Introduction to Applied Methods and Procedures for Underwater Surveying

Πιστοποιημένο πρόγραμμα επιμόρφωσης από το με θεματολογία

The Center for Education and Lifelong Learning of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki welcomes you to the “Introduction to Applied Methods and Procedures for Underwater Surveying”, a 91-hour Scientific Diving course via online meetings and practical training.

Several public and private organizations are occupying divers for their research activities addressing the archaeological, biological, geological, ecological, engineering, and technological aspects, but also the communication needs of the so-called, by the UN, Ocean Science and Ocean Literacy. Putting on the map tangible or intangible features of the underwater environment is an interdisciplinary task in any scientific diving project. Moreover, geo-visualizations and storytelling can support awareness on natural and cultural matters, that remain hidden below the sea surface. This training course provides to already certified divers with the basic knowledge and skills which are required for the planning, the preparation of team members and equipment as well as the performance of underwater surveys in the context of scientific diving projects.

The Director of the Programme is Kimon Papadimitriou, Laboratory Teaching Staff at the School of Rural and Surveying Engineering / Dr Ing Rural and Surveying Engineering – Scuba Instructor. He is leading the Underwater Survey Team at the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki and is an expert, member of the ISO/TC228, in WG1 towards the development of standards for the training of Scientific Divers.

Start Date: 16 May 2023 (first cycle, May – July) and 15 September 2023 (second cycle, September – December)

End of the course: 11 December 2023

Duration: 91hrs

Cost: 980€


This decade is dedicated to “Ocean Science for Sustainable Development”, as many activities (mainly economic) have been oriented towards the Sea. Scientific diving is a common research practice for various disciplines related to this domain. Compliance with internationally recognized standards for safe diving activities, and with the ethics for the application of scientific methods underwater, requires relevant training.

Although diving training for other purposes (e.g., rescue, military, or technical work) including recreation is provided by the related bodies, the same is not true in the case of diving for scientific purposes. Education in scientific subjects (such as Scientific Diving) falls under the responsibility of higher education institutions.

The aim of this programme is to provide an academic framework for education on Scientific Diving. Participants are introduced to an interdisciplinary “collaboration and learning” environment, cultivated by the trainers, experts in diving, safety, surveying, archaeology, biology, geology, data analysis, ecology, oceanography, and communication.


Water covers over 70% of the planet. Solely with the development of diving skills, researchers gain the “passport” for safe access to this field. Understanding the legal-regulatory framework in force is another parameter for planning and performing any dive. Moreover, for someone to be able to apply scientific methodologies and techniques underwater, further training is required. In addition, it is vital that the knowledge gained from exploring a relatively unexplored environment such as the ocean is properly disseminated, communicated, and exploited.

The objectives of the programme are:

  • To develop knowledge and skills for planning and conducting  dive-based research for scientific purposes,
  • To provide information on safety and legal issues for dive-based research projects,
  • The application of scientific diving techniques and methods for an underwater survey during a project and
  • To communicate and disseminate the results of underwater research.

Learning Outcomes

Divers (students or researchers), who participate in the training, attend theoretical and practical sessions with subjects such as the safety on scientific diving, the sharing and delegation of roles (for operational or scientific needs), and the use of underwater scientific instruments and tools. They will also be able to collaborate within an interdisciplinary team of divers to complete a short-term (mini) project. In addition, experienced researchers are encouraged to contribute their knowledge and coordinate parts of a project that relate to their specific background.

Upon completion of the course, participants will:

  • be familiar with the skills, procedures, and techniques applicable to a scientific diving project,
  • be able to understand and recognize potential problems and risks associated with underwater research,
  • be able to cooperate with the team members of an underwater research project.

Participant selection & Requirements

The programme is addressed to adults who are already certified as scuba divers and have a keen interest in the application of underwater surveying methods and procedures for scientific purposes, by means of diving.  The target group includes students or scientists from any discipline associated with the aquatic environment (e.g., archaeology, biology, chemistry, geology, ecology, engineering, journalism, oceanography et al.) and divers who want to develop their knowledge and skills for the documentation and the promotion of underwater natural or cultural features.

Apart from the learning motives, holding an advanced-level dive certification (e.g., PADI Advanced Open Water Diver or equivalent), as well as being familiar with the use of standard diving equipment are considered basic requirements. Candidates will be selected based on the relevance of their diving and scientific background with course objectives. A priority will be given to students and already working researchers, who own personal diving equipment.

The minimum accepted diving competency of applicants is according to ISO 24801-2: Level 2 — Autonomous diver (e.g., PADI Open Water Diver or equivalent). Before being eligible to participate in any diving activity of the course, applicants should provide the required documentation (Continuing Education Administrative Document and Diver Medical form) provided by the programme, filled in and signed. A signed medical screening for the applicant’s suitability to dive, may be asked by the course director. The submission of the diving competency certificate, the filled and signed required documents (Continuing Education Administrative Document and Diver Medical form) and/or a medical screening for the applicant’s suitability to dive do not guarantee participation in the course.

Any next-level dive certification (e.g., specialties, Advanced Open Water Diver or equivalent) on-top of the initial training, with documented experience of more than 5 logged non-training dives in an open water environment during the last year, are considered as the minimum diving competency before participating in the course’s diving activities. Those in the process of receiving a next-level dive certification on-top of their initial training at the time of application, should be able to provide proof of their latest training dive for the specific certification (e.g., logged training dive, signed by the instructor).

All candidates should be available to participate in a dive session for an assessment of their basic diving skills prior the participation in any other dive training activity. Assessment is based on the readiness to appropriately use and take care of the personal diving equipment, to control buoyancy, to maintain contact with the buddy, and to monitor depth, time, and remaining gas throughout the dive. In case of incapability to practice these basic diving skills, candidates will be excluded from the dive training of the course (keeping the right to attend any non-diving activities and receive a certificate of attendance or to participate in the next cycle of the programme after having remediated their skills).

