The postgraduate hydrography B is organized by the University of Ghent, in cooperation with the Institute for Hydrography of the Antwerp Maritime Academy. The programme aims at students with no prior knowledge of hydrography.
The objective of hydrography is to collect and record about the world’s oceans and seas. Hydrography is instrumental in the production of nautical charts for seafarers. It also assists mariners by providing other necessary tools such as tidal predictions, ocean currents, daily up-to-date information about changes related to navigational areas etc. In a wider perspective hydrographers can predict erosion patterns and the evolution of beaches for communities and tourism, and are involved in land-winning and offshore activities.
Recent research has shown that about 35 new hydrographic surveyors are needed annually in Belgium if the industry is to keep pace with demand. On a global scale the shortage of hydrographic surveyors is even greater.
With a Cat. B certificate the hydrographer can independently execute parts of the process and specialise in a certain discipline such as multi beam echo sounder or data processing.
The postgraduate course Hydrography B has a duration of minimum one year, depending on previous qualifications and/or work experience. This year equals a total of 60 credits. The academic year is divided into two semesters. Throughout the year students will participate in classes during four theoretical modules. These are alternated with periods of fieldwork in a hydrographic company or institute of choice, to obtain specialised skills in a real work environment.
After successful completion of the theoretical courses and sufficient fieldwork practice, the candidate qualifies as hydrographic surveyor – level B.