- 1 year full-time
- 2 years part-time
Do you have a passion for naval architecture and dream of designing the next generation of superyachts? Solent’s unique superyacht design master’s programme – the only one of its kind the UK – blends naval architecture and structural design with management skills to help provide you with essential career-boosting skills.
The course concentrates on sailing and motor yachts over 24 metres in length, and is intended not just for naval architects and students of yacht design, but also now provides suitably qualified marine engineers and certified deck officers with experience of operating superyachts the opportunity to develop their qualifications, where traditionally the career path for yacht officers has not enabled them to progress onto pure naval architecture degrees. The blend of naval architecture (for which sea-going officers will have underpinning knowledge), management and structural design will enable students from these backgrounds to develop their knowledge and understanding, and introduce new and relevant material and subjects for master’s level study.
Course delivery is based on ‘hands-on’ active learning, with an emphasis on developing students’ analytical and problem-solving skills, as well as gaining the appropriate knowledge to tackle an individual design or analysis project. Students benefit from strong industry links built through the University’s highly-regarded yacht engineering undergraduate degrees, as well as experienced teaching staff with industrial and research experience.
Students also have the opportunity to work on ‘real world’ assignments, and to use appropriate experience as a basis for project work. Where possible, ‘real world’ briefs will also be used, and industry guests will be asked to give feedback on work when appropriate. Students on the course with industry experience and/or sponsorship will be asked to incorporate elements of their work in their project.
The course concludes with a final design project where students are able to develop their own design, or investigate aspects of a design. Students will have the opportunity to design, build and test models to use in the towing tank, and will also benefit from access to the CAD suite equipped with industry-standard software to develop and analyse hulls, structure, superstructure and internal designs.
years of education. Our first yacht engineering courses began in 1969
Why choose this course?
This course is for
This unique master’s programme is perfect for appropriately qualified naval architects or recent yacht engineering graduates. The course is also open to applications from master mariners and chief engineers with relevant experience.
What this course leads to
This course can lead to careers in the superyacht industry.
- Naval architect
- Production manager
- Systems engineer
Meet the team
The course team are a mix of academics with industrial and research backgrounds. At this stage specific staff have not be allocated to the course. Staff on the course team have industrial backgrounds including Classification Society survey and structural design, workboat, ferry, yacht and superyacht construction, yacht design, wooden boatbuilding and hydrodynamic research/consultancy.
The University cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.
Year one modules
Naval Architecture (15 credits)
The module introduces the master’s student to areas of naval architecture which are key to ensuring that superyachts meet various criteria, whether they be associated with stability regulations, the accurate prediction of hull resistance and powering, range calculations, propeller optimisation, manoeuvrability and seakeeping issues.
Superyacht Design Principles (30 credits)
In this module students will cover the application of holistic superyacht design theory, including hotel spaces, and gain experience of using industry-standard software to create designs and develop 2D CAD drawings and 3D computer aided models.
Superyacht Technology (15 credits)
This module introduces the practical and classification aspects of structural design and vessel dimensions, as well as the marine engineering aspect of design, which includes many specialist systems and new technologies now commonplace on board superyachts.
Superyacht Design Analysis (15 credits)
This module develops and advances aspects of technical superyacht design within the regulatory controls which dictate stability, hydrodynamic and structural specifications, but equally allow for progressive design to take place, which is at the heart and soul of superyacht design.
Superyacht Design Realisation (30 credits)
This module synthesises the content of the other modules into a coherent group design project which will simulate an industry based project.
Superyacht Project Management (15 credits)
This module introduces the project management and key business skills an engineer needs to have an awareness or knowledge and understanding of to manage superyacht production, and work with specialist production staff and engineers.
Project (60 credits)
The master’s dissertation will allow students to select (with guidance) and develop a particular superyacht design brief or refit, which must also contain an element of research and development.
Superyacht Design Styling (30 credits)
This module develops and advances aspects of space allocation and styling of the design from both an interior and exterior aspect of the vessel.
At Solent, our aim is to deliver innovative, inclusive and intellectually stimulating teaching to develop self-confident and highly employable graduates. All our courses are designed with employability in mind, which makes industry-based learning a priority.
This master’s programme is built on Solent’s world-renowned expertise in delivering yacht design programmes. The course provides an in-depth exploration of a range of design factors and topic areas.
This course can lead to careers in the superyacht industry, such as naval architect, designer, production manager, stylist or systems engineer.
Students may wish to progress their careers with a PhD in the maritime field.
