Overview top

This is a 36 week programme which consists of study for a Higher National Diploma in Nautical Science consisting of the following units:

Marine Passage Planning

Management of Bridge Operations

Applied Marine Meteorology

Ship Stability

Structures and Maintenance

Management of Vessel Operations 

Shipmasters Law & Business

Shipboard Management

Marine Engineering Systems

Graded Units 2 and 3

Navigation Aid and Equipment Simulator Training (NAEST - Management) - integrated within the main course but a separate certificate is issued. 

To be eligible to sit the NAEST course you must hold either a UK NARAS Operations certificate issued after 1st January 2005 or an MCA approved ECDIS course.

MCA written examinations in Ship Stability and in Navigation administered by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA). The course is designed so that these examinations are taken during the second term.

Human Element Leadership and Management (HELM-M) (if required)

Medical Care on Board (if required)

MCA oral examination.

Entry Requirements top

This course covers all the material for Chief Mate/Master written examinations (previously Class II/1). It is your responsibility to ensure that all the entry requirements for the course and entry to the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA) examinations are met prior to attending the course.

This includes:

1. Not less than 12 months sea service as a watch-keeping officer whilst holding an OOW Certificate of Competency (CoC). 

2. Discharge book entries verifying sea service.

3. Watch-keeping certificates to support all watch-keeping sea service. For sea time assessment log onto www.mcga.org.uk, where you can apply on-line for Notice of Eligibility.

Assessment top

SQA HND assessments will be conducted in all units during the course.

MCA written examinations in Ship Stability and in Navigation administered by the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA).

MCA Oral examination by MCA examainers.

Professional Opportunities top

With further sea service candidates are eligible to enter the oral examination for the Masters CoC. Refer to MSN 1856.

Further Information top

If a place is available on the course you have chosen, a letter of acceptance will be issued if you are a home student. If you are an overseas student an electronic CAS REFERENCE will be generated, which you should use for immigration purposes, as required.

For application information please contact:

Email: NauticalAdmin@stc.ac.uk 

Tel: +44 (0) 191 427 3592


For accommodation details please contact, Dr. Winterbottom Hall:

Email: DWH@stc.ac.uk

Tel: +44 (0)191 427 3666


The South Shields Marine School team in the Deck Officer Certification School are busy making preparations for the start of your programme in September/October 2020.

Covid-19 has challenged the delivery of professional programmes, but here at South Shields Marine School we have developed our professional standards for academic delivery with an effective approach to your programme of study which includes safe face-to-face teaching. This involves careful timetabling to dedicate each group (bubble) to a single classroom to prevent excessive movement and contact with others. Hand sanitiser and face coverings (masks) will be provided. Start times, coffee breaks, lunch and end times will be staggered as far as possible. Classroom windows will be open to increase fresh air flow.

Should there be a re-introduction of restrictions by the Government then we are also prepared to continue to deliver your programmes remotely.

The Curriculum Leaders remain active and will be meeting you during the first week to say hello, along with all of the lecturing team who will guide your learning and help with your assessments.  

In the coming months before commencing your studies please contact the marine administration office if we can offer any further guidance before joining us:

Marine admin office details contact email / telephone number:


Sam Morgan or Lucy Howlett for deck cadet enquiries:


t: 0191 427 3930



t: 0191 427 3695


Fiona Thomson or Natalie Todd for OOW or Chief Mate enquiries:

e: nautical.studies@stc.ac.uk

t: 0191 427 3592/3616

Dates & Fees

Contact us for current course dates and fees.