Maritime Studies

Key Information

Typical Offer

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Military Partner(s)

Academic Year

Course Overview

This degree programme has been designed by staff at the Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) who have completed a TUPE across from the University of Plymouth to the University of Lincoln in line with Project Selborne. The University of Lincoln has worked with the Royal Navy to review the content of the programme and enhance it in line with institutional and UK Higher Education best practice.

The Foundation Degree in Maritime Studies is designed for officers joining the Warfare Branch of the Royal Navy. It is based on successful completion of the Royal Navy officer training pipeline from entry at Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) to the end at the Maritime Warfare School (MWS), HMS Collingwood.

The programme has been designed to compliment the established Royal Navy officer training and education programme supported by 150 years of academic excellence. It recognises the value of combining vocational knowledge and skills underpinned by relevant academic understanding and has the ultimate aim of helping to develop a competent officer with the cognitive ability to react and adapt in an ever changing and unpredictable world.

The programme supports the philosophy of the national Foundation Degree scheme by providing a degree-level qualification designed with the Royal Navy and combining academic study with workplace learning at sea to equip people with the relevant knowledge, understanding, and skills to improve performance and productivity. Its distinctive feature is the integration of accessibility, articulation and progression, employer involvement, flexibility, and partnership.

How You Study

Modern officer training in the Royal Navy is divided into two phases: an initial phase common to all officers, followed by a specialist phase depending on chosen branch specialisation. On successful completion of initial training, an officer cadet 'Passes Out' (graduates) and progresses to specialist training. Warfare Officers receive part of their specialist training at BRNC and then move on to the Maritime Warfare School, HMS Collingwood (MWS) and to an operational warship at sea for their placement module.

This programme has a strong vocational emphasis, and the education and training facilities at all three training establishments (which include modern laboratories, state-of-the-art simulators, boats on the Dart Estuary, and use of Dartmoor for leadership exercises) are combined with sporting and recreational facilities to provide an excellent environment in which to study.

In particular, the programme includes extensive work-based and placement learning packages at sea during both initial and specialist training phases. The aim in both cases is to instil Officers Cadets with an understanding and appreciation of the fundamental workings of a warship at sea. The time at sea aims to develop maritime skills, conditions Officer Cadets to the rigours of life at sea, and provides a baseline for their first complement appointments.

In addition, there are numerous other learning opportunities including: low and high ropes course; gymnasium and other sports facilities; visits to submarines and other ships; a Basic Sea Survival Course; Fire Fighting school; Damage Control Centre; aircraft acquaints; and, Adventure Training.

Student development is enabled by a combination of academic and professional expertise provided by both uniformed (Royal Navy, Army, Royal Air Force, and International) and academic staff. Some of the academic staff are active researchers in their respective fields, or have professional expertise developed through careers as warfare or engineering officers in the Royal Navy.

The acquisition of knowledge and understanding in Maritime Studies permeates every part of the curriculum. This starts in timetabled classes in each module; these might include lectures, practical work, in the laboratory or in the field, seminars, or other discussions, with an emphasis on experiential learning via instruction at sea and demonstrations. Students are encouraged to extend their understanding by self-directed learning through guided reading at all levels.


† Some courses may offer optional modules. The availability of optional modules may vary from year to year and will be subject to minimum student numbers being achieved. This means that the availability of specific optional modules cannot be guaranteed. Optional module selection may also be affected by staff availability.

