Advanced Master in Smart Maritime Systems

This course aims to train high-level technical executives, specialised in the emerging topic of the design and operation of autonomous maritime systems, by giving them dual competencies, on the one hand in the mechanical design of maritime systems, and on the other hand in software engineering, control of smart systems and cybersecurity.

It is operated jointly by ENSTA Paris, with a long tradition in engineering and design in maritime engineering, and the ENSM, heir to the Colbert hydrographic schools, which has been training merchant navy officers for centuries.

Presentation of the Advanced Master in Smart Maritime Systems


The movement towards the autonomising of maritime systems is far-reaching and has many ramifications in all related fields of marine engineering. Whether in the transport sector (automation of container ships, work in progress for the development of the first 100% autonomous goods transporter from 2020), energy (monitoring and maintenance of oil wells, automated prospecting, cartography), in the military (use of drones for surveillance, mine detection, etc.) or civil fields, many opportunities will be offered to students who will have both technical and computer skills that will help them to understand the different aspects of autonomous maritime systems.

Businesses in the maritime sector developing autonomous technologies and interested in these profiles range from the petroleum and para-petroleum sector (TechnipFMC, Saipem, Doris Engineering, d2m, etc.) to the marine energy sectors (Woodgroup Kenny, Principle Power, EOLFI, etc.), not leaving out the major groups in shipbuilding (Naval Group, STX, etc.), certification (BureauVeritas, DNV-GL) and ship armaments.

The size of the employer groups is very variable, ranging from very large groups (TechnipFMC, Naval Group, STX, etc.) to small and medium-sized enterprises engaged in niche sectors for autonomous maritime systems (SubseaTech, iXBlue, Sofresud, COMEX , AlseaMar, etc.) used for inspection, maintenance, mapping, data collection in the broad sense.

Objectives of the course

The applications of autonomous systems in the maritime sector constitute a strongly growing demand and a major vector of development. While ROVs (Remotly Operated Vehicles) and AUVs (Autonomous Underwater Vehicles) are now well established in the maritime sector, whether for maintenance or prospecting operations, new application ideas are emerging with the advent of autonomous surface transport systems, the increasing use of artificial intelligence on board (decision-making support), the existence of mapping services and remote operations.

The aim of the course is to give students a dual mechanical and computer competency so that they can be experts understanding the ins and outs of the programs under development on maritime autonomous systems. This basic training is supplemented by advanced concepts in systems engineering, operations, law and regulations and strategy and innovation, in order to supplement knowledge with an operational approach. The partnership between the ENSTA Paris and the ENSM enables combining a very high level of technical competence with customary business practices to form versatile profiles, specialised in autonomous systems.

Course programme 

The main objectives of the course are to provide the technical, operational, regulatory and economic bases for the design and operation of autonomous maritime systems, in order to train specialists capable of developing themselves in this emerging sector.

The course was thus designed around 4 areas of skills, which concern respectively:

  • Design in a marine environments: the hydromechanical bases necessary for the design of autonomous marine systems (naval hydrodynamics, seakeeping, stability, propulsion and maneuverability, systems engineering, underwater robotics).
  • Decision-making autonomy and cybersecurity: system control, navigation of mobile robots, architecture of information systems and cybersecurity.
  • The operation of autonomous systems: advantages and constraints, missions already carried out by autonomous systems, perspectives and prospects for autonomy in maritime engineering.
  • Regulation, strategy and innovation: international, European and national maritime regulations, industrial economy and innovation economy, applied to the maritime domain and to autonomous systems.

Admission requirements

This advanced master is open to French or foreign applicants holding a degree:

  • of Bac + 5 in engineering, DEA or DESS, Masters, or equivalent,

  • at Bac + 4 level and with at least 3 years of professional experience.

Course fees for 2021-2022

The fees include participation in classes, documents, the use of computers and business visits (travel costs included):

  • •    Individual rate: €7,000

The individual rate is applicable to people who have just finished an initial education course and have not yet been employed and to people seeking employment upon presentation of proof.

  • •    Business and self-employed rate: €12,000

In addition, there is a €200 enrolment fee.

Selection and schedule

Execution of the course, place and language of instruction

The course lasts for 13 months: September to March: classes / April to September: internship in a business, drafting of the thesis and defence in front of a panel of professionals. The course is dispensed at the ENSTA Paris (Palaiseau). One week will be spent at the ENSM (Marseille site). 

This advanced master is taught in English.


Scientific officer