Engineering and the Environment

J642 MEng Ship Science / Naval Architecture (4 yrs)

Specialise in core naval architecture with our four-year MEng Ship Science / Naval Architecture course. The course provides an in-depth study of naval architecture and computational methods for design. The group design projects explore how vessels of the future can be designed and operated.

Programme Overview

Naval architecture design and analysis are crucial for the life of a marine vessel or structure. You will learn to review and enhance design processes using computer-aided design and other computational and modelling techniques.

In the first two years, you will study the core ship science topics, including basic naval architecture, fluids, materials and structures, marine hydrodynamics, ship design, ship production and engineering management and law.

In years three and four, you will specialise in the naval architecture theme by following the theme compulsory and optional modules, such as ship manoeuvring and control, marine structures in fluids, finite element analysis in solid mechanics and advances in ship resistance and propulsion. You will also conduct an individual research project and a group design project aimed at solving real maritime engineering challenges for industry.

View the specification document for this course

To Apply

All undergraduate applications should be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Click on the How to Apply tab of the navigation menu on this page for detailed information on how to apply and further details about UCAS' website, phone and contact details. Specific application deadlines are available on the UCAS website.


  • Engineering Council

This course is accredited by The Royal Institution of Naval Architects, The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology and The Institution of Mechanical Engineers on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as a Chartered Engineer.

Key facts

    • One of the most respected marine design consultancies in the world, the Wolfson Unit, an Enterprise Unit based within the University
    • A significant feature of our work is the linking of teaching and fundamental research with industrial application.
    • Stephen Payne, one of our graduates, was the chief designer of the luxury cruise liner the Queen Mary 2.
Helping to save lives

Graduate Peter Eyre helped design the new RNLI lifeboat using his skills as a naval architecht

Helping to save lives

Entry requirements

Typical entry requirements


GCSE English Language, at Grade C or above


A Levels:

A-level AAA (including Mathematics and Physics) General Studies, Critical Thinking, Use of Maths, Thinking Skills are not accepted
Scottish Advanced Highers AAA, including Mathematics and Physics



International Baccalaureate 36 points overall, 18 at higher level including 6 in both Higher Mathematics and Higher Physics
European Baccalaureate 85% overall, minimum of 85% in Mathematics (level 5 or Advanced) and Physics
French Baccalaureate 15/20 overall, Minimum of 15/20 in Mathematics and Physics


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.

Equivalent Qualifications

Qualification Entry criteria
Scottish Advanced Highers AAA including Mathematics and Physics
Welsh Baccalaureate (2014) + A Levels Pass in Core, AA in Mathematics and Physics
Cambridge Pre-U D3D3D3 including Mathematics and Physics
D*DD overall and distinctions in Analytical Methods and Further Analytical Methods
Access to HE Diploma Not acceptable – refer to Engineering Foundation Year
European Baccalaureate 85% overall, minimum of 85% in Mathematics (level 5 or Advanced) and Physics
Irish Leaving Certificate AAAAB (A in Mathematics and Physics)
French Baccalaureate 15/20 overall, Minimum of 15/20 in Mathematics and Physics

Selection process:

Intake: Intake 40-45 (total part 1 Ship Science cohort)
Average applicants per place: 3

While the average level entry onto our degree course is among the highest in the UK, we always look carefully at each individual application. In addition to your examination grades, we also take into account your personal statement and references. These give us an indication of your personal attributes and your enthusiasm for your chosen area of study.

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

Whichever course you choose, you will study a number of core subjects during the first two years. These provide sound preparation for the final part of the degree. You will concentrate on the fundamentals of engineering and gain the skills and understanding required to use information technology in an engineering context.

In Year 3, you will have the opportunity to specialise or retain a broad-based study path through a wide selection of subject modules. You will also undertake an individual project that usually takes the form of a design or research exercise and involves significant literature reviews, experimentation, mathematical modelling or computation, and the production of a formal report.

In Years 3 and 4, students select options from discipline-specific core subjects such as advanced naval architecture and high performance craft. Students can also choose from more general engineering and non-discipline specific subjects such as finite element analysis, control, languages and industrial law.

In Year 4, MEng students participate in a Group Design Project (GDP). These projects are often linked to current research activities or topics that have practical relevance to industry.

Special Requirements - All Courses

Visits to industry and research establishments are organised for Part I and Part II candidates in the summer term. Candidates are required to attend the Part I Workshop Training Course unless exemption is given by the School.

Candidates are required to attend the Part II course in Library Search Techniques. This is normally held after the Semester 2 examinations. Assignments set in this course will be formally assessed as part of their examination requirements.

Year 1

In year one, physical principles are translated by mathematical application into engineering science and design practice, providing the basics of ship science and a broad base in engineering. Computing and CAD are emphasised as important features of the course. A total of 120 credits across two semesters.

We have an award winning induction programme during which teams of new students work together to design, build and test a bulk carrier. This exciting introduction provides the opportunity to get to know fellow students, gain hands-on experience and compete in a sea trial based in the University Jubilee swimming pool. It sets the context for the first year, and provides a preview of the Ship Science course that follows.

Semester One

All modules below are compulsory. No optional modules to be undertaken in Year 1


Semester Two

All modules below are compulsory. No optional modules to be undertaken in Year 1


Year 2

In year two you will study the behaviour of structures in a fluid, the propulsion power needed for marine vehicles, ship behaviour in both calm water and in waves, and Management. A total of 120 credits across two semesters.

Semester One

All modules below are compulsory. No optional modules to be undertaken in Year 2


Semester Two

All modules below are compulsory. No optional modules to be undertaken in Year 2


Year 3

In the third year the course includes an individual project. Students can choose a further 15 credits  from the list below of optional Ship Science and Technical Modules.

Semester Two


Year 4

In the fourth year the course includes a Group Design Project, a Multidisciplinary Project, and allows students to undertake between Semester 1 and Semester 2 up to 45 credits from our wide range of optional modules.

Learning and assessment

Teaching and learning

At Southampton, our students form knowledge and understanding through a combination of lectures, tutorials, classes, laboratory experiments, coursework and individual and group projects. You will broaden your formal learning by becoming an active student member of a professional institution and our student Engineering Society, SUES. We will also teach you the transferable skills to present written and oral presentations.

A practical approach

Practical experience is a strong theme on our course. You will attend site visits, put your theoretical knowledge to the test in labs and get involved in real-life project work. Analysis and problem solving skills will be developed through regular problem sheets and small group exercises by your module lecturers. Individual feedback is provided on all work submitted. Practical learning is also enhanced by site visits and visiting lectures, to give you the wider competencies for today’s professional engineer.

Ground-breaking research

Your education will be timely and relevant while you are taught by our world-leading academics who are at the forefront of their field. This is especially important in engineering where technology is advancing rapidly. We also have a global network of companies, shared facilities and expertise to draw on to advance your learning curve.

Assessment and examinations

Testing is conducted 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. Experimental, research and design skills are assessed through laboratory reports, coursework exercises and oral presentations.

Student support

Every student on our MEng Ship Science course is assigned a personal tutor from the start of their degree, in addition to a course tutor. 

Course Director

Dr Mingyi Tan



Career Opportunities

6 months after graduation

Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey

6 months after graduation

A dedicated Employment Officer will help you build your skills profile and assist you on your career path. We also have connections with local, national and international employers. The career options on qualification are far-reaching. Our graduates have gone on to work for BAE Systems, BMT and Yachtwerft Meyer to name a few.