MSc Ship & Offshore Structures

Key facts

  • Start date: January & September
  • Accreditation: RINA / IMarEST
  • Study mode and duration: MSc: 12 months full-time
  • 1st in Europe & 3rd in the world for Marine/Ocean Engineering (Shanghai Rankings Academic Ranking 2022)

Study with us

  • learn about the factors influencing the dynamic behaviour of offshore institutions
  • designed for graduate engineers in naval architecture, offshore engineering, mechanical engineering and other related disciplines
Back to course

Why this course?

This course was developed in response to the demand for design engineers who can design and assess new ships and offshore structures.

You'll be introduced to ultimate strength, fatigue and design concepts for structural components of ships and offshore floating systems. You'll also gain the knowledge of material behaviour together with factors influencing the dynamic behaviour of offshore installations.

The Department of Naval Architecture, Ocean & Marine Engineering (NAOME), a leading institution in Scotland, offers excellent teaching and research facilities, which will expand your career opportunities in naval architecture, marine, offshore oil and gas industries.

Oil rig at sea

THE Awards 2019: UK University of the Year Winner

What you’ll study

The programme consists of three components:

  • instructional modules
  • group project
  • individual project

Group project

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 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.

It'll give you a good understanding of all aspects of research work. In addition, the technological study must be accompanied by a survey of the relevance and applicability of the findings to the maritime industries at large.

You'll learn efficient ways to gather information, to distribute workload and to delegate amongst the group, to analyse their results and to appreciate the broader implications of the whole project. In-depth technological studies will be accompanied by increasingly important competence in managerial skills, quality assurance and a sound appreciation of the economic, political, social and environmental issues crucial to professional success.

Individual project (MSc only)

MSc students will take on an individual dissertation on a topic of their own interest. The aim of the individual project is to develop your research skills and to combine many of the aspects learned from other modules within a specific topic. This will be achieved by you carrying out work into a particular topic relating to your chosen theme and preparing a dissertation.


We have excellent teaching facilities including:

  • Our departmental racing yacht, Catalina
  • Kelvin Hydrodynamics Lab – the largest ship-model experiment tank in any UK university
  • Towing/wave tank exclusively for teaching purposes
  • Marine engine laboratory
  • Cutting-edge computer facilities
  • Industry standard software


This course is accredited by the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA) and the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology, (IMarEST) on behalf of the UK Engineering Council.


Go back

Course content

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

Offshore Structural Integrity

This module aims to provide:

  • principles and methodologies to analyse and evaluate pertinent issues concerning the use of engineering materials and structural integrity in the marine environment
  • practical tools for considering structural integrity and structural fitness-for-service problems throughout the design life cycle in the marine environment

The module will teach the following:

1. Introduction:

  1. Structural design philosophies
  2. In service failure modes (fracture, fatigue, creep and corrosion) (overview)
  3. Application of materials testing (tools of failure analysis)
  4. Methodologies of materials and process selection

2. Materials specification and sourcing:

  1. Metallic materials (Steels, Aluminium, and Metal Matrix Composite (MMC))
  2. Mechanical properties, manufacturing methods, deformation and materials forming, standards and Industrial applications
  3. Composite (Polymer Matrix Composite (PMC))
  4. Composite materials in offshore structure

3. Joining and welding:

  1. Advanced manufacturing process
  2. Joining and Welding in metals and composites
  3. Residual stress: origins and measurement of residual stress in Metallic and Composite component

4. Fracture mechanics:

  1. Stress analysis of cracks
  2. Fracture toughness
  3. Connecting the fracture theories, critical crack sizes (ductile vs brittle) & NDE
  4. Limitations of LEFM, Crack Tip Plasticity
  5. Mixed-mode fracture problems, KIc testing
  6. Elastic-plastic fracture mechanics (EPFM), J-Integral, JIc testing, Application Case Studies
  7. Fractography

