MSc Shipping Operations

About this course

Online master's degree for senior professionals in the shipping industry

  • Distance learning - study anywhere in the world
  • Preparation for shore-based career development
  • Part time, so study without interrupting work
  • A study of higher level skills in shipping
  • Accredited by IMarEST

Call us on +44(0)23 8201 3355 Email:


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A new route to career progression

This master's degree programme aims to cater for students that have a wealth of professional expertise and practical experience and are likely to be very motivated.

  • It provides a flexible, accessible, structured, and interactive programme of study
  • It develops specialised knowledge and skills in the areas of ship safety management in shipping operations.
  • It is designed to meet the needs of the maritime industries and the career aspirations of students

The course enables experienced shipping industry professionals to succeed in management positions ashore and to apply their learning to identify and solve complex, real-life issues and problems through work-related assignments and workplace projects.

The course also develops students’ general managerial abilities of time management, influencing skills, report writing, presentations, and career management.

Unique learning delivered fully online

Serving seafarers and shipping industry professionals have demanding jobs that may take you to different parts of the world, and so you need to be able to study wherever you are and whenever you can.

Learn as part of an on-line community of tutors, fellow students, library, and student support services just as you would if you went to the University itself. You will have a dedicated academic tutor and study partner, and studying online is made interesting, interactive, and engaging with forums, wikis, reflective journals, and video presentations.

Additionally, shipping industry experts are involved in the programme and in the mentoring of work-based projects, which enhances the value of your learning.

Student testimonial

I really can heartily recommend the course for senior officers who are looking to build upon their professional qualifications even if they have no firm idea as to where their future career path may take them - the course covers a broad spectrum of subject matter and I am impressed by how well grounded I should be in the wider shipping industry when I graduate.

Ann Till, MSc Shipping Operations

Industrial focus

The teaching on the course is founded on current issues, as well as case studies, and is drawn from the extensive experience of the academic staff through their research and representation at IMO and other important shipping organisations. Industry experts also contribute to the programme and mentor students in their work-based projects and the development of their professional skills.

imarest-logo-webThe Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) accredits this course and students can register for Chartered Marine Technologist status after successful completion of the programme.


Video interview with Richard Wild - MSc Shipping Operations graduate

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Course content

Year One

Core units:

  • Postgraduate and Self-managed Study 
  • International Maritime Context
  • Business Research Skills
  • Professional Skills and Practice Portfolio.

Specialised units in Maritime Safety Management:

  • Risk & Safety Management
  • Legal Process.

Year Two

Core unit:

  • Project.

Specialised units in Maritime Safety Management:

  • Safety Culture
  • Accident Investigation and Organisational Learning.

Key career skills

Analysis, problem solving, decision-making, communication, presentation, time management, debating, and career management.

Entry requirements explained

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Course information

Training towards

The tuition fees for the 2019/20 academic year are:
UK, EU and Channel Island total course fees: £8,220
International total course fees: £13,905




Assessment is through individual coursework, presentations, briefing paper, reports, portfolio, personal development plan, and project work including a dissertation.

Students will complete many of the course work assessments and the project as part of a live brief within their workplace. Additionally, an industry mentor will guide the work-based project and the development of a professional practice portfolio thereby ensuring development of skills relevant to their work.

Teaching methods

Online instruction including forums, wikis, blogs, reflective journals, and peer review.

Career opportunities

This course will broaden the career opportunities for those already working in the maritime industry and enhance prospects in a diverse selection of careers including:

  • marine superintendent
  • designated person ashore
  • fleet manager
  • port operations manager
  • crewing manager
  • ship manager
  • maritime administration manager
  • competence assurance manager
  • maritime lecturer
  • shore-based ship operations manager
  • marine surveyor.

How to book

Please contact the Solent University admissions team if you require more information about this course:

Telephone: +44 (0)23 8201 5066

Our office hours are (UK time):
Monday - Thursday: 08.30 - 17.00
Friday 08.30 - 16.30


See entry level below

Entry level

  • An honour's degree in a relevant maritime subject, such as maritime studies, shipping, maritime business or law or other appropriate subject and relevant professional qualification and experience.
  • A Certificate of Competency as Master or Chief Engineer, Class 1 Master Mariner, Class 1 Engineer, STCW management level qualifications, or equivalent, and work experience in the maritime industry to a reasonable level of management responsibility, such as Master, Chief Officer, Chief Engineer, First Engineer or equivalent.
  • A Higher National Diploma or foundation degree in a maritime discipline plus extensive experience and relevant professional qualifications (as above). 

All candidates must be employed in or have recently been employed in the maritime/shipping industry and have professional experience to management level.

If your first language is not English, you will need to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of English language, normally judged by requiring IELTS 6.5.