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, ellipsoid and spherical model; Geodesic curves on the ellipsoid and sphere. Spherical triangles; Spherical trigonometry. (4h)
Systems of Coordinates. Astronomical and ellipsoid coordinates. Grid of geographic coordinates (2h)
Orientation: Basic directions, Surveys, prore and routes (2h)
Land and coastal navigation (2h):
-Consumptive points;
-navigation aids, lighthouses, signals and buoys, pilot books.
Estimated navigation, effects of wind, current and tide, solving problems of currents (4h)
The cartographic problem: representation of the Earth's surface on the plane, linear, angular and surface deformation moduli. (4h)
Classification of maps according to scale, purposes, deformations. Perspective and developmental projections; gnomonic, stereographic and orthographic maps; cylindrical and conical maps; analytical maps. (2h)
Nautical cartography: Mercator chart, nautical plan; charting operations on Mercator chart and Gnomonic chart. (4h)
- Technical English glossary for the correct reading of nautical charts and publications (2h)
Principles of observed navigation. Orientation. Geometric horizon, Geodetic refraction, sea horizon and radar horizon. (2h)
Rhumb line navigation and solving the first and second problems on spherical land and ellipsoidal land. (4h)
Orthodromy and its problems. (4h)
Tides and tide tables (4h)
Principle of operation of echosounder and interpretation of related measurements(2h)
Principle of magnetic and gyro compass operation, determination of magnetic and gyro compass errors and their reduction (6h)

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:
-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

Course in blended mode. Microsoft Teams platform
code 3fx22ky


The teaching material consists of lecture notes available on Teams channel
of the course.
-The American Practical Navigator -Bowditch

Learning assessment

The objective of the examination is to test the level of achievement of the previously stated educational objectives.
Two multiple-choice and/or open-ended inter-course tests are provided.
Students who do not pass the minimum score of 18 points on each test will have to pass the oral test.
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.