The Cranfield Safety and Accident Investigation Centre successfully delivered this exciting new marine accident investigation course for the first time in 2013.

The course content was carefully developed in close collaboration with the accident investigation community, including the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch, and with the endorsement of the Centre’s Industry Advisory Board.

The course concentrates on applying techniques to the specialised aspects of marine accidents and serious incidents.

A major element of the course is a five-day simulation exercise. The exercise covers many aspects including: team management; site safety and security; media management; site management; working with recorded data; documentation investigation; accident site photography; witness interviewing; analysis techniques; formal report writing and development of safety recommendations.

The course includes the opportunity to visit the UK’s Marine Accident Investigation Branch’s (MAIB) offices and meet their staff, who will be lecturing on various aspects of casualty investigation, including technical data analysis.

At a glance

  • Dates
    • Please enquire for course dates
  • DurationThree weeks
  • LocationCranfield campus
  • Cost

    Course fee: £5,150.  
    The course fee includes refreshments and lunch during the day. Accommodation is not included and must be booked separately*.

    Accommodation fee: £1,825

    *Please note that accommodation in Southampton, including all meals and transport from the university to Southampton on the Sunday of week one, and the return journey on the Thursday evening of week two, is included in the course fee. All other accommodation must be booked separately.


    Concessions available

Course structure

The course topics are explored in conjunction with case studies, technical visits to maritime institutions and marine infrastructure facilities. A major element of the course is a five-day simulation exercise. The course is formally assessed and, when combined with the Fundamentals of Accident Investigation course, completes the core element of the PGCert in Safety and Accident Investigation. 

What you will learn

On successful completion, you will have gained the skills needed to confidently conduct a marine accident investigation.

Core content

This intense three-week course provides a practical approach to investigating marine accidents encompassing the technical, operational and human aspects of investigation:

• International basis for marine accident investigations.
• State Director of Marine Accidents' perspective.
• Managing a marine accident investigation.
• Marine accident site risk management.
• Evidence preservation and collection strategies.
• Enhanced interview techniques.
• Five-day accident simulation exercise.
• Accident report writing.
• Working with the media.
• Marine operational and engineering human factors.
• Physiology, psychology and pathology in marine accidents.
• Applied analysis methods.
• Investigating navigational accidents.
• Investigating machinery failures.
• Investigating with recorded data.
• Investigating ship fires and explosions.
• Investigating structural & stability accidents.
• Investigating marine occupational health accidents.
• Visit to UK MAIB.

Upgrade to a professional qualification

Many of the short courses within the Safety and Accident Investigation Centre are available as standalone CPD courses. Our postgraduate programme in Safety and Accident Investigation allows you to combine the Fundamentals of Accident Investigation and Applied Marine Accident Investigation course towards a Postgraduate Certificate.

Structure of accident investication course

Who should attend

The course is aimed at those who may have to conduct, or participate in, a marine accident investigation. This may be in the role of official investigator for a State or as a representative of a manufacturer, operator, service provider, insurer or regulator.

The course is designed for applicants who have completed the Fundamentals of Accident Investigation course and have gained the necessary basic investigation skills. However, other applicants with an appropriate background, initial training and experience will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

There are no formal qualifications for entry. All lectures and workshops will be delivered in English. Due to the intensity of the course a thorough knowledge of the English language is important.


One of the key benefits of this course is our ability to bring together a world-class group of experts to share their experiences with delegates. This includes accident investigators and experts in:

• International aspects of marine accident investigation.
• Managing major marine accidents and family liaison.
• Management of risk in the marine industry.
• Marine operations and safety management.
• Enhanced witness interviewing techniques.
• Marine navigation, collisions and groundings.
• Structural failure modes, marine engineering, fires and explosions.
• Media relations.
• Human performance in marine operations.
• Voyage data manipulation and interpretation.
• Health and safety in marine investigations.


Where three delegates or more are booking from within one site or one organisation, a discount of 10% will apply to the invoice for the course tuition fee. Accommodation fees are not included in the discount scheme. Please ask about our discount scheme at time of booking.

Accommodation options and prices

Accommodation is not included in the course fee and must be booked separately.

Accommodation is available at Mitchell Hall, which is located on campus. All rooms are en-suite and bookings are on a half-board basis.

Due to the course’s intensive nature and emphasis on group work, we strongly advise that delegates book our accommodation package.

Please indicate on the registration form whether you would like to book our accommodation package and we will arrange this for you accordingly*.

Alternatively, you may wish to make your own arrangements at a nearby hotel.

Please note that accommodation in Southampton, including all meals and transport from the university to Southampton on the Sunday of week one, and the return journey on the Thursday evening of week two, is included in the course fee. All other accommodation must be booked separately.

*Subject to availability.

Location and travel

Cranfield University is situated in Bedfordshire close to the border with Buckinghamshire. The University is located almost midway between the towns of Bedford and Milton Keynes and is conveniently situated between junctions 13 and 14 of the M1.

London Luton, Stansted and Heathrow airports are 30, 90 and 90 minutes respectively by car, offering superb connections to and from just about anywhere in the world. 

For further location and travel details

Location address

Cranfield University
College Road
MK43 0AL

How to apply

To apply for this course please use the online application form.

Read our Professional development (CPD) booking conditions.