Bachelor of Naval Architecture Engineering - CDF (Honours)


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 as military vessels, which include frigates, destroyers, patrol vessels, mine hunters and submarines; as trading vessels, which include cargo vessels and container ships; and non-trading vessels, which include fishing boats, sailing craft, tugs, passenger and vehicle ferries, floating cranes, and other specialised boats and ships.

These three categories of marine vehicles can take different forms such as a monohull (the usual single-hull ship or boat), a catamaran (a twin-hull vessel), a hovercraft (an air-cushion vehicle) or a hydrofoil (a vessel that is lifted out of the water by submerged wings). In taking responsibility for the overall design and integration of systems, naval architects must be conversant with a wide variety of skills, covering most forms of engineering. This is because a ship must be a self-sufficient vehicle capable of operating in hostile environmental conditions on the world’s oceans while being able to withstand the loads from the sea and weather.

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 Architecture Engineer

The Australian Naval Shipbuilding Program will provide many roles for naval architects in design, construction and in the operation of the fleet as the nation builds its sovereign capabilities. This activity in particular will span defence, government and industry sectors. Naval architecture firms and consultants are also significant employers of naval architects. In addition to Defence contracts, their work in the field of high-speed ferries has been particularly successful and Australia holds the leading position in the research and development of passenger and cargo catamarans. Designs and completed craft are sold globally. Government departments, both state and federal, employ naval architects as do ship classification societies such as Lloyd’s, DNV, and BV. Ship owners and repairers also employ naval architects.