Fundamentals of Meteorology and Oceanography 2024-25MTS1001MLevel 42024-25The environment can have a major impact on naval operations. The focus of this modules is to give students an understanding of atmospheric and oceanographic process so that they can apply their knowledge in real life situations. This includes producing a weather forecast, determining wave height or discussing the reliability of sensors such as radar and sonar with reference to the synoptic weather chart.CoreMarinisation 2024-25MTS1002MLevel 42024-25This module is a work placement covering a student's Initial Officer Training at Britannia Royal Naval College, with a particular focus on the 'Marinisation' elements, which prepare students for life at sea in an operational environment. Students learn to appreciate the duties and expectations of a Naval officer in a ship at sea and develop an understanding of how ships are organised to meet their operational tasking. The module will also provide an introduction to international relations and strategic studies, which will provide officer cadets with a grounding in the modern history of international relations as well an overview and underpinning of the ideas that have been used to understand it.CorePrinciples of Sensors and Telecommunications 2024-25MTS1003MLevel 42024-25This module introduces the basic principles of military sensors and communications and includes: Radars, Thermal Imagers, Lasers and Analogue/Digital Communications. Topics include: basic waveform principles including refraction, absorption, interference, and diffraction; the design and operation of military radars, thermal sensors, image intensifiers, and lasers; Global Positioning Systems and Automated Identification Systems; the design and operation of military analogue and digital communications systems; reduction of military platform cross-sections and signatures; and the effect of noise, clutter, and atmospheric conditions on sensor systems operations.CoreShip Technology: An Introduction to Ship Behaviour 2024-25MTS1004MLevel 42024-25This module introduces the important scientific concepts and principles that underpin the static and dynamic behaviour of a ship in a seaway and provides a foundation of basic understanding that contributes to the safe operation of a ship or submarine at sea.CoreContemporary Maritime Warfare and Security 2025-26MTS2001MLevel 52025-26This module examines key aspects of the development of maritime warfare during the 20th and 21st centuries and the security and operational challenges facing the Royal Navy and allied navies today and in the future. The module will aim to further reinforce and to further develop students' understanding of the key precepts of maritime doctrine and the conduct of maritime warfare through a series of detailed case studies, namely the Cold War at sea, the Falkland’s Conflict, and the Iran-Iraq War. Aspects of maritime warfare that will be studied include those associated with sea control, anti-submarine warfare, intelligence, submarine, force generation, logistics, amphibious warfare, fleet air defence, and suppression and destruction of enemy air defences operations. A study of rival Soviet and NATO Maritime strategy and doctrine during the Cold War will also be undertaken. The module also aims to provide students with awareness, knowledge, and understanding of the major strategic and maritime security issues across the key regions of the world. This will include an examination of the legal context for naval operations – especially as laid down in the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea – and a range of security challenges.CoreEarth Observation Satellite Science 2025-26MTS2005Level 52025-26This module address an evolving need for Naval officers in understanding space -based platforms used for navigation, data communications, reconnaissance imaging, and Drone control in a military context The early 21st century and seen the nature of warfare become increasing reliant on advanced technologies. Conflicts around world are using assets once regarded as secret and confined to national militaries, which are now available to commercial organisations and news outlets, as unclassified open information. In particular, the use of commercial imaging satellites permits analysts to identify and trace the movements of military maritime vessels, troop deployments and movements, aircraft activity, weapon emplacements and track the effectiveness of otherwise, of military offensives all in real time. In addition, the development of private satellite communication and navigation networks permit high quality communication and navigation information to be readily available to all participants in the military theatre for use with offensive platforms.CoreManaging Threats and Current Conflicts 2025-26MTS2002MLevel 52025-26The aim of this module is develop knowledge of contemporary strategy and security affairs and the relevant cognitive skills that are required by an officer in the Royal Navy. The module offers a theoretical foundation for the study of war and security issues and goes on to explore the kind of threats that the United Kingdom faces, recent experiences of military intervention, and UK engagement in international institutions. This module focuses on the vast range of international threats and conflicts in contemporary society. It aims to provide students with a body of background knowledge on the Royal Navy has considered, analysed and dealt with such issues in the recent past. In addition to providing a theoretical foundation for understanding modern security threats, it will examine a variety of types of UK military and governmental responses to both previous and potential new international threats.CoreSpecialist Fleet Placement 2025-26MTS2004MLevel 52025-26This module introduces the important scientific concepts and principles that underpin the static and dynamic behaviour of a ship in a seaway and provides a foundation of basic understanding that contributes to the safe operation of a ship or submarine at sea.Core

What You Need to Know

We want you to have all the information you need to make an informed decision on where and what you want to study. In addition to the information provided on this course page, our What You Need to Know page offers explanations on key topics including programme validation/revalidation, additional costs, contact hours, and our return to face-to-face teaching.

How you are assessed

Both knowledge and understanding are tested in coursework assignments, including reports of various kinds, essays, seminars, and other presentations (verbal, poster, or slide), data analyses and interpretations, and assignments. Most modules contain at least one element of coursework. Many modules also make use of unseen examinations, which may require responses as essays, short answers, or a critical response to data, a scenario, case study, or text. Practical assessments require students to demonstrate high levels of competence to ensure fitness to serve and safety of other personnel.

All assignments allow students to practise and refine a selection of the intellectual skills. Feedback is given on each item of coursework, allowing students to improve future performance and learning.

Entry Requirements 2024-25

Entry Requirements

All recruitment is carried out by the Royal Navy and all students are subject to the Officer Recruitment programme. Officer recruitment is a competitive process involving interviews, assessment centre, referencing, and written applications. The minimum academic standard for entry as a Royal Navy Officer is 5 GCSEs A-C (9-4) which must include English Language and Mathematics at grade B/6 or above, and 96 UCAS points gained from A Levels or accepted equivalents.

All Officer Cadets (OCs) joining BRNC in the Warfare Branch (excluding Fleet Air Arm), without a recognised first degree qualification, and who successfully Pass Out (graduate) after Initial Officer Training, are automatically enrolled on the programme and funded by the Royal Navy.

Enrolment and Fees

This FdSc is undertaken by Warfare Officers undertaking the Initial Warfare Officer course (IWOF). Officers on the IWOF who are not graduates are automatically entitled to enrol onto the FdSc programme. Officers on the IWOF who are graduates can apply to enrol on the FdSc programme at a competitive cost supplemented by Learning Credits.

Please contact selborneadmin@lincoln.ac.uk for more information about enrolment or fees.

The University intends to provide its courses as outlined in these pages, although the University may make changes in accordance with the Student Admissions Terms and Conditions.