5. Fatigue:

  1. Fatigue life analysis
  2. Stress-Life and how to develop and use S-N curve
  3. Cyclic stress/strain behaviour leading to hardening or softening (microstructure origins)
  4. Fatigue crack initiation, damage tolerant lifetime
  5. Corrosion fatigue
  6. Notch effects on fatigue, fatigue crack growth testing
  7. Fatigue fractography case studies

6. Corrosion:

  1. Corrosion prevention and mitigation
  2. Embrittlement mechanisms
  3. Environmentally assisted crack growth

7. Creep and stress rupture:

  1. Time-dependent mechanical behaviour
  2. Mechanisms of creep deformation
  3. Structural changes during creep
  4. Creep-fatigue interaction
  5. Creep under combined stresses

8. Nondestructive evaluation:

  1. Introduction to methods for determining the presence of defects and their size
  2. Structural health monitoring
  3. Inspection reliability
  4. Defect and remaining life assessment

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

  • show a systematic understanding of structural integrity and fitness-for-service issues
  • demonstrate an in-depth awareness of the current practice and its limitations in aspects of structural integrity
  • develop a critical and analytical approach towards the engineering aspects of structural integrity
  • be able to confidently assess the applicability of the tools of structural integrity to new problems and apply them appropriately

Assessment and feedback are in the form of coursework.

Risers & Mooring Lines

This module aims to:

  • give an overview of the current deep-water oil and gas developments around the world and the technical challenges in terms of riser and mooring line design
  • demonstrate methods for modelling and analysing risers and mooring lines

This module covers:

  • oil & gas field development options: platform types, marine riser systems, current design trends and deep-water challenges
  • riser systems: flexible pipe structure, typical configurations, top-tensioned vertical risers, hybrid risers.
  • flow assurance: multi-phase flow, deposition of solids, thermal management
  • riser analysis: governing equations, boundary conditions, natural frequency
  • mooring lines: typical mooring configuration, material and construction, anchors and ancillary equipment, static mooring line analysis
  • vortex induced vibration: drag, vortex shedding, surface roughness, lift, Strouhal number, VIV assessment, fatigue life calculation

On completion of the module you're expected to have

  • an overview of mooring lines and marine risers for deep-water floating offshore platforms
  • an understanding of the generic hydrodynamic issues
  • a grasp of the analytical/numerical methods for analysing risers and mooring lines

You'll carry out the coursework individually using the knowledge taught during lectures and computer lab sessions.

Systems Availability & Maintenance

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

This module covers:

  • introduction to reliability and maintenance (definition of reliability, hazard, risk, maintenance, maintainability, criticality, availability, etc)
  • reliability tools (qualitative and quantitative like FMEA, FMECA, FTA, ETA, BBNs, Markov Analysis, HAZOP, HAZID, etc)
  • risk and criticality matrices
  • corrective, preventive, predictive, condition-based maintenance
  • Total Productive Maintenance (TPM), Reliability Centered Maintenance (RCM), Risk Based Inspection (RBI) methods. Condition Monitoring (ConMon) tool, Planned Maintenance Systems PMS, Computerised Maintenance Management Systems (CMMS)
  • case studies/applications regarding machinery and hull structure of ships
  • regulatory regime in relation to ship operations and maintenance (IMO, IACS, OCIMF, HSE-Safety case/ALARP, etc.)
  • research and applications in the maritime sector (i.e. FSA, GBS, TMSA, KPIs etc.)
  • preparation for dry-dockings, inspection, maintenance and repairs of ships and offshore structures, quotation lists, etc.
  • assessment of ship operational case studies
  • seminars/lectures from invited experts (maintenance/condition monitoring experts, ship managers/operators to give seminars on planned maintenance/dry-docking planning, day-to-day ship operations)

At the end of this module you'll be:

  • able to understand and apply various reliability software tools, concepts and strategies with application to the maritime/marine industry
  • aware of the different maintenance methodologies and their application in the maritime field and carry out maintenance strategy case studies

Assessment and feedback are in the form of the submission of one coursework assignment related to reliability and criticality analysis tools and a final exam associated to the above topics.

