Why this course?
As a naval architecture student, you’ll learn to predict the stability and safety of ships, as well as their strength, speed, powering and propulsion requirements. You’ll discover how to calculate the motions of ships and other floating structures in rough seas, and how to estimate their reliability and safety in extreme conditions.
Ocean engineering deals with the technical aspects of fixed and floating marine structures and systems related to harnessing ocean resources. These include offshore oil and gas and the rapidly expanding area of ocean renewable energy, as well as other ocean resource activities such as subsea mining and aquaculture.
The degree aims to develop graduates capable of dealing with engineering challenges on a wide range of marine vehicles from tankers, bulk carriers, container ships and giant cruise liners to tidal current turbines and oil/gas platforms.
In addition to core naval architecture subjects, you'll study a range of specialised ocean engineering subjects and subjects related to the design of novel ship and offshore structures such as risk management and reliability analysis, station-keeping and control and sub-sea engineering.
For BEng students with the appropriate level of academic performance the opportunity to transfer on MEng programme is available.
What you’ll study
Years 1 & 2
Our courses have a common core on which you’ll build more specialist knowledge. In Years 1 and 2, you’ll follow this core so it’s possible to change course.
You’ll study engineering science and the fundamentals of naval architecture including:
- buoyancy and floatation
- ship types
As you progress, you’ll study more specific naval architecture subjects such as:
- resistance and propulsion
- ship structural analysis
- ship design
- marine engineering systems
- business and management subjects
Years 3 & 4
You’ll study more advanced subjects related to the design of conventional ships, and fixed and floating offshore platforms as well as subsea systems for extracting oil and gas offshore and devices for generating renewable energy from the ocean.
You’ll study state-of-the-art tools for analysing the water flow around ship hulls, predicting the stresses and strains in the hull structure, and the behaviour of ships in waves.
You’ll also study the dynamics of floating offshore platforms in waves, the loading on the platforms from the ocean waves, and how to predict the reliability of offshore structures.
There’s also a specialised individual project on a subject which you will choose. This can involve any combination of calculations, design, computer studies or tank-testing using any of the department’s facilities.
Lots of our students go on work placements during the summer holidays. Due to our close links with industry, there are many work placement and internship opportunities for students.
Previous work placement opportunities include:
- student internships at Samsung Heavy Industries ship building yard in South Korea
- group work experience visits to ship building yards in China
- numerous summer internships with various high-profile companies in the maritime and oil & gas industries
- research internships within our own world class research centre
As a student, you'll have access to:
- Catalina - our departmental racing yacht
- the largest ship-model experiment tank in any UK university
- towing/wave tank exclusively for teaching purposes
- marine engine laboratory
- hydrogen fuel cell laboratory
- cutting-edge computer facilities
- industry standard software
We support and promote students in various competitions and awards; from cash bursaries for top performing students to the highest of awards from international organisations.
In recent years, some of our students have been triumphant in the following high profile competitions:
- Science, Engineering & Technology Student of the Year (SET Awards)
- Best Maritime Technology Student (SET Awards)
- double winner of BP's Ultimate Field Trip competition
- Strathclyder of the Year
The Orchid programme is a mentoring programme for students managed by students in a confidential manner. It aims to assist students to achieve their academic goals and graduate with honours.
Orchid’s main objectives are to:
- allow additional support and development for those who do not usually ask for assistance
- allow students with high achievements to help fellow students
- increase camaraderie
Open days & events
Applicants are invited to attend 'Insight', a half-day introduction to the department, which includes a question and answer session with a member of staff.
You can discover more about the degree programmes and the department, take part in activities and meet current staff and students. A number of these events are held between November and March. Please contact us regarding visits at other times.
Accredited by the Royal Institution of Naval Architects on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as Chartered Engineer.
Accredited by the Institute of Marine Engineering, science and Technology for the purpose of partial registration as a Chartered Marine Technologist.
Accredited by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology on behalf of the Engineering Council for the purposes of fully meeting the academic requirement for registration as Chartered Engineer.
Introduction to Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering
This class will provide the basic tools to prepare you for more advanced studies in your course. You’ll gain an understanding of what has become known as classical mechanics including a study of forces, energy, work, momentum and heat. You’ll learn how these are connected and how they can be applied to engineering problems.
