Apply for September 2022 entry

MSc Advanced Naval Architecture

Key facts

  • Start date: January & September
  • Accreditation: RINA / IMarEST
  • Study mode and duration: MSc: 12 months full-time
  • Seminars: delivered by industrial experts, visiting academics and researchers of the Department

  • Shanghai Ranking's Academic Ranking of World Universities 2021: 1st in the UK and 4th in the world  for Marine/Ocean Engineering

Study with us

  • gain further practical knowledge in the field of Naval Architecture
  • benefit from guest lectures by industry leaders
  • develop skills and knowledge that are relevant for emerging challenges of naval architecture
Back to course

Why this course?

Naval architecture is an ever-evolving industry with many specifications and unique challenges. In studying this course, you'll have the opportunity to become a competent naval architecture graduate which industry is looking for.

This course addresses an identified market need for a postgraduate qualification relevant to the naval architecture industry, and which develops skills and knowledge in technical and engineering aspects of that industry.

Designed for graduates in naval architecture, offshore engineering and related disciplines, you'll gain advanced knowledge of naval architecture, marine design and marine structures.

naval ship nearing completion

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

What you'll study

You'll study a blend of compulsory and elective classes, including a group project, along with an individual project. The taught parts of the course will comprise 120 credits, including a 40-credit group project.

The taught part of this postgraduate programme includes classes in:

  • Ship Design and Safety
  • Hydrodynamic Performance
  • Ship Structures

Group project

You’ll be part of a group of three to five people working as a consultant team for 10 weeks. You'll address a practical engineering problem and have the opportunity to present the report to a panel of industry experts. The project will provide you with an enriched experience in the selection, conceptualisation, and designing of a novel vessel or an offshore asset. It'll also include a thorough market review, concept, and focused design studies and techno-economic analysis in a simulated design project environment.

This project will enhance your team working and communication skills.  It also provides valuable access to industry contacts.

The group project will be assessed by a panel of industry experts.

Guest lectures

We run a Marine Forum seminar series for all students studying in the Department, which is timetabled into all MSc programmes. The seminars are delivered by industrial experts, visiting academics and researchers of the Department in subjects relevant to the marine industry. As well as providing an opportunity for making contacts, specific seminars are also arranged to provide careers advice and promote membership of professional societies including the accrediting bodies.


We have excellent teaching facilities including:

  • Catalina – our departmental racing yacht
  • Kelvin Hydrodynamics Lab – the largest fully operational ship-model experiment tank in any UK university
  • Towing/wave tank exclusively for teaching purposes
  • Marine engine laboratory
  • Cutting-edge computer facilities including high-performance computers
  • Industry standard software package
Go back

Course content

A typical selection of classes offered on the programme are outlined below. Please note that these classes may be subject to change.

Semester 1

Advanced Marine Structures

This module aims to provide you with an understanding of the response of surface ships, at both a global and a local level. Structural analysis and design will both be discussed.

This module will teach the following:

  • introduction to ship structures and structural design principles
  • loads acting on ship structures
  • longitudinal strength of surface ships
  • analysis and design of columns and beam-columns
  • analysis and design of un-stiffened and stiffened plated structures
  • design of hull girder mid-ship section components from first principles

On completion of this module, you'll have gained:

  • an understanding of the nature of ship hull structures, the role of various components and ship structural design issues
  • an understanding of load action and its effects at a local and a global level
  • an understanding of how to analyse the global response of surface ships
  • an understanding of the basics of ship hull girder analysis at a local level
  • an understanding of a systematic ship structural design procedure at a global level

Assessment and feedback are in the form of a two-hour exam. You need to gain an overall mark of 50% to pass the module.

Ship Powering in Service

This module aims to provide the fundamental concept of the energy balance of a motorship and the major contributors to the performance losses of a ship in-service. These include the resistance/power increase due to wind, waves, rudder actions/hull drift, hull roughness (including coating), biofouling. The module also aims to discuss the fundamentals of these contributors and describes how to estimate the ship performance losses (i.e. in terms of power increase or speed loss) due to these effects.

