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MSc Shipping Operations

About this course

  • Distance learning - study anywhere in the world
  • Two years part time - study without interrupting work
  • Enhance your career prospects within the industry
  • A study of higher level skills used in shipping
  • Accredited by IMarEST - delivered by expert maritime academics

Call us on +44 (0)23 8201 5066 Email:

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A new route to career progression

This Master's degree programme aims to cater for students who have a wealth of professional expertise and practical experience and who 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 maritime safety management.
  • 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 them to different parts of the world, and so need to be able to study wherever they are and whenever they can.

This postgraduate programme is offered fully online by distance learning using Solent University’s virtual learning environment (SOL), a web based platform that is accessible from anywhere in the world, day or night. Students learn as part of an online community of tutors, fellow students, library, and student support services, just as they would if they went to the University itself. Each student has their own dedicated academic tutor and study partner, and studying online is made interesting, interactive, and engaging by forums, wikis, reflective journals and video presentations. Additionally, shipping industry experts are involved in the programme and in the mentoring of work-based projects, enhancing the value of the students’ learning.

Industry focus

imarest logo webTeaching 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. The 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

To be awarded the MSc qualification, students must achieve 180 credits at postgraduate level. This is made up from the eight core units and one project. All units are worth 15 credits each apart from the project, which is worth 60 credits. Students must complete all of the units and the project.

Year One

Core units:

  • Postgraduate and Self-managed Study 
  • International Maritime Context
  • Business Research Skills
  • Professional Skills and Practice Portfolio.
  • Risk & Safety Management
  • Legal Process.

Year Two

  • Project
  • 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

Master's degree in Shipping Operations

Tuition 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.


See entry level below

Entry level

  • Honours 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.

Students whose first language is not English must have an IELTS score of 6.5 (6.0 writing), or equivalent.

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