Shipping and Marine Technology

​The graduate school is organised within the Department of Mechanics and Maritime Sciences.

Director of graduate studies: Ida-Maja Hassellöv

Administrator for graduate studies: Lotta Sjögren.


Revised 13 February 2012.

2009-03-17 dnr C 2009-249
2005-10-24 dnr C 2005-1199

1. Description and goals of the programme

The department of Shipping and Marine Technology comprises scientific areas related to shipping and ship technology on and below the water. The doctoral programme has three tracks: Naval Architecture, Shipping Technology and the Marine Environment. In a common part basic knowledge is provided in other areas required to enable a systematic approach to shipping and marine technology.

Special tracks

The student will choose one of the three tracks. The track may be indicated in the Licentiate or Doctoral certificate.

  • Naval Architecture
    The track may be specialized either towards ship structures or hydrodynamics. Ship structures comprises project planning in ship design, strength properties of marine structures, fatigue, lightweight construction and risk assessment with an application, for instance, to ship safety. Hydrodynamics comprises the hydrodynamic properties and design of the ship with respect to resistance, propulsion, maneuvering and sea keeping. Simulation methods are developed in both areas.
  • Shipping Technology
    The track comprises ship handling and ship management, including Human Factors, work environment, information requirements and nautical subjects. Other research topics are ship operation, chartering, cargo handling and organizational issues, like manning and education. Within all areas studies, assessments and measurements are made, and guidelines and proposals are developed for organizations concerned.
  • Marine Environment
    This track comprises the environmental impact of seaborne transport in the form of emissions to air and water. Cleaning techniques and other solutions to reduce the environmental impact are studied as well. Other areas are the development and application of methodology for the assessment of the environmental impact and resource utilization from a systems engineering perspective.


The aim of the doctoral programme is to educate researchers with good knowledge in scientific research methodology and teaching, with good presentation skills and with the ability to carry out independent scientific research of an international standard. For a more detailed description see the Goals for the Graduate Course Programmes at Chalmers.

2. Entrance requirements

To qualify for admission the applicant shall have a university degree, relevant to the considered research field, of at least 240 credits (c). Applicants who have acquired an equivalent education can be admitted after an individual evaluation.

  •  For the Naval Architecture track a technical education within Naval Architecture, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Engineering Physics or the equivalent is required.
  • Shipping Technology and Marine Environment are very wide areas and the requirements are determined depending on the considered project. A suitable background for Shipping Technology is a ship officer’s education.
  • Applicants who do not have English or a Nordic language as their mother tongue also have to pass an English language test (e.g. Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) 550, ‘‘paper based’’ or TOEFL 213, ‘‘computer based’’) for admission.

The admission to the doctoral programme is decided by the department head based on recommendations by the examiner.

3. Structure of the doctoral programme

The education comprises research work, courses, participation in scientific seminars and development of pedagogical competence. In the course of the education the doctoral student is expected to present his/her current work at academic conferences and in scientific journals.

The doctoral student is assigned an examiner, a main supervisor and at least one assistant supervisor. The examiner could be the supervisor. The main supervisor must be at least associate professor and the assistant supervisor shall have a doctoral degree.

In the beginning of the education the main supervisor and the doctoral student prepare an individual study plan. This plan shall be approved by the examiner and the director of studies for the track. A description of courses and a plan of the research work, mainly covering the work leading to the Licentiate degree, shall be included. The study plan shall be updated at least once a year in connection with the annual follow-up meeting with the student, the examiner, the supervisor and the director of studies.

4. Courses

For the Licentiate degree a minimum of 45 c of courses are required. For the PhD degree an additional 15 c are required.

Mandatory courses at Chalmers

Doctoral students admitted after September 1, 2012, are required to take 15 credit points from the area of Generic and Transferable Skills during their graduate studies. Generic and Transferable skills (GTS) aims to give doctoral students at Chalmers professional and individual development, and is a program of activities/courses not directly linked to the respective areas of research. Of these, 9 credit points are mandatory for the licentiate degree, and another 6 credit points for the PhD degree. 

In addition to the courses within Generic and Transferable Skills, the student is also required to participate in the introduction day for doctoral students (before the licentiate examination, at latest). Further requirements are an oral popular science presentation to be performed prior to the PhD thesis defence and a written popular science presentation to be published on the back of the PhD thesis. 

Elective courses

Contingent on the approval by the examiner the student may choose suitable courses given at Chalmers. There are also national and international courses of relevance for the doctoral programme. Shorter and more specific courses in the form of literature studies with supervision and examination trough a short essay and seminars with discussion may be arranged when needed. 

Credit transfer

Relevant courses taken before admission to the doctoral programme can give a credit of at most 30 c. This applies to students with at least 270 c from their previous education. No credits will be transferred for students admitted with 240 c, while there is a gradual transition in the span between 240 c and 270 c. Within these limits the examiner decides about the number of credits that may be transferred.
Students at Chalmers International Master’s Programmes, arriving at Chalmers with four years of University studies (BSc), fulfil the requirements for 30 c credit transfer.

5. Dissertation

Detailed information about the Licentiate and Doctoral theses, the licentiate seminar and the doctoral defence is found in the Study handbook.

Licentiate thesis

The Licentiate thesis may be a monograph of such a quality that it can be accepted for publication in at least one international magazine of high standard. Alternatively, it may be a compilation of a number (normally 1-2) of reports with a summary. The thesis shall be written in English. It is recommended to appoint an expert within the field to act as a moderator at the public Licentiate seminar.

Doctoral thesis

The doctoral thesis may be a compilation of a number (normally 4-5) of reports. The quality of the reports shall be such that they can be accepted for publication in international magazines of high standard. Alternatively, the thesis may be a monograph with the corresponding quality requirements. The thesis shall be written in English.

6. Examination requirements

The requirements for the Licentiate degree is at least 45 c acquired from courses and at least 60 c acquired from the Licentiate thesis. The total achievement shall be 120 c.

The requirements for the Doctoral degree is at least 60 c acquired from courses and at least 165 c acquired from the Doctoral thesis. The total achievement shall be 240 c. Note that the credits given for the Doctoral degree includes the credits from the Licentiate degree.

7. Miscellaneous

For more information see: Rules of procedure – Doctoral programmes and the Study handbook.​

Page manager Published: Wed 17 Jun 2020.