This module covers:

  • introduction to ship powering in service
  • theory of added resistance due to waves
  • numerical and experimental calculation of added resistance due to waves
  • experimental techniques for naval architects
  • towing tank experiments
  • roughness effect of biofouling – biofouling, fouling control coatings, concepts of boundary layer theory
  • the effect of hull fouling on the performance of marine vehicles
  • added resistance due to wind, rudder actions/hull drift

At the end of this module you'll be able to:

  • acquire a knowledge and understanding of the technical factors which affect the performance of a ship and the machinery at sea
  • acquire a knowledge and understanding of the main causes of performance losses (in-service) associated with the hull and propulsion, and methods to estimate these losses
  • understand the techniques used for laboratory measurement of added resistance

Assessment and feedback are in the form of two coursework assignments. The first assignment requires the calculation of the added resistance due to waves using a set of empirical formulae and potential flow-based software package. The second assignment requires the calculation of added resistance due to waves using experimental techniques, and the calculation of added resistance values due to fouling, wind, rudder actions/hull drift using various methods.

Theory and Practice of Marine CFD

This module aims to introduce the students to the theoretical background of marine CFD using the finite volume method. This module also aims to illustrate the key ideas related to discretisation and solution of the fluid flow governing equations for incompressible flows. It also aims to discuss some key issues related to the use of CFD packages in practical applications


This module covers:

  • briefing of basic CFD procedure
  • introduce fluid flow governing equations and their simplified forms
  • introduce CFD mesh generation
  • discretization of governing equations and boundary conditions
  • introduce temporal discretization
  • the solution of discretised equations
  • CFD software package use

At the end of this module you'll be able to:

  • be familiar with the basis for the key equations of CFD for incompressible flow in finite volume form
  • understand in principle how these equations may be discretised and solved numerically
  • apply commercial CFD package to simple two-dimensional engineering problem

Assessments are in the form of exam.

Semester 2

Ship Operability and Control

This module aims to demonstrate the fundamental concepts of ship’s controllability and a ship’s control surfaces, and to explain the factors influencing their performance. It also aims to provide the ship operability concept from a seakeeping perspective and teach the superior seakeeping characteristics of various advanced marine vehicles.

This module covers:

  • the ship operability concept and the calculation methods
  • the fundamentals of station keeping
  • the concept and knowledge of seakeeping considerations in design
  • the seakeeping features of advanced marine vehicles
  • the fundamental concept of controllability
  • control surfaces and applications
  • design of marine rudders
  • course-keeping and course-changing control

At the end of this module you'll be able to:

  • acquire an advanced knowledge of ship manoeuvrability and a ship’s control surfaces
  • design a rudder for a given ship and develop its course-keeping and course-changing controller
  • apply the ship operability concept into a real case study and be able to understand the factors affecting the operability of a ship

There will be two coursework assignments in this module as summative assessment. The first coursework will be about ship operability and the second coursework will be about ship controllability. Summative assessment will be used in conjunction and alignment with formative assessment as appropriate for this module.

Maritime Safety & Risk

This module aims to demonstrate how the principles and methods of risk analysis are undertaken and reflected in safety assessment. Risk analysis offers a variety of methods, tools and techniques that can be applied in solving problems covering different phases of the life cycle of a vessel (design, construction, operation and end-of-life) and, as such, this module will also elaborate on the practicalities of its application to a range of marine scenarios.

This module covers:

  • safety, risk and risk analysis; key terminology; lessons learnt from past experience; human factors.
  • formal safety assessment
  • hazard Identification
  • frequency analysis and consequence modelling
  • quantitative risk assessment methods
  • risk control and decision support, cost benefit analysis
  • human Factors and Safety culture in the maritime
  • industry guest lectures addressing topical issues related to maritime safety and risk

At the end of this module you'll be able to:

  • understand the concepts and importance of safety, risk and of all requisite fundamentals enabling quantification of risk in the maritime context
  • utilise methods and tools undertaking fundamental studies, specific to any component, system or function and in general first-principles implementation to life-cycle design
  • understand and have experience of the use of risk analysis in the marine field via related case studies (risk-based ship design, operation and regulation).
  • be able to appreciate components of a formal safety assessment and apply it for indicative problems of maritime operations

Assessment and feedback are in the form of one final exam (during Semester-2 diet) and two coursework assignments (assignment-one focusses on accident investigation, assignment-two is a safety assessment case study).

Maritime Regulatory Framework

This module aims to provide a comprehensive introduction to the marine regulatory framework, including background to its development, description of the current framework and future enhancements, an in-depth explanation of the theoretical background, nature and meaning of each method of assessment and a quantitative demonstration of the available routes and criteria used in assessing safety.