Analysis Tools for Marine Design
Students are provided with a background of the various issues, terminology and concepts related to the course. You’ll learn about the importance of marine transportation to the global economy, industry and leisure industries and gain an understanding in applications of fundamental engineering principles related to the marine sector.
This class will equip you with some of the important basic graphical and computational tools required for the rest of the course. You’ll be introduced to tools such as AutoCAD, Rhino, Microsoft Excel, Mathcad and Matlab and be given the opportunity to consolidate the new theoretical knowledge gained in other modules through numerical exercises.
This class will provide the basic mathematical requirements to prepare you for more advanced studies in your course. You’ll learn about the concepts and applications of functions, differentiation, integration and complex numbers.
This class will provide the basic mathematical requirements to prepare you for more advanced studies in your course. You’ll learn about the concepts and applications of calculus, geometry, vectors, matrices and numerical methods.
You'll have the opportunity to select an elective class from the University’s extensive list of classes permitted in Year 1.
Hydrostatics and Stability of Marine Vehicles
Marine Engineering Fundamentals
This class will introduce you to the fundamental principles of naval architecture and will examine how they are applied in practice for floating bodies. You’ll learn about the principles of hydrostatics and the stability of marine vehicles, together with their application to safe operation.
Principles of Marine Design and Production
This class will address the important principles related to marine engineering systems. You’ll learn about the fundamentals of thermodynamics, thermal systems, electrical networks, systems and machines.
Analysis and Design of Marine Structures 1
This class will explain the main activities carried out in a modern shipyard and critically examine the role of management service departments. You’ll learn about the basic principles of modern shipyard layout and rationalisation, steel production and outfitting methods.
Engineering Applications for Naval Architects and Marine Engineers
This class provides you with an introduction to fixed offshore structure design and the material science and properties of the materials used in the marine industry. You’ll develop a basic understanding of the application of structural mechanics to ship and offshore structures and develop your skills in solving simple problems in marine structures using structural mechanics and analysis software.
Students are introduced to engineering philosophy and practice by a practical experience of design and manufacturing processes and technology applications appropriate to naval architecture and marine engineering. You’ll gain practical experience of the use of CAD and CAM software in marine design, an appreciation of design and production processes and take part in a substantial design, build and test exercise in the marine laboratory.
This class will continue on from your mathematics classes in Year 1, further enhancing your mathematical requirements to prepare you for more advanced studies in your course. You’ll learn about advanced estimation methods, calculus and differential equations.
Professional Development and Marine Business
This module will provide you with an insight into marine business and allow you to work on your ‘soft’ business skills. You’ll gain an appreciation of the fundamentals of communication, project work, planning and managerial skills, including writing, speaking, listening, interviewing and teamwork.
Hydrodynamics, Resistance and Propulsion
This module will examine the processes and methods used to design ships and other marine vehicles. You’ll learn about the design processes of marine vehicles and structures and gain an appreciation of the technical, economic and social influences on design and the influences of statutory regulations and classification society rules.
Marine Engineering Systems and Control
This class provides you with an introduction to the concepts and fundamentals of hydrodynamics. You’ll learn about how water flows past a ship or marine structures hull, how to calculate the resistance of a ship and hence how to calculate propulsion requirements.
Analysis and Design of Marine Structures 2
You'll be provided with an introduction to automation and control theory with applications to marine systems. Students learn about the theory and design of pipe flow, heat exchangers, fuel systems, cooling systems etc. and how system integrity links with ship operation.
The Marine Environment
This class provides an understanding of the techniques which may be used to analyse the behaviour of marine structural components like steel beams and plates. You’ll learn how to calculate bending moments, stresses and deflections of marine structures as well as gaining an understanding of the theoretical basis of finite element analysis.
Offshore Oil & Gas Production Systems
An introduction to fluid mechanics as applied to marine hydrodynamics. You’ll learn about the key properties of waves and seastates, the methods used to calculate their energy and velocity, and how to model them through spectral techniques and analysis.
This class provides you with a comprehensive overview of offshore hydrocarbon production to allow understanding of the essential processes. You’ll learn about the latest technical developments including details of drilling/production/transportation systems, particularly for the current deepwater offshore engineering as well as the related economic, geo-political and historical issues.
Seakeeping and Manoeuvring
Theory and Practice of Marine CFD
This class will provide you with a demonstration of the important seakeeping characteristics of marine vehicles and explain the factors influencing this behaviour. You’ll learn how to identify the factors determining the manoeuvrability of a marine vehicle and study the implications to design and operability.
