School of Engineering

BSc (Hons) Marine and Composites Technology

Do you want to immerse yourself in marine technology and understand every facet of how it works? How it’s applied in different contexts? Our Institution of Engineering and Technology accredited course gives you the skills you need to succeed in the marine engineering industry. Learn about marine vessel structure. Explore marine plant and ship systems. Gain a solid grasp of engineering design and secure the career you want.

You will lay strong foundations for a successful career using our extensive industry links to secure a paid, one-year work placement. You’ll gain the confidence, real-world know-how and vital industry experience that employers are looking for. You’ll become adept at working with the very latest industry-standard software, in our high specification laboratories. Both will help you develop a strong understanding of fundamental principles, whilst honing your skills at the same time.

Key features

  • We’re very proud of our National Student Survey (NSS) 2017 return showing 100% of students found our staff are good at explaining things, 91% found the course intellectually stimulating, and 91% expressed overall satisfaction with the course.*
  • In the Academic Ranking of World Universities (ARWU), also known as the Shanghai Ranking we are eighth out of 50, and the highest ranked UK university, for Marine/Ocean Engineering.
  • Distinguish yourself professionally with a degree accredited by the Royal Institution of Naval Architects (RINA), the Institution of Incorporated Engineering and Technology (IET), the Institution of Engineering Designers (IED) and the Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology (IMarEST) on behalf of the Engineering Council. The course fully satisfies the educational base for an Incorporated Engineer (IEng) and partially satisfies the educational base for a Chartered Engineer (CEng). You'll need to undertake a programme of accredited Further Learning to complete the educational base for CEng.
  • Lay strong foundations for a successful career using our extensive industry links to secure a paid, one-year work placement. Gain the confidence, real-world know-how and vital industry experience that employers are looking for. 
  • Become adept at working with the very latest industry-standard software, in our high specification laboratories. Both will help you develop a strong understanding of fundamental principles, whilst honing your skills at the same time.
  • Study topics including vessel stability, resistance, propulsion and performance, equipment and structural integrity. Our programme prepares you for your career, so you’ll also develop skills in composite materials and general engineering design. The result? You’ll become highly adaptable – able to secure various jobs across a range of industries.
  • Learn from our dedicated teaching staff. Many of them are members of several professional bodies, with extensive industrial and commercial expertise. And, you’ll benefit from the research our staff are actively engaged in – with topics including oceanography, engineering design and manufacturing processes, materials sciences and business and management.
  • Take advantage of Plymouth’s coastal location and get involved in sailing, power boating and other similar water sports.
  • Apply for a host of IET engineering scholarships that vary between £1,000 and £3,000 per year. For more information, visit IET Awards and Scholarships

Course details

  • Year 1
  • In your first year, you’ll engage with the foundations of engineering science, mathematics, and manufacture and materials. You’ll study the fundamentals of marine craft design, as well as quality and project management. And, as the course is hands-on from the start, you’ll participate in a practical module in manufacturing methods.
    Core modules
    • AB1EAW EA1 Workshop

      The course provides a basic practical workshop experience that enables students to appreciate the cutting of metals. This is achieved by the manufacture of a specific test piece using lathes and milling machines and includes the use of Computer Aided Manufacture / Machining.

    • BPIE115 Stage 1 Mechanical Placement Preparation

      This module is aimed at students who may be undertaking an industrial placement in the third year of their programme. It is designed to assist students in their search for a placement and in their preparation for the placement itself.

    • MATH117 Engineering Mathematics

      This module aims to review and introduce mathematical methods to improve student ability in solving problems in engineering and technology.

    • MECH116 Engineering Science 1

      An introduction to the important principles and theories which underpin mechanical and electrical engineering science as applied to marine engineering and mechanical engineering technology.

    • MECH119 Skills for Design and Engineering (Marine)

      An introduction to the forms and role of engineering drawings and CAD in engineering design. Basic engineering drawing procedures, basic 2-D CAD and 3-D parametric associative CAD.

    • MECH121PP Team Engineering (Engineering Design in Action)

      This module helps students foster a technology-based, innovative and creative design identity. This is achieved through development of critical skills coupled with professional, multi-disciplinary teamwork. A practical focus is provided by a range of multi-facetted group design and engineering science projects based upon open-ended, real-world problems.