Participants should have access to a computer with internet access and administrative rights (for the installation of software) and a personal email account. For the course’s diving activities, each participant should bring hers/his personal diving equipment including the following:

  • Fins, mask, and snorkel
  • Buoyancy control device (BCD) with tank mount or separate backpack, and low-pressure inflator
  • Primary regulator and alternate air source
  • Breathing gas monitoring device (e.g., submersible pressure gauge)
  • Depth monitoring device
  • Adequate exposure protection appropriate for local dive conditions.
  • At least one audible emergency surface signaling device (whistle, air horn, etc.).
  • Dive Planning tables and timing device (e.g., bottom timer), or dive computer
  • Dive knife or cutting tool
  • Compass


The course consists of an introductory section, three main sections, and one workshop.

The introduction will be performed during an online meeting and will be open to all applicants. During this section the course outline will be presented, and the digital training material will be provided. The duration of this section is 1 hour.

A knowledge development section will be performed online with lectures followed by discussions on the presented topics. Online meetings will be recorded and will be available to the participants for post-viewing, until the end of the course. The total duration of this section is 30 hours.

The skills development section will be performed in person and on site for carrying out dry and in-water exercises. The total duration of this section, including dive time, is 50 hours.

An online workshop will follow the skills development section, for the handling and processing of recorded data. The duration of this section is 2 hours.

The last section will be performed live for the practical application of the developed knowledge and skills in an open water environment (within the limitations of the participant’s dive training level). During this section will be assessed the basic diving skills and the overall performance of the participants. The duration of this section, including dive time and time for presentations, is 9 hours.

Educational Material

The programme will provide the participants with:

  • the link to the ScienceDIVER Student’s Manual (digital version available online)
  • the links to the ScienceDIVER Demo Videos (available online)
  • the links to the video recordings of the online meetings (available only for participants)
  • the links to the Continuing Education Administrative Document and the Diver Medical form
  • filled breathing gas tanks and weights (during the diving training)
  • underwater writing slates, with pencils
  • any specialized diving equipment (required for the training)
  • any scientific instruments or tools (required for the training)
  • any links for downloading specialized software (required for the training)

Course Description

Evaluation/ Certificate

For the completion of the course, participants will be evaluated as follows:

  • At the end of the knowledge development section, a series of questions will be given to answer (as a knowledge check). For each question not answered, the correct answer will be provided with any necessary explanation or clarification.
  • Prior to participation in any other dive training activity, a dive session will be organized to assess basic diving skills (appropriate use and care of personal diving equipment, buoyancy control, maintaining contact with a buddy and monitoring depth, time, and remaining gas throughout the dive).
  • During the skills development section, participants will be continuously assessed on the application of underwater survey methods and procedures whilst maintaining basic diving skills.
  • During the final practical application section, participants will be assigned a short term (mini) underwater survey project. Their overall performance will be assessed in relation to the technical report submitted and the presentation of the results.

The total payment of the tuition fee is required, before participating in any diving training activity. In case of incapability to participate in the dive training of the course, candidates are keeping the right to attend any non-diving activities or to participate in the next programme cycle.

Upon successful completion of the course, participants will be awarded a Certificate of Completion and the PADI Underwater Survey Diver distinctive specialty certification.

Participants, who have attended but not completed successfully, will be awarded a Certificate of Attendance.

Participation fees/Discount

Participation fees are set to 980€ per person and include educational material, diving insurance (as trainees), possible use of swimming pool facilities, and certification cost (for the PADI Underwater Survey Diver distinctive specialty). The fee does not include travel or transfer costs, accommodation, food, drinks, and personal diving equipment.

A discount of 15% is provided to graduates of Aristotle University of Thessaloniki, those who attended another programme organized by the Center for Education and Lifelong Learning in the past, or group-registrations of 4 people or more. That is, a fee of 833€ per person.

A discount of 30% is provided to staff working in the HEIs and Research Centers of the country, university students, unemployed, European Youth Card holders, and members of a large family. That is, a fee of 686€ per person.

Discounts are agreed upon the submission of official documentation for each category of beneficiaries.

Initial registration to the programme does not require a deposit in advance. To participate in the course, a deposit receipt for 50% of the agreed fee is required no later than the day of the first knowledge development session. The remaining 50% of the agreed fee must be paid no later than the day of the basic skills assessment.

The bank account (IBAN) for the deposits of fees will be announced soon.


Relevance will be assessed through the submission of a two pages pdf file, with a short CV (golden paragraph), including one paragraph presenting the diving experience (e.g., certifications and the number of dives) and another one with a motivation note. As soon as the applications are processed, selected candidates will receive an acceptance note and will be asked to provide the deposit receipt for 50% of the agreed fee.

The course is planned to be performed twice in 2023. One cycle will be from May to July and a second cycle from September to December. The schedule overview for each cycle will be provided right after the introductory meetings.

The introductory meeting will be done on the 16th of May, 17:30 EEST (16:30 CET) and the course will start since the minimum number of eight (8) applicants has been reached. In case the maximum number of sixteen (16) participants is exceeded or there is an expression of interest from more than four (4) applicants after the deadline, the course may be repeated upon arrangement.

Those interested may submit the application form online at:

To apply for the first cycle (May – July) the deadline is on the 16th of May and for the second cycle (September – December), on the 15th of September

To be considered valid, each application must be accompanied by the following documents or copies:

  1. short CV (pdf file)
  2. latest dive certification (digital copy)
  3. latest logged dive (digital copy)
  4. list of available personal diving equipment (pdf file)
  5. official documentation (only in case of a request for discount)
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