Learn transferable skills
Students will develop creative thinking, problem-solving and analysis, production, project management and teamwork skills throughout the course.
The tuition fees for the 2023/24 academic year are:
- UK and Channel Island full-time fees: £9,000 per year
- International full-time fees: £15,300 per year
For further information, please visit our tuition fees page.
Extra course costs
While most course costs are covered by your tuition fees, some essential resources and optional extras may need to be paid for separately. These additional costs are listed below. For advice on budgeting and managing your money, please contact email@example.com.
The 2023/24 other costs are not yet available. For guidance, previous other costs have been:
Minor materials and optional field trips to local shipyards: approximately £60.
Solent alumni are eligible for a 20% reduction of tuition fees if returning to study a postgraduate course.Find out more
Bursaries, scholarships and financial support
Solent University offers a range of bursaries and scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each bursary or scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our bursaries and scholarships pages to find out more.
There is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £45 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost. Extra guest tickets will go on sale after results publication and will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis. The cost per ticket is currently £15. Please note, we do not guarantee there will be any extra tickets available to purchase.
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Key entry requirements
First or 2:1 in an appropriate engineering/technology subject, or professional qualification to Chief Engineer or Master Mariner with appropriate experience
If you do not have these qualifications or are unsure of your eligibility please contact the University.
For further information about UK qualifications, please refer to our course entry requirement statement.
Key entry requirements
If you are applying from outside the UK, find information about entry requirements, visas and agents for your country here.
For further information about UK, EU and international qualifications, please refer to our course entry requirement statement.
Note to all international students requiring a visa
All international applicants need to be aware that the English language requirements to attend Solent University, and the English language requirements to obtain a visa from the Home Office, may be different. This means that if you meet the Solent University language requirement to gain a place on the course, you may still have to meet additional requirements to be granted with a visa by the Home Office.
We strongly advise all applicants to visit the Home Office website which outlines all the requirements for a successful visa application and to take a look at this PDF document which outlines both Solent University and Home Office requirements for a number of language tests.
Your application checklist
Applications for postgraduate courses can be made at any time prior to the start of the course. However, we strongly recommend you apply at your earliest convenience.
Please ensure you upload the following mandatory documents with your application:
- Two academic references.
- Certified transcripts of qualifications, including English language proficiency if non-UK student.
- Copy of passport.
- Copy of current visa (if applicable).
- A personal statement.
- Employer sponsor form, where appropriate.
Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:
- IELTS minimum 6.5 overall with no component score below 5.5
- TOEFL IBT 92 with a minimum of 22 in writing and a minimum of 20 in reading, listening and speaking
- Duolingo English Language Test - 115 overall with minimum of 100 in each component
Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.
Pre-Sessional English programme
The University also offers a pre-sessional English programme for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.
To aid learning, students have full access to the University’s specialist yacht engineering and design facilities, including our composite construction workshop, yacht drawing office and modern CAD office, which is equipped with the latest commercial marine design and production software.
Students also have access to a fully-equipped specialist composite laboratory and materials testing laboratory, a 60m towing tank and static four-metre stability tank. And as Solent is an Adobe Creative Campus, all students also have free access to Adobe Creative Cloud, which includes the full suite of Adobe professional software, including Photoshop, Illustrator, XD, Premier Pro, and more.
As part of our global alumni community, you can take advantage of a range of benefits.
Whether it's been days or decades since you left us, or you're soon to don your cap and gown, things are constantly changing at Solent. We're always innovating, but we're also immensely proud of our heritage. And that means you.
Research and knowledge exchange
Research doesn't just live in publications and journals - the effects of groundbreaking research can be found everywhere you look. That's why research at Solent has always been firmly rooted in industry needs and real-world application.
Solent University prides itself on carrying out not only pioneering research, but also research that addresses real world problems. We offer opportunities to study for a Master of Philosophy (MPhil) or Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) degree in a number of areas.
At Solent, we want to help you achieve your best and discover new insights. Whether you're thinking about applying for a PhD, or already underway with your research studies, you'll find useful guidance and information in our research pages.Find out more
Support at Solent
All students at Solent University have access to a range of specialist support services. Whether you are having financial difficulty, need additional help with academic skills or want advice on setting up your own business you'll find that help is always on hand.
Most of our specialist support services are based around the Student Hub, a central space where you can access all of the information and support you may need during your time at University. The Student Hub is the first point of contact if you have any queries relating to your course, including questions about your timetable, options, and assessments and extenuating circumstances.