The Underwater Vehicle program is a 4 year applied program designed to:


  • Provide graduates with solid technical skills to operate, maintain and repair all classes of remotely operated and autonomous underwater vehicles (ROVs and AUVs).
  • Train students in ROV deployment methodologies that encompass safety, inspection and operation.
  • Prepare students for careers in offshore oil & gas, nuclear, military, law enforcement, pipeline and cable industries as a substitute to diving operations.
  • Graduate students with a 3 year Marine Institute (MI) Diploma of Technology complimented by a Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN) Bachelor of Technology Degree.




The Underwater Vehicle program is designed to prepare graduates to enter the workforce with a sound background in electronics, hydraulics, electrical and workplace safety.


Main Areas of Study


  • In the first year, students begin studying math, physics, chemistry, electro-technology, digital logic, and computer programming. ROV systems are introduced as well as courses in oceanography, fluid mechanics, and ROV electronics. Written communication and computer programming is another feature of this first year.
  • Following Term 2, the 6 week Technical Session 1 teaches hands-on experience with electronic and mechanical fabrication and drafting, instrumentation used on ROV’s, and ROV pilotage via simulators. A basic seamanship course introduces students to life at sea.
  • The second year focuses on ROV operations and maintenance. It covers advanced hydraulics, industrial electronics & controls, underwater acoustics, and electrical machines, maintenance, and safety. A workshop practice course adds a practical dimension to the theoretical knowledge. ROV launch, recovery, and maintenance duties form a major part of work for the graduates in the ROV industry. On the operational side, computer interfacing techniques, data communication, and acoustics applications help in understanding the internetworked systems that comprise an ROV.
  • Term 4 is followed by the 6 week Technical Session 2 in which students receive hands-on experience piloting ROVs in controlled and open water environments and honing those skills in the simulator. This technical session also includes marine safety training required to work in the offshore industry.
  • Following Technical Session 2, students are required to complete an 8 week (320 hour) work term in the local or international ROV industry. The work term can also be completed following Year 3 or 4 if necessary.
  • Year three and four of the UV program build on the ROV pilot fundamentals to extend their knowledge to include ROV and AUV Design. It includes study in advanced electronics, mechanics and system design. The students also complete two higher level math courses and a chemistry course. Students are introduced to business and management skills as part of the Bachelor of Technology degree.


Characteristics of Graduates


  • Successful graduates will have a proven work ethic and an excellent understanding of ROV/AUV operations and design including piloting, hydraulics and work safety preparing them for initial employment as a ROV/AUV operator/designer.


Accreditation Status


  • The BTech (UV) program is accredited under the Dublin Accord by the Canadian Technology Accreditation Board (CTAB).
  • Graduates are recognized by the Diver Certification Board of Canada (DCBC) and are eligible to register with DCBC as an ROV Operator.




Students admitted to the BTech (UV) program must meet the requirements for both Memorial University and the Marine Institute. They are also required to successfully complete and maintain a CAPP (Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers) medical.




Length of the Program


  • 4 academic years


Number of semesters


  • Eight (8) 13 week academic semesters, two technical sessions and a work term


    Please refer to the Degree Program Regulation in the Fisheries and Marine Institute section of the 2017-2018 Memorial University Calendar for details on the required courses for the Bachelor of Technology – Engineering and Applied Science Option,



