Overview top





Induction and
Initial Training

First college phase

5 weeks

Company and college induction.  STCW Basic Training - Personal Survival Techniques, Elementary First Aid, Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting, Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities (1 week).  Efficient Deck Hand (EDH) certificates. LAP and Intro to WBL.  NB: Examination for PSC&RB and EDH takes place in Phase 5.



First sea phase

42 Weeks


Shipboard induction, familiarisation and development of basic seamanship and seafarer skills. 

Undertake work-based learning at level 4 (20 credits) based on: page 97 of Training Record Book.

Undertake planned training documented in Training Record Book.  

Training and

Second college phase

27 weeks


Level 4 Foundation Degree subjects: Operational Navigation (20); Bridge Management (20); Ship Operations (20); Navigation Aids (20); Ships Architecture (20)

Including Holidays


Skills development
and certification

Second sea phase

53 Weeks (approx)

Emphasis moves from basic skills to bridge/cargo handling duties and responsibilities, including understudying the role of the OOW.

Undertake work-based learning at level 5 (20 credits) based on: ship/cargo management; bridge/navigation management; management of safety and security of the vessel. Page 97 of TRB

Complete programme of shipboard training documented in Training Record Book. 


Third College phase

22 Weeks

Level 5 Foundation Degree subjects: Management of Navigation (20); Ships Stability (20); Management of Cargo Operations (20); Marine Law & Business (20); Management Studies (20)              

5 Weeks

STCW Training- Theoretical and practical aspects of Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats (PSC&RB) and Examination for PSC&RB and EDH certificates; GMDSS; NaEST-O; HELM-O;            Advanced Firefighting; Medical First Aid                                    

2 Weeks

Preparation for MCA oral examination for OOW certificate of competency

Entry Requirements top

The minimum entry qualifications for Foundation Degree courses are

  • UCAS equivalent score of 180 (new grade 56 from 2017) or higher, but which also includes GCSE passes in four subjects at grade B / 6 or better including Mathematics, a Physical Science, English or a subject which makes use of English such as History and one other. Suitable prior courses include: Scottish Highers; National Certificate/Diploma at merit/merit grade or higher in suitable subjects
  • Or Qualifications equivalent to this level and discipline, which must include either GCSE pass at grade C or better in English OR International English language Testing Services (IELTS) grade 5.0 or higher

Assessment top

All assessments are 100% formal examination.

The awarding body is University of Sunderland

Professional Opportunities top

Further periods of sea service and study allow students’ entry to the SQA leading to the award of the MCA Chief Mate Certificate of Competence qualifying the holder to serve as Master of a merchant vessel. Successful completion of the Foundation Degree in Marine Operations gives entry into a maritime BSc/BSc(Hons) programme if this option is required.

Further Information top

All students are employed or sponsored by shipping companies and the first step is to apply to companies which are recruiting. An up-to-date list of these companies is available, and the college is alwas willing to advise young people, their parents or advisors.

Health: Candidates must be able to pass a medical examination (normal good health) and an eyesight test (colour and form).

Dates & Fees

Contact us for current course dates and fees.