Next course dates
This is a sponsored route, which means that your studies will be sponsored by a shipping/training company. Find out more about sponsorship opportunities at the Careers at Sea website.
This course provides the skills, knowledge and experience to become a deck officer in the Merchant Navy, or to pursue various maritime opportunities, at sea and ashore. It offers an exciting opportunity to train towards a rewarding career while travelling the world and earning a potentially tax-free salary.
The course is delivered during the first of five phases that constitute a three-year cadet training programme at one of the UK’s top nautical institutions. Benefit from expert tutors, state of the art facilities and strong industry partnerships that lead to excellent employment opportunities.
Qualifications from prior to 2017
4 GCSEs or Scottish Standard Grades including English, Mathematics and Science – Grades A-C
Qualifications from 2017 onwards
4 GCSEs or Scottish Standard Grades including English, Mathematics and Science – Grades 9-4 (England), 1-4 (Scotland), A-C (Wales)
Please be aware that sponsoring companies will require you to pass an ENG1 Seafarer Medical examination which will include testing for colour-blindness.
Diploma in Maritime Studies
The following modules are studied on both the Deck and Engineering routes:
Maritime Sector Overview
Maritime Employment, Environmental, and Health and Safety Practice
Numeracy for Seafarers
Mathematics for Seafarers
Control Vessel Operations
Vessel Construction and Stability
The following modules are studied on the Deck route only:
Vessel Rope-Work, Anchoring and Mooring Operations
Securing a Vessel for Passage
Nautical Science – An Introduction
Assist with a Vessel's Navigational Watch
Control Operation of Survival Craft and Rescue Boats
All units are assessed by either written or practical exams.
Teaching and Learning Methods
This course is delivered via interactive lectures incorporating short presentations from both tutors and students. You will also have the opportunity to work in groups to critically analyse and solve problems, and apply your knowledge and understanding to a range of tutor and student-defined contexts.
The following outlines the credit value of each unit, timetabled hours and the amount of time we expect you to devote to independent study:
Unit Credit Points Contact hours (approx.) Independent Study hours
Shipboard Operations; An Introduction 6 30 30
Maritime Industry; An Introduction 6 30 30
Transverse Stability of Ships 6 30 30
Naval Architecture; An Introduction 6 30 30
Maths for Maritime 12 60 60
Bridge Operations; An Introduction 12 60 30
Chartwork and Tides; An introduction 6 30 30
Nautical Science; An Introduction 6 30 30
Industry Placement and Field Trips
As part of this programme, you may have the opportunity to visit working vessels whilst in port. Upon completion of Phase 1, you will join a working vessel as part of the crew and will have the opportunity to put theory into practice.
Other Costs and Equipment Needed
You will require access to a computer or laptop with internet access. You will also need a pair of 15” parallel rulers, dividers, compasses and 2B pencils in order to do the Chartwork unit.
Mandatory requirements – non-programmable scientific calculator, writing materials and drawing instruments for taking notes which can be purchased from college or any other supplier; when purchasing standard items, the cost will not normally exceed £50. You will be required to purchase these at the start of the course.
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.
Read our tuition fees guide.
Regulation and Accreditation
Accrediting Institution: N/A
Awarding Body: Scottish Qualification Authority
Terms and Conditions
Read our full terms and conditions for more information.