Course of studies Nautical Science / Maritime Transport

at the Department of Maritime Studies, Systems Engineering and Logistics

The main professional area for graduates of the course of study “Nautical Science/Maritime Transport” is the ship’s command and the management as well as the navigational and cargo handling operations of a ship onboard modern container vessels, ferries, tankers and special purpose ships.

Furthermore there is a variety of interesting possibilities in ports or cargo handling plants, in ship supervisory authorities, in maritime traffic control centers or in the fields of logistics.

Another professional area for graduates of “Nautical Science/Maritime Transport” is the growing cruise industry sector.

Job profil

Job profil

There is no training that makes you Captain. It is experience, good performance and the reception of your shipping company that makes you Captain.

Still you are right. Without training you are not going to be Captain. And the necessary education you can gain at the Department of Maritime Studies.The course content is very interesting and varied; you find further information at “Studieninhalte”. The most diversified studies indicate a most diversified professional life.
That I want to describe hereafter: After graduating you are able to work as Officer in charge on navigational watch for a shipping company.

There are shipping companies, which work with four navigational Officers; usually it is just three of them. The technical and nautical Officers and the Captain belong to the management level on board. Management level implies responsibility -  responsibility for the crew, the ship, the cargo and the environment.

If we take a closer look in the area of responsibility of nautical Officers, it gets clear why the study covers such a wide spectrum. The nautical Officer is not just on watch, even I have to admit, that the navigational watch takes a relatively big part of his working time.

During watch the ship is guided safely by means of navigation equipment and the sea chart. The nautical Officer observes the traffic situation and takes actions to prevent accidents and damages. The 3rd and the 2nd nautical Officers divide the responsibility areas of safety, chart work, route planning, clearance and health care.

Depending on shipping company and vessel these tasks are divided differently.

The 3rd nautical Officers have the 8-12-watch. That means from 8.00 am until noon and from 8.00 pm until midnight. Shortly before 12 the 2nd nautical Officer approaches the bridge, the handover of the watch takes place.

The watch from midnight until 4.00 am is called “dog watch”. For some people it is their favorite watch, because it is the quietest time, for others it is a sleeping pill.

The 4-8-watch is done by the 1st nautical Officer, also called the Chief Mate. Besides his 8 hours of watch he has other areas of responsibility: He takes care of the cargo, he is the Ship Safety Officer (or his deputy), he makes the work planning for the deck crew and he has a lot of paperwork. You can be Chief Mate after approximately two years of seagoing.

If you prove yourself in this position, the Ship Master’s certificate is not far.

But what does it mean to be captain? He has to carry a lot of responsibility, corresponding to that he has higher wages.

The master calls the shots on board. But he also has to be always available, if something doesn’t work properly. He represents the company. That’s why he has a lot of paperwork and communication with shore is also his area of responsibility.

If the ship arrives intact in port after a period of bad weather, it is to a large extend due to him, because he has to make the essential decisions.

Why do I actually write “he”? Well, there are not so many female captains, but the author of this text is actually an authoress and may be someday a female captain.

It is important, that he/she is aware of his/her position on board and the resulting responsibility for crew, environment, cargo and ship, that lies in the hand of the “Ship’s Master”.

Speaking of “English”: The language on board of actually all merchant vessels is English. Fluent English is indispensable because of the international crew on the one hand and on the other hand the communication with the shore authorities, which is also done in English language in every port. A lot of it is “learning by doing”, but the Department of Maritime Studies also offers competent education in English language.

And what if the job no longer meets your ideas anymore? Don’t panic! Sooner or later everybody finds its place, if it is in a shipping company, in the inspection service, in a port, in a maritime related company or in research.

Further information for your way from Nautical Watch Officer towards Ship’s Master you find here: "German Shipowners' Association".

There is no training that makes you Captain. It is experience, good performance and the reception of your shipping company that makes you Captain.

Still you are right. Without training you are not going to be Captain. And the necessary education you can gain at the Department of Maritime Studies.The course content is very interesting and varied; you find further information at “Studieninhalte”. The most diversified studies indicate a most diversified professional life.
That I want to describe hereafter: After graduating you are able to work as Officer in charge on navigational watch for a shipping company.

