Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) (CDF) (Naval Architecture)


Naval Architecture is concerned with the design, building and utilisation of all types of ships and marine vehicles.  

Ships and marine vehicles can be classified into military vessels which include frigates, destroyers, patrol vessels, aircraft carriers, mine hunters and submarines; trading vessels which include cargo and container ships; and commercial vessels which include fishing boats, tugs, dredges, pilot boats, lighthouse supply craft, servicing vessels for oil rigs, crew transfer, passenger and vehicle ferries, floating cranes, and other specialised ships and pleasure craft. These three categories of marine vehicles can be in the form of a monohull (the usual single-hull ship or boat), a multihull catamaran or trimaran (a twin or triple hull vessel), or dynamically supported craft such as hovercraft (an air-cushion vehicle) or hydrofoil (a vessel that is lifted out of the water by submerged wings).  

Naval architects must be conversant with a wide variety of skills, including most forms of engineering and marine architecture. A ship must be a completely self-sufficient vehicle containing several systems and able to withstand the loads from the sea.  

Chief of the Defence Force Programs

The Chief of the Defence Force (CDF) programs offer the opportunity for students entering UNSW Canberra with a high Entrance Rank, and who maintain a high level of performance in their studies, to undertake research in a range of disciplines that will develop their critical thinking and independent research skills beyond that available in the standard bachelor degree programs.

The range of CDF programs are characterised by the inclusion of specialist courses in critical analysis and/or research methods appropriate to the area of study. All programs also include discipline-specific research projects. The research projects will be supervised by academic staff from the relevant discipline. With the approval of the Head of School, multi- or cross-disciplinary projects may be undertaken. Students in the research courses may work independently or as part of a team, depending on the nature of the project undertaken, though all students will submit individual assessment. Final assessment will be based on a written paper or report and oral presentations.

Throughout the program, students will be engaged with cohort activities so as to develop and maintain their interest and continuing involvement in the program via invited lectures, seminars, general reading and social events.

Kickstart your Career as a Naval Architect

Naval architecture firms and consultants are significant employers of naval architects. Naval architects working in the field of high-speed ferries have been particularly successful. Australia holds the leading position in the research and development of passenger and cargo multihulls.  

The Commonwealth Department of Defence White Paper (2016) reaffirmed the Government’s commitment to a strong, internationally competitive and sustainable Australian naval shipbuilding industry which will rely heavily on naval architects. The Commonwealth’s Naval Shipbuilding Plan (2017) identified naval architects as key enablers in the Australian naval shipbuilding workforce. Employment of naval architects within the defence sector occurs within the Department of Defence and the RAN. 

In addition, federal and state government departments and statutory authorities such as AMSA and state transport departments employ naval architects, as do international classification societies such as Lloyd’s Register, DNV and Bureau Veritas. 

Graduates of the program are expected to meet UNSW Graduate Capabilities embodied in the Program Learning Outcomes and Engineers Australia Stage 1 Competencies.