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Marine & Coatal Tourism Degree, Maritime Operations and Skills Programs & RYA/MCA Approved Marine Courses in Mallaig UHI

west highland college

Established in 2010 after a merger of Lochaber College and Skye & Wester Ross College in Scotland, West Highland College UHI is a college of further and higher education in the West Highlands. The college is part of the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI) and operates from a number of college centers across the area including Auchtertyre, Broadford, Fort William, Kilchoan, Kinlochleven, Mallaig, Portree, Strontian and Ullapool.

The Mallaig Centre is the result of a merger of Mallaig Learning Centre & Marine Training Centre. The centre provides training and education opportunities for those looking to start or enhance their maritime skills. The centre also acts as a training provider for RYA and MCA approved courses for the leisure and commercial mariners.


West Highland College UHI offers education and training up to degree and postgraduate level in the highlands. Mallaig is a port in Lochaber, on the west coast of the Highlands of Scotland.

west highland college mallaig

Education & Training




Undergraduate Programs

  • BA (Hons) Marine and Coastal Tourism (4 years full time, 8 years part time): This unique course, the first of its kind in the UK, focuses on the many uses of the marine resource, how tourism interacts with these and the many challenges of developing sustainable marine and coastal tourism within the wider context of the marine sector and its associated activities.
  • Entry Requirements: 3 Scottish Highers at grade C or above OR 2 A levels at grade C or above. You will also need to have Standard Grade, National 4/5 or GCSE English and Mathematics, and be able to demonstrate your commitment to marine and coastal activities. Applicants with significant industry or activity experience will be considered providing they can demonstrate sufficient academic potential.

Maritime Courses

  • Shipping and Maritime Operations NC Level 6 (34 weeks): This course will enable you to progress to further qualifications which form part of deck and engineer officer training programs or alternatively if you wish to follow a career in shore based maritime operations. You should have at least 3 National 5s or equivalent. Alternatively you could have completed our NQ in Maritime and Aquaculture Skills. Mature students will be considered on merit.
  • Maritime and Aquaculture Skills NQ Level 5 (19 weeks): This new course combines essential basic boat skills with certification from RYA and MCA with an understanding of aquaculture and the role it plays in Scotland’s waters and its therefore a great starting point for a career that could take a number of routes. You will also have the advantage of being taught by a master mariner and have the use of the college Seaward 25 vessel, the Lannair, for practical aspects of your course.

MCA / STCW Courses

  • MCA Elementary First Aid (1 day): This basic training is a pre-requisite for persons seeking employment in the marine industry.
  • MCA Personal Safety and Social Responsibility (PSSR) (STCW) (1 day): This full day course is a pre-requisite for entry to the Merchant Navy. A certificate is issued by the college on behalf of the Maritime Coastal Agency (MCA)following MCA required standards of training and syllabus.
  • MCA Personal Survival Techniques (PST STCW 95) (1 day): A full day course giving induction training in safety procedures, accident prevention and familiarizes new seafarers with employment and working conditions aboard a ship.

RYA Courses

  • RYA Marine Radio (SRC) (1 day): The Short Range Certificate is the minimum qualification required by law to control the operation of VHF and VHF Digital Selective Calling (DSC) equipment on any British flagged vessel voluntarily fitted with a radio. This includes both fixed and hand held equipment using International channels.
  • RYA Intermediate Powerboat (2 days): This course bridges the gap between Powerboat Level 2 and the Safety Boat / Advanced Powerboat courses. More time is given to pilotage, navigation, fuel and engine checks as well as the effect of waves and rougher conditions. The use of power trims, trim tabs and berthing in different conditions are also included.
  • RYA Powerboat Level 2: Regarded by many as the driving licence for powerboats, ther RYA Powerboat Level 2 course offers a thorough
  • RYA Powerboat - Advanced Certificate (2 day course including 1 night passage): This course is for leisure and professional boaters wanting to undertake more adventurous trips. It includes navigation by day and night, weather and other aspects of skippering a small boat on more challenging passages in coastal waters.

LAST UPDATED ON Dec 20, 2020