Nautical Science and Maritime Transport

Nautical science studies are appropriate for young people interested in a future in commanding ships. An aptitude for technology and management and an interest in shipmates from other countries and cultures would be of advantage.

In addition to nautical subjects, our degree course covers science, law, and economics, leading to an academic qualification as a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in addition to the certificate of competency for navigational officers.

After the German "Abitur" (general qualification for university entrance) or the "Fachhochschulreife" (qualification for entrance to a university of applied sciences), or its equivalent, there are various routes to the acquisition of a certificate of competency for international shipping:

  • eight-semester study course at Jade University with two integrated practical semesters
  • vocational training as ship’s mechanic or assistant nautical officer, followed by six semesters at Jade University

Interview with Students of Nautical Science (German)

Nautical science studies cover a wide range of subjects, with particular emphasis on technical aspects. In the first three semesters of the core curriculum the basics of maths, physics, law, English, economics and chemistry will be dealt with, in addition to introductory classes in applied subjects such as classical navigation, ship safety, computer science and employment law.

Building on these basics, the main studies cover the specific subjects necessary for working as a captain. Among these are the subjects relating to commanding a ship (technical navigation, manoeuvring, meteorology, traffic law, introductory exercises on the ship simulator) and loading cargo (ship stability and strength, loading technology, dangerous goods, shipping law) and subjects such as man management and shipping economics which are aimed at ship operation management.

Electives are offered in either nautical science/technology or economics/law and here it is possible to concentrate on specific areas. In the final semester, extensive simulator exercises and the bachelor thesis complete the degree course. Training voyages on board the sail-training ship Grossherzogin Elisabeth are an integral part of the course, and take place in the 4th or 7th semesters, offering the opportunity to consolidate theory in practice.

Course Plan

Semester 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8
Basic Seamanship Training as Deck Cadet Navigation 1 Navigation 2 Navigation 3 Maneuvering Training as Deck Cadet (Ship Handling)**
Practical Training Marine Engineering Ship Theory Dangerous Goods Cargo Operations Cargo Handling
English Mathematics 2 Meteorology Maritime English Emergency Mgm.  
Physics Computer Science Tele- communications Watchkeeping (Simulat.) Practical Training  
Mathematics 1 Business Economics Personnel Management Elective Profile 1* Elective Profile 2* Elective Profile 3*
Shipping Law Civil Law Merchant Shipp. Law Medical Care   B.Sc. Thesis
* Students may choose between the following elective profiles:
Maritime Technology:Physics in Maritime Applications, Maritime Technology (Lecture)   ,    Maritime Technology (Seminar)
Maritime Economics:Shipping Economics, Transport Management, Terminal Operations
Pilotage and VTS:Fairways and Pilotage, Communication and Intercultural Management, Vessel Traffic Services and Accident Analysis

** This module is subject to specific entrance criteria. The course is not open for exchange students since it is a final practical exam for regular students.

Practical Training on board a sailing ship (German video)

Career Prospects

The following areas of operation come within the scope of ships’ officers’ and masters’ competences:

  • shiphandling, which includes navigation and manoeuvring, using and monitory technical equipment on the bridge
  • cargo operations, including monitoring the ship’s seaworthiness and cargo capability, planning and monitoring of cargo operations, carrying out instructions of ship owner and cargo-interested parties
  • ship operations, including duty of care in relation to crew and passengers, man management, planning and carrying out assignment of labour and training on board ship

Since everything points to continuing above-average growth in international shipping, and German trained officers enjoy an international reputation for quality, career prospects in this field are excellent. It is possible to follow the Bachelor qualification with a Master's degree.