Engineering and the Environment

MSc Maritime Engineering Science / Naval Architecture (1 yrs)

This MSc will suit engineering, mathematics and physical sciences graduates who wish to specialise in the maritime engineering science sector. The core modules are particularly relevant to the Naval Architecture theme of this programme.

Programme Overview

The year will be divided into two semesters. You will learn the fundamentals of ship science, including ship design, resistance and propulsion before advanced subjects. Your compulsory modules will examine marine structures in fluids and illustrate innovative concepts relating to structural integrity.

You will also have the chance to broaden your maritime engineering education by selecting option modules including high performance craft, ship manoeuvring and failure of materials and components.

You will tap into our Southampton Marine and Maritime Institute network and exploit our world-class maritime engineering facilities to undertake a final research project. The project will involve experimental and practical work and the completion of a dissertation.

View the specification document for this course

To Apply

You can do this through the University of Southampton's online postgraduate application system. For more background and detailed information, see How to Apply.

The deadline for new applications to this course is the 31st July each year.



This course is accredited by the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA) and The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) on behalf of the Engineering Council as meeting the requirements for Further Learning for registration as a Chartered Engineer. Candidates must hold a CEng accredited BEng/BSc (Hons) undergraduate first degree to comply with full CEng registration requirements.

We are building a 138m towing tank

Students will be able to make use of our new facilities to test their designs

We are building a 138m towing tank

Entry requirements

Typical entry requirements

Honours Degree

2:1 honours degree (or equivalent) or above in Marine Engineering, Naval Architecture, Ship Science, Aerospace Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, General Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Physics or Mathematics. We may also consider applicants with undergraduate degrees in Oceanography or Architecture, or applicants from Marine Academies - please contact us before applying for more information.

Equivalent Qualifications

Relevant employment experience would be considered if a candidate does not meet the formal qualifications requirements. We are always happy to receive applications from candidates with equivalent qualifications. If you are unsure about our entry criteria, please contact our admissions staff who would be happy to provide advice in advance of your application.

English Language requirements

If your first language is not English, we need to ensure that your listening, written and spoken English skills would enable you to enjoy the full benefit of your studies. For entry onto our programmes, you will need an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 6.5 or an equivalent qualification.

Selection process:

Intake: 30-50

All individuals are selected and treated on their relative merits and abilities in line with the University’s Equal Opportunities Policy. Disabled applicants will be treated according to the same procedures as any other applicant with the added involvement of the Disability Office to assess their needs. The programme may require adaptation for students with disabilities (e.g. hearing impairment, visual impairment, mobility difficulties, dyslexia), particularly the practical laboratory sessions, and we will attempt to accommodate students wherever possible.

Visit our International Office website or the NARIC website for further information on qualifications.


Typical course content

You will study a number of compulsory and optional subjects during both semesters. These provide sound preparation for the final part of the degree, the Research Project.

Year 1

The first 8 months are normally spent mainly on the taught component, with lectures divided into two 12-week periods (Semesters 1 and 2), and with exams at the end of each semester. The final 4 months are spent full-time on a research project.

Please note: This specification provides a concise summary of the main features of the programme and the learning outcomes that a typical student might reasonably be expected to achieve and demonstrate if s/he takes full advantage of the learning opportunities that are provided. More detailed information can be found in the programme handbook (or other appropriate guide or website).

Learning and teaching

Knowledge and Understanding

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

1. Detailed knowledge and understanding of the fundamental physical principles and concepts which underpin Maritime Engineering Science.

2. Knowledge and understanding of analytical, numerical and computational tools appropriate to the discipline of Maritime Engineering Science.

3. Awareness and understanding of the broader physical, commercial, regulatory and societal contexts in which Maritime Engineering Science takes place.

4. Understanding of information and communication technology relevant to the practice of Maritime Engineering Science.

5. A critical awareness of current problems and developments in Maritime Engineering Science, informed by the forefront of research within the field.

6. Detailed knowledge and understanding of essential facts, concepts and principles relevant to your chosen specialisation within the Maritime Engineering Science sector.

Taught Modules

The different subject matter of the modules lends itself to different teaching and learning techniques but these include lectures, tutorials, individual and group planning exercises and practical exercises. You are encouraged throughout to contribute your own professional experiences and thoughts to the learning of the whole class through a free exchange of ideas.

Many modules include assessed coursework assignments which require you to carry out a substantial study of selected topics, either as individuals or in groups, leading to considerable depth of understanding and specialist knowledge. Assessment is designed to show that you can rationally use taught material and have a fundamental understanding of the subject matter. Feedback on progress is given to students on all submitted work.

Research Project

The MSc course requires candidates to carry out a research project finishing with a dissertation. Research projects may concern any of the areas covered by the programme. The research project is intended to bring together the full range of skills in the programme and to provide you with an opportunity to build on all of the learning outcomes described above, while demonstrating in-depth knowledge and understanding of one or more of the areas covered by the programme. It involves information gathering and handling, critical analysis and evaluation, and presentation skills. The key requirement, however, is that the project must contain your own ideas and proposals: it should not simply be a technical design carried out to existing standards, but a problem with an element of novelty requiring the application of new information and concepts.

Assessment Methods

Testing of the knowledge base is through a combination of unseen written examinations and assessed coursework in the form of problem solving exercises, laboratory reports, design exercises, essays, and individual and group projects.

Analysis and problem solving skills are assessed through unseen written examinations and problem based exercises. Experimental, research and design skills are assessed through laboratory reports, coursework exercises, project reports and oral presentations.

The tutorial system

Every student is assigned a personal tutor when they start their university degree. Your personal tutor will meet you when you enrol, and you will see him/her several times during your studies for academic as well as pastoral support. S/He is accessible throughout your time in Southampton.


We have our own team of administrators who act as a point of contact for day-to-day advice and information for students. They are also responsible for collecting assignments and issuing the documents and forms which are required during your period of study.

Career Opportunities

The maritime sector provides many and varied career opportunities in engineering and project management related roles. Maritime Engineering Science graduates are in strong demand with good starting salaries and excellent career progression opportunities.

Our graduates work across many different organisations. The Solent region around Southampton is the main UK hub for the maritime sector with organisations such as Lloyd’s Register, Carnival, BMT Nigel Gee, Maritime and Coastguard agency and many others based nearby. Organisations such BAE Systems, QinetiQ and Babcock support primarily the defence sector and employ a good number of our graduates. The offshore and marine renewable developments are offering excellent prospects both to work in the UK (locally, London or Aberdeen) or worldwide in places such as Singapore, Houston or Perth, etc.