Officer of The Watch (Unlimited UK COC) - Advanced Certificate Nautical Science (Blended Learning)


Course Code: MD1EC138


Maritime and Nautical

Next course dates

Start DateLocationDuration
AnytimeFleetwood Nautical Campus5 YearsApply   

Course Overview

The Advanced Certificate in Nautical Science aims to provide students with competencies required for obtaining a Certificate of Competency as Deck Officer of the Watch issued by MCA as well as prepare graduates for the responsibility of keeping a watch at sea and in port. In addition, the programme offers the fundamental knowledge and key skills required to allow further study at Advanced Diploma. Students will develop skills to enable them to effectively navigate a vessel by traditional and modern means in a safe and effective manner.

Successful completion of this programme will:

  • Contribute towards learners obtaining a Certificate of Competency as Deck Officer of the Watch issued by MCA.
  • Prepare learners for the responsibility of keeping a watch at sea and in port.
  • Develop skills to enable learners to effectively navigate a vessel by traditional and modern means. Develop skills to enable learners to operate a vessel in a safe and effective manner.
  • Develop skills to enable learners to work with others in a safe and effective manner. 
  • Develop skills to deal with emergency situations.
  • Develop awareness of current maritime legislation.
  • Prepare learners for the MCA written and oral examinations at Officer of the Watch level.

You can find out more in the:

Programme Specification 

Programme Handbook

Course Information

Fee Information

Full course fee - £6005
Fee payable at enrolment for Set One - £1375 (including SQA registration and online registration)

The remaining sets can be purchased individually throughout the course once you have attended College for the exam in Set One.

Entry Requirements

Admission criteria for direct Blended Learning AdC NS is experience onboard a vessel. You can complete the Advanced Certificate and continue to work while accruing the 36 months sea time required for Certificate of Competency purposes. Entry is at the discretion of the college.

See MSN 1856, experienced seafarer route, para 11.4  - available at deck-officers

IELTs is not a requirement for this course.


Qualification Obtained

Advanced Certificate Nautical Science

Career Options and Progression

A career at sea does not always mean working on board a merchant vessel. On completion of this programme, you can either continue your study onto the Advanced Diploma in Nautical Science or switch to shore-based jobs. For instance, there are opportunities to undertake a shore-based job with a shipping company that manages and controls all aspects of their own ship’s operations or on behalf of other ship-owners. In some cases, these roles may require individuals to have seagoing experience. Ship management roles might include Fleet Operations, Fleet Director (Commercial Director), Fleet Manager, Fleet Assistant Staff, Fleet Personnel, Personnel Manager (Human Resources Manager), Training Manager (Head of Training), Personnel Officer, Training Officer General Operations, Operations Manager (Safety Manager, Quality Manager), Safety Officer (Quality Officer) Marine Operations and Marine Superintendent.


Assessment Methods

Please see page 8 of the Programme Specification.

Teaching and Learning Methods

Throughout your programme you will learn and be assessed in a range of ways to support the overall aims and outcomes of the programme in order to equip you with the appropriate skills for roles within the maritime industry. Employers will be looking for a range of skills and competencies, including innovation and initiative. They will be keen to employ strong communicators and team players. The programme is designed to promote the development of these qualities alongside core technical competencies and academic knowledge.


Each unit has its own learning, teaching and assessment strategy to suit specific aspects of the curriculum. You will progress through the units via a range of learning and assessment styles, and the supportive structure of the programme allows you to build on knowledge developed in earlier units.


The resources to support you in your studies include books, e-books and journals, as well as the college’s virtual learning environment, Canvas. Canvas provides an online platform for programme resources, allowing you to access materials 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

You will receive access to maritime specific documents and eBooks with membership to Witherby Connect and Regs4Ships. The Ocean Learning Platform is used to provide access to a library of videos designed for training industry professionals. 

Blended Learning lecturers are at hand to support your learning. Sessions can be scheduled with subject experts and Higher Education Learning Mentors (HELMs) to assist with your learning journey. Following enrolment to a set of units, learning and teaching will be supported by learning materials which have been created by the blended learning team. These resources provide an outline of each unit, a recommended reading list and provide details of the unit’s syllabus and learning outcomes. You will submit work through Canvas and receive feedback which will aid your revision when preparing for assessments. 

We will support you at every stage of your learning, however if you do not submit work on a regular basis and complete Summative Assessments (exams) from the first set within the 2-year enrolment period, you will be unable to continue onto the remainder of the qualification. 


Industry Placement and Field Trips

While there is no specific unit dedicated to Work Based Learning or Placement, experience onboard ships is essential for obtaining the OOW CoC.

Other Costs and Equipment Needed

You are expected to provide your own day-to-day stationery items, e.g., pens, pencils, notebooks, etc. Any specialist stationery items will be specified under the Additional Costs tab of the relevant module profile. Candidates will need calculators as specified by the rubric of individual module and as permitted by the College. The College approved models are Casio FX- 70, Casio FX- 85GT Plus and Casio FX 115 MS. These may be purchased from any appropriate retailer. You will require access to a computer or laptop with internet access. Learning Resources are provided on-site and free for students to use within normal college working hours. You will also need a pair of 15” parallel rulers, dividers, compasses and 2B pencils for Chartwork.


Expert Tutors

All staff involved in the delivery of any courses within the College are approved to teach and/or assess the subjects and modules they deliver. The approval process ensures that staff delivering and/or assessing a given programme are appropriately qualified, with relevant technical and industrial experience and professional practice.

Tuition Fees

Regulation and Accreditation

Accrediting Institution: N/A

Awarding Body: Scottish Qualification Authority

Terms and Conditions

Read our full terms and conditions for more information.

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