Degree Bachelor of Science, STCW Certificate of Competency for Nautical Watch Officers
Start of study Winter semester, Summer semester
Application period Winter semester 01 June until 15 July
Application period Summer semester 15 December until 15 January
Standard period of study 8 semesters
Credits 240

Yes: Newly accredited under laws governing the profession and university law in 2020

Admission restricted No
Admission requirements
  • General higher education entrance qualification (Abitur) or entrance qualification for studies at universities of applied sciences (Fachhochschulreife) or placement examination/special admission
  • English language level B2 (TOEFL/IELTS)
Language of instruction English
Faculty/institution School of Nature and Engineering
Integrated stay abroad Yes

You want to travel the globe on different ships and ship types and you enjoy working with people from different cultures? Then come on board!

In the international degree programme in Ship Management - Nautical Sciences B.Sc., you will learn everything to do with seafaring, from navigation and manoeuvring to ship technology, business administration and maritime law.

Information on start of study

A start of study in the summer semester is only possible for advanced students.

Career prospects

As a graduate of the international programme in Ship Management - Nautical Sciences B.Sc., you will be a qualified specialist in many ways!

The primary initial goal is to be able to take over duties as officer of the watch on board a ship, in which capacity you will be responsible for navigational supervision and other tasks such as supervising loading and discharging operations. After two to three years of professional experience as a watch officer, you can apply for the certificate of competency as a 1st officer – and in a further 12 months, for a captain’s certificate.

Maritime shipping is a dynamic market full of challenging opportunities for seafaring careers. In the next few years, there will also be a growing need for sea pilots, who do not have to stay on board for such long periods.

As a graduate of the degree programme, you will also be qualified for the onshore maritime labour market. Your nautical knowledge is in demand in many areas, including shipping, the energy industry, maritime software, port logistics, shipping administration as well as maritime training and education.

Overall, the career prospects can be described as very good. Graduates of the degree programme work in the following occupational fields:

  • Commercial shipping in Germany
  • Pilotage
  • International commercial shipping
  • QSHE management
  • Crewing
  • Ship & fleet management
  • Shipping-related professions (auditing, surveying, vetting inspection, ...)
  • Offshore wind, gas and oil operations (nautical inspector, traffic control, project manager, QSHE management, ...)
  • Port logistics (cargo surveyor, ship/cargo planning, transport management, ...)
  • Shipping-related subcontracting (product management, sales, ...)
  • Software industry (product managers, application consultants and developers, ...)
  • Maritime training and education (teachers, lecturers in further education, trainers, ...)
  • Public sector (shipping authorities, water police, federal police, ...)

Upcoming events

Programme structure

Although the aim of the programme is to provide a generalist and multifaceted training in the field, you will still be able to choose specialisations, such as:

  • Navigation and meteorology
  • Watchkeeping, marine communication and manoeuvring
  • Ship technology, ship safety, fleet management
  • Cargo technology (tankers, dry cargo, dangerous goods)
  • Maritime law and personnel management

In addition, there are several modules such as health on board, marine radio and compulsory elective subjects in which you can further deepen your knowledge in maritime management or on specific cargo or ship-related focal points.

Examination regulations (German)

Practice orientation

Projects and simulators

In the first semester, you will carry out an applied seamanship project (12 days) on the Sail Training Ship ‘Alexander von Humboldt 2’. You will also be introduced to the subject area of Blue Sciences, together with students from the ‘Shipping & Chartering’ programme and ‘Shipbuilding & Marine Technology’.

Some of the modules you take involve sophisticated simulators:

  • ARPA [5 days - Radar Simulator]
  • ECDIS [5 days - ECDIS simulator]
  • Ship Handling/Watchkeeping [7 days - Ship Handling Simulator]
  • Safety Management [2 days - Ship Handling Simulator]
  • Bridge Resource Management [6 days - Ship Handling Simulator]

Other such facilities include the Liquid Cargo Simulator and the Ship Engine Simulator.

