The University of Southampton

SESS2017 Ship Design and Economics

Module Overview

A module in which students will learn the basis of ship design whilst considering the economic implications. In parallel the students will undertake the general arrangement of a given ship which will enhance their understanding of some design implications.

Aims and Objectives

Module Aims

• Provide an understanding of basic design methodologies, the components of the ship design process and an appreciation of economic considerations. • Give an appreciation of the importance of safety considerations within the ship design process and its impact on operational considerations. • Gain an understanding of process of creating and purpose of a General Arrangement drawing (G.A).

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge and Understanding

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

  • The basic tools and methodologies used in the ship design process.
  • The need to integrate safe design and operation within the ship design process.
  • The design process to subdivide and layout a ship ensuring a space balanced ship which meets statutory and regulatory regulations.
  • Statutory and regulatory requirements in ship design.
Disciplinary Specific Learning Outcomes

Having successfully completed this module you will be able to:

  • Estimate suitable dimensions for a new ship design, to carry out checks on its capacity, mass balance and compliance with statutory regulations, and to assess its economic viability.
  • Apply design tools and synthesise information.
  • Interpret and apply statutory regulations and classification rules
  • Apply the methodology and tools used in the ship design process to a design office based ship General Arrangement.
  • Ensuring the General Arrangement meets the requirements for layout, capacities, choice of deck equipment and machinery, safety and statutory regulations.


Lectures: 24 lectures on Ship Design and Economics. To include: INTRODUCTION TO SHIP DESIGN AND OPERATION • The Ship Design Process TECHNICAL SHIP DESIGN • Design Requirements • Owners / Operational Requirements and the Development of a Basic Specification • Derivation of Dimensions • Mass Estimates • Stability estimates • Powering estimates • Ship Lines and Body Plan SAFETY CONSIDERATIONS IN DESIGN • Maritime Safety Regime • The International Statutory Framework • Safety Analysis Techniques ASSESSMENT APPROACHES TO ALTERNATIVE DESIGN SOLUTIONS • Ship Operating Methods • Build and operating costs • Sustainability and Environmental Considerations Coursework: 22 contact hours for General Arrangement Coursework • Applied preliminary design • Subdivision of ship • Freeboard check • Capacity checks • Layout of accommodation block • Upper deck layout • Tonnage calculations Assignment: Techno-economic assignment • Use of ship design software to carry out various investigations illustrating technical design and economic aspects, together with simple optimisation studies.

Special Features

Module is supported (if possible) by a visit to a ship.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Teaching methods include • Lectures supported by example sheets. • Supervised design office sessions • A computer based techno-economic assignment. Learning activities include • Individual work on ship calculations/examples. • Individual work on using ship design software to carry out techno-economic calculations. • Directed reading/independent learning .• Use of drafting software. • Accessing and reading statutory and regulatory regulations. • Report-writing (Coursework).

Follow-up work18
Preparation for scheduled sessions12
Practical classes and workshops22
Wider reading or practice12
Completion of assessment task29
External visits3
Total study time150

Resources & Reading list

A F Molland (2008). Maritime Engineering Reference Book. 

Various papers in the Transactions of RINA, NECIES and SNAME. 

T C Gillmer (1975). Modern Ship Design. 

K.J. Rawson and E.C. Tupper (1994). Basic Ship Theory.. 

S Erichsen (1989). Management of Marine Design.. 

Typed lecture notes and presentation slides.. 

Lloyds Rules and Regulations for classification of ships. 

Various publications of manufacturers. such as engines, deck cranes, deck and mooring machinery and life lifeboats.

RINA: Significant ships. 

International Labour Conference.. Maritime Labour Convention 2006

H. Schneekluth (1998). Ship Design for Efficiency and Economy. 

Statutory Regulations. MARPOL, SOLAS, FSS Code, Load Lines and Tonnage Measurement of Ships

D.G.M. Watson (1998). Practical Ship Design. 

Apostolos Papanikolau (2014). Ship Design: Methodologies of Preliminary design. 



MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment 10%
Coursework 30%
Examination  (120 minutes) 60%


MethodPercentage contribution
Assignment 10%
Coursework 30%
Examination  (120 minutes) 60%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

Linked modules

Pre-requisite module/s: FEEG1001 Design and Computing, SESS1015 Basic Naval Architecture


To study this module, you will need to also study the following module(s):

SESS2019Systems Design and Computing for Ships
SESS2016Ship Structural Design and Production
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