There are shipping companies, which work with four navigational Officers; usually it is just three of them. The technical and nautical Officers and the Captain belong to the management level on board. Management level implies responsibility -  responsibility for the crew, the ship, the cargo and the environment.

If we take a closer look in the area of responsibility of nautical Officers, it gets clear why the study covers such a wide spectrum. The nautical Officer is not just on watch, even I have to admit, that the navigational watch takes a relatively big part of his working time.

During watch the ship is guided safely by means of navigation equipment and the sea chart. The nautical Officer observes the traffic situation and takes actions to prevent accidents and damages. The 3rd and the 2nd nautical Officers divide the responsibility areas of safety, chart work, route planning, clearance and health care.

Depending on shipping company and vessel these tasks are divided differently.

The 3rd nautical Officers have the 8-12-watch. That means from 8.00 am until noon and from 8.00 pm until midnight. Shortly before 12 the 2nd nautical Officer approaches the bridge, the handover of the watch takes place.

The watch from midnight until 4.00 am is called “dog watch”. For some people it is their favorite watch, because it is the quietest time, for others it is a sleeping pill.

The 4-8-watch is done by the 1st nautical Officer, also called the Chief Mate. Besides his 8 hours of watch he has other areas of responsibility: He takes care of the cargo, he is the Ship Safety Officer (or his deputy), he makes the work planning for the deck crew and he has a lot of paperwork. You can be Chief Mate after approximately two years of seagoing.

If you prove yourself in this position, the Ship Master’s certificate is not far.

But what does it mean to be captain? He has to carry a lot of responsibility, corresponding to that he has higher wages.

The master calls the shots on board. But he also has to be always available, if something doesn’t work properly. He represents the company. That’s why he has a lot of paperwork and communication with shore is also his area of responsibility.

If the ship arrives intact in port after a period of bad weather, it is to a large extend due to him, because he has to make the essential decisions.

Why do I actually write “he”? Well, there are not so many female captains, but the author of this text is actually an authoress and may be someday a female captain.

It is important, that he/she is aware of his/her position on board and the resulting responsibility for crew, environment, cargo and ship, that lies in the hand of the “Ship’s Master”.

Speaking of “English”: The language on board of actually all merchant vessels is English. Fluent English is indispensable because of the international crew on the one hand and on the other hand the communication with the shore authorities, which is also done in English language in every port. A lot of it is “learning by doing”, but the Department of Maritime Studies also offers competent education in English language.

And what if the job no longer meets your ideas anymore? Don’t panic! Sooner or later everybody finds its place, if it is in a shipping company, in the inspection service, in a port, in a maritime related company or in research.

Further information for your way from Nautical Watch Officer towards Ship’s Master you find here: "German Shipowners' Association".

Study contents

Study contents

Main points of the basic modules (samples)

  • Mathematics/Computer Science
  • Physics/Engineering Mechanics
  • Electrical Engineering/Electronics
  • Measuring and regulation technology
  • Business administration
  • General law
  • Maritime traffic safety

Main points of the theoretical modules (samples)

  • Navigation
  • Ship management/Watchkeeping
  • Maritime English
  • Maritime trade law
  • Maritime cargo technology/Dangerous Goods
  • Maritime traffic safety/Emergency management
  • Ship’s engine operation/System monitoring
  • Transport industry
Admission requirements

Admission requirements

The Admission requirements (19KB) are ready for you for download.

Important additional information you can find on the homepage of the “BUNDESAMT FÜR SEESCHIFFFAHRT UND HYDROGRAPHIE” below “certificates for seaman/Zeugnisse für Seeleute”. Here you find useful information for side-entrants as well as for (former) navy soldiers and a list with accredited apprenticeships from the areas of electrical engineering and metal processing.

The “ Verordnung über die Befähigungen der Seeleute in der Seeschifffahrt (Seeleute-Befähigungsverordnung - See-BV)" encloses more information.

Student Advisory Service

Orientation day NSV/SBT

Degree

Bachelor of Science

Beginning of the course

Each winter semester

Duration of studies

8 semesters