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MSc Naval Architecture

The master's programme in Naval Architecture provides a strong foundation in Naval Architecture while delivering in-depth skills through specialisations in Lightweight Structures, Fluid Mechanics and Management. Students gain knowledge in the complete processes of designing, modelling, constructing and operating boats, ships, marine installations and systems. Graduates face careers in the maritime sector, related fields or in academia.

Application deadlines for studies starting 2022

18 October (2021): Application opens
17 January: Application closes
1 February: Submit documents and, if required, pay application fee
7 April: Admission results announced
August: Arrival and study start

Application open

Start your application today for studies starting autumn 2022.

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Naval Architecture at KTH

The programme consists of a core track of studies and three optional tracks. In the core, you develop your general knowledge and skills in ship design, systems engineering, and a theoretical foundation in ship hydrostatics and stability, resistance and propulsion, waves, seakeeping, manoeuvring and ship structures. By choosing one of the tracks, you have the opportunity to develop deeper understanding and skills in lightweight structures, fluid dynamics and management. There is also room for elective courses, where you have the option of either broadening your education or specialise further in your chosen track. It is also an opportunity to study underwater technology and high-speed craft, or other areas suitable for your interests and career goals.

During the first year, you build your naval architecture foundation in the three core courses ship design, marine structures, and marine hydromechanics. In parallel, you specialise in the three courses within your chosen track. In the second year, you can develop your individual profile by, for example, go deeper in the area of your chosen track or in naval architecture by studying underwater technology or high-speed craft. Alternatively, you can broaden your education by taking courses from the other tracks or in other topics. Another option could be to take an exchange term at another university. The programme is finalised with a degree project which can be a small research project, an advanced engineering analysis or a design project, and may be performed at a university or a company.

Lightweight Structures

In the Lightweight Structures track you have the opportunity to combine fundamental principles of naval architecture with knowledge about modern composite materials and sandwich structures and related design principles and manufacturing methods. Sweden has been a forerunner in the application of such material concepts in large ship structures and KTH has internationally acclaimed research in this area. What you learn in this track is useful for working with ship structures as well as with aerospace, automotive and other kinds of lightweight structures.

Fluid Mechanics

The Fluid Mechanics track develops your fundamental understanding and working skills in incompressible fluid mechanics, which is the basis for the flow around ships, boats and marine installations. The governing set of partial differential equations, the Navier-Stokes equations, are derived, dissected, simplified and solved. The fundamental principles of computational fluid dynamics (CFD) and modern computational tools are introduced. In hands-on projects, you will work with modelling and solving real fluid mechanics problems. The knowledge you gain in this track is applicable in ship hydromechanics as well as in general fluid mechanics problems.


The Management track gives you the opportunity to complement your technical skills with knowledge of financial, organizational and managerial aspects, and develop your understanding of the concepts of sustainable development from environmental, social and economic viewpoints. Emphasis is on the ability to manage and control projects, strategies for sustainable development, and management tools and systems analysis methods. The track gives a good foundation for employment as a manager for companies and projects within the maritime sector as well as in other sectors.

This is a two year programme (120 ECTS credits) given in English. Graduates are awarded the degree of Master of Science. The programme is given mainly at KTH Campus in Stockholm by the School of Engineering Sciences (at KTH).

Topics covered

Ocean waves, ship stability, propulsion, seakeeping, manoeuvring, ship structures, systems engineering, ship design, small craft design, underwater technology.

Courses in the programme


Find out what students from the programme think about their time at KTH.

Oskar from Sweden

"When I first came to KTH to start my bachelor's degree, I felt like I finally came home. I enjoyed the studies and the company of the other students. The courses have been engaging and, for the most part, very interesting."

Oskar from Sweden

Meet the students


The multi-disciplinary character of naval architecture, and the structure and curriculum of the programme, make the education relevant for careers in the maritime sector as well as in other fields. Within the maritime sector, Swedish companies are leaders in a number of areas, such as ship design, ship operation, propulsion systems and design and construction of high-technology ships, submarines and small craft. Naval architects are also employed by state authorities such as the Swedish Transport Agency and the Swedish Defence Material Administration. Significant international employment markets can also be found in the other Nordic countries, in other parts of the EU and in the large shipbuilding nations in Asia. Outside the maritime sector you will find naval architects in for example the automotive industry or as technical consultants. Graduates also go on to pursue a PhD at KTH or other universities nationally and internationally. Research projects can be theoretical or applied and often involve a large degree of international cooperation.

After graduation

​​​​​Ship designers, system developers, computational engineers, consultants, project managers, administrators, researchers.​

"Since 2015 I have been working for the non-profit organization Sea-Watch e.V, which operates ships and aircraft in the Mediterranean Sea to help prevent people from drowning."

Johannes Bayer, Sea-Watch e.V

Meet the graduates

Sustainable development

Graduates from KTH have the knowledge and tools for moving society in a more sustainable direction, as sustainable development is an integral part of all programmes. The three key sustainable development goals addressed by the master's programme in Naval Architecture are:

Sustainable development goal 9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
Sustainable development goal 11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
Sustainable development goal 14. Life Below Water

Naval Architecture is a mechanical engineering discipline that considers systems for maritime use, such systems including boats, ships, offshore platforms and underwater systems. The use of these systems, for example in transport, in shipping and in the oil industry, to a large extent shape the conditions for today’s societies. The education provided as part of the master’s programme in Naval Architecture, therefore, considers sustainable development throughout the programme.

The students in the programme are exposed to sustainability aspects and discuss engineering applications in a sustainability perspective in specific projects and workshops and in the general project assignments. Our aim is to produce effective engineering skills that contribute to a sustainable future. The programme covers aspects relating to both reducing the environmental impact of maritime activity and our future societies, and tools for analysing the operational aspects of shipping and how social conditions for maritime activity are affected by design.

The approach covers several of the UN Sustainable Development Goals and your choice of specialisation track and elective courses can further deepen and/or broaden your knowledge and skills.

​​​​​​Faculty and research

The research related to marine technology at KTH for example regard emission free shipping, high-speed craft dynamics and structure design, ship safety and risk management, ship dynamic stability, various aspects of inland waterways and waterborne public transportation, advanced composite materials and structures, life and operations below water, underwater technology, and maritime robotics.

Photo from one of the research projects at the of the KTH Centre for Naval Architecture. The world’s first bathymetric survey of lake Tarfala in northern Sweden. The survey was performed by autonomous research platforms under development at KTH.

Marine technology related research is going on at several different departments at KTH, the main responsibility for this research area is however on the KTH Centre for Naval Architecture at the Department of Aeronautical and Vehicle Engineering and the following staff members:

Virtual campus tour

Siwat from Thailand is a student at the School of Engineering Sciences (at KTH). In the virtual tour he and some other KTH students will show you around the campuses.

Webinar from the school

Watch the webinar about Engineering Sciences from 1 December 2020 aimed at future students. The webinar is hosted by Professor Michael Hanke and student Bente.

Next step

Apply now!

The current admission round for the programme is for studies starting autumn 2022. Apply before 17 January.

Apply now

Explore KTH

Visit our campuses through an immersive digital tour where our students guide you through their favourit KTH spots.

Ikon med mobiltelefon och brev. Grafisk illustration.


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