Bachelor of Naval Architecture Engineering (Honours)


Naval architecture is concerned with the design, building and utilisation of all types of ships and marine vehicles. Ships and marine vehicles can be classified as military vessels, which include frigates, destroyers, patrol vessels, mine hunters and submarines; as trading vessels, which include cargo vessels and container ships; and non-trading vessels, which include fishing boats, sailing craft, tugs, passenger and vehicle ferries, floating cranes, and other specialised boats and ships.

These three categories of marine vehicles can take different forms such as a monohull (the usual single-hull ship or boat), a catamaran (a twin-hull vessel), a hovercraft (an air-cushion vehicle) or a hydrofoil (a vessel that is lifted out of the water by submerged wings). In taking responsibility for the overall design and integration of systems, naval architects must be conversant with a wide variety of skills, covering most forms of engineering. This is because a ship must be a self-sufficient vehicle capable of operating in hostile environmental conditions on the world’s oceans while being able to withstand the loads from the sea and weather.

Study Naval Architecture Engineering at UNSW Canberra

At UNSW Canberra, the program runs in parallel with Mechanical Engineering for the first two years. The Faculty has approved an arrangement whereby students who satisfy the requirements of the first two years of a mechanical engineering four-year degree program at any Australasian tertiary institution may be admitted to Years 3 and 4 of the program, leading to the Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Naval Architecture. The proviso is that the courses studied at the other institution are equivalent.

Building on a foundation in the engineering sciences and Mechanical Engineering in particular, the third and fourth year of study in the Naval Architecture degree covers ship stability, ship hydrodynamics, ship resistance and propulsion, ship design, ship structures, seaworthiness, engineering management and engineering materials.

Kickstart your Career as a Naval Architecture Engineer

The Australian Naval Shipbuilding Program will provide many roles for naval architects in design, construction and in the operation of the fleet as the nation builds its sovereign capabilities. This activity in particular will span defence, government and industry sectors. Naval architecture firms and consultants are also significant employers of naval architects. In addition to Defence contracts, their work in the field of high-speed ferries has been particularly successful and Australia holds the leading position in the research and development of passenger and cargo catamarans. Designs and completed craft are sold globally. Government departments, both state and federal, employ naval architects as do ship classification societies such as Lloyd’s, DNV, and BV. Ship owners and repairers also employ naval architects.