Finite Element Analysis of Marine Structures
This class will introduce you to the theoretical background of marine computational fluid dynamics (CFD) using the finite volume method. You’ll learn about the key equations of CFD for incompressible flow in finite volume form and how to solve them numerically. You’ll also have a go at solving a simple 2D engineering problem using a commercial CFD package.
Ship Structural Dynamics
This module will provide you with a theoretical understanding of stiffness and finite element methods for marine structures. You’ll learn the theory of key concepts and then be given a simple engineering problem, in which you will code your own stiffness method program in Mathcad to solve.
Students investigate the effects of vibration on the structural performance of a ship and study the implications to design and operability. You’ll learn about design and operational parameters affecting ship motions, how to calculate the wave loading and response of ships and floating offshore platforms and the role of structural dynamics in ship design.
Dynamics of Offshore Structures
You'll be provided with an insight into the reliability-based design procedure for structural components in ships and offshore structures. You’ll learn about the various methods and how they can be extended to structural systems, inspection planning and safety factor selection in the development of rules.
Ocean Engineering Project
This class provides you with an understanding of the factors influencing the dynamic behaviour of fixed and floating offshore structures due to environmental forces. You’ll learn about how to predict the dynamic and structural motion response of fixed and floating offshore platforms and how to design and analyse foundations for fixed offshore structures.
Individual project: in this module, you'll carry out a project, under the supervision of a member of academic staff, in a topic area of interest to you. You’ll develop skills related to technical writing, literature searching, referencing and presentation.
Group project: along with a group of your peers, you'll conduct a variety of first principle calculations on various offshore structures, making use of previously learnt ocean engineering knowledge.
The main method of assessment is exams in January and May. Presentations, laboratory reports and other forms of coursework are submitted and marked individually throughout the year.
Each teaching year has two semesters of 10 weeks, which include formal lectures, tutorials, laboratory and coursework assignments, industrial visits, class tests, two weeks of additional tutorials and/or project presentations. This is followed by revision classes, private study and exams.
Most assignments involve associated tutorials for guidance. Group exercises, including presentations and peer assessment, are an important part of your development.
Learning & teaching
The main methods of teaching are lectures, tutorials, laboratory and group design classes. You can expect an average of 20 hours of these per week. You should supplement this with self-study. Self-study is important as it develops the confidence to tackle unfamiliar problems. This is an essential skill for professional engineers.
Throughout the course, field trips will give you first-hand experience of industrial activities in the marine sector.
Individual and group projects are a major part of the course from first year. First-year students carry out a basic design, build and evaluate project.
Second-year students work in teams on a more detailed design/build/test exercise as part of the Engineering Applications class.
Part of the third year Marine Design incorporates a ‘rules-based’ group design project.
In fourth year, students carry out a performance-based group design project as well as their major individual project.
External speakers and/or industrial support play an important part in group and individual project work.
This is introduced from first year with sessions covering basic aspects of hydrostatics and stability.
In second year, students take part in the design and build of a small-scale racing yacht. This combines the use of professional Naval Architecture design software for hull design and computer-aided manufacture for hull generation. This is combined with hands-on practical skills and hydrodynamic testing.
An intensive laboratory-based class in third year involves more formal experimental testing, in which students carry out a number of hydrodynamics, dynamics and marine engineering experimental projects.
Fourth-year students have the opportunity to carry out a laboratory-based individual project.
This is used to demonstrate the practical application of theory and also gives you exposure to current engineering practice.
The use of professional software to solve real engineering problems is introduced in first year and is reinforced throughout subsequent years. You’ll gain exposure to software packages for stability, dynamics and simulation, FEA, hydrodynamics, risk-based design as well as other more specialised software packages.
During term time, we arrange weekly seminars in which leaders and pioneers of the maritime, oil and gas and marine renewables industries visit the department and present to students. This is a great way of supplementing your education with the latest developments and gaining industry contacts for your future career.
Required subjects are indicated following minimum accepted grades.
AAAB or AABBB (Maths, Physics and/or Engineering Science AB/BA)
Maths and Physics recommended
BBB (Maths, Physics)
Typical entry requirements: ABB
ABB (Maths, Physics)
Typical entry requirements: AAA
32 (Maths HL5, Physics HL5)
HNC: Year 1 entry: pass a relevant HNC, A in Graded Unit 1
Year 2 entry: pass a relevant HND, AA in Graded Units 1 & 2
Please contact us before applying with HNC/HND.
