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Curriculum Nautical Sciences

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Those who choose Nautical Sciences initially want to sail as an officer (and later a captain) on the bridge of a commercial ship. These officers are officers aboard merchant ships responsible for the navigation, operation of the ship, security and cargo, and communications with other ships and with the. They ensure that a sea voyage is efficient and safe and deliver their cargo to all corners of the world. They are also more than welcome in the dredging world. Later in their career, our graduates can opt for a job as a pilot, as a manager in a port or in one of the many maritime companies ashore.

Nautical science students learn everything about on-board instruments, nautical science, charting and manoeuvring, as well as about the different types of cargo and how to load and unload them on board. The transport of goods involves many documents and inspections and must be acted upon in accordance with international treaties. Everyone receives extensive safety training, so that students know what to do in emergency situations such as fire, man overboard or the sinking of the ship. This is done not only through theoretical subjects, but also through extensive skills training throughout the course, in the workshop and on simulators.

The students analyse the latest developments, such as navigation in ice areas that are now being released due to global warming, or the use of alternative fuels to replace traditional fuels. To this end, the curriculum is based on a broad scientific basis and knowledge of international maritime evolutions. All this requires a broad base of mathematics, physics and chemistry, which is built up in the early years. Finally, the Nautical Sciences students receive a wide range of backgrounds in economics, maritime law, communication and even conducting innovative research. Finally, a ship is a micro-community, where crew members of different nationalities and cultures live together in a limited area. The students therefore also develop skills to master interpersonal differences with English as the medium of choice.


Curriculum Academic Bachelor – STCW Operational Level (Year 1 + 2 + 3)

  • Navigation and means of navigation
    Nautical instruments – Terrestrial navigation – Celestial navigation – Chart work – Regulations – Manoeuvres – Meteorology and oceanography – Radar navigation – ECDIS/AIS – Maritime Resource Management
  • Ship management and shipboard operations
    Seamanship – Cargo handling – Stability – Ship safety – Firefighting – Maritime ecology – GMDSS & SAR –ISPS & ISM– Ship administration and international conventions – Tanker familiarisation – Fast Rescue Boat (optional) – Special ship types: dredging, offshore, roro (optional)
  • Applied sciences
    Electricity – Electronics – Ship construction –Propulsion – Thermodynamics
  • Economy and management
    Economy – Law – Maritime law – Enterprise and maritime economics
  • Exact sciences and computer science
    Mathematics – Chemistry – Physics – Computer science (fac.)
  • Social sciences and languages
    Maritime English – Psychology – Maritime medicine – Maritime French and Dutch (fac.) – Maritime Spanish (optional) – General and intercultural communication (optional)

         + on-board training and Bachelor thesis


Curriculum Master – STCW Management Level (Year 4)

The master training is organised in co-operation with Antwerp University, Ghent University and Liège University.

Mandatory subjects – Core Modules

  • Maritime transportation
    Ship's exploitation – Supply Chain Management 1 – Maritime law
  • Maritime technique
    Navigation tide analysis, Voyage Planning, ice navigation, Radar/Arpa simulator) – Regulations (risk analysis) – Manoeuvres – Propulsion – Automation – Inspection, surveying and maintenance
  • Human resources and communication
    Group communication in an intercultural environment – Crisis & Crowd Management

         + Master thesis

Optional subjects related to research topics

  • Safety and health
    Strategic management – Maritime medical urgencies
  • Maritime transportation
    Analysis of shipping markets – Supply Chain Management 2 – Port management and policy – Business economics
  • Problems of marine environment
    Advanced maritime ecology
  • Problems of maritime energy
  • Maritime techniques
    Introduction into hydrography – Special ship types: oil, gas (LNG/LPG) and chemical tankers – Advanced maritime technology, safety and stability – Dynamic Positioning
    Seminar on ship construction, propulsion and automation
  • Human resources and communication
    Information and communication technology – Data analysis


For a more detailed overview of the courses

pdfStudy Guide Bachelor in Nautical Sciences

pdfStudy Guide Master in Nautical Sciences