    • MFMT102 Manufacturing and Materials 1

      This module provides an introduction to manufacturing and materials for all BSc students. It includes forming and shaping processes, and introduces the concept of process-structure-property relationships in engineering materials.

    • MFRG110 Quality and Project Management

      This module examines the use of quality management, project planning, process involvement, inventory control etc. in manufacturing systems and how such systems may be evolved with reference to the concept of 'World Class Industry' examining the philosophies and tools developed by major contributors from Europe, USA and the Far East.

  • Year 2
  • In the second year, you’ll build on your knowledge and specialise further in marine engineering. Explore the resistance and propulsion of marine vessels. Examine ship stability. Consider the use of composite materials in marine structures. You’ll spend the rest of the year looking in more detail at the topics you covered in your first year – including design, mathematics, manufacture and materials, engineering science, mechatronics and computer-aided engineering.
    Core modules
    • BPIE215 Stage 2 Mechanical Placement Preparation

      This module is aimed at students who may be undertaking an industrial placement in the third year of their programme. It is designed build on the Level 1 module (BPIE111) and to assist students in their search for a placement and in their preparation for the placement itself.

    • MARN219 Naval Architecture 1

      This module will examine both the static and dynamic interaction between a vessel and the water in which it floats. It will cover the principles and practice of ship stability, the prediction of the resistance to motion for a vessel and the selection of suitable propulsor options.

    • MATH257 Computer Aided Mathematics

      Students will be taught advanced mathematical techniques and their application using the MATLAB computer software package to solve engineering mathematics problems. The module will also introduce the students to the theoretical fundamentals of finite element analysis (FEA).

    • MATS232 Marine Composites and Vessel Surveying

      The module provides an introduction to the performance of polymer composites in the marine environment, building on the overview of materials and manufacture presented in MATS 221.

    • MECH230 Engineering Science 2

      This module provides an extension of previously taught solid mechanics and an introduction to the principles of fluid mechanics, and thermodynamics and heat transfer. The principles of basic dynamics are also covered in this module.

    • MECH231 Engineering Design

      The module comprises a course of lectures and project based assignments that aim to provide the essential knowledge and skills required to plan, manage and conduct engineering design investigations.

    • MFMT202 Manufacturing and Materials 2

      This module extends the Stage 2 introduction to Manufacturing and Materials technology to cover additional aspects of materials behaviour (such as property enhancement techniques, composite materials, corrosion and an introduction to failure modes), and includes forming processes for sheet metalworking, material removal processes, as well as important permanent joining processes.

  • Year 3
  • This year you’ll do your paid industry placement, aided by our network of industry contacts. You’ll spend 48 weeks working with a suitable organisation in the UK or abroad, applying the skills and knowledge you’ve gained over the last two years in the real world. You’ll immerse yourself in, and learn from, a professional environment. You’ll gain experience and confidence. And the placement may lead to sponsorship, a final year project and future employment, too.
    Optional modules
    • BPIE335 Mechanical Engineering Related Placement

      A 48-week period of professional training spent as the third year of a sandwich programme undertaking an approved placement with a suitable company. This provides an opportunity for the student to gain relevant industrial experience to consolidate the first two stages of study and to prepare for the final stage and employment after graduation.

  • Final year
  • In your final year, you’ll study elements of naval architecture and marine engineering – looking at ships’ structures and machinery. You’ll further your knowledge of design and manufacture using composite materials. And you’ll demonstrate the skills and understanding you’ve acquired over the past three years through a group design project, as well as an in-depth individual project in an area of your choice.
    Core modules
    • MARN337 Naval Architecture 2 and CFD

      This module is split into two parts: Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD) & Marine Structural Design and Analysis. The CFD part focuses on practical use of CFD in marine design/analysis but also includes an overview of underpinning CFD theory. In the second part, structural design concepts and regulations which are particularly applicable to marine craft are applied and analysed.

    • MARN339 Marine Engineering

      This module provides an introduction to marine power plant systems and machineries for marine transport purposes for BSc Marine and Composites Technology.

    • MATS349 Composites Design and Manufacture

      By the end of this module students should be familiar with practical tools and techniques for predicting the performance of composite structures, combined with a deeper appreciation of the opportunities and limitations imposed by manufacture. The module will focus mainly on marine applications, but will also include composite material applications in aerospace, construction, automotive and other industry sectors.