We want to increase opportunities for people from every background. Strathclyde selects our students based on merit, potential and the ability to benefit from the education we offer. We look for more than just your grades. We consider the circumstances of your education and will make lower offers to certain applicants as a result.
Find out if you can benefit from this type of offer.
Find out entry requirements for your country.
Degree preparation course for international students
We offer international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the entry requirements for an undergraduate degree at Strathclyde the option of completing an Undergraduate Foundation year programme at the International Study Centre. To find out more about these courses and opportunities on offer visit isc.strath.ac.uk or call today on +44 (0) 1273 339333 and discuss your education future.
You can also complete the online application form, or to ask a question please fill in the enquiry form and talk to one of our multi-lingual Student Enrolment Advisers today.
Fees & funding
How much will my course cost?
All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.
Rest of UK
Bachelor degrees at Strathclyde will cost £9,250 a year, but the total amount payable will be capped at £27,750 for students on a four-year Bachelors programme. Students studying on integrated Masters degree programmes – for example MSci, MEng and MPharm – will pay £9,250 for the Masters year.
In addition to the University’s extensive scholarship portfolio, our department has several organisations offering sponsorships and scholarships to students each year, including RINA, IMarEST, Lloyd’s Register Foundation, American Bureau of Shipping, the Worshipful Company of Shipwrights and the Society for Underwater Technology.
New arrangements for scholarships and summer work are added continually so please refer to our scholarship search for more information.
Support for students from England, Northern Ireland & Wales
We offer a generous financial support package to help students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales meet the increased costs of study.
These students can also get government support. Bachelor degrees at Strathclyde will cost £9,000 a year, but the total amount payable will be capped at £27,000.
Because of the cap, no student will be charged more than £27,000 in tuition fees for a four-year Bachelors programme.
Students studying on integrated Masters degree programmes will pay an additional £9,000 for the Masters year. A tuition fee loan will be available for this additional year.
Bursaries for accommodation are also available.
Course materials & costs
Cost of lab coats
Costs of printing within the department
- £2 - 50 prints
- £4 - 100 prints
- £8 - 200 prints
Placements & field trips
For first year students, travel costs to Kelvin Hydro Dynamics Laboratory (KHL) will consist on average 3/4 return journeys from the University campus. Second-year students should cost one travel journey per week to KHL for two semesters. Third-year students should cost travel to KHL for at least one session.
Fourth, fifth, MSc, and postgraduate research students will need to cost travel to KHL if work involves testing.
*£1.90 cost of single ticket
Cost of binding two copies of thesis and CD copy for postgraduate research students
- £23.50 - Cameron Bookbinders
Charts, plotters and other materials for NM100 are available free to students.
Binding and printing costs for 4th, 5th year and MSc students
- £2 - 50 prints
- £4 - 100 prints
- £8 - 200 prints
Binding costs at print unit
Departmental card for MSc students
- £5 deposit returned before graduation
Please note: All fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.
How can I fund my studies?
Students from Scotland and the EU
If you're a Scottish or EU student, you may be able to apply to the Student Award Agency Scotland (SAAS) to have your tuition fees paid by the Scottish government. Scottish students may also be eligible for a bursary and loan to help cover living costs while at University.
For more information on funding your studies have a look at our University Funding page.
Students from England, Wales & Northern Ireland
We have a generous package of bursaries on offer for students from England, Northern Ireland and Wales
With skills including analytical, numeracy and problem-solving Naval Architecture and Ocean Engineering graduates are suited to a wide range of career opportunities.
Recent job titles include:
- Naval Architect
- Ocean Engineer
- Subsea Engineer
- Marine Surveyor
- Offshore Renewables Engineer
- Project Engineer
Some graduates go on to postgraduate study or research.
Graduate Peter Dow won the Science, Engineering and Technology Student of the Year Award and best Maritime Technology Award for his excellent fourth year project on carbon capture and storage.
Martin Shaw, a former student of the department, is behind the design of the snake-like Pelamis wave energy device in Orkney.
Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering graduate Phil Kirk works as a Marine Engineer on one of Disney’s cruise ships in the Bahamas.
How much will I earn?
Your salary will depend on your individual role and the industry you work in.
However, the average salary for a marine engineer is £30,000 and £35,000 for a naval architect.*
* Information is intended only as a guide.