Università degli Studi di Napoli "Parthenope"

Teaching schedule

Academic year: 
Belonging course: 
Course of Bachelor's Degree Programme on COMMAND AND MANAGEMENT OF A MARINE VESSEL
Disciplinary sector: 
Year of study: 
First Semester
Hours of front activity: 



Course description

The course is designed to provide the student with the theoretical and practical foundations of terrestrial, coastal and ocean navigation including the use of navigation aids.
Knowledge and understanding: The student must demonstrate knowledge and know how to understand the issues related to the positioning of a vehicle on the surface of the earth, to the design and control of the trajectories.

Ability to apply knowledge and understanding The student must demonstrate that he is able to use the acquired concepts and the tools necessary to proceed to the design of trajectories and their cartographic representation.

Making judgments: Students must be able to autonomously evaluate situations different from the standard ones presented by the teacher during the course and to adopt the best solution methods.

Communication skills: The student must have the ability to present a paper related to navigational topics using correctly the scientific language.

Learning skills: The student must be able to update himself continuously, through the consultation of texts and publications (also in English) in order to acquire the ability to deepen the topics of the Navigation sector.


Basic on mathematics


The figure of the Earth: geoid, ellipsoidal and spherical model; Geodetic curves on the ellipsoid and on the sphere. Spherical triangles; Spherical trigonometry. (4h)
Coordinate systems. Astronomical and ellipsoidal coordinates. Geographic coordinates grid (2h)
Orientation: Fundamental Directions, Bearings, Headings and Courses(4h)
Principle of operation of the magnetic compass, determination of errors of the magnetic compass and their reduction (4h)
Land and coastal navigation (2h):
- conspicuous points;
- navigation aids, lighthouses, signals and buoys, pilot books.
dead reckoning, effects of wind, current and tide, troubleshooting of currents (4h)
Operating principle of the depth sounder (2h)
The cartographic problem: the representation of the Earth's surface on the plane, linear, angular and surface deformation modules. (4h)
Classification of the cards according to the scale, the purposes, the deformations. Perspective and development projections; gnomonic, stereographic and orthographic maps; cylindrical and conical papers; analytical papers. (2h)
Nautical cartography: Mercator chart, nautical plan; correspondence operations on Mercator and Gnomonic maps. (4h)
- English technical glossary for the correct reading of nautical charts and publications (2h)
Principles of navigation observed. Orientation. Geometric horizon, geodesic refraction, marine horizon and radar horizon. (2h)
Rhumb line navigation and resolution of the first and second problems on spherical and ellipsoidal earth. (4h)
Great circle and its problems. (2h)
Tides and tide tables (4h)

The course deals with the basic elements of navigation, with reference to the mathematical surface and to the methods for representing relevant points and paths.
The course furnishes some competencies required by the STCW Convention, as amended, for Deck Officers, embodied in the MIT decree dated 19th December 2016, namely “Percorso formativo per accedere alle figure professionali di Allievo Ufficiale di Coperta e Allievo Ufficiale di Macchina”.

Particularly, the course furnishes the following competencies, listed in the Attachment I of the above-mentioned decree, for Deck Officer Cadets:
- Terrestrial and coastal navigation: landmarks; aids to navigation, including lighthouses, beacons and buoys;
- dead reckoning, taking into account winds, tides, currents and estimated speed;
- nautical charts and nautical publications
- Adequate knowledge of the English language to enable the officer to use charts and other nautical publications;
- Operating principle of echo-sounding equipment
- Operating principle of magnetic compass equipment
- Determination of errors of magnetic compasses and their reduction.

Teaching Methods

on Microsoft Teams platform
code h3e3rc8


The teaching material consists of lecture notes available on e-learning service of Science and Technologies Department at :
-The American Practical Navigator -Bowditch

Learning assessment

The objective of the exam is to check the level of achievement of the training goals previously indicated.
The exam consists of an oral examination during which students shall discuss several aspects of Navigation.
The exam is passed if the candidate reaches the minimum score of 18/30

More information

Lectures are in Italian. The professor is fluent in English and is available to interact with students in English, also during the examination.