Finite Element Analysis of Floating Structures

This module aims to provide you with a theoretical and practical knowledge of the finite element method and the skills required to analyse marine structures with ANSYS graphical user interface (GUI).

This module covers:

  • introduction to finite element analysis and ANSYS GUI
  • truss elements and applications
  • solid elements and applications
  • beam elements and applications
  • plane stress, plane strain and axisymmetry concepts
  • plane elements and applications
  • plate & shell elements and applications
  • assembly process and constructing of the global stiffness matrix

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

  • understand the basics of finite element analysis
  • understand how to perform finite element analysis by using a commercial finite element software
  • understand specifying necessary input parameters for the analysis
  • understand how to visualize and evaluate the results

There is one exam and one coursework assignment. The exam is during the exam period of the first semester. Exam has a weight of 70% and coursework assignment has a weight of 30%.

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.

Dynamics of Floating Offshore Installations

This module aims to provide knowledge in order to understand the factors influencing the dynamic behaviour of floating offshore structures due to environmental forces. It also aims to develop skills in order to predict the dynamic motion response of floating offshore platforms.

This module will teach the following:

Overview of basic design concepts; environmental design considerations; wave, wind and current induced motions and loads; second-order wave induced forces and responses of floating and complaint structures; soil-structure interaction.

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

  • predict the environmental forces and resulting motions of semi-submersibles, floating production, storage and offloading systems, tension leg platforms, SPAR buoys and fixed lattice and gravity type platforms
  • determine the soil-structure interaction for the design of a foundation for a gravity base structure

Assessment and feedback is in the form of an exam: problem-solving on prediction of wave excitation forces on and resulting motions of floating structures and/or the assessment of a foundation of a gravity base structure.

Reliability-based Marine Structural Design Including Plated Structures

This class aims to provide you with an insight into the structural reliability based design procedure for structural components and methods are extended to structural systems, inspection modelling and maintenance planning and reliability safety factor selection in code development.

Design & Construction of Floating, Production, Storage & Offloading Vessels

This module aims to introduce the shipbuilding technologies and equipment used in the construction of FPSO vessels. It will also provide an introduction to the ship design process as applied to FPSO vessels.

This module will teach the following:

FPSO Construction:

  • overview of facilities for shipbuilding
  • the shipbuilding process including the integration of hull construction, outfitting and painting
  • the role of product definition

FPSO Design:

  • functional requirements and design drivers
  • typical layouts and sizes
  • hullform and marine system arrangements
  • platform-topsides interfaces
  • comparison of new-build and conversion approaches
  • design process and schedules

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

  • understand the technologies and processes involved in constructing FPSO vessels
  • appreciate the interaction between design and construction of FPSO vessels, especially in relation to conversions
  • understand the relationships between functional requirements and design solutions for FPSO vessels
  • demonstrate their awareness of the importance of marine systems and the platform-topsides interface in a successful solution

Assessment and feedback are in the form of coursework. You'll carry out the coursework in groups using the knowledge taught during lectures and tutorials and by referring to the other literature resources.

Group Design Project

The overall aim of the module is to provide you with an enriched experience in the selection, conceptualisation and designing of a novel 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 their project outputs to a panel involving academic/industry staff.

This module covers:

  • development of a broad but nevertheless critical review of prospects for techno-economic growth in maritime related activities in a particular context/area of the world
  • proposal and evaluation of 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
  • demonstration of analytical ability and understanding of engineering principles and problem-solving techniques, creativity and self-reflection
  • the ability to present and defend the design choices to a panel.

