Officer of the Watch (Near Coastal) - Advanced Apprenticeship


Course Code: MN00001


Maritime and Nautical

Next course dates

Start DateLocationDuration
AnytimeFleetwood Nautical Campus / £0Enquire  

Course Overview

This Apprenticeship has been developed in collaboration with employers and we will work to ensure that it continues to meet the needs and requirements of the industry.

The Officer of the Watch (Near Coastal) qualification is for individuals working on a wide range of specialist commercial vessels such as tugs, fishing boats and workboats working close to the shore, in waters designated by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency as “near coastal” (an area of operation restricted to 150 miles from a safe haven on the coast of the UK and 30 miles from Ireland). These vessels cannot be more than 500 gross tonnage.

Upon acquiring required sea time and additional short courses as well as passing external examination, candidates might be able to progress to Master (Near Costal) under 500 GT.

Duration of study

  • 36 months for new starters (and 6 months for End Point Assessment)
  • 12 months for experienced seafarers (and 6 months for End Point Assessment)

The Apprenticeship Standard and Funding

This Apprenticeship standard offers up to £15,000 levy funding and is available to companies with an office in England. The exact amount of levy funding available depends on the size of the company. You can find out more about the levy and funding on the Government’s Apprenticeship website.

Support for Employers

Support will be provided through a dedicated Client Liaison Officer, an Account Manager and the B&FC Apprenticeship team.

Employers will benefit from:

  • recruitment support and open day events
  • flexible starts over several intakes per year
  • end of phase report for each apprentice

The offer for Apprentices

  • accommodation in onsite Halls of Residence
  • an extensive support package, available to all students and apprentices at B&FC
  • download the brochure for this programme.

Further information

Apprenticeship Standard and End Point Assessment

Level 3 Diploma in Maritime Studies: Officer of the Watch on Merchant Vessels of less than 500 gross tonnage (Near Coastal) 

Apprenticeship Funding Rules for Employers

Entry Requirements

The apprentice must:

  • have the right to work in England
  • be 18 or older
  • obtain a Maritime and Coastguard Agency ENG medical (medical fitness certificate)
  • have Level 2 English and Math (GSCE 4-9). Candidates not meeting English and Maths requirements will need to undertake Functional Skills and work towards qualifications prior to End Point Assessment.

Career Options and Progression

The Officer of the Watch (Near Coastal) apprenticeship programme is designed to prepare candidates for operating a wide range of vessels under 500 gross tonnage, including commercial ships, military crafts, tugs, fishing boats and workboats operating within 150 nautical miles from the coast of the UK and 30 miles from Ireland.

This qualification can lead to progression within the maritime sector, particularly when it is taken as a component of an Apprenticeship in Maritime Occupations. Completion of this qualification can lead to career progression to Master of a vessel less than 500 gross tonnage (near coastal).  

Assessment Methods


Ship Construction - Written exam

Interpret Meteorology in the Near Coastal Area - Written exam

Respond to Navigational Emergencies - Written exam

Chartwork and Tides and Vessel Navigation and Tides - 2hr exam/90 min exam

Contribute to Vessel Stability and Watertight Integrity - 2hr exam

Control Vessel Mooring, Anchoring and Securing Operations - Practical demonstration

Short Courses (practical)

  • Entry into Enclosed Spaces
  • Designated Security Duties
  • Basic Training for Seafarers (Personal Survival Techniques; Fire Prevention & Fire Fighting; Elementary First Aid; Personal Safety and Social Responsibility)
  • Efficient Deck Hand
  •  Professional Survival Craft and Rescue Boat
  •  Human Element, Leadership and Management (Operations)
  •  Signals
  • Medical First Aid
  •  Advanced Fire Fighting
  •  Global maritime Distress and Safety Systems General Operators Certificate
  •  Navigation Aids, Equipment and Simulation Training course (Operational)

Above ass per Maritime and Coastguard Agency (professional body) mandatory course criteria and requirements.





Teaching and Learning Methods

Programme Design and Delivery

This is a contemporary study package with one set of practical units delivered on campus and a second set of units delivered via blended learning.

The programme will be delivered by two pathways:

  • new starters route (up to 36 months including 12 months of seagoing service and End Point Assessment)
  • experienced seafarers route (underpinning knowledge only*)

*Underpinning knowledge is developed as a part of Level 3 Diploma in Maritime Studies: Officer of the Watch on Merchant Vessels of less than 500 gross tonnage (Near Coastal) and further enhanced with competencies developed as part of STCW certification. Students will be required to complete MCA external examination (orals and written).

Industry Placement and Field Trips

There are no work placements or field trips on this programme.

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

Terms and Conditions

Read our full terms and conditions for more information.

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