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Shipping degrees have become some of the most prominent degree programs in the transportation industry, seeing as though we are an expansive global culture that is continuing to connect one another with goods and services. 

What can you do with a degree in shipping?

Depending on your interests, there is a shipping degree for most anyone at any level. You can work with anything from designing marine vessels and sustainable propulsion as a naval architect to shipping logistics or managing staff on a luxury yacht with a more business related degree. Depending on your particular field of interest, you have many options:

Nautical Science

Nautical Science is possibly the shipping degree that most often leads to a career at sea. Degrees within Nautical Science will often include quite a bit of practical work experience on various marine vessels. Careers are often well paid with good benefits. The most natural careers that follow are for example:

  • Ship's officer (junior ranks to captain)
  • Harbour pilot
  • Coastal Shipping
  • Marine consultant

Marine Management

Marine Management can be studied with various focus areas such as Merchant Shipping, Navigation and Naval Yachting.

Merchant Shipping is most directed toward a career as a merchant navy deck officer. Some graduates spend a lifetime at sea, whereas others use their skills in land based careers as surveyors, port managers, ship brokers or marine underwriting.

A degree in marine management directed toward navigation will be closely related to merchant shipping but not focused on the career path of merchant navy officer. Careers include for example software engineering, hydrographic work, the offshore oil industry and professional yachting.

The growth of the professional yachting industry has increased in the recent past with a number of superyachts being built for wealthy individuals and large corporations. This has created a need for trained professionals to manage and run these vessels - both at sea and on land within design and maintenance as well as brokerage in the sunny Mediterranean.

Naval Architecture

Naval architecture is in essence an engineering degree where you learn how to design, construct and repair marine vessels of all sizes. Large ships such as oil tankers, cruise ships and submarines are among the largest and most complex movable structures produced by human kind. The performance, longevity and safety of such vessels requires complex calculations and meticulous attention to detail.

Naval architects often hold a managerial role in large design and construction projects as well as hold the place of specialist competence in a wide variety of areas within engineering. Naval architects are commonly employed by ship yards, ship owners, design firms and consultancies, regulatory bodies, navies and governments.

Prerequisites for studying shipping abroad?

While many bachelor's degree programs in shipping will have more limited requirements, they may still require grade-12 level/ secondary school proficiency in mathematics, reading, and writing. Additionally, dependent upon the course provider, there might also be a language proficiency requirement.

Shipping degrees in master's level studies will have more extensive prerequisites, possibly a bachelor's degree in a relevant field of study and/or specialization. Be sure to check with your course provider prior to applying to the course. 

What will you learn studying shipping abroad?

A great perk of studying a shipping related degree is that many universities and colleges offering education within the field of shipping are located in sea side cities and towns. This often means that there is a well developed marine industry ready to welcome new graudates with the needed specialist knowhow and latest developments fresh in hand. 

Shipping degree courses may include but are not limited to the following:

  • Port Management
  • Trade Finance
  • Imports and Exports
  • Ship Management

Or perhaps you’re more interested in a similar field of studies:


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