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Naval architecture and ocean engineering, MSc

120 credits (2 years )

Please note, this programme will no longer be open for application. The courses will be incorporated into a new programme, Mobility Engineering. More information will be posted on the master's programme page at the beginning of October.​

Ships transport large quantities of raw material and manufactured goods around the world, making the shipping industry the hub of the global economy. Today, developing this transport system and turning shipping into the most efficient, safe and environmental-friendly means of transportation is a great engineering challenge. In addition, there is also a challenge in developing and designing structures required in the emerging field of ocean energy. This international master’s programme will give you a solid base for a future professional career in these fields of engineering.

Naval architecture and ocean engineering​ at Chalmers

We offer an internationally attractive and competitive education within conception, planning, design and analysis of large marine structures considering hydromechanics and strength through a holistic approach. The programme focuses on ships and offshore structures, but is equally attractive for students with a general interest in strength- and hydrodynamic analysis and systems engineering.

Future challenges lie in developing and designing more energy efficient ships and floating and fixed structures within the emerging field of ocean energy, e.g. wind- wave and tidal power, and in developing the shipping industry towards a more sustainable future.

As a student you will gain skills and knowledge on how to weigh the contradicting requirements in the design of ships and offshore structures using systems thinking and systems engineering tools. You will be able to propose new concepts and designs to meet transport needs and limitations, carry out strength analyses with respect to static and fatigue strength, design hulls with respect to hydrodynamic requirements and choose the appropriate machinery and propulsion equipment.

Specialised courses within these areas come together in the Marine Design Project, where you develop technical solutions to meet specific design objectives for shipping or the offshore energy field.
The Master’s programme in Naval architecture and ocean engineering at Chalmers takes part in the joint programme Nordic Master in Maritime engineering. This gives you the opportunity to choose between five universities that are all highly specialised and technologically advanced, and receive a double degree.

Location: Campus Johanneberg

Educational methods

Besides traditional lectures you will take part in team based projects that are created from real life business case scenarios, the Marine design project is one example. The aim is to create an initial design of a ship or offshore structure taking the contradicting requirements of these products into account.

Programme courses

Ship geometry and hydrostatics
The first part of the course includes parametric description of the hull together with and introduction to Computer Aided Design of Ships. The second part of the course deals with several aspects of intact and damaged stability together with a description of rules and regulations for stability.

Marine Transport Systems
The aim is to give you basic knowledge of the shipping industry and the connection between technical and economical aspects. This aim includes the understanding of the influence from an international market on the development of new transport solutions involving ships and ships equipment. The general course covers basic ship knowledge. The course also covers stakeholders in the Maritime sector, international rules and regulations, economics and maritime logistics.

Ship resistance and Computational Hydrodynamics
The objective of the course is to teach the fundamentals of ship resistance. After completing the course, you will have the skill to determine the resistance of a ship using traditional experimental and empirical methods. The course also introduces modern computational methods to analyse the flow around a ship hull.

Marine Propulsion Systems
The course covers the components of the propulsion system of a ship, from the fuel tanks, through the machinery to the propeller. Systems engineering is introduced as a tool for design of general complex systems with focus on marine machinery systems. You will gain knowledge within basic hydrodynamics properties of the propeller together with propeller design principles.

Ship Motions and Wave Induced Loads
The course includes descriptions of waves and wave statistics together with methods to analyse ship motions in regular and irregular waves. Local wave induced loads like slamming is also included as well as manoeuvring motions of the ship.

Marine Structural Engineering
The course intends to give you basic knowledge of ship structures and the analysis of their strength. Engineering beam theory and buckling analysis is applied to ship structures and its structural elements. Fatigue design principles are discussed continuously during the course together with examples.

Marine Design Project
An important part of the programme is the Marine design project. The purpose is or you as a student to participate in a problem oriented ship or offshore design project.
Student teams will be assigned with real design problems, guided by professional engineers from the industry and faculty members from Chalmers. The initial design process prior to an order of a new ship or structure is covered during the project, following the demands of the customer. In addition to the learning outcomes of knowledge and understanding, the design project will address the learning outcomes of skills and abilities and formulation of judgements and attitudes. In particular, you will be trained in teamwork and communication.

Reliability Analysis of Marine Structures
The course gives you knowledge and tools how to design marine structures with regard to limit state based approaches by means of probability and risk analysis approaches. Varieties of simplistic and advanced methodologies are compared with objectives to demonstrate their advantages and limitations.

Please note that the above schematic view corresponds to the academic year starting in autumn 2020. Minor changes may occur.

Career opportunities

Naval Architects are concerned with every aspect of ship- and offshore design, construction and performance and graduates obtain a suitable background for a wide range of roles and activities: 
  • Ship owner: project manager – involves development of competitive transportation concepts as well as specification, purchasing and inspection of vessels on the international market.
  • Equipment supplier: involves performance specification, product development, production and global sales of marine equipment and systems for propulsion, cargo handling, navigation, etc.Classification society: surveyor – involves inspection and surveying of ships on a global basis as well as development and implementation of regulations.
  • Ship and offshore design consultant: design based on rules and regulations, new concept studies
  • Shipyards and yacht manufacturers: design and production
  • Maritime authorities: rules and regulations, inspection
  • Naval administrations: project manager, specification, purchasing and inspection
  • Universities: education and research
  • Other: project management and design in other fields that require proficiency in structure and fluid mechanics
Previous students of the programme have been employed by e.g. Det Norske Veritas, GVAC, Bassoe technology, Reinertsen, AKER solutions, SSPA, Cargotech, TTS, Bergs propulsion, Volvo Penta and Kamewa

Research and industry connections

Gothenburg has a long tradition in shipbuilding, some decades ago it was home to the busiest shipyard in Scandinavia. Today this industry has transformed and through the marine cluster that contains several consultant firms involved in designing ships and offshore structures, much of its tradition remains.
Naval Architecture at Chalmers is internationally well known, in particular for the research into computational hydrodynamics and related activities. Some of the research projects that our faculty are involved in concern e.g.

Reliability and lifecycle analysis of marine structures, Lightweight constructions, propeller cavitation analysis, seakeeping and energy efficiency.

​​Student Blogs​

Page manager Published: Mon 18 Oct 2021.