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

  • identify and prioritize the key-design issues along with their basic interrelations in the context of naval architecture
  • 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
  • choose at each design step the proper rationally-based computation methods

Assessment and feedback are in the form of either design report or presentation. There will be five tasks: each task may include the submission of a design report or an oral presentation followed by questions from the lecturers and the advisory groups.

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!

Learning & teaching

There are two teaching semesters of 11 weeks each.

Course modules are delivered in the form of formal lectures supported with tutorials and laboratory experiments.

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

Guest lectures

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.

Industrial visits are also made to a variety of companies.


There are two types of method for module assessment. One is course work assessment only, the other is exam assessment. For examined modules the final assessment mark consists of 30-40% course work marks and 60-70% exam marks.

Student competitions

The Department of Naval Architecture, Ocean & Marine Engineering 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, 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
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-UK/Ireland) who do not meet the academic entry requirements for a Masters degree at University of Strathclyde.

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

Please note: Previous Maths & English qualifications and your undergraduate degree must meet GTCS minimum entry requirements as well as the pre-Masters course and an interview will be conducted before an offer can be made.

International students

We've a thriving international community with students coming here to study from over 140 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

Back to course

Fees & funding

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

Please note, for courses that have a January 2024 start date, 2023/24 academic year fees will apply. For courses that have a September 2024 and a January 2025 start date, 2024/25 academic year fees will apply.

Fees may be subject to updates to maintain accuracy. Tuition fees will be notified in your offer letter.

All fees are in £ sterling, unless otherwise stated, and may be subject to revision.

Annual revision of fees

Students on programmes of study of more than one year (or studying standalone modules) should be aware that tuition fees are revised annually and may increase in subsequent years of study. Annual increases will generally reflect UK inflation rates and increases to programme delivery costs.

Go back


England, Wales & Northern Ireland




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.

Visa & immigration

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

Available scholarships

Take a look at our scholarships search for funding opportunities.

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 International Scholarships

If you're an international applicant applying for a full-time, on-campus postgraduate taught course in the Faculty of Engineering, you'll be eligible to apply for a scholarship award equivalent to a 15% reduction of your fees, which will typically be up to £4,240. In addition to this, we also have a limited number of Dean’s International Excellence Awards for our postgraduate taught applicants. These scholarships are worth £5,000 and £8,000 and will be offered to exceptional applicants at postgraduate taught level only. Applicants need to only submit one application and will be considered for all levels of postgraduate taught scholarships.

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, on-campus postgraduate taught course 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 course at Strathclyde in the coming academic year (2024-25), this can be in September 2024 or January 2025.

The deadline for applications for the Dean’s International Excellence Award is 28 June 2024. 

Faculty of Engineering Scholarships for International Students
Back to course


Career destinations include:

  • Naval Architect
  • Marine Engineer
  • Graduate Engineer
  • Marine Surveyor
  • Offshore Renewables Engineer
  • Project Engineer

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

Back to course


During the application process, you're required to upload the following supporting documents. If these are not provided, we'll not be able to process your application:

  • certified individual semester mark sheets/academic transcript showing subjects taken and grades achieved for all qualifications
    • if still studying, provide individual semester mark sheets to date
  • certified degree certificate for all qualifications
    • if still studying, provide this after completing the qualification
  • provide evidence of suitable English language proficiency if English is not your first language, or you're not from a “UKVI recognised "Majority English Speaking" country”; check the University’s language requirements
  • if you have been out of full-time education for over two years, provide a CV, detailing employment history, organisations worked for and a brief description of roles and responsibilities
  • a copy of your passport containing your photo and passport number
  • a copy of your sponsor letter/scholarship award (if appropriate) 
  • names, job titles and email addresses for two nominated referees

Start date: Sep 2024

Ship and Offshore Structures

Start date: Sep 2024

Start date: Jan 2025

Ship and Offshore Structures (January)

Start date: Jan 2025

Back to course

Contact us

Faculty of Engineering

Telephone: +44 (0)141 574 5484