MSc Marine Engineering with Specialisation in Autonomous Marine Vehicles

Key facts

  • Start date: September
  • Study mode and duration: 12 months, full-time
  • Guest lectures: industrial experts, visiting academics and researchers

  • 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

  • for graduates in naval architecture, mechanical engineering, marine engineering and related disciplines who want to gain advanced knowledge of autonomous marine technology
  • benefit from excellent teaching facilities: departmental racing yacht, hydrodynamics lab, wave flume tank, marine engine laboratory, hydrogen fuel cell laboratory, and more 
  • UK University of the Year 2019 (Times Higher Education Awards) and Scottish University of the Year 2020 (The Sunday Times Good University Guide)

How could the Covid-19 pandemic affect my studies?

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Why this course?

Industry 4.0 (Fourth Industrial Revolution) is the confluence of cyber-physical systems that are reshaping most sectors including the maritime sector. Autonomous technology is poised to transform the sector. Crewless vessels are now under development. It's already possible to explore the most extreme oceanic environments using autonomous and robotic systems. It's time for the maritime industry to understand how autonomous systems will shape the sector and how best to exploit them.

This new programme aims to address an identified market need for a postgraduate qualification that is relevant to the maritime industry and which develops skills and knowledge in autonomy and IT technologies used in the sector.

This course is designed for graduates in naval architecture, mechanical engineering, marine engineering and related disciplines who want to gain advanced knowledge of autonomous marine technology.

Container ship

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

What you’ll study

The course will be delivered by the Department of Naval Architecture, Ocean and Marine Engineering (NAOME). Students will study a blend of compulsory and optional modules including a group project and then complete 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 modules dealing with the following subjects:

  • Intelligent sensing, deep learning and data analysis
  • Hydrodynamics of underwater vehicles
  • Digital twins of autonomous vehicles
  • Marine engineering simulation and modelling

Group projects

You’ll be part of a group of three to five people in ‘consultant teams’ for 10 weeks addressing a practical engineering problem. You’ll then have the opportunity to present the report to a panel of industrial experts.

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

Group projects will provide you with an enriched experience in the selection, conceptualisation and designing of an autonomous surface or underwater vessel. 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.

Student competitions

The department supports and promotes students in various competitions and awards, from cash bursaries for top performing students to the highest of awards from international organisations.

In recent years students from NAOME 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
  • Maritime Masters
  • TRA, the Transport Research Arena, is the largest European research and technology conference on transport and mobility


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
  • Wave flume tank exclusively for teaching purposes
  • Marine engine laboratory
  • Cutting-edge computer facilities including high performance computers
  • Industry standard software packages


We will apply for accreditation from the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA) and The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST). Our other undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes are also accredited by these professional bodies.

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Course content

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

Intelligent Sensing, Reasoning and Deep Learning

This module aims to provide background education and experience in machine intelligence and autonomous system design from the algorithm level. Students will learn the basics of the predominant data analysis, machine learning, and decision-making algorithms in use today as well as applying their knowledge to a set of simple automation tasks for both real and virtual robotic platforms in the laboratory and on their own computers.

Data Analysis for Engineering

This module focuses on Data Driven Models for engineering applications, including linear and nonlinear models, model selection and error estimation. Numerical examples and real-life problems will be studied and analysed, from bearings fault prediction, to fuel consumption optimisation and sound pressure level prediction.

Autonomous Marine Vehicles and Digital Twin

Digitalisation has become an essential part of the maritime industry, ultimately steered at making the sector more innovative and productive, particularly for Autonomous Marine Vehicles (AMVs). A digital twin is a dynamic digital representation of an AMV, capable of replicating significant aspects of autonomy, including dynamics, control, guidance, and navigation. The idea is to create a virtual version of the AMV to achieve a realistic, digital simulation of the system utilising the state-of-the-art physical models. This course aims to provide students with the skills and knowledge required to model, simulate and then analyse the complex non-linear behaviour of an AMV using MATLAB/Simulink.

System Availability and Maintenance

This class aims to provide an insight into the qualitative and quantitative systems’ reliability techniques as well as maintenance methodologies with particular emphasis to the maritime industry. 

The course will give students the ability to formulate, solve, report and present a comprehensive maintenance strategy based on the application of reliability and criticality analysis and assessment tools. 

The module will also provide students with an insight of the day-to-day operations of ships as well as explore and present features related to ships dry-dockings, inspection, repair and maintenance scheduling, regulatory regime as well as practical case studies on the above.

Marine Engineering Simulation and Modelling

The aim of this hands-on class is to provide students with an understanding of the general concepts, advantages and limitations of computer-based system simulation. 

This is achieved by introducing concepts and methods used to mathematically model a wide range of marine systems and also to design and perform simulation studies on these systems using industry standard simulation software tools.

Underwater Vehicles

This module aims to provide students with a comprehensive understanding of underwater vehicles as opposite to surface vehicles. This module will cover various kind of underwater vehicles, ranging from mega submarines to working-class remotely operated vehicles (ROV) to the state-of-the-art autonomous underwater vehicles (AUVs), from a naval architecture’s perspective of view to tackle the challenges in resistance & propulsion, manoeuvring, sensing, and underwater navigation, etc.

Inspection and Survey

This module aims to provide students 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.

Shipping Economics and Market Sector Analysis

This module aims to provide students 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. In addition, an acquaintance with maritime sector infrastructures is provided.

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.

Maritime Safety and 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 the whole life cycle of a vessel and, as such, this module will also elaborate on the practicalities of its application to a range of marine scenarios.

Learning & teaching

There are two teaching semesters of 11 weeks each.

Course modules 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 modules the final assessment mark typically consists of 30 to 40% course work and 60 to 70% examination.

Guest lectures

You’ll appreciate industry experts involved in the teaching on selected modules within this PGT programme. In addition, the group project will be assessed by a panel of industry experts.

NAOME runs a so-called Marine Forum seminar series for all students 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.

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.

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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.
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Entry requirements


BEng with First, or Second Class (Upper Division) Honours or equivalent overseas qualification.


Applicants with marginally lower qualifications will be considered for the Postgraduate Diploma in the first instance. Applicants with other qualifications will be considered on an individual basis.

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

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Fees & funding

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

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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.  

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?

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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We believe that there will be huge home/EU and overseas demand for these graduates.

Job titles for future graduates of this postgraduate programme include but not limited to:

  • Graduate/Senior naval architect
  • Marine surveyor
  • Academic/Researcher
  • Design engineer
  • Fleet manager
  • Consultant

Our graduates should be able to work at:

  • Classification societies
  • Ministry of Defence
  • Shipping companies
  • Research centres, experimental facilities and universitiesN
  • aval architecture companies

Glasgow is Scotland's biggest & most cosmopolitan city

Our campus is based right in the very heart of Glasgow. We're in the city centre, next to the Merchant City, both of which are great locations for sightseeing, shopping and socialising alongside your studies.

Life in Glasgow
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Start date: Sep 2022

Marine Eng with Specialisation in Autonomous Marine Vehicles

Start date: Sep 2022

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Contact us

Faculty of Engineering

Telephone: +44 (0)141 574 5484