MSc Subsea & Pipeline Engineering

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

  • gain advanced knowledge of subsea systems, design and installation

  • benefit from excellent teaching facilities

  • opportunity to undertake a 10-week group project addressing a practical engineering problem
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Why this course?

This course is for graduates in naval architecture, offshore engineering, mechanical engineering and related disciplines who want to gain advanced knowledge of subsea systems, designs and installation. This includes systems and equipment such as:

  • pipelines
  • wellheads
  • drilling rigs
  • riser and mooring systems


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.

Tanker at oil pipeline

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 (MSc only)

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 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.

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'll 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:

  • Catalina – our departmental racing yacht
  • 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

Student competitions

NAOME 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
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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.

Petroleum Engineering

Lecturer: Mr Dedis

This module aims to give students a good understanding of some fundamental aspects of the petroleum industry by covering the following topics:

  • reservoir characterisation and classification
  • properties of reservoir fluids
  • properties of reservoir rocks
  • flow through porous media
  • well performance
  • single and multi-phase pipe flow
  • artificial lift systems

Risk & Reliability Engineering

This module aims to introduce the principles of risk management and reliability engineering and solve relevant engineering problems through widely applied methods and tools.

The module will teach the following:

  • Introduction and Fundamentals of Risk and Reliability Engineering
  • Risk Management Process
  • Statistics, Probabilities and Mathematics for Risk Analysis
  • Failure mode, effects, and criticality analysis (FMEA/FMECA)
  • Hazard and operability study (HAZOP) Analysis
  • Qualitative Reliability Analysis (FTA/ETA)
  • Systems modelling using Reliability Block Diagrams
  • Quantitative Reliability Analysis, Introduction to MCS
  • Risk Control and Decision Support Systems, Failure Consequences
  • Insurance and Certification of Engineering Applications

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

  • demonstrate a systematic knowledge of the fundamentals of risk management and reliability engineering and a critical awareness of their application on relevant engineering problems
  • evaluate and select appropriate techniques for risk analysis (qualitative and quantitative), failure consequences assessment, and methods for control/mitigation through decision support systems and other relevant methods/tools
  • develop a critical and analytical approach to the collection and stochastic modelling of data in the application of stochastic modelling
  • demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the development and use of commonly used methods and standards related to asset integrity management (including Reliability-Centred Maintenance and Risk-based Inspection)

Assessment will be in the form of a one-hour closed-book oral exam.

Marine Pipelines

This module aims to provide you with an in-depth insight into marine pipelines, emphasising the overall design process, pipeline hydraulics analysis, installation methods, environmental loading and stability, materials selection, and corrosion prevention.

This module covers:

  • design overview and process; Diameter and wall thickness; Installation methods; Operation and integrity management; Environmental conditions; Dynamic loading; Lateral stability; Scour; Free span; Trenching
  • internal fluids; Single and two-phase flows; Pressure and thermal profiles; Wax; Hydrate; Thermal insulation; Flow assurance; Drag reduction
  • materials and corrosion; Pipeline material; Steelmaking; Manufacture of linepipe for onshore and offshore applications; Internal corrosion; Corrosion detection and control; External corrosion and mitigation

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

  • have an overview of marine pipelines with regard to their design, installation, operation, and maintenance
  • gain an understanding of some fundamentals of marine pipeline design and analysis
  • apply analysis tools for pipeline hydraulics, multi-phase flows and thermal protection
  • identify the differences between pipe grades and pipe manufacturing methods
  • identify risk areas for internal and external corrosion in marine pipelines and describe the methods for corrosion inspection and control and select appropriate mitigation methods

Assessment will be in the form of coursework.

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%.

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).

Marine Pipeline Integrity

The aims of this module are to:

  • enable you to identify the key threats to marine pipeline systems
  • introduce the basic engineering tools and principles used in the integrity assessment of pipelines
  • develop skills in the assessment of cracks, dents and corrosion defects in pipelines under static and dynamic loading conditions
  • increase knowledge and understanding of pipeline inspection techniques and to enable the selection of the most appropriate technique for the identified threats to the pipeline

This module covers:

  • Introduction to Pipeline Structural Analysis: Identification of threats and failure modes for pipeline systems. Application of risk assessment to integrity management planning.
  • Fracture Mechanics: The theory of fracture mechanics as it relates to pipeline systems; the application of international codes and standards for the assessment of cracks in pipeline systems; ductile and brittle fracture propagation in pipeline systems.
  • Fatigue Analysis: The theory of pipeline fatigue, including S-N and fracture mechanics approaches for determining fatigue life and cycle counting methods for determining fatigue loading.
  • Dent Assessment: Analysis of dent and dent/gouge defects in pipelines under dynamic and static loading.
  • Corrosion Assessment: The application of deterministic and probabilistic corrosion assessment methods to marine pipelines and the use of sentence plots to determine repair plans for corrosion defects.
  • Pipeline Inspection Techniques: The use of external and internal tools for the detection, identification and sizing of defects in pipelines (e.g. AUVs, ROVs, divers, in-line and tethered inspection tools); the use of monitoring techniques for the CP system.
  • Repair and Maintenance Strategies: Determination of appropriate repair and maintenance strategies for pipelines and the selection of appropriate inspection intervals.

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

  • analyse pipeline integrity data and draw conclusions relating to the key threats on the pipeline
  • select appropriate assessment methods, codes and standards for the key threats to the pipeline system
  • solve engineering problems relating to pipeline structural integrity
  • discuss the principles of pipeline inspection techniques and select the appropriate inspection technique for the identified threats to the pipeline system

Assessment is via two written examinations at the end of the semester.

Design & Construction of FPSOs

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 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.

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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
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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

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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.

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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?

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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.

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

I received the Faculty of Engineering Excellence Scholarship which was more encouragement to come to Strathclyde, as it helped ease some of the financial stress that comes with being a student.

Rebecca Romero

Find out more about Rebecca's Strathlife
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Offshore hydrocarbon activities are moving into area of water depths exceeding 2000m. Subsea drilling, production and control systems are becoming much more important. Therefore, subsea engineers are in great demand world-wide.

Job titles include:

  • Drilling Fuel specialist
  • I-Drill Engineer
  • Junior Riser Engineer
  • Subsea Engineer
  • Well Engineer
  • Project Engineer

Employers include:

  • 2H Offshore
  • Aker Solutions
  • BP
  • ENI Saipem
  • Subsea7
  • Talisman Energy
  • Technip
  • Schlumberger

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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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

Subsea and Pipeline Engineering

Start date: Sep 2024

Start date: Jan 2025

Subsea and Pipeline Engineering (January intake)

Start date: Jan 2025

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Contact us

Faculty of Engineering

Telephone: +44 (0)141 574 5484