Accredited pathways

Our navigation and maritime science courses are accredited by the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB)

If you achieve sponsorship* in order to follow the accredited pathway and you could take charge of a navigational watch on merchant vessels. In addition to studying for the BSc (Hons) or FdSc, you could gain Certificates of Competency (CoC) which will enable you to work as an Officer of the Watch (OOW).

To achieve a Certificate of Competency, you will follow an approved programme of training, which includes sea time on board an appropriate vessel type (usually a minimum of 12 months sea time is required). You will have opportunities during your studies to go to sea and achieve the required sea time.

If you follow the accredited pathway there are higher thresholds to be achieved in modules and some assessments. Students who do not achieve, or do not wish to be, sponsored can still complete the unaccredited route which leads to a shore-based career.

You would normally need sponsorship from a shipping company, or an MCA recognised training provider to achieve an unlimited certificate, due to the fact that the sea time requirement must be carried out on board merchant vessels.

EU and overseas students need to arrange their own sea time with a vessel/company approved by the MCA. 

*The University does not guarantee sponsorship for any student.


Professional courses

Students following accredited pathways are required to complete a number of professional courses. These courses are not required for students following the non-accredited pathway.

Although these courses are scheduled within our programme, some are provided by external training providers. The cost of these courses is usually covered by sponsoring company.

List of the required professional courses:

Pre-Sea Courses (required before going to sea for the first time (carried out during year 1):

  • Personal survival techniques          
  • Elementary first aid       
  • Personal safety and social responsibilities           
  • Fire prevention and fire fighting        
  • Proficiency in security awareness     

Subsequent courses required for first CoC:

  • Proficiency in survival craft and rescue boats        
  • Advanced fire fighting          
  • Medical first aid          
  • GMDSS General Operator Certificate         
  • NAEST(O)         
  • Efficient Deck Hand            
  • Signals certificate        
*Requirements may vary depending on certificate of competency required.

Medical standards

Persons wishing to work at sea in a professional capacity must be able to comply with specific medical standards. This is achieved through attaining an ENG1 medical certificate (or equivalent), issued by approved MCA medical practitioners. 

Persons unable to meet the required level for passing the medical, may either have a restricted medical certificate or not be permitted a medical certificate, in the latter case they will not be able to pursue the OOW qualification, but can still follow the unaccredited programme.


MSc Advanced Navigation for Professionals