The University of Southampton

SESS6065 Fundamentals of Ship Science

Module Overview

This fundamentals module is aimed primarily for the MSc students in Maritime Engineering Science and students on the MECH/Navel Engineering programmes. It provides them with the essential knowledge of Ship Science required for their subsequent studies. This module can also be taken by other students who may need the relevant information for their degrees, subject to their Degree programme regulations. Lectures are delivered in Teaching Weeks 0 and 1 of the academic year with tutorials, examinations and coursework completed during the rest of the semester.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

The aim of this module is provide an introduction to the eight fundamental technical concepts, including the applicable technical language and terminology, in the field of maritime engineering.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

Having successfully completed this module, you will be able to demonstrate knowledge and understanding of:

  • Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the fundamental concepts and the technical language associated with each of the topics covered
  • Apply that knowledge to more advanced situations provided in the coursework
  • Possess sufficient fundamental knowledge in the identified subject areas to those without a naval architecture first degree to undertake other courses within the MSc programme
Subject Specific Intellectual and Research Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Explain fundamental physical (geometric, hydrostatic & hydrodynamic and structural), economic and control concepts utilising appropriate mathematical formulations.
  • Comprehend the choices concerning control system design and how to assess the performance of a given control system
  • Recognise conflicts within the design process and the need for both technical and economic considerations within a design.
  • Appreciate the approaches used in real and inviscid fluid mechanics and be able to undertake basic analysis of simplified flows
  • Appraise the fundamental behaviour of rigid structures in a seaway
  • Recognise and appreciate the fundamental concepts used to provide estimates of the resistance components of ships and the provision of an appropriate means of propulsion using basic propeller design methods
  • Apply relevant analytical and numerical tools required to undertake practical calculations
  • Comprehend the basic concepts of a number of interrelated fundamental topics to allow meaningful appreciation of why these subjects need to be pursued to advanced levels in the modern marine industry.
  • Explain how the structural strength concepts are applied to simple structural forms and to the design of the amidships-section of a ship
  • Select machinery suitable for ship propulsion
Transferable and Generic Skills

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Appreciate the fundamental concepts and the technical language associated with each of the topics covered


Ship Hydrostatics: Fundamental concepts of theequilibrium and stability of floating bodies including volume and mass effects. An introduction to maritime transport. Seakeeping: An introduction to Response Amplitude Operators (RAO’s), Wave spectra, and behaviour of a ship in a seaway. Ship Design & Economics: Introduction to Ship Design, Ship Operation and the Physical Ocean Environment. Fluid Mechanics: Fundamental Mathematics required for the basic concepts underpinning mass conservation in general fluid flow, the concept of a Newtonian Fluid, and the Equations of Motion of Newtonian Fluid (Navier- Stokes). Ship Structures: The longitudinal strength of ship hull girder and the associated structural components and nomenclature. Marine Engineering: Overview of main engine selection considerations and typical machinery layouts. Stern tubes and seals. Ship Resistance & Propulsion: Introduction to ship resistance and propulsion with associated definitions. Marine Control: Introduction to concepts of control theory in a maritime context

Special Features

The examination for this module is held earlier in the semester (outside of normal examination periods) in order to provide feedback on the topics considered in this module and the areas the students may wish to further enhance their understanding of ahead of the rest of their courses.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching and learning methods • Lectures giving: Explanations / derivations of analysis methods. Demonstration of analytical and numerical calculation methods and the different design procedures introduced under the different subject headings. • The lectures are to be completed in weeks zero and one. Learning activities include: • Questioning of students’ understanding during lectures. Sample questions circulated and a diverse set of coursework tasks. • Course work assignment completion

Follow-up work15
Wider reading or practice10
Preparation for scheduled sessions15
Completion of assessment task50
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

Reference material. indicated through specific references / reference lists or bibliographies as appropriate to course material for each topic.

Lecture Notes. Summary lecture notes are circulated before arrival at University and during the course via the blackboard site



MethodPercentage contribution
Coursework 25%
Coursework 25%
Exam 50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Exam 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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