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Deck Cadet Programme HNC

(SCQF level 7)

Nautical Studies & Marine Engineering, Nautical and STEM

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Mode of Study



Riverside Campus

  • Applications from International Students Welcome
  • Overview

     This is a three-year training programme aimed at providing the necessary training and qualifications for employment as a Deck Officer of the Watch. There are a number of elements to the programme and also a compulsory sea time requirement.

    The programme is structured into 5 phases:

    • Phase 1 - College phase where you will complete the NC Shipping and Maritime Operations and compulsory STCW short courses.
    • Phase 2 - Sea phase where you will start your MNTB training record book in addition to a work based learning course and a distance learning maths course.
    • Phase 3 - College phase where you will complete HNC Nautical Science and STCW short courses and complete the theory element of the PDA Marine Management.
    • Phase 4 - Sea Phase where you will complete your MNTB training record book and PDA Marine Management.
    • Phase 5 - College phase where you will prepare for your OOW written and oral examinations; and complete your final STCW short courses.

    There are two main entries into this programme: September and February.

    • Cadet Programme Start Date: 7th September 2020.
    • Cadet Programme Start Date: 8th February 2021.

    Entry requirements

    Minimum entry requirements

    To gain entry to the course you should have any of the following combinations of qualifications:

    1. National 5/GCSE or equivalent which must include:

    • English.
    • Maths.
    • Physical Science (e.g. Physics/Chemistry/Technological Studies/Engineering Science).
    • One other subject.

    2. Successful completion of Access to the Maritime Industry (SCQF level 5).

    3. Alternative qualifications will be considered on an individual basis in conjunction with the sponsoring company or training provider.

    Additional selection requirements

    • You must have a sponsoring company in order to fulfil the sea time requirement of this programme. There are a number of UK sponsoring companies that recruit UK/EU nationals as officer cadets.
    • Initial applications for this course should be submitted to a training provider or company. See Careers at Sea for more information.

    ESOL entry requirements

    Applicants whose first language is not English should have minimum ESOL Intermediate level 2 or equivalent for NC/NQ courses and ESOL Higher for HNC/D courses.

    What you study

    During this programme, you will study the following subjects:

    • Marine Meteorology.
    • Naval Architecture.
    • Navigational Maths and Science.
    • Celestial Navigation.
    • Bridge Watchkeeping.

    You will also complete our Bridge room ready programme which aim to develop practical understanding and skills required on a ship to help aid your transition from college to sea.

    In order to achieve your first Certificate of Competency, you will also complete short courses including:

    • First Aid.
    • Fire fighting.
    • Sea Survival.
    • Tanker Familiarisation.
    • Rescue Craft.
    • Personal Survival Techniques.

    After the course


    On successful completion of the HNC programme, Cadets can gain employment as a fully qualified officer of the watch

    Continuing Study

    You can progress to complete an HND in Nautical Science or onto University to study at a higher level.


    How the course is taught

    This course has two distinct elements – at sea and at college.

    • During the college phase, you will study a range of subjects to prepare you for a career at sea.  You will also have the opportunity to learn in our bridge simulators in addition to completing a number of STCW short courses at locations in and around Glasgow.
    • At sea, you will work closely with the ship’s crew to understudy the Officer of the Watch to learn their roles and responsibilities, in addition to completing a training record book.

    Assessment methods

    During the HNC programme, you will be assessed using a variety of methods including:

    • Oral Presentations.
    • Portfolios and reports.
    • Written examinations.
    • Simulation exercises.
    • Competency-based assessments.

    Additional Information


    Materials will be made available to cadets through our virtual learning environment.

    Dress code

    As a sponsored cadet you will be expected to wear your company uniform every day into college.

    • Mode of Study:
    • Location:
      Riverside Campus
    • Applications from International Students Welcome