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Merchant Navy Deck & Engineer Programs and, Maritime & RYA Training in Port Arthur

nafc marine centre uhi

Established in 1992, NAFC Marine Centre, which is part of the University of Highland and Island (UHI), supports Shetland's maritime industries. NAFC Marine Centre delivers high quality accredited and bespoke training; conducts applied research and development; supports industry growth and innovation through consultancy and knowledge exchange; and engages with the wider community.

The University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) is the only university based in the Highlands and Islands of Scotland. The University provides access to undergraduate and postgraduate study, and research opportunities through a distinctive partnership of 13 colleges and research institutions one of which is NAFC Marine Centre. Some are relatively large colleges in the urban centers of the region such as Perth, Elgin and Inverness. In addition to the main campuses, UHI also provides educational opportunities through a network of more than 50 learning centers located throughout the Highlands and Islands, Moray and Perthshire.

UHI’s Shetland School of Nautical Studies (SSNS)  is situated at Port Arthur, Scalloway, and the ancient capital of Shetland. It overlooks East Voe which leads westwards out into the North Atlantic Ocean. The school has comprehensive maritime education and training facilities including modern navigation, communications, engine room and cargo simulators, engineering workshops, seagoing training vessel, lecture theater and classrooms, library, fully furnished and comfortable self catering accommodation on site.

nafc marine centre campus

Training Programs


Merchant Navy Programs

  • Merchant Navy Officer Cadet Program (Deck & Engineering - 3 years, Full-time): This program trains Deck and Engineer Officers for the Merchant Navy through periods of study at NAFC alternating with periods of service at sea on merchant ships. Deck Officer Cadets will receive -  a Deck Officer of the Watch Unlimited Certificate of Competency (STCW Reg III/I) from the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA); a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Nautical Science; a National Certificate (NC) in Shipping & Maritime Operations; and relevant short course certificates. Engineer Officer Cadets will receive - an Engineer Officer of the Watch Unlimited Certificate of Competency (STCW Reg III/I) from the Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA); a Higher National Certificate (HNC) in Marine Engineering; a National Certificate (NC) in Shipping & Maritime Operations; and relevant short course certificates.
  • HND Nautical Science (Chief Mate): This blended learning program leads to the award of a Higher National Diploma (HND) in Nautical Science and fulfills part of the educational and training requirements for a Chief Mate's Unlimited Certificate of Competency. Blended learning combines self-study with college-based tuition and assessment, making this course ideal for those wanting to work towards the HND while working at sea.

Merchant Navy Apprenitceships

  • Modern Apprenticeship in Maritime Occupations - Deck Rating (2 years): The programme normally requires about 24 months to complete and will require at least 14 months working at sea to gain necessary experience and sea time, as well as periods of study at the NAFC Marine Centre. During your time at sea you will have to maintain a Training Record Book which will provide evidence of your experience and that you have demonstrated that you can carry out a variety of tasks.
  • Modern Apprenticeship in Maritime Occupations - Engine Room Rating (18 months): This apprenticeship is aimed at persons wishing to work at sea as an Engine Room Rating on merchant ships. Engine Room Ratings carry out a range of important tasks on ships including the maintenance, servicing and repair of machinery and electrical systems, and assisting the engineering officer of the watch by monitoring the safe running of the engineering plant and other equipment.

Professional Maritime Courses

  • 30-hour Diesel Engine Course (MCA)
  • Abrasive Wheels
  • Basic Safety Training (STCW)
  • Capstan Safety Awareness
  • ECDIS (Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems)
  • Efficient Deck Hand (EDH)
  • Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS)
  • Elementary First Aid (STCW) - 1 day
  • Enclosed Spaces - Safe Entry (MNTB)
  • Engine Room Rating Modern Apprenticeship
  • Engineering Practice - National Certificate (NC)
  • First Aid Courses
  • General Operator's Certificate (GOC) - GMDSS
  • GMDSS General Operator's Certificate (GOC)
  • HELM (Human Element, Leadership & Management) - Management
  • HELM (Human Element, Leadership & Management) - Operational
  • HND in Nautical Science (for Chief Mate's CoC)
  • Human Element, Leadership & Management (HELM) - Management
  • Human Element, Leadership & Management (HELM) - Operational
  • MCA 30-hour Diesel Engine Course
  • MCA Approved Engine Course (AEC) - Part I
  • NAEST (Navigation Aids & Equipment Simulator Training) - Management
  • NAEST (Navigation Aids & Equipment Simulator Training) - Operational
  • Nautical Science HND (for Chief Mate's CoC)
  • Navigation Aids & Equipment Simulator Training (NAEST) - Management
  • Navigation Aids & Equipment Simulator Training (NAEST) - Operational
  • Personal Safety and Social Responsibility (PSSR) (STCW)
  • Personal Survival Techniques (PST) (STCW)
  • Proficiency in Designated Security Duties (STCW)
  • Proficiency in Medical Care (STCW) - 5 day
  • Proficiency in Medical First Aid (STCW) - 4 day
  • Proficiency in Security Awareness (STCW)
  • PSSR (Personal Safety and Social Responsibility) (STCW)
  • Radio - General Operator's Certificate (GOC) - GMDSS
  • Radio - Short Range Operator's Certificate (SRC) - VHF
  • Safe Entry Intro Enclosed Spaces (MNTB)
  • Sea Survival
  • Second Engineer <3,000 kW (STCW)
  • Security Awareness (STCW)
  • Security - Designated Security Duties (STCW)
  • Shipboard Safety Officer (STCW)
  • Short Range Radio Operator's Certificate (SRC) - VHF
  • VHF Short Range Radio Operator's Certificate (SRC)
  • Workboat Skipper Part 1
  • Workboat Skipper Part 2

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