Time spent at sea

To obtain a nautical certificate of competency, you must provide evidence of having been on board ship for a total of 12-months. During this hands-on training period you can gain valuable insight into life and work on board. At the beginning of this seafaring experience, the focus is on familiarising yourself with the activities and procedures on board. You then progressively apply and deepen the theoretical knowledge gained during your studies of on-board practice.

The time at sea can be spent:

  • as a trainee (status on board: student) or
  • training to become an NOA (nautical officer's assistant) or
  • a ship's mechanic.

Within the degree programme, the 3rd and 6th semesters are earmarked for seafaring experience, in which 6 months must be spent on-board ship in each case. However, there are various other options. The programme is structured very flexibly so that individual plans can be implemented.

For instance, the entire 12 months of compulsory sailing time can also be completed before the start of the degree programme (e.g. as part of training to be a ship's mechanic or NOA). The semester that is then freed-up can be put to good use for further specialisation, preparation of the Bachelor's thesis, gaining experience with pilots or onshore companies or even additional sailing time, in which case the study programme is extended by about 3 months.

You can discuss how to optimally schedule the programme to fit your personal plans with the programme’s placement appointee. There are plenty of options and exciting prospects for interesting seagoing experience.

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The Ship Management - Nautical Sciences degree programme has a pronounced international orientation.

The language of instruction in all the modules you take in the programme is English. As English is also the predominant language spoken on board, in shipping companies and indeed the whole shipping community, a mastery of the language is an important recruitment criterion. HSB students and graduates alike constantly stress the significance of this factor for all nautical activities and there is a strong focus on promoting your language competence throughout your studies. It may be a bit unfamiliar at the beginning, but you will quickly get used to it.

Exchange programmes such as ERASMUS give you the opportunity to spend a semester studying at a partner university abroad. The HSB has cooperation agreements with universities spread all over the world.

Your fellow students on the degree programme come from many different countries, although German students make up the majority. But there are also students from other countries in Europe, Asia, Africa, South and North America. The ISMN programme therefore also offers an intensive intercultural exchange and promotes a common understanding of each other.

  • Ein Piktogramm, das eine Person darstellt

    „I study ship management and nautical sciences at the Hochschule Bremen, which is a really international degree programme. All lectures are in English and students come from all over the world. It is the best preparation for a maritime career.“

    Jonas B. 6th semester

  • Ein Piktogramm, das eine Person darstellt

    „I am particularly fascinated by the modules and teaching style, which aim to foster students' intellectual development and independent learning skills which are so important for further professional and personal development. Most interestingly, the programme boasts an excellent reputation in the graduate job market.“

    Ejike Nwoye 7th semester


  1. Information

    Check the application deadlines and admission requirements for your desired degree programme.

    Questions about the degree programme can be answered by the contact persons on the degree programme pages. If you have any further questions about your decision to study at HSB, our advisory and service institutions will be happy to help.

Achim Boehme Scholarship


Winter 2020-2021 academic year

Who may apply:

  • ISSC and ISMN students enrolled at Hochschule Bremen – City University of Applied Sciences are eligible to apply.
  • ISSC and ISMN students who are facing financial challenges due to personal circumstances are especially encouraged to apply.


In honour of the late Achim Boehme and his commitment to and achievements in providing maritime education, the Lomar Deutschland GmbH established the Achim Boehme Scholarship. This scholarship offers 500 euros monthly for one year. The scholarship may be renewed each year for a maximum of 6 semesters of full-time studies. The Achim Boehme Scholarship is open only to registered ISSC and ISMN students at HSB.

Frequently asked questions

The information contained in this section targets the applicants below and aims at providing answers to the questions about the admission process for the degree program International Ship Management - Nautical Sciences B.Sc. (ISMN):

  • German applicants
  • Foreign applicants who have a German higher education entrance qualification or who want to know how to obtain it
  • Applicants who have completed a study in Nautical Sciences or a maritime-related program or hold a (foreign) Certificate of Competency, have worked onboard a ship greater than 500 GT engaged in worldwide trade as an Officer or Deck Cadet


Head of programme

Questions about application and admission

Service for (prospective) students