Skip to main content

MSc Naval Architecture

Naval Architecture is a multidisciplinary subject with a strong emphasis on systems engineering and engineering design. When graduating from this programme, you will possess knowledge and experience of the complete processes of conception, design, modelling, implementation and operation of boats, ships, marine installations and other complex systems, together with deep theoretical knowledge in related topics such as lightweight structures, fluid mechanics and management.

Application dates for studies starting in Autumn 2021

16 October 2020: Application opens
15 January 2021: Application deadline
1 February 2021: Deadline for supporting academic documents (all applicants) and documentation of fee exempt status (if required) or receipt of application fee (if required)
9 April 2021: Notification of selection results
August 2021: Arrival and start of studies

Subscribe to our newsletter and we'll let you know when the application opens

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


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.​

​​​​​ Meet the graduates


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

"The lively KTH campus has a charm of its own, and I look forward to the various events."

Nitish Shetye, India

Meet the students

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:

9. Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure
11. Sustainable Cities and Communities
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.

Webinar on sustainable development

Watch a recording of the webinar offered by the School of Engineering Sciences in December 2019. The webinar focused on the schools' master’s programmes and how they relate to sustainable development.

​​​​​​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:

Next step

Ikon med mobiltelefon och brev. Grafisk illustration.


Through our newsletter you will receive important real-time information to make your road to KTH as smooth as possible.

Ikon med personer och pratbubblor. Grafisk illustration.

Contact us

Whether you have questions about studies at KTH or student life in Stockholm we will get you the information you need.