In spite of its long maritime traditions, Portugal saw the first university degree course in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering emerge in 1981 only, at Instituto Superior Técnico. Being the only university degree course in this field in Portugal, it has teaching ambitions on a nationalwide level, through the Diploma in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, as well as ambitions in R&D, both on a national and an international level, through the large number of research projects in which it is involved.

The Masters degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, succeeds the 5-year Licenciatura which existed before the Bologna Agreement and which was accredited by the Portuguese Association of Engineers (Ordem dos Engenheiros). This degree aims to supply the necessary education and training for Naval Architects and Marine Engineers to perform their profession. The professional activity of a Naval Architects and Marine Engineer is obviously intimately related to the sea, and consists basically in the design, construction and management of the operating systems destined to the exploration and exploitation of the sea, as the corridors for maritime transportation, as a source of living resources (fishing vessels and oceanic aquaculture) and as a source of minerals (oceanic offshore platforms, submersibles, among others) as well as place for sport and leisure.

The education and training of Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering assembles vast knowledge in Engineering, needed to satisfy the technical requirements of design, with the creativity and sensibility essential for the planning and development of new concepts of marine vehicles/structures.

To adequately adapt the contents of the Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering degree course to the constant advances in this field, a restructuring of the curriculum was undertaken and introduced in the academic year 1999/2000 according to which three areas of specialization were created:
• Ship design and Shipbuilding
• Machinery and Marine Systems
• Maritime Transportation and Ports

At that time, before the course was restructured, the degree course was organized in a five-year curriculum, which beyond the foundation disciplines common to all areas of Engineering, consisted of specialised subjects such as Naval Architecture, Ship Statics and Dynamics, Vibrations, Resistance and Propulsion, Manoeuvrability and Control, Marine Structures, Ship Design, Shipyard Technology, Fishing Vessels, Port Organization, Marine Transportation and Ports, amongst others.

The introduction of the Bologna Agreement provoked a reorganization of the existing curriculum and resulted in a Licenciatura (undergraduate degree) in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, with the duration of three years, and in a complementary Masters degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering, with the duration of two years.

The Masters degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering constitutes the objective of the second cycle of studies with a duration of two years and confers a Masters degree in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. This level of advanced studies are the pre-required qualifications established by the Portuguese Association of Engineers in order to practice professionally as a Naval Architect.

At the Masters degree level, a set of specific aspects are covered in detail essential for Naval Architects, namely maritime transport, fisheries, ships design, materials for shipbuilding, shipyard technology and organization and project management.

The study of maritime transportation is an important concern of this course, focussing on both economical aspects and their influence on the management of ship operations and fleets, and on the conception and design of commercial ships. As far as maritime transportation is concerned, there is an increasing concern to study the interface with ports, which groups maritime transport with the remaining means of transport.

The topic of Fisheries is another subject included in the course, where specific aspects of fisheries’ technology and, especially, the design of fishing vessels are studied.

The design of several types of ships involves not only specific aspects of naval architecture but also aspects of marine systems and machinery, electricity, navigating and communication systems, which is part of the education and training administered.

Besides aspects related to ship conception, which are fundamental to the education and training of an architect, the MSc course additionally pays special attention to technological aspects related to the material transformation for shipbuilding and to the technology and organization of shipyards.

The topics of industrial and project management also guarantee the Naval Architect with easier adaptability to the most diverse tasks of management in other sectors.

Finally, and in addition to ships, the MSc course also covers other types of non-traditional marine structures and vehicles which operate in the seas for the exploitation of mineral resources, such as offshore platforms which are used for oil and gas exploration.

The diversified curriculum of various materials provides a better knowledge of the oceans, namely through oceanography, coastal area management, and methodologies of forecast and prevention of marine pollution.

Prof. Carlos Guedes Soares
Instituto Superior Técnico
Av. Rovisco Pais, 1049-001 Lisboa
Tel. 218 417 957, Fax. 218 474 015