This paper presents a methodology of design for a circular flexural plate PVDF hydrophone taking into consideration the various design parameters such as acoustical parameters, structural requirement and electromechanical properties of the PVDF. Little attention has been paid in the past on a systematic design of a hydrophone considering the various design parameters. Sensitivity and static pressure capability curves obtained in this work will help the designer in selecting an appropriate design for a given application with specific design constraints. Since the support conditions affect the sensitivity drastically, two bounding conditions, namely, the simply supported and the clamped boundary conditions were considered for the design. Experiments were conducted to assess the performance of the hydrophones constructed using the proposed design methodology. Experimental results of testing the hydrophones both in air and underwater are presented. Results obtained show superiority of the hydrophones constructed using the proposed design methodology. In addition, theoretical calculations made on the designed hydrophone correlate well with the experimental observations. This demonstrates that the proposed methodology can be directly used for the design of a hydrophone given the design considerations. © 2007 COMADEM International.