This module includes the theoretical background to the development, relevant theoretical models, content, similarities and differences, advantages and disadvantages deriving from the use of various rules and regulations:

  • Maritime Regulatory System – Introduction
  • Key stakeholders in Maritime Regulations and Enforcement
  • Imo, FLAG States and Classification Societies
  • EU regulatory Politics and Policy
  • Shipping and Environment
  • ISM and Human element in Shipping
  • Rule Development process and Philosophy
  • Offshore Regulations

At the end of this module, you'll:

  • understand the structure and functioning of Marine Regulatory Framework including, IMO, Classification Societies and National Authorities
  • have knowledge on International regulations under IMO framework including, SOLAS, MARPOL, ISM and Offshore Regulations
  • understand the issues with maritime and environmental safety and how rules are developed to address these issues
  • understand the meanings of Prescriptive, probabilistic, performance and equivalent rules and approaches
  • have developed awareness about the future regulatory developments that may affect the design and operations of the ships and other floating structures

Assessment and feedback are in the form of two course work assignments and an exam. One assignment will be individual, and the other will be a group assignment (max 3-4 people per group). The final exam will be one hour long and purely focusing on the Fundamentals of Marine Regulatory Framework. You'll be provided with the material for the exam.

Group Design Project

The overall aim of this module is to provide you with an enriched experience in the selection, conceptualisation and designing of a naval vessel or an offshore asset. The group projects will also include a thorough market review, concept and focused design studies and techno-economic analysis in a simulated design project environment. It will also provide you with an opportunity to present your project outputs to a panel involving academic/industry staff.

The objectives of this module are:

  • to develop a broad but nevertheless critical review of prospects for techno-economic growth in maritime related activities in a particular context/area of the world. Based on this to evolve and present a business case to justify and guide the design choice.
  • to propose and evaluate specific design-related activities with a view to developing a design project to a concept level but with substantial calculations in at least one design objective. The design concepts could cover any key areas such as, for example, offshore hydrocarbon support, marine construction/repair diversification, maritime transportation, tourism and leisure.
  • the detailed design studies should demonstrate analytical ability and understanding of engineering principles and problem-solving techniques, creativity and self-reflection as well as ability to integrate and apply results of multi-disciplinary nature.
  • to be able to present and defend the ensuing design choices and defend any recommendations and analysis to a panel.

This module covers:

  • project selection through establishing a sound business case
  • design project materialisation in a collaborative context and against a justifiable timeline
  • efficient and critical use of the computational tools that fit best to each design step and management techniques
  • written and oral justification of the selections made and the results obtained

On completion of the module you're expected to be able to:

  • identify and prioritize the key-design issues along with their basic interrelations in the context of naval architecture, marine transportation and offshore engineering
  • materialize a design project according to a given timeline through design steps along the key-design-issues priority path
  • work efficiently and openly in a collaborative context involving different cultures and expertise and ability to present work to audience with confidence
  • choose at each design step the proper rationally-based computation methods

The assessment of each group and group member will be made through continuous project management, the submission and presentation of the interim report as well as the submission and presentation of the final report and peer assignment.

Advanced Marine Design

This module aims to familiarise you with the challenges of deploying optimisation approaches in the engineering design process, including the pros and cons of different approaches widely adopted for single and multi-variable problems. The module will also address challenges associated with optimisation using resource-intensive analysis techniques, and the challenges of shape representation and shape optimisation with particular reference to ship hull form optimisation.

This module covers:

  • design optimisation
  • concepts of objectives, goals, constraints and bounds
  • advantages and disadvantages of single variable outcomes
  • golden-section search, Newtons method; parabolic interpolation and Brent’s method
  • application of constraints via penalty functions
  • advantages and disadvantages of Multi-variable algorithms: Gradient free and gradient-based approaches
  • multi criteria optimisation: aggregate objective function, trade-off approach
  • pareto optimality
  • stochastic techniques: the genetic algorithm
  • meta-modelling techniques: response surfaces, neural networks
  • geometry representations
  • the control-point model: basic properties and algorithms for simple and composite Bezier curves
  • B-splines, Non-uniform Rational B-splines (NURBS)
  • curves, surfaces and volume (trivariate NURBS) splines
  • novel representations to overcome NURBS limitations: T-splines, hierarchical B-splines, Geometric transformations for ship-hull optimisation
  • FFD: Free-Form Deformations
  • lackenby transformatiion
  • parametric modelling

On completion of the module you're expected to be able to:

  • understand the ideas of design optimisation including objectives, goals and constraints, and concepts, methodology, advantages and disadvantages of a number of common optimisation algorithms
  • select and apply appropriate algorithms using industry-standard software for a range of problems in Engineering design
  • understand ideas of meta-modelling including response surfaces and neural networks
  • understand ideas of Computer-Aided Geometric Design (CAGD) and basic transformation techniques used for ship hull-form optimisation

Summative assessments in this module will evaluate your learning, knowledge and proficiency in the context of advanced ship design. Summative assessment will be used in conjunction and alignment with formative assessment as appropriate for this module.

