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Gender Curricula Nautical Science

Course: Nautical Science
Group of courses: Engineering

Course objectives:

  • Sensitisation to gender role patterns in general
  • Sensitisation to the particular situation of women and men working and living together at sea
  • Dealing with typical conflict situations in gender relations
  • Interpersonal leadership skills on-board ship
  • Integration and acceptance of women in a formerly male-dominated area
  • Leadership skills in emergencies

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Teaching content/subject-specific gender studies content:

Gender mainstreaming is also regarded as a cross-sectional task in nautical science degrees, as the concept implies. Elements of gender problems are contained mainly (but not exclusively) in the following modules:

  • HR Management
  • Industrial Law
  • Emergency Management
  • Bridge Team Management (exercises on the Ship Management Simulator)

The subject of gender is most important in the HR Management module. In this module, students are familiarised with the problem of learned gender-role behaviour. In addition to general skills and knowledge on leadership styles, they should learn about gender-specific characteristics. The subject of women on-board ship is addressed with the aim of identifying suitable behaviour for men and women. The HR Management module also deals with problems that can arise with multicultural crews. This also clearly affects issues to do with women, and this area should be addressed in the module. Learning and evaluating conflict-solution strategies is essential teaching content. As part of the gender teaching, typical conflicts between women and men under the living conditions on-board ship should be addressed.

The Industrial Law module deals with the legislation on equal rights and gender democracy.

Leadership in emergencies at sea is covered in the Emergency Management module. As in human resources management in general, this module should address leadership from a gender-specific perspective. Exercises in the Ship Management Simulator are intended to help students manage the complex organisation of working on the bridge (bridge team management). Students can also identify and question gender-specific behaviour in small groups.

In the Healthcare module, students are familiarised with women's health issues to a greater extent than in the past. Teaching should address the problems of treating people of the opposite sex.

Gender aspects are taken into account in other modules (computer science, physics), for example through single-sex groups and gender-specific reflection of findings.

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Integration of gender studies content into the curriculum:

In the HR Management module the students learn about basic sociological and psychological work on gender relations and gender roles (lecture). They should discuss typical situations arising on-board ship, involving their own experiences (discussion). Role-play is also a suitable method. Lecturers need to avoid focusing too intensely on the situation of women on-board ship, as the few women who study nautical science are often tired of having to talk about such issues, and male students tend to become defensive. Thus it is important to address both men and women at the same time.

The modules Industrial Law, Health Studies and Emergency Management also use various teaching methods.

In Bridge Team Management, small groups are formed to run the ship in the simulator. These groups can be mixed-gender or single-gender. In each case, gender-relevant observations should be addressed and discussed during debriefing.

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Degree Stage:

The first encounter with the subject of gender takes place in the first theory semester in the HR management module. This module lays the sociological and psychological foundation on which the following degree modules are built. Directly after gaining the Bachelor's degree (and the certificate for practice as a nautical scientist), students can develop their leadership skills in the Ship Management Simulator, taking the gender question into account.