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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 of the academic year with tutorials, examination, and coursework completed during the rest of the semester.

Aims and Objectives

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.
  • 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


Fluid Mechanics: Overviews the Fundamental concepts underpinning fluid motions and forces as used in many of the other topics. Ship Hydrostatics: Fundamental concepts of the equilibrium and stability of floating bodies including volume and mass effects. An introduction to maritime transport. Ship Resistance & Propulsion: Introduction to ship resistance and propulsion with associated definitions. Ship Structures: The longitudinal strength of ship hull girder and the associated structural components and nomenclature. Ship Design & Economics: Introduction to Ship Design, Ship Operation and the Physical Ocean Environment. Marine Engineering: Overview of main engine selection considerations and typical machinery layouts. Stern tubes and seals. Seakeeping: An introduction to Response Amplitude Operators (RAO’s), Wave spectra, and behaviour of a ship in a seaway.

Learning and Teaching

Teaching and learning methods

Lecture method: Explanations / derivations of analysis methods and design procedures. Demonstration of analytical, numerical, and experimental methods introduced under the different subject headings. The lectures are completed in weeks zero. Learning activities include: • Questioning of students’ understanding during lectures. Sample questions circulated and a diverse set of coursework tasks. • Completion of coursework.

Preparation for scheduled sessions15
Wider reading or practice10
Completion of assessment task50
Follow-up work15
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
Continuous Assessment 50%
Final Assessment  50%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%


MethodPercentage contribution
Set Task 100%

Repeat Information

Repeat type: Internal & External

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