Mariia Dushenko PhD Research Fellow in Nautical Operations

PhD in Nautical Operations – Joint Degree

The doctoral programme trains qualified candidates for research, teaching, dissemination and innovation work, and other activities where there is a requirement for scientific insight and an operational maritime focus.

Study facts

  • Campus: Vestfold
  • Credits: 180
  • Duration: 3 years
  • Teaching Language: English
  • Admission requirements

    Admission requirements

    We require ta relevant 120-credit master's degree – based on a bachelor's degree of 180 credits – with good results, or an integrated master's degree of 300 credits. An individual assessment of the competence of applicants with a master's degree of less than 120 credits may be done. Other education equivalent to missing credits in the master's degree must be documented.

  • Academic background

    Academic background

    Examples of fields of study that qualify for admission include maritime management, nautical studies, occupational and organisational psychology, fire and safety, meteorology and oceanography, marine engineering.

  • How to qualify and be accepted into the programme external
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Tanker. Photo.

About the programme

The National Joint PhD Programme in Nautical Operations is organised as a joint degree between the following four national higher education institutions offering professional maritime education:

The National Joint PhD Programme in Nautical Operations will educate qualified candidates for research, teaching, dissemination and innovation work, and other activities requiring scientific insight and an operational maritime focus. 

Implementation of complex nautical operations today requires interdisciplinarity and differentiated competence, including research expertise, for the safe and efficient planning, implementation and evaluation of nautical operations. 

The programme has the following vision: to create an internationally recognized national PhD degree in nautical operations.

This vision will be achieved through the following overall objectives:

  1. Strengthen the multidisciplinary national expertise in nautical operations through collaboration between the four higher education institutions in Norway with professional maritime education.
  2. The PhD Programme in Nautical Operations is the preferred Programme in the field and attracts good applicants nationally and internationally from major maritime nations.
  3. Individuals graduating from the Programme are in demand both nationally and internationally because they have a strong and relevant research-based expertise and the ability to innovate and adapt.
  4. Increase value creation and innovation through close cooperation between academia, maritime industry and public sector.
  5. The multidisciplinary national competence related to nautical operations constitutes an internationally recognised professional environment that sets the terms for the development of knowledge in the field.

Academic content

Nautical operations consist of two subject areas:

  • Nautical studies that include navigation, maneuvering and transport of floating craft, and operations, indicating that the PhD program will focus on applied research to support, improve and develop the activities undertaken.
  • The operational perspective includes strategic, tactical and operational aspects. Strategic levels include the choice of type and size of a ship fleet. Tactical aspects concern the design of individual ships and the selection of equipment and staff. The operational aspects include planning, implementation and evaluation of nautical operations.

There is a compulsory joint maritime course offered at all the four institutions.

Study Plan

A study plan describes the content, structure and organization of a study programme. To each study plan there is a set of course plans that describe the different courses. In the course plan you will also find a reading list. Below you will find a study model that shows you which courses that are taught in each term. In the study model you'll also find links to each course plan.

Latest published study plan for phd in nautical operations – joint degree

Learning outcomes

After completing the doctoral programme, the candidate shall have achieved the following overall learning outcomes:


The candidate:

  • is at the knowledge forefront of national and international research on nautical operations and their importance for efficiency and safety, 
  • can contribute to theory or technology development in nautical operations and to generate new knowledge, methods and/or practices relevant to nautical operations,
  • has a thorough knowledge of scientific theory that is relevant to the candidate's research field,
  • can assess the appropriateness of different research methodologies and methods for data generation and analysis related to nautical operations, 
  • has thorough knowledge of maritime stakeholders and their interrelations. 


The candidate can:

  • formulate scientifically founded research problems stemming from current research in order to plan and carry out research on nautical operations at an international level,
  • carry out research on nautical operations to generate new knowledge,
  • generate, process and analyse empirical data to present research findings in a way that qualifies for international peer-reviewed publication, 
  • identify and analyse the need for knowledge, development and change of technology, decision making processes and operational decisions.

General Competence

The candidate can:

  • identify relevant new ethical challenges and problems in one's own research and practice research with professional integrity, 
  • disseminate research and development findings via national and international publications and conference presentations, 
  • participate in professional maritime networks with other researchers, both nationally and internationally, 
  • manage complex multidisciplinary assignments and projects, 
  • contribute to creativity and innovation within one's field of research in collaboration with other stakeholders in the maritime industry.


At our partners website you will find the elective courses specifically developed for this programme.

  • USN courses for the programme: 
  • PN-SYS9000 - Systems Thinking 7,5 credits
  • PN-TA9000 - Task Analysis in Maritime Socio-technical systems, 5 credits
  • PN-DM9000 - Decision Making and Performance Assessment, 5 credits
  • PN-ML9000 - Maritime Logistics and Port Operation Management, 5 credits

Doctoral projects and candidates

Research groups