Overview top

Higher National (Adv) qualifications provide practical skills and theoretical knowledge that meet the needs of employers.

The HNC (Adv Cert) in Marine Engineering (SCQF level 7) develops knowledge and skills in areas such as propulsion, auxiliary systems, stability and structure of merchant ships, electro-technology, mechanical principles, and thermodynamics.

The HND (Adv Dip) in Marine Engineering (SCQF level 8) builds on the knowledge and skills of the HNC (Adv Cert) and also covers legislation and leadership, management, strength of materials, applied mechanics, heat engine principles, naval architecture, ship construction and survey, electrical distribution systems, electrical power, process control, pneumatics, and hydraulic systems.

This qualification is available through colleges. Typically, an HNC (Adv Cert) takes one year to complete and an HND (Adv Dip) takes two years.

Higher National qualifications have been developed by SQA in partnership with colleges, universities and industry — so employers recognise that they provide sound evidence of ability.

The unit-based structure supports flexibility. A unit is typically 40 hours of timetabled learning.

This HN (Adv) provides progression routes to further study (see Progression).


Who does this qualification suit? 

The HNC (Adv Cert) and HND (Adv Dip) Marine Engineering are suitable for a wide range of candidates including:

  • school leavers
  • adult returners to education
  • individuals in employment who wish to enhance their career prospects



As with all SQA qualifications, entry is at the discretion of the centre. Examples of formal entry qualifications include:

  • National Certificate in Ship and Marine Operations (with Marine Engineering options) at SCQF level 6
  • at least two Higher level (SCQF level 6) passes of which one should be Mathematics or a physical science — learners should have National 5 English at SCQF level 5 or above
  • relevant work experience

Different combinations of relevant National Qualifications, vocational qualifications and equivalent qualifications from other awarding bodies may also be acceptable.




Learners who complete the HND (Adv Dip) will have the opportunity to progress to higher level qualifications such as:

  • BEng in Marine Engineering
  • BEng in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering

Also, with the HND (Adv Dip) in Marine Engineering and three years of industrial experience, learners can articulate directly into an MSc at Strathclyde University.

The MNTB (Merchant Navy Training Board) supports the revised SQA HNC (Adv Cert) and HND (Adv Dip) Marine Engineering qualifications. Recognising the mapping of the qualifications to the Marine and Coastguard Agency (MCA) syllabi for the Standards of Training Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW), Engineering Officer of the Watch (EOOW), and STCW Management Level Engineer (Chief Engineer).

The MCA has confirmed that the HNC (Adv Cert) will give exemption from the following requirements for STCW EOOW: General Engineering Science (GES) A and B, examinations; Control Engineering examination; HELM operational level course; and High Voltage operational level course.

The HND (Adv Dip) will give exemptions for the STCW Management Level Engineer in the following subjects: Mathematics; Applied Mechanics; Applied Heat; Engineering Drawing; Electro-Technology; and Naval Architecture.

For both levels, in order to gain the professional Certificate of Competency, candidates are required to pass the IAMI (International Association of Maritime Institutions) and SQA Engineering Knowledge written exams and the MCA Oral examinations. With these exemptions the SQA HNC (Adv Cert) and HND (Adv Dip) awards comply with the MNTB requirement for the academic programmes within approved training schemes for engineer officer cadets.


Qualification Structure 

HNC (Adv Cert) Marine Engineering

Group award code: GN1Y 47 (96 SCQF credit points)

Adv Cert Marine Engineering at SCQF level 7 consists of 12 mandatory units (96 SCQF credit points).


HND (Adv Dip) Marine Engineering

Group award code: GN20 48 (240 SCQF credit points)

Adv Dip Marine Engineering at SCQF level 8 consists of 27 mandatory units (240 SCQF credit points).


Entry Requirements top

The minimum entry qualifications for Diploma / Higher National courses are

  • GCSE entry: GCSE passes in four subjects at grade C / 4 or better including Mathematics, a Physical Science, English or a subject which makes use of English such as History and one other.
  • Or National Certificate/Diploma: in appropriate subjects (Engineering or Science)
  • 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

Further Information top

Marine Faculty Office details contact email / telephone number:

Lucy Howlett 


t: 0191 427 3930

Dates & Fees

Contact us for current course dates and fees.