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Land surveying engineers are employed both by the public and private sector. The professional field of land surveying is extensive and multidisciplinary. It includes surveying and mapping techniques, Geographic Information Systems, cadastral surveying, and land use planning. The different sectors often interact and the aim is to provide the land surveying engineers’ general competence in this field.

Goals of the Degree Programme

The aim of the Land Surveying Degree Programme is to provide the student with basic professional competence in the general duties in the field of land surveying. These include the basic surveying and calculation methods in surveying technology, their application and development in customary mapping and surveying duties. Geographic Information Systems studies provide the students with the basics of the modern systems, their use in cartography, in development planning and in management of register information.

To succeed in this profession requires not only the technical competence but also co-operation skills, initiative and open-mindedness. Several duties also require enterprising attitude, understanding of economic aspects and three-dimensional perception. Language skills in Finnish and Swedish as well in other languages also support the technical knowledge.

The aim of the IT studies is to give sufficient basic knowledge of IT and its application in the most usual situations. Students can also study programming as well as design of information systems and applications in more detail.


The normative duration of studies is four years (240 credit points). All study units implemented in the Land Surveying Degree Programme are presented in the table below. Major part of the basic studies (70 credit points) and of the compulsory professional studies (50 credit points) are common for all land surveying students.

The basic studies contain mainly study units in mathematics and physics, which create the basis for the professional studies. Additionally, the basic studies include study units in languages, IT and economics and entrepreneuship. The compulsory professional studies contain study units and subjects essential for the future profession and they prepare for the advanced professional studies.

The professional studies (60 credit points) comprise two compulsory modules and two elective advanced modules of at least 15 credit points. The aim of the compulsory modules is to complete the studies leading to professional basic competence. The studies are directed according to student’s own interests after second study year. During the spring term of the second study year an individual study plan (ISP), where the specialisation fields are determined, will be planned for every student. At this stage two modules are chosen from the Land Surveying Degree Programme’s own modules (Surveying Technology, Environmental Planning, Geodesic Information Systems, and Cadastral Surveys). It is also possible to choose one module from one's own degree programme and the other module can be Information Technology, Production Economics or Technology Business. In practise students can take, within certain limits, the specialisation field courses already during the first two study years by choosing for example languages or information technology studies. The required 15 credit points of optional studies also support the students’ specialisation field. It has also been possible to study at the co-operation institutions abroad. Studies completed abroad can be included in the degree as substituting studies or optional studies.

Specialisation Fields


GIS means those information management systems and applications that process surveying data into geodesic data needed in planning and in various register systems. Place specific information is created in all activities in the society and the exploitation of this information increases rapidly in different fields. The information systems design and maintenance sector needs engineers who can master, in addition to their own field, also information technology. Land surveying engineers specialised in information technology are needed in the public sector as well as in software companies that produce geodesic information applications. Geodesic information systems also act as databases from which different maps and even three-dimensional illustrations can be printed. Today virtual reality and various three-dimensional virtual environment models are of interest.

Measuring Technology

Modern surveying technology is based on automatic or computer-based surveying systems that produce the measuring results digitally. Satellite positioning, remote sensing, and various surveying applications in industry and building, and mapping based on aerial photography are among the more advanced fields in surveying. Numeric maps and geodesic data are produced in municipalities, private consulting agencies and in public administration where the major employers are the National Land Survey of Finland and different organisations under the Ministry of Transport and Communications.

Environmental Planning

In addition to architects, also land surveying engineers make land development plans and city plans. The planning is creative work, but also computer aided planning systems are utilised. These systems make it possible to take both technical and environmental factors into consideration in planning. Interaction skills and diversified know-how are important in land use planning. The Land Use and Building Act sets challenges and goals also for land surveying engineers. Especially rural planning has been the expertise area of the land surveyors. Land surveyors work as planners in municipalities, provincial federations, and in planning agencies.

Cadastral Surveys

A well-designed cadastral data system and clear land ownership are a necessity in a developed society. The management of landownership rights and land use rights is technically based on the geodesic information systems. It is also important for the land surveying engineers to be familiar with the social, judicial and economic matters related to cadastral surveys. The generation change in Finland in the beginning of 2100th century when the large generations born in the 1940’ies will retire from working life will open positions for engineers in the National Land Survey of Finland and in municipalities. Land survey engineers are employed also by private companies in real estate brokering, evaluation and development duties.

Practical Training and Bachelor’s Thesis

Practical training (30 credit points) is an important part of the studies. Practical training is in most cases completed in summer. The lenght of the required practical training is 20 weeks.

Training places have nowadays been easily available. In most cases training places are in municipalities and in National Land Survey of Finland, but also in private companies. Initiative is required from the students when searching for a training place. Training places can be found also abroad.

The Bachelor’s Thesis (15 credit points) will be completed during the last study year and it should have been started already in summer training after the third study year. Bachelor’s Thesis is an extensive research, design or survey project that is carried out in cooperation with the working life. The aim is to organise the fourth year timetable so that there will be sufficiently time to complete the Bachelor’s Thesis.


Land surveying profession has long traditions and nowadays it is a diversified and an interesting profession that utilises demanding space technology and information technology applications in developing living conditions and in localisation. With the help of information technology data warehouses and registers can be transformed into applicable geodesic data. Clear illustrations for planners or simple presentations for non-experts can be gathered from this data.
On the other hand, there are also jobs in real estate sector and in areal planning with closer contacts to people and environmental issues. Many land surveyors are employed for example as planners in municipalities. Several nationally important issues such as legal protection and finance of real estate are based on land surveyors’ reliable forming and registration of real estates.

As satellite positioning becomes more common in Europe also demands for the managing coordinate systems will grow and who would be better expert in this than the land surveyor who has the experience from several centuries.
The active sector of building and soil construction also offers many jobs for the Bachelor’s of Engineering.

A large number of land surveyors work in various duties in Finnish municipalities. The generation change in Finland during the next few years, when the large generations born in the 1940’ies will retire from working life, will open numerous positions. This applies also to the National Survey of Finland. At the same time also the private sector employs land surveyors in construction and planning duties and in information technology related duties.

Contact Information

Vesa Rope
Head of the Land Surveying Degree Programme
tel. +358 20 7553 712

Anu Holma
Assistant of the Land Surveying Degree Programme
tel. +358 20 7553 795