PhD programme in Nautical Operations

Varighet: 3 år

Foto: MostPhotos
Foto: MostPhotos

PhD programme in Nautical Operations

Varighet: 3 År

Tromsø, Bardufoss, Kongsberg, Haugesund
Application deadline
Continuous enrollment.
How to apply?

The National Joint PhD Programme in Nautical Operations is organised as a joint degree between the following four national higher education institutions offering professional maritime education:

  • UiT the Arctic University of Norway (UiT)
  • University of South-Eastern Norway (USN)
  • Western Norway University of Applied Sciences (HVL)
  • Norwegial University of Science and Technology (NTNU)

The partner institutions focus each on their specific areas of research within nautical operations and are responsible for their respective academic parts of the PhD programme. The language of teaching and examination is English.

Visit this webpage for more information.

Spørsmål om studiet

Nautical operations consist of two subject areas:

  • Nautical studies: this includes navigation, maneuvering and transport of floating craft, and corresponding operations. The PhD program will focus on applied research to support, improve and develop these activities
  • The operational perspective: this includes strategic, tactical and operational aspects. Strategic levels include the choice of type and size of a ship fleet. Tactical aspects concern the design of individual ships and the selection of equipment and staff. The operational aspects include planning, implementation and evaluation of nautical operations

The remaining academic content is related to each area of specialization at the four partner institutions:

  • Maritime organizational safety management and fire safety and evacuation research at HVL
  • Maritime technology and operations at UiT
  • Maritime human factors as well as maritime logistics and port operations at USN
  • Maritime design and product development at NTNU

The PhD program consists of:

  • The coursework component (30 ECTS). This is composed of subjects at PhD-level divided into a compulsory part (15 ECTS) and a self-chosen part (15 ECTS). The core areas of the educational component have two compulsory and eight elective subjects based on the overall profile of the study program. The core areas build on key themes of the maritime-related bachelor and master's programs at the four institutions
  • The research component (150 ECTS). The dissertation is an independent research project or research and development project that shall meet international standards regarding ethical requirements, professional level and methodology in the field of nautical operations. The dissertation shall contribute to developing new academic knowledge and be at a level that indicates that it could be published internationally or otherwise published in an appropriate format as part of the research area's knowledge-based development

The program shall normally be completed within three years of full-time work, or within four years, if one year is devoted to teaching and supervision work. A different schedule might be agreed upon admission, but with a study effort of at least 50 %.

After completing the doctoral program, the candidate shall have achieved the following overall learning outcomes:

Knowledge (K1-K5)

The candidate:

  • K1 is at the knowledge forefront of national and international research on nautical operations and their importance for efficiency and safety
  • K2 can contribute to theory or technology development in nautical operations and generate new knowledge, methods and/or practices relevant to nautical operations
  • K3 has a thorough knowledge of scientific theory that is relevant to the candidate's field of research
  • K4 can assess the appropriateness of different research methodologies and methods for data generation and analysis relevant to nautical operations
  • K5 has thorough knowledge of maritime stakeholders and their interrelations

Skills (F1-F4)

The candidate can:

  • F1 formulate scientific research problems based on current research in order to plan and carry out research on nautical operations at an international level
  • F2 carry out research on nautical operations to generate new knowledge
  • F3 generate, process and analyze empirical data and present research findings in a way that qualifies for international peer-reviewed publication
  • F4 identify and analyze the need for knowledge, development and change of technology, decision making processes and operational decisions

General Competence (G1-G5)

The candidate can:

  • G1 identify relevant new ethical challenges and problems in one's own research and practice research with professional integrity
  • G2 disseminate research and development findings via national and international publications and conference presentations
  • G3 participate in professional maritime networks with other researchers, both nationally and internationally
  • G4 manage complex multidisciplinary assignments and projects
  • G5 contribute to creativity and innovation within one's field of research in collaboration with other stakeholders in the maritime industry.

Candidates will be eligible for positions in the national and international maritime industry. Relevant sectors include:

  • Supplier industry to the maritime sector
  • Shipping companies
  • Government bodies and public institutions with maritime activities
  • Consulting
  • The Higher Education sector with maritime professional education
  • Offshore and energy companies
  • Ports and land-based services for the maritime industry
  • Training and educational centers for maritime personnel.

10 ects 10 ects 10 ects
1. sem. (autumn) MFA-8010 Maritim MTO (Menneske-Teknologi-Organisasjon) - 10 stp. HEL-8010 Research Ethics and Theory of Science - 6 stp.
2. sem. (spring)
3. sem. (autumn)
4. sem. (spring)
5. sem. (autumn)
6. sem. (spring)

Admission to the PhD program in nautical operations requires that the applicant has completed a relevant Master's degree - based on a Bachelor's degree of 180 ECTS.

Examples of fields of study that qualify for admission include: maritime management, nautical studies, occupational and organisational psychology, fire and safety, meteorology and oceanography, marine engineering.

Normally, a weighted grade average for the Master's degree equal to B or better is required as a basis for admission. The candidate must normally also have a grade of B or better on the Master's thesis. Applicants with lower grades might be admitted if it can be documented that the candidate is particularly suitable for PhD education.


The National Joint PhD Program in Nautical Operations has established cooperation agreements with the following institutions: World Maritime University (Sweden), Maritime University of Szczecin (Poland), TU Delft (Netherlands) and Liverpool John Moores University (UK).

Exchange agreements are made directly between the partner institutions in the joint degree and the foreign institutions. For more information (including financing of your stay abroad), please contact your local PhD-coordinator.

Foreløpig ikke tilgjengelig