Studies.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

  • Describe the proper care and handling of survey equipment.
  • Demonstrate suitable formats for note keeping.
  • Describe the various aspects of differential and trigonometric levelling.
  • Demonstrate setting up, levelling and centering an instrument over a point.
  • Observe horizontal and vertical angles with a theodolite.
  • Describe and apply corrections to electronic and taped distance measurements.
  • Describe the basic parameters common to most total stations.
  • Demonstrate the procedures for establishing elevations by differential levelling.
  • Take the necessary observations for determining coordinates by a traversing.
  • Use electronic data collection with a total station.
  • Use Helmert’s transformation ‘Free Station’ for determining the instrument location.
  • Describe the basic field procedures for setting out points.
  • Demonstrate safe working procedures.
  • Describe four coordinate systems used in astronomy by surveyors.
  • Determine astronomic azimuth by time and altitude methods by solar and star observation.
  • Describe the equation of time, apparent time, sidereal time and Universal Time.
  • Use the Star Almanac for Land Surveyors for determining right ascension, declination, R and E.

Effective as of Spring/Summer 2011

Programs and courses are subject to change without notice.

Find Courses

English Language Proficiency

BCIT's Part-time Studies English Language Proficiency Standard is English 12 (or equivalency). Students who do not meet this requirement should upgrade their English skills prior to any future registration.

Payment Changes At BCIT

We've changed the way we accept payments.

Find out more

Course Navigation, Related Links & Tools

Registration News

Registration is now open for the Fall 2020 term.

Classroom Locations

Classroom locations are subject to last minute changes. Please check the Part-time Studies Classroom Locations listing at on the first day of any course you are registered for.

Part-time Studies Financial Aid

Will you be studying at BCIT part-time? Do you need assistance funding your studies? Find out if you qualify for Part-time Studies financial aid.