FdSc Maritime Science: Applied Hydrographic Survey

The Hydrographic and Meteorological Training Unit (HMTU) school is located within HMS Drake, part of Her Majesty's Naval Base in Devonport, Plymouth. MWS – HMTU trains specialist Officers and Ratings of the Royal Navy's Warfare Branch in hydrography, meteorology and oceanography to provide a thorough understanding of the complex physical environment in which the ships, aircraft, submarines and people of the Royal Navy and Royal Marines operate.

Course details
  • Year 1

  • Core modules

    • Chartwork and Collision Avoidance (RNHMR101)

      The students learn how to assist the surveyor in plotting accurately the position on Admiralty charts and Ordnance Survey (OS) maps being aware of symbols and abbreviations in use. They also learn the seamanship and Rule of the Road skills necessary for the safe handling of small boats.

    • Computer Applications (RNHMR103)

      Computer users background theory and the effective use of common office based computer software such as word processing, spreadsheets, e-mail, presentation and database software and use of the Internet. This provides students with the I.T skills required in other modules and enables them to complete the European Computer Driving Licence (ECDL).

    • Introductory Leadership (RNHMR107)

      The module provides the students with training for command, management, leadership and divisional tasks and introduces practical leadership tasks. Having analysed the attributes of good leadership the students apply the skills learned in practical situations with self analysis prior to formal assessment at Erlestoke, Salisbury Plain.

    • Personnel Management (RNHMR108)

      The module introduces students to the roles and responsibilities of the divisional senior rate.

    • Levelling and Tidal Measurement (RNHMR109)

      Students learn the importance of levelling and tidal measurement as an accurate method of determining datums. Also they learn how to carry out the duties of, and supervise, the tachstaff person in order that tide poles can be levelled and used to carry out comparisons with tide gauges.

    • REA (Rapid Environmental Assessment) (RNHMR111)

      Students are given an introduction into assisting planning staff with the selection of the most suitable location for a landing based on the information available on the approaches, the beach and hinterland which will be required by the Commander of an Amphibious Force involved in beach landings.

  • Final year

  • Core modules

    • Advanced Leadership (RNHMR206)

      The module provides the individual with a thorough grounding in Command, Leadership, and Management techniques, building upon the skills and knowledge gained on the introductory leadership module. Leadership techniques are exercised under arduous practical conditions throughout the course.

    • Rapid Environmental Assessment for Supervisors (RNHMR207)

      Students build upon the knowledge and skills learnt in module RNHMR111, learning how to advise planning staff of an Amphibious Force involved in beach landings, on the selection of the most suitable location for a landing based on the information available on the approaches, the beach and hinterland.

    • Digital Data Processing (RNHMR219)

    • Survey Afloat (RNHMR220)

      Students are given a sound understanding of all aspects of surveying afloat including both single and multi-beam echo sounders, side scan sonars, GPS, and oceanographic observations.

    • Survey Ashore (RNHMR221)

      Students develop a fundamental understanding of all aspects of surveying ashore from determining position using Geodetic Global Positional System (GPS), Differential GPS, and Real-Time Kinematic GPS, to the day to day running of the hydrographic and naval stores account.

    • Coastal Navigation (RNHMR222)

      The module builds upon the students underpinning professional skills and knowledge acquired in module RNHMR101, and develops their boat handling and seamanship skills to the level required for safe coastal navigation of small RN vessels. It comprises essential chart work, navigation skills, supervisory seamanship and practical assessment at sea.

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Fees, costs and funding

The UK is no longer part of the European Union. EU applicants should refer to our Brexit information to understand the implications.

As this course is delivered by one of our partner colleges, please contact the college directly for information on fees and funding.

How to apply
All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Our partnership with MWS - HMTU
The University of Plymouth has developed partnerships with institutions around the world with the sole purpose of making higher education more accessible to those people who need something just a little different.

Our Academic Partnerships enable students to enrol for a degree at a partnership institution closer to home, or engage in distance learning – even when they’re in the middle of the ocean. They are there for those people looking to return to education, or enhance their professional development. Full- or part-time; foundation degree to masters-level – we cater for a huge variety of needs and aspirations.

Many of our partners offer specialist degrees, unique facilities, and smaller class sizes at a competitive price. And as a student of two institutions, you get the best of both worlds; a supportive learning environment as part of a close-knit community, and a university-level qualification awarded by the University of Plymouth. You’ll enjoy not only the facilities and services your partnership institution provides, but also all of the additional support and resources you need from us, and you’ll automatically become a member of our Students’ Union, too.

We are continuing to grow the number of partner institutions and expand our academic community to new locations around the UK and overseas. Why not visit the Academic Partnerships page on our website for a full list of partners and for more details on studying with us?

One of our partners delivers this particular course – so please visit their website for full course details, entry requirements, tuition fees and information on what student life is like there. 

Open days

Partner college open days

This course is run at one of our partner colleges. Open days are held at the college and more details of these can be found on the college website. You'll find contact details below, on this page.

University of Plymouth open days

You are also very welcome to attend a University of Plymouth open day, to get a flavour of the courses you can progress to from a partner college. There will however be limited information on this specific course and college.

Navy ship