    • MECH310 Computer Aided Engineering

      This module will build upon the fundamentals of finite element analysis (FEA) already covered in MATH257. The module will introduce the students to the ANSYS FEA software. It involves the application of the software to simulate and analyse simple and intermediate engineering problems.

    • PRDT304 Engineering Project 1

      This module involves: Working as part of a team on an integrated `whole product' or `system' based engineering design project. Planning and preparation for a specific individually run technical investigation.

    • PRME306 Engineering Project 2

      Independent project work

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BScMarineAndCompositesTechnology ProgrammeSpecification September2016 2284

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff

80 - 96

A level: Typical offer will be 80 points, to include grade D in one relevant science or technology subject. You must have GCSE Mathematic at grade C / 4 or above.

BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: MMM in a relevant science or technology subject. Must include Mathematics units. 

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

International Baccalaureate: 26 overall to include 4 in one relevant subject at higher level.

Access to HE Diploma in a Science or Engineering: pass Access in Engineering to include 45 credits at level 3. Must include 33 credits at merit or above to include at least 12 credits in mathematics. Must have GCSE English and Maths grade C / 4 or above or equivalent

GCSE mathematics and English at grade C or above is required. 

For other qualifications, please enquire.

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

English language requirements for international applicants

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2017 2018
Home/EU £9,250 To be confirmed
International £12,500 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) Check with School To be confirmed
Part time (International) Check with School To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.
Any student embarking on our courses are eligible to apply for a number of IET engineering scholarships. Amounts can vary between £1,000 and £3,000 per annum, and closing dates for applications are usually at the end of June. For more information on the different scholarships available, details on how to apply and confirmed closing dates for applications, please visit IET Awards and Scholarships.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email


Whether you want to be a composite development engineer or a manufacturing process engineer, we’ll work with you throughout your degree to make sure you’re prepared and ready for your career in the marine industry.

95 per cent of our graduates are in work or further study within six months of finishing their degree.

Find out more about how we prepare you for your career

Forrest Worthington - BSc (Hons) Marine and Composites Technology

 Forrest used his final year degree project to work on an adaption for Optimist dinghies for children with lower-limb disabilities:

"The success of the design was largely due to the amount of individual time I got from all my different lecturers every week of my final year, and the confidence they instilled in me for getting all the knowledge I needed to develop a detailed working product. "

Read more about Forrest Worthington

Kate Walsh – BSc (Hons) Marine and Composites Technology Graduate

My lecturers were really helpful and I don’t think I would have got onto my placement without them (and it was my placement which was really integral to gaining my graduate job)

Kate Walsh gained the necessary experience from her placement year to be offered a Naval Architect position at BMT.

Read more about Kate's graduate career

Optional work placement year

Get your career off to a great start by spending a year working professionally as a student engineer between years two and three. You could earn £15,000 a year or more, and possibly gain sponsorship through your final year(s) at university.

Gain experience that will help you find a job when you graduate and a Certificate of Professional or Work Experience in addition to your degree award.

Final year project

Our final year student project open day showcases the excellence of engineering skills development and the high levels of achievement of our undergraduates.

Browse poster examples, and view previous project open day photographs below.

The Tamar Engineering Project

Funding and mentoring for high achievers who might not otherwise consider higher education as a route to a career in engineering.

Learn if you are eligible for this scholarship to study engineering at Plymouth University through the Tamar Engineering Project.

Successful applicants will receive:

  • £3,000 towards living costs per year of study
  • £1,500 course fee waiver per year of study
  • one-to-one mentoring from an industry expert.
Read more about the Tamar Engineering Project.

Potential High Achievers Scheme

In the School of Engineering we recognise that our students are the future of the growing engineering profession. We know that our applicants will thrive in the hands-on environment we can provide, and we want to ensure our best applicants become our future.

The scheme is now open for students who have applied to study, from September 2017, a range of full-time undergraduate courses within the School of Engineering. We will be contacting applicants who are not only on course to achieve top marks but who have an outstanding personal statement, in order to offer them a chance to receive an unconditional offer immediately.

Find out more about the scheme.


*These are the latest results from the National Student Survey. Please note that the data published on Unistats is updated annually in September.