The University of Southampton
Engineering and the EnvironmentUndergraduate study

J643 MEng Ship Science / Yacht and Small Craft (4 years)

If you are interested in yachts and small craft, our four-year MEng Ship Science / Yacht and Small Craft course provides you with a vast array of career opportunities. The course covers the design and analysis of yachts and small high-performance vessels as well as marine law and management. Students can also take the Industrial Placement Year, providing the opportunity for a year-long placement with an engineering-based organisation.

Introducing your course

Ship Science is a Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering course unique to the University of Southampton. It applies engineering science to the field of ships and other maritime structures. This four year integrated masters Yacht and Small Craft theme focuses on the design and operation of sailing yachts and power boats. This theme is ideally suited to someone who wants a deeper understanding of high performance sailing craft and advanced marine vehicles or wants to pursue a career in the small craft industry.


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We will develop your knowledge of the performance of yachts and small craft. You will benefit from the expertise of the University’s renowned Wolfson Unit for Marine Technology and Industrial Aerodynamics, in the sailing yacht and power craft design module.

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 your yacht and small craft theme by following the theme compulsory and optional modules, such as yacht and high performance craft, marine craft concept design, marine safety and environmental engineering and sailing yacht and powercraft design. You will also conduct an individual research project and a group design project aimed at solving real maritime engineering challenges for industry.

You can also take the Industrial Placement Year, which is an additional year-long module that allows you to apply for a placement with an engineering-based organisation. The successful placement will be recognised on your Degree Certificate.

View the specification document for this course

To Apply

All undergraduate Ship Science degree 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.

Visit the Industrial Placement Year webpage to find the placement year-specific UCAS codes.


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

  • 96% of Ship Science graduate were in employment in professional jobs 6 months after graduation (DLHE 2014)
  • One of the most respected marine design consultancies in the world, the Wolfson Unit, is an Enterprise Unit based within the University
  • Also available with the new Industrial Placement Year
Pedalo design project
Students working on their pedalo design project
Thumbnail photo of Emily Nagel

“Southampton is one of the leading universities for engineering. I am a keen sailor so being this close to the sea and having such a good racing team made it the best choice. ”

Emily Nagel

Entry Requirements

Typical entry requirements

GCSEEnglish Language and Mathematics at Grade C or above
A Levels:
GCE A-level

AAA (AA in Mathematics and an acceptable science with a pass in the associated Practical). Acceptable Science - Physics, Chemistry, Further Mathematics.


AAB (A in Mathematics and A in an acceptable science - Physics, Chemistry, Further Mathematics, with a pass in the associated Practical) with grade A in the Extended Project Qualification

International Baccalaureate36 points overall, 18 at higher level including 6 in both Higher Mathematics and a Higher Science - Acceptable Science - Physics, Chemistry, Further Mathematics.
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

Scottish Advanced Highers - AAA including Mathematics and Physics Or Scottish Advanced Highers – AA (Mathematics and Physics) and Scottish Highers AA (non-compulsory subjects)

Welsh Baccalaureate (2014) + A Levels Grade A in Skills Challenge Certificate, AA in GCE A Levels, Mathematics and Physics with a pass in physics practical
Cambridge Pre-U D3D3D3 including Mathematics and Physics
HND Distinction overall with 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 AAAAA including A in Mathematics and Physics
French Baccalaureate 15/20 overall, Minimum of 15/20 in Mathematics and Physics
Contextual offers

The University of Southampton is committed to widening participation and ensuring that all students with the potential to succeed, regardless of their background, are encouraged to apply to study with us. The additional information gained through contextual data supports our admissions teams to recognise a student’s potential to succeed in the context of their background and experience. Students who are recognised in this way will be made an offer which is lower than the typical offer for that programme.

A typical contextual offer is AAB (AA in Mathematics and Physics with a pass in the Physics practical) from three A levels or an equivalent standard in other qualifications approved by the University.

Please see our contextual admissions pages for more information.

Foundation Year

If you want to study for a degree in Engineering, Physics, Mathematics, or Geophysics but you did not choose mathematics and physics at A level, our Foundation Year may be of interest to you. The Engineering/Physics/Maths/Geophysics Foundation Year is a one-year full-time course integrated with a further three or four-year degree course. Find out more about the Foundation Year.

Selection process:
Intake 40-45 (total part 1 Ship Science cohort)
Average applications per place:

While the average level entry onto our Ship Science / Yacht and Small Craft 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 Ship Science degree 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.

This page contains specific entry requirements for this course. Find out about equivalent entry requirements and qualifications for your country.


Typical course content

Whichever Ship Science degree 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.

Innovation modules outside of your subject area

Learn a language

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 Ship Science 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 degree course that follows.

Semester One

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

FEEG1003Credit: 15
FEEG1001Credit: 30
SESS1015Credit: 15
Semester Two

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

FEEG1003Credit: 15
FEEG1001Credit: 30
SESS1015Credit: 15

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 Engineering 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

SESS2015Credit: 15
Semester Two

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

FEEG2005Credit: 15
SESS2015Credit: 15
SESS2017Credit: 15

Year 3

In the third year the course includes an individual project.