Semester 1

Inspection and Survey

This module aims to provide you with an insight into ‘marine’ materials, their properties, failure and protection and an understanding of how their degradation affects the life-cycle of marine and offshore structures. It also aims to engender an understanding of the role of inspection and the assessment of inspection results. The module is designed to provide knowledge of the major threats to marine asset integrity including corrosion and its control for equipment constructed in a wide range of materials, fatigue and fracture of steels.

This module covers:

  • Ship structural behaviour and introduction to fatigue and fracture (10 hours “face to face” lecture/tutorials and Myplace e-lectures)
  • Nature and complexity of marine structures and their failure modes
  • SN Curves and Miners summation
  • Fracture mechanics approaches to crack assessment
  • Crack growth curves
  • Toughness measurements – Charpy, K, G, J CTOD

Corrosion in the Ocean (14 hours, lectures/tutorials):

  • basic electro-chemistry mechanism of corrosion
  • review of different types of marine corrosion including stress/corrosion interactions
  • corrosion protection measures

On completion of the module, you're expected to:

  • have gained a basic understanding of threats to offshore structures, the effect of defects and appropriate methods for detection
  • understand the basics of fatigue analysis and fracture mechanics approaches to defect assessment
  • appreciate how material properties and assumptions about properties affect the life cycle and inspection of marine structures and how to assess “fitness for purpose”
  • understand the basics of electro-chemical corrosion of metals
  • recognise the various ways in which the marine environment can induce serious deterioration of structures by different corrosion processes
  • have a critical appreciation of the techniques of control of corrosion in marine engineering equipment

Assessment is in the form of coursework which provides you with an opportunity to demonstrate knowledge, understanding and the possession of subject-specific and key skills. The medium also allows you to demonstrate intended learning outcomes across a wide range of topics within the syllabus. It will be two coursework assignments, and you'll have enough time to submit your assignment in Myplace.

Shipping Economics and Market Sector Analysis

This module aims to provide you with an understanding of the financial and operational issues that companies that manage or own ships in the various sectors of merchant shipping face, both charter and liner shipping, as well as an acquaintance with maritime sector infrastructures.

This module covers:

  • international seaborne trade
  • economic model for perfect competition conditions
  • shipping markets and commodities transported
  • charter shipping and the liner market
  • supply chain management and logistics
  • marine transport systems infrastructures
  • geography of marine transport

At the end of this module you'll be able to:

  • develop an understanding of the application of basic economic concepts in the shipping sector, its role in the world economy and the role of market sectors in seaborne transportation
  • be in a position to assume managerial decisions concerning the charter market sector (wet and dry bulk cargoes)
  • make decisions involving liner shipping issues and maritime transport system infrastructures

Assessment and feedback are in the form of a two-hours final exam during the Semester 1 exam diet and a group coursework assignment on selected contemporary topics of shipping economics and market sector analysis.

Semester 2

Data Analysis for Engineering

Data-driven decision-making is becoming a crucial skill to deal with emerging marine engineering systems that generate vast amounts of data from the automation system. This module aims to provide you with an understanding of the general concepts, advantages and limitations of Data-Driven methods for naval and marine engineering applications.

The module covers methodologies necessary for inferring useful information and identifying underlying patterns from raw, incomplete, noisy and corrupted data that is present in real-life marine engineering applications. This is achieved by introducing concepts and methods used to numerically model a wide range of naval and marine systems based on available data.

The module will also provide you with the opportunity to explore advanced solutions of data analytics such as nonlinear models, model selection and error estimation. The course is designed for post-graduate students who are interested in data analysis and machine learning applications. An engineering background, statistical and numerical skills would be beneficial but not necessary.

This module covers:


1. An Introduction to Data Mining and Statistical Learning
2. Variable types and terminology

Data, Uncertainty and Learning Problems

3. Basics of Statistic
4. Regression and regression problems

Data Preprocessing and Exploratory Data Analysis

5. Data preprocessing
6. Data reduction
7. Dimensionality reduction

Supervised Learning

8. Regression
9. Classification

Overfitting and Regularization

10. Data splitting
Perceptron, Neural Networks and Kernel
11. Geometry Notation
12. Perceptron
13. Neural networks
14. Kernels

Unsupervised Learning

15. K-Means Clustering

On completion of the module you're expected to be able to:

  • describe a number of models for supervised, unsupervised inference from data. Critically evaluate statistical analysis. Critically assess the fit of statistical models.
  • assess the strength and weakness of each of these models, interpret the mathematical equations from linear algebra, statistics, and probability theory used in the learning models
  • implement efficient learning algorithms in the MATLAB language, applied to naval architecture and marine engineering problems
  • design test procedures in order to evaluate the model hyperparameters (model selection) and it’s error (error estimation). Develop an appropriate experimental research design for an engineering case study taking into account practical limitations

Summative assessments in this module will evaluate your learning, knowledge and proficiency in the context of data-driven methods. Summative assessment will be used in conjunction and alignment with formative assessment as appropriate for this module.

The Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education 2019 and 2021.
The Queen's Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education 2019 and 2021.
The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. University of the Year shortlisted.
The Times / The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2021. University of the Year shortlisted.
The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 - Scottish University of the Year.
The Times & Sunday Times Good University Guide 2020 - Scottish University of the Year.

Learning & teaching

There are two teaching semesters of 11 weeks each.

Classes are delivered in form of formal lectures supported with tutorials and laboratory experiment.

You’re required to attend an induction prior to the start of the course.


There are two types of method for module assessment. One is course work assessment only, the other is examination assessment. For examined classes the final assessment mark typically consists of 30 to 40% course work and 60 to 70% examination.

Aerial view of students sitting around coffee tables

Chat to a student ambassador

If you want to know more about what it’s like to be an Engineering student at the University of Strathclyde, a selection of our current students are here to help!

Our Unibuddy ambassadors can answer all the questions you might have about courses and studying at Strathclyde, along with offering insight into their experiences of life in Glasgow and Scotland.

Chat now!
Back to course

Entry requirements

Academic requirements

Normally a first-class or second-class honours degree (or international equivalent) in a relevant subject.

English language requirements

If English is not your first language, please visit our English language requirements page for full details of the requirements in place before making your application.

Pre-Masters preparation course

The Pre-Masters Programme is a preparation course held at the University of Strathclyde International Study Centre, for international students (non EU/UK) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde. The Pre-Masters programme provides progression to a number of degree options.

Upon successful completion, you'll be able to progress to this degree course at the University of Strathclyde.

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 100 countries across the world. Find out all you need to know about studying in Glasgow at Strathclyde and hear from students about their experiences.

Visit our international students' section

Map of the world.

Back to course

Fees & funding

All fees quoted are for full-time courses and per academic year unless stated otherwise.

Go back


England, Wales & Northern Ireland




Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

Additional costs

Course materials & costs

Printing Services Printing: Prices variable per size

Binding: £3 per copy approx.

Placements & field trips

Travel to the Kelvin Hydrodynamics Laboratory may be required depending on selected courses. Frequency variable: Average 5 visits if relevant to subjects. Bus fare £2-3 each way.  

International students

International students may have associated visa and immigration costs. Please see student visa guidance for more information.

Other costs

Access cards are provided free of charge. £10 charge to replace a lost card.

Please note: the fees shown are annual and may be subject to an increase each year. Find out more about fees.

How can I fund my course?

Go back

Scottish postgraduate students

Scottish postgraduate students may be able to apply for support from the Student Awards Agency Scotland (SAAS). The support is in the form of a tuition fee loan and for eligible students, a living cost loan. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Go back

Students coming from England

Students ordinarily resident in England may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance England. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Go back

Students coming from Wales

Students ordinarily resident in Wales may be to apply for postgraduate support from Student Finance Wales. The support is a loan of up to £10,280 which can be used for both tuition fees and living costs. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Go back

Students coming from Northern Ireland

Postgraduate students who are ordinarily resident in Northern Ireland may be able to apply for support from Student Finance Northern Ireland. The support is a tuition fee loan of up to £5,500. Find out more about the support and how to apply.

Don’t forget to check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Go back

International students

We've a large range of scholarships available to help you fund your studies. Check our scholarship search for more help with fees and funding.

Faculty of Engineering Scholarships for International Students

If you're an international applicant applying for a postgraduate taught programme in the Faculty of Engineering, you'll be eligible to apply for a scholarship award equivalent to a 15% reduction of your tuition fees, which will typically be £3,460.

Scholarships are available for applicants to all self-funded, new international (non-EU) fee paying students holding an offer of study for a full-time postgraduate taught programme in the Faculty of Engineering at the University of Strathclyde.

Please note you must have an offer of study for a full-time course at Strathclyde before applying. You must start your full-time postgraduate taught programme at Strathclyde in the coming academic year (2022-23), this can be in September 2022 or January 2023.

Find out more about our scholarship for international students