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BAMM3003 Operation and management of ships in polar areas

Course description for academic year 2024/2025

Contents and structure

The course has four modules:

Module 1: Current international and local regulations in polar waters and policy and management in the northern waters

Module 2: Basics of sea ice, ice mechanics, icing, polar meteorology/oceanography. Ice navigation, planning, handling and operations of vessels in ice with simulator training

Module 3: Maritime preparedness in polar waters, including SAR and oil spill preparedness. Communication, infrastructure and logistics in polar waters

Module 4: Materials science, technical safety, ice and cold effects in cold climates. Ship technology and classification of vessels that will operate in polar waters

This is an elective course, and it has not been decided whether this course will take place in the academic year 2024/2025.

Learning Outcome


The student must have knowledge of

  • local regulations and international laws and international cooperation that regulate conditions such as the environment and preparedness for polar waters
  • different types of ice conditions, ice types, basic ice mechanics and special meteorological and oceanographic conditions
  • special navigational conditions that must be taken into account when planning, navigating and operating ships in polar waters
  • the effect of ice on the hull during sailing in ice and on dangers in connection with icing on vessels that can lead to reduced stability, de-icing of rescue equipment and deck equipment
  • challenges in handling emergency preparedness in polar waters with focus on resources and communication conditions
  • various aspects of increased ship traffic in polar waters with focus on the environment and oil spill preparedness
  • the impact of the cold temperatures on the ship and how this can weaken technical systems, lead to the bursting of ice in tanks, pipelines, etc.
  • techniques for winterization and how to protect ships and crew against the effects of cold temperatures in polar areas


The student must be able to

  • read and understand relevant regulations of importance for planning nautical operations in polar waters
  • plan sailing in polar areas by taking into account the dangers posed by different ice conditions and polar meteorological and oceanographic conditions, including reading and interpreting the different types of ice charts that exist
  • plan operations in ice based on the resources available and using tools such as POLARIS
  • anticipate what dangers prevailing ice conditions have on the ship and hull and determine the hull's limitations for operations in polar waters
  • decide whether there is a risk of icing on the ship, and whether this can be reduced or avoided

General competence

The student must be able to

  • plan and carry out nautical operations in polar waters that are safe for humas, the environment and assets

Entry requirements


Recommended previous knowledge

The course is part of a transition arrangement from a 2-year maritime technical vocational school to a bachelor's degree.

Teaching methods

Session-based teaching

Compulsory learning activities

100 % mandatory attendance at lectures and 2 simulator exercises


Semester paper, group-based

Grading scale A-F

Examination support material

All aids allowed

More about examination support material