Number of courses


  • 62 courses in 4 years of study


Work terms


  • Students complete an 8 week (320 hour) work term at the end of Term 4


Topics covered in each semester


  • Refer to program calendar – Main areas of study




CMSK 1104 (Introduction to Technical Reporting)
ELTK 1100 (Electrotechnology)
ELTR 2102 (Digital Logic)
MATH 1100 (Pre-Calculus)
ONGR 1200 (Descriptive Oceanography)
ROVO 2200 (Introduction to ROV Systems)
CPSK 1102 (Introduction to Programming)
ELTK 1200 (Electrotechnology)
ELTR 1301 (Control Electronics for ROV)
FLDS 2108 (Introduction to Fluid Mechanics & Hydraulics)
MATH 1101 (Introduction to Calculus)
PHYS 1101 (Physics)
ELTR 1104 (Electronic Fabrication Techniques)
ENGR 1303 (ROV Drafting and Blueprints)
NASC 1304 (Seamanship for Ocean Technology Technicians)
ONGR 1301 (Instrumentation Oceanography)
ROVO 1300 (ROV Simulator - Introduction)
ROVO 1301 (ROV Tooling)
WKPR 1306 (Computer Numerical Controlled (CNC) Fabrication)
ELTK 1303 (Electrical Machines & Power Systems)
ELTK 2118 (High Voltage Safety)
ELTR 2115 (Data Communications)
FLDS 2109 (Advanced Hydraulics)
ROVO 2201 (ROV Operations)
WKPR 2118 (Workshop Practice)
ELTK 2200 (Marine Electrical Troubleshooting)
ELTR 2116 (Industrial Electronic and Controls)
ELTR 2215 (Microcomputer Interfacing)
OMAP 2000 (Underwater Acoustic Applications)
ROVO 2205 (ROV Maintenance and Launch and Recovery Systems (LARS))
ROVO 2300 (ROV Ship Interaction)
ROVO 2301 (ROV Pilot Training)
ROVO 2303 (ROV Simulator - Advanced)
SFTY 1102 (Marine Basic First Aid (STCW A-VI/1-3)
SFTY 1128 (BST - Basic Survival Training)
SFTY 1134 (Security Awareness Training for Seafarers without Designated Security Duties)
SFTY 2101 (H2S Alive)
SFTY 2301 (Fall Protection)
WKTM 1105 (Work Term)
2 Bachelor of Technology Courses
ELTR 2202 (Analog Transistor Circuits)
ELTR 3122 (Embedded Controllers)
English 1000 Level Course
MATH 1200 (Calculus)
3 Bachelor of Technology Courses
CHEM 1100 (Chemistry)
ELTR 3120 (Integrated Circuits)
MATH 2101 (Advanced Calculus)
ROVO 3200 (Automated Underwater Vehicle Design & Operations)
3 Bachelor of Technology Courses
ELTR 3104 (Digital Signal Processing)
ELTR 3211 (Control Devices & Systems)
WKPR 1117 (Machine Shop I)
4 Bachelor of Technology Courses
TKPR 3500 (Electro-Mechanical Fabrication Project)




Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) and Autonomous Underwater Vehicles (AUV) are used most notably in the offshore oil and gas, nuclear, military, law enforcement, pipeline, and cable industries, as a substitute or supplement to commercial (manned) diving operations. These vehicles are especially suited for hazardous and difficult underwater operations.


Due to the increased complexity in ROV/AUV operations, offshore operators have started to demand a higher level of quality assurance for ROV operators. Skills required by ROV/AUV operators include piloting, maintenance of hydraulics, electronics, and electrical systems, and general workplace safety.


Types of companies graduate will find work


  • Graduates of the program typically find work in AUV/ROV manufacturing companies, marine offshore industries, nuclear, military, law enforcement, and pipeline and cable industries.


Types of job titles


  • See sample job description below




  • The industry is a global one and graduates should expect to work in various locations around the world.




ROV Pilot/Technician


  • Repair and maintain Remotely Operated Vehicles and the associated support systems including Tether Management Systems, Winch and Launch and Recovery Systems, and Power Generation Systems
  • Perform electrical, electronic, hydraulic and mechanical maintenance and repair duties for a multitude of electro/hydraulic/mechanical systems
  • Perform piloting duties for a multitude of subsea tasks including general visual inspections, survey, specialty tooling operation, construction, installation, pipeline and cable laying, search, salvage and recovery, and offshore oil drilling support
  • Perform support duties including navigation and sonar operation, multimedia recording and record keeping, manipulator operation, inventory, planned and preventative maintenance, updating system specifications, logs and registers
  • Opportunity to work globally


ROV Supervisor


  • Act as team lead for operation, maintenance, and repair of Remotely Operated Vehicle
  • Plan ROV missions
  • Act as liaison between ROV crew and vessel
  • Accept responsibility for safe and effective ROV operations
  • Accepts responsibility for documentation of ROV operations
  • Participates in daily planning of offshore installation activity


ROV Superintendent


  • Engage in project planning for acquisition and deployment of Remotely Operated Vehicles and crews
  • Interface with clients to determine ROV requirements and activity
  • Present clients with optimal operational scenarios
  • Interact with ROV Supervisor to ensure efficient operations


Physical Requirements


Proof of physical fitness must be provided by way of a valid CAPP (Canadian Association of Petroleum Producers) offshore medical from an approved physician for registration in this program. Contact the Registrar’s Office for a list of physicians approved to conduct the CAPP medical.