Getting to Know Nautical Science

Getting to Know Nautical Science

Previously, we talked briefly about how the maritime and shipping industry is a solid industry wherein skilled personnel are always in demand. That is because global trade relies on it. Maritime, shipping and logistics is only set to grow as the world becomes more connected and more trade occurs between countries.

In this article, we will look a bit more in depth into nautical science, a closely related industry that deals with the navigation, management and maintenance of a ship.  


What is nautical science exactly? 

Nautical science basically teaches sailors how to safely operate and maintain a ship. It also teaches you how to navigate out at sea based on celestial and terrestrial configurations. Nautical science will also involve the study of how to operate different types and sizes of vessels in a safe, efficient and cost-effective manner. Graduates with a nautical science certification will be certified seafarers who can work their way up the ranks; beginning as a deck officer and potentially becoming a Ship’s Captain. 

Depending on your institution of higher learning, subjects may include mathematics, physics and chemistry, marine communications, port management, maritime law and management, offshore technology, navigation, seamanship, cargo work, ship construction, meteorology, ship stability, safety and more. 


What’s the difference between nautical science and marine engineering? 

Nautical science graduates are sailors. They will be able to navigate vessels of different types and sizes, maneuvering the vessel through the waves and hauling cargo through the oceans. They must be able to bring the vessel safely from port to port, in various types of waters, terrain and weather conditions. Hands-on training is a must for deck officers. 

Marine engineers are trained to design, construct and maintain structures out at sea. This could be an offshore oil and gas rig. They could also be maintaining the machinery within ships, boats, yachts and so forth. Basically, marine engineers work below-deck while nautical science graduates become deck officers who work above-deck. Both are integral to the well being and efficacy of the sea-going vessel. 


Job opportunities for nautical science graduates: 

As a nautical science qualification holder, you may be able to secure a job upon one of the following vessels: 

  • Container ships
  • Cargo ships
  • Deep water berths
  • Bulk carriers
  • Cruise liners
  • Oil and gas tankers and ferries
  • Dredging companies
  • Tugs 
  • Mega yachts
  • Seismic and exploration vessels 
  • Off-shore energy vessels 


As a deck officer, some of your roles and responsibilities will include: 

  • Maintenance officer
  • Ship handling
  • Ship operations
  • Navigation
  • Voyage planning
  • Cargo handling, loading and care
  • Overlooking safety of crew and environment
  • Cargo watch
  • Administration 


And here are some skills you will learn: 

  • Sea survival
  • Navigation training
  • Nautical mathematics
  • First aid training
  • Health and safety training
  • Meteorology training
  • Voyage planning 
  • Fire fighting
  • Problem solving
  • Communication
  • Organization
  • Resourcefulness
  • Leadership
  • Decision-making
  • And so much more! 


A sample of nautical science subjects at a Malaysian college 

If you’re curious, here’s a rundown on subjects within the diploma for nautical science course at an institution like Ranaco Education and Training Institute: 

  • Marine Safety I,II,III
  • Marine Cargo Operation
  • Maritime Law and Convention
  • Basic Ship Theory I,II
  • Nautical Knowledge I,II,III,IV
  • Meteorology I,II
  • Engineering Mathematics I,II
  • Dry Bulk and Tanker Operation
  • Maritime Knowledge and Report Writing
  • Engineering Physic I,II
  • Electric and Electronic

Ranaco Education and Training Institute or RETI specializes in producing knowledgeable graduates who are well-prepared to join the industry upon graduation. The diploma of nautical science here exposes students to the ins and outs of the maritime industry, creating attractive employees for offshore and coastal employers. 

In 2 years, learn everything you need to kick-start a career out on the wide open ocean. Excited to learn more about nautical science? Simply register your interest here today. Diploma in Nautical Studies – Ranaco Education & Training Institute – Ranaco Education & Training Institute (

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