Semester One
FEEG3003Credit: 30
SESS3024Credit: 15
SESS3025Credit: 15
Semester Two
FEEG3003Credit: 30
SESS3022Credit: 15
SESS3023Credit: 15
SESS3026Credit: 15

Year 4

In the fourth year the MEng Ship Science/Yacht and Small Craft degree 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.

Semester One
FEEG6013Credit: 45
SESS6069Credit: 15
MATH3081Credit: 15
SESG3024Credit: 15
FEEG6005Credit: 15
Semester Two
FEEG6013Credit: 45
SESS6069Credit: 15
MATH3082Credit: 15
MATH3084Credit: 15
SESS6071Credit: 15

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).

Fees & funding

Tuition fees

NameYear of entryMode of studyUK/EUInternational
MEng Ship Science Yacht and Small Craft2018Full-time£9,250£20,320
View the full list of course fees


Scholarships, bursaries or grants may be available to support you through your course. Funding opportunities available to you are linked to your subject area and/or your country of origin. These can be from the University of Southampton or other sources.

Explore funding opportunities

Costs associated with this course

Students are responsible for meeting the cost of essential textbooks, and of producing such essays, assignments, laboratory reports and dissertations as are required to fulfil the academic requirements for each programme of study.

There will also be further costs for the following, not purchasable from the University:

EquipmentApproved calculators: Candidates may use calculators in the examination room only as specified by the University and as permitted by the rubric of individual examination papers. The University approved models are Casio FX-570 and Casio FX-85GT Plus. These may be purchased from any source and no longer need to carry the University logo.
StationeryYou will be expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g. pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile.
BooksWhere a module specifies core texts these should generally be available on the reserve list in the library. However due to demand, students may prefer to buy their own copies. These can be purchased from any source. Some modules suggest reading texts as optional background reading. The library may hold copies of such texts, or alternatively you may wish to purchase your own copies. Although not essential reading, you may benefit from the additional reading materials for the module.
EquipmentDesign equipment and materials: Standard construction/modelling materials will be provided where appropriate, unless otherwise specified in a module profile. For customisation of designs/models calling for material other than standard construction/ modelling materials, students will bear the costs of such alternatives.
EquipmentField equipment and materials: A number of essential items will be provided to you e.g.: field notebook(s); compass-clinometer; geological hammer; steel tape measure; map case; pocket lens (x 10); safety helmet; safety goggles; bottle of dilute hydrochloric acid. However, you will need provide yourselves with a ruler; a pair of compasses; set squares; protractor; pencils (including coloured); eraser; calculator, penknife. These can be purchased from any source.
ClothingField course clothing: You will need to wear suitable clothing when attending field courses, e.g. waterproofs, walking boots. You can purchase these from any source.
Printing and copyingIn some cases, coursework and/or projects may be submitted electronically. Where it is not possible to submit electronically students will be liable for printing costs, which are detailed in the individual module profile.
OtherOptional visits: Some modules may include additional optional visits. You will normally be expected to cover the cost of travel and admission, unless otherwise specified in the module profile.

In some cases you'll be able to choose modules (which may have different costs associated with that module) which will change the overall cost of a programme to you. Please also ensure you read the section on additional costs in the University’s Fees, Charges and Expenses Regulations in the University Calendar available at

Career Opportunities

Destination of Leavers from Higher Education Survey
6 months after graduation (MEng Ship Science - DLHE, 2014)

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 major organisations to include BAE Systems, BMT and Global Maritime Consultancy.

Learning & 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 application is integral to our courses, providing students with hands-on engineering experience in our world-class facilities.

You will attend site visits to experience engineering in practice, put your theoretical knowledge to the test in our laboratories and undertake project work to develop your management, communication and team working skills. Your analytical and problem solving skills will be developed through regular problem sheets, individual and small group exercises.

Design projects in each year offer the opportunity for you to develop unique engineering solutions. Visit the Design Show blog to see examples of our students’ design work.

Design Show

Our annual Design Show celebrates the innovative and ambitious design projects produced by our undergraduate students during the academic year.

Watch the video

Engineering workshop skills

First-year students also take part in a two-day intensive engineering skills training course offsite, learning practical engineering workshop skills.

Watch the video

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/Yacht and Small Craft course is assigned a personal tutor from the start of their degree.

Course Director

Dr Mingyi Tan

Breakdown of study time and assessment

Proportion of time spent in scheduled learning, teaching and independent study
Learning, teaching and assessment stage1234
Scheduled learning & teaching study39%28%20%18%
Independent study61%72%80%82%
Placement study0%0%0%0%
Proportion of assessment by method
Learning, teaching and assessment stage1234
Written exam assessment48%45%46%37%
Practical exam assessment21%9%8%30%
Coursework assessment31%46%46%33%

Study Locations

Boldrewood Innovation Campus

Boldrewood Innovation Campus

Burgess Road, Southampton, S016 7QFFind out more

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