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MSc Shipping Operations

Course Description


Is it time to take your maritime career to the next level? This two year distance learning programme is ideally suited to maritime professionals who are hoping to move into shore-based management positions. You’ll learn specialist skills in ship safety management and shipping operations, solving complex problems during challenging workplace assignments. As a graduate, you will be well suited to a diverse range of shipping management, port operations and people management roles.

- This MSc is directly aimed at professionals working in maritime roles. It provides professional development for a variety of management careers in the sector.
- Shipping operations at Solent is accredited by the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology.
- The course is delivered online, allowing students to continue their work in the industry.
- Solent’s virtual learning environment gives students 24-hour access to course materials, discussions, learning support and assignments.
- Our academic staff maintain strong industry links and are actively involved in maritime research.
- Solent’s track record in maritime education and training extends back over 100 years through the internationally acclaimed Warsash Maritime Academy.
- The Solent area is a hub of shipping activity, giving students access to various state-of-the-art facilities.

The industry -

Shipping is a key link in the global supply chain and accounts for over 95 per cent of all imports and exports. With the growing demand of a global population, levels of international trade have dramatically increased over the last four decades. Marine activity contributes around £31 billion to the UK economy and is responsible for one in every 50 jobs.

With the world shipping fleet growing at just under 4 per cent per year and anticipated annual growth in seaborne trade demand currently sitting at 3-4 per cent, opportunities in this industry continue to be as diverse and numerous as the cargo it carries.

The programme -

This postgraduate programme is delivered online using Solent University’s virtual learning environment, a web based platform that is accessible from anywhere in the world.

Students learn as part of an online community of tutors, fellow students 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. Shipping industry experts are involved in the mentoring of work-based projects, further enhancing the value of student learning.

The Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) accredits this course, enabling students to register for Chartered Marine Technologist status after graduation.

Course Content

Core units
- International Maritime Context
- Postgraduate and Self-managed Study
- Business Research Skills
- Professional Skills and Practice Portfolio
- Project

- Strategic Management of Marine Human Resources
- Marine Talent Management
- Performance and Reward Management
- Employee Relations and Engagement
- Risk and Safety Management
- Legal Process
- Safety Culture
- Accident Investigation and Organisational Learning
- Supply Chain Management
- Supplier Relations Management
- Change Management
- Strategic Procurement Management

Programme specification document - http://mycourse.solent.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=6152

Teaching, learning and assessment -

The course is taught online using Solent’s virtual learning environment and study is made interesting, interactive and engaging through forums, wikis, reflective journals and video presentations.
You’ll have a dedicated academic tutor, study partner and project supervisor.

Work experience:

You’ll complete much of the coursework and project as part of a real live brief within your workplace. You’ll work with an industry mentor, who will guide your work-based project and help you create a professional practice portfolio. This will ensure that you develop skills that are relevant to your work.


Assessment is through coursework, presentations, briefing papers, reports, portfolios, personal development plans and project work (including a dissertation).

Our facilities -

You will need a personal computer or laptop and access to a broadband internet connection.

Web-based learning -

The course is taught online using web-based technology. Solent’s virtual learning environment provides quick online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information.

Why Solent?

What do we offer?

From a vibrant city centre campus to our first class facilities, this is where you can find out why you should choose Solent.

Facilities - http://www.solent.ac.uk/about/facilities/facilities.aspx

City living - http://www.solent.ac.uk/studying/southampton/living-in-southampton.aspx

Accommodation - http://www.solent.ac.uk/studying/accommodation/accommodation.aspx

Career Potential

As a graduate of this course, you’ll possess a diverse range of skills. This can open up a range of opportunities in shipping management, port operations and even teaching.

Links with industry -

Our teaching staff keep up-to-date with the latest industry practices and developments through their research and representation at the IMO (International Maritime Organization) and other shipping bodies.

Industry experts also contribute to the programme and mentor students on work-based projects, helping to develop professional skills relevant to their work.

Transferable skills -

You’ll develop a range of transferable skills, encompassing analysis, problem solving, influencing, decision-making, communication, presentation, report writing, time management, debating, and career management.

Further study -

Further study is possible as there is a developing PhD programme within the School.

Examples of employment obtained by recent graduates -

Recent graduates have pursued careers in a raft of different roles, 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.

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2016/2017 academic year are:

UK and EU part-time fees: Please contact us for information

International part-time fees: Please contact us for information

Graduation costs -

Graduation is the ceremony to celebrate the achievements of your studies. For graduates in 2015, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £42 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.
For more details, please visit: http://www.solent.ac.uk/studying/graduation/home.aspx

Next steps

With an industry relevant curriculum, expert teaching teams and a delivery structure that can fit around your current employment, Southampton Solent’s MSc Shipping Operations programme is the perfect way to advance your career prospects.

Visit the MSc Shipping Operations page on the Southampton Solent University website for more details!

(Student Profile)

Anon Graduate, graduate - Senior Marine Superintendent at Odfjell Management AS

"Having gone to sea as a cadet at 16 and worked my way up to a senior management position, I had never previously considered continuing with further education.
"This MSc is an online course, which is a real benefit. The core units are relevant to all sectors of the maritime industry and the investigative reports and analysis have helped my work.

"There are opportunities to share your views with fellow students from across the shipping industry. These discussions, together with my own independent study, have helped to develop new skills.

"This will benefit me personally, and the company, as we work to promote a greater safety culture at sea."


Entry Requirements

To apply to undertake the MSc in Shipping Operations, you must be employed in or have recently been employed in the maritime or shipping industry and have professional experience to management level. In addition, successful applicants would have either:An honours degree (2:2 or higher) in maritime studies, shipping, business or law, or another appropriate subject and relevant professional qualifications/experience. More Information: View Website

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