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MCA Approved Deck Training Programs and Courses for Entry Level & Merchant Navy Officers and Yacht Officers Up to 3000 GT 

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Warsash Maritime School is a maritime & offshore training school and is part of Solent University Southampton. For over 70 years the academy has provided first class training, consultancy and research to the international shipping and offshore oil industries. 

Warsash Maritime School provides internationally recognized training and certification courses approved by the MCA, MNTB, OPITO, SIGTTO, SQA, and other awarding bodies. The school also provides consultancy and research to the international shipping and off-shore oil industries.


Warsash Maritime MCA approved training programs for captains, deck officers and deck ratings are job specific and allow students to build professionalism, earning potential and capability to progress quickly in their careers. The programs cover unlimited certification as well as certification for yacht officers up to 3,000GT.

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Deck Training Programs




Entry Level Deck Courses

  • Deck Cadet - Foundation Degree Program - FdSc Marine Operations (3 years): This fully-sponsored cadet training program leads to an FdSc Marine Operations, as well as the award of a UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) certificate of Competency as an Officer of the Watch (STCW II/I OOW). The course also provides you with a direct pathway to enroll on the BSc (Hons) Maritime Management Top-up degree. Officer cadet training schemes are split into five phases which alternate between academic studies and practical and safety training, and seagoing periods to gain shipboard experience.
  • Deck Cadet - Higher National Diploma Program - HND Nautical Science (3 years): This fully-sponsored cadet training program leads to an HND Nautical Science, as well as the award of a UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) Certificate of Competency (STCW II/I OOW). The scheme consists of five phases - three spent at the Academy and two at sea gaining practical experience.
  • Efficient Deck Hand (EDH) (5 days): A theoretical and practical course that enables an understanding of shipboard organization and operations, pilot ladders and means of access, cargo work, safety and seamanship, including knots, splicing and whipping and seizing.

OOW Unlimited

  • Officer of the Watch (HNC/Exam Route) For Experienced Seafarers: This course enables senior seafarers to achieve STCW Officer of the Watch Unlimited certification by the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) exam route.  You'll undertake a two-term course of study with continuous assessment and end-of-course tests in most subjects, plus two written exams in Navigation, and Stability and Operations, conducted by the SQA on behalf of the MCA. Successful candidates are awarded an HNC Part 1 in Nautical Science.

Chief Mate / Master (Unlimited)

  • Chief Mate (Unlimited) Post Foundation Degree Route: This course enables those who have successfully completed a deck officer cadetship via the Foundation Degree (FdSc) route to achieve Chief Mate and Master certification.
  • Master and Chief Mate (Examination Route) For Experienced Seafarers: This blended learning course will enable you to achieve chief mate and master certification by the SQA exam route. For the campus phase of the course, you will receive tuition and assessment in HND (Nautical Science) in two Level 5 units: the NAEST and HELM (Management Level) courses. You'll also prepare for the SQA exams in Navigation, and Ship Stability, and MCA oral exams.  Of the three remaining units, two are completed during the distance learning phase of the course, and one is delivered through blended learning.
  • Chief Mate (Unlimited) Post HND Examination Route: This course enables those who have successfully completed a deck officer cadetship via the HND route to achieve chief mate and master certification by the SQA exam route.
  • Masters Orals (4 weeks): During this four-week course you will receive tuition and guided study in preparation for the MCA oral exam to achieve Master (Unlimited) certification.

Bachelors & Masters Degree Programs

  • Bachelors degree top-ups, full-time bachelors and masters programs and, blended and distance learning programs in maritime, shipping, logistics & transport Programs at Solent University Southampton.