Technology (Maritime Operations) MSc

Why choose this course?

The Technology (Maritime Operations) MSc was developed in partnership by the Royal Navy and Kingston University. The programme accredits the learning achieved during professional naval branch training.

It is open only to applications from people who have successfully completed at least one of the following courses:

  • UK Royal Navy principal warfare officer (PWO) training course.
  • Royal Australian Navy principal warfare officer (PWO) training course.

Kingston University is a recognised provider for the UK military Enhanced Learning Credit Scheme (ELC) and thus eligible candidates are welcome to partially fund their course in this way.

The Royal Australian Navy Education Branch provides financial support to some of its officers undertaking this award.

The application process is ongoing throughout the year, with four start points – August November, February and May – to provide flexibility. The course is targeted for completion within two years, and must be completed within four years.

Mode Duration Attendance Start date
Part time 2 years Fully work-based learning February, August

Reasons to choose Kingston University

  • This course is supported by the Royal Navy (RN) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN).
  • Kingston University is a recognised provider for the UK military Enhanced Learning Credit Scheme (ELC) and thus eligible candidates are welcome to partially fund their course in this way.
  • The Royal Australian Navy provides financial support to some of their officers undertaking this award. 

What you will study

Of the 180 credits at the required level required for a masters degree, the majority of these credits will come from successful completion of the PWO course (and the training leading up to this course). 120 credits is the maximum that can be gained as recognised prior learning (RPL) from completing the above naval course, and this is achieved by almost all UK Royal Navy PWO officer applicants. However, the level of credit awarded can be influenced by a number of factors, notably on how recently the course has been completed, and the level of relevant experience gained by an individual since completion. A short written assignment may be required from applicants in support of their request for RPL to gain credits towards this course. Royal Australian Navy (RAN) principal warfare officers, in general, need to undertake this extra assignment.

The remaining credits required to complete the masters degree are gained through work-based assignments whilst registered for this MSc at Kingston University. Such study is fully work based and attendance at the University is not required, except for a final presentation and oral examination (viva). In some cases the viva may be permitted by video link, for example, the vivas of RAN officers, but these are exceptions. Gaining the remaining credits requires the candidate to write an academic paper and a final reflective summary, and to undertake a presentation and oral examination (this will include critical reflection on their naval career to date). If the full 120 credits for prior learning are not awarded, the balance is made up by the completion of additional work-based assignments, agreed between the candidate and the University.

Full access to online library and literature database resources is available to all students remotely. University supervisors, with experience of working with the Royal Navy, provide support by tutoring and advising you throughout your programme. This may be provided face to face, via Skype or FaceTime, over the telephone or via email exchanges. Every effort is made to accommodate your working patterns, where possible.

Course structure

There are three stages to this programme:

  • Stage one: assessment of prior learning
  • Stage two: an academic paper on a topic related to maritime operations
  • Stage three: a reflective summary, presentation and oral examination (viva voce)

For a student to go on placement they are required to pass every module first time with no reassessments.

The information above reflects the currently intended course structure and module details. Updates may be made on an annual basis and revised details will be published through Programme Specifications ahead of each academic year. The regulations governing this course are available on our website. If we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this may not be offered.

Entry requirements

Typical offer

The programme is currently open only to applications from people who have successfully completed at least one of the following:

  • UK Royal Navy PWO officer training course
  • Royal Australian Navy PWO officer training course

Please note: each application is assessed on an individual basis and may be subject to additional requirements, such as undertaking short course(s), work experience and/or English language qualification(s). Meeting particular minimum entry requirements does not automatically guarantee a place.

Teaching and assessment

Guided independent study

When not attending timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. This typically will involve reading journal articles and books, working on individual and group projects, undertaking preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for exams. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities including online resources, the library and CANVAS, the online virtual learning platform.

Support for postgraduate students

As a student at Kingston University, we will make sure you have access to appropriate advice regarding your academic development. You will also be able to use the University's support services

Feedback summary

We aim to provide feedback on assessments within 20 working days.

Class sizes

You will be part of an intimate cohort of students which provides dedicated academic guidance and advice as well as the opportunity to build a life-long network of colleagues. Some modules are common across other postgraduate programmes therefore you may be taught alongside students who are on these courses within the School.

Who teaches this course?

This course is fully work-based, with no campus based contact with the students. Teaching is done by Skype sessions, and email feedback.

There are no typical modes of teaching such as lectures, seminars or workshops.

Postgraduate students may run or assist in lab sessions and may also contribute to the teaching of seminars under the supervision of the module leader.

Fees for this course

Home and European Union 2020/21

  • MSc part time £3,400

Overseas (not EU) 2020/21

  • MSc part time £5,250

Home and European Union 2019/20

  • MSc part time year 1: £3,200
  • MSc part time year 2: £400

Overseas (not EU) and all holders of RAN PWO 2019/20

  • MSc part time year 1: £5,000
  • MSc part time year 2: £0 (included with year 1)

Where this course will take you

The Maritime Operations course helps to prepare you for roles such as:

  • More senior positions in the RN (RAN)
  • Civilian posts when retiring from the RN (RAN)

Who we work with

This course is supported by both the Royal Navy (RN) and the Royal Australian Navy (RAN). Candidates from all nations who have successfully completed the RN PWO course or the RAN PWO course are welcome to apply to join this course.

This award has now been in place for more than 15 years and has been supported throughout that time by the Royal Navy.

How this course is delivered

A masters degree by learning agreement recognises the learning involved in completing work-based projects and awards learning that takes place at work. This allows you to be credited for what you are already learning and the contribution you are making to your organisation's success.

Each learning goal will have allocated points score associated with it. Successful completion of each learning goal will result in these points being awarded to you. A masters degree will be awarded when 180 points are accumulated. Of the 180 credits at the required level required for a master's degree, the majority of these credits, usually 120, will come from successful completion of the PWO course (and the training leading up to this course).

This points method of evaluating the value of student work is standard across the academic sector, and so provides a clear indication that work-based learning meets the criteria of a national standard.

Experience has shown that a large proportion of learning undertaken by working professionals holding a PWO qualification is at masters level. The majority of a Technology (Maritime Operations) MSc programme can therefore be constructed from a set of goals linked to the work activities of officers enrolling on the course, enabling each of them to have their own unique programme content.

What this course offers you

  • Designed and developed for Royal Navy Warfare Officers.
  • Course can be undertaken entirely in the workplace.
  • Assignments are based around a candidate's past and current work.
  • Supervisor support from a tutor with long experience of working with the Royal Navy.
  • No fixed dates for completing assignments, only a total time to undertake the course.