South Devon College

FdSc Yacht Operations

Everything at University Centre South Devon (UCSD) is designed to maximise your employability and future career opportunities. Courses are created with local employers to ensure you learn industry-relevant skills and are delivered in small classes with regular one-to-one support, covering a range of study skills – it’s no wonder we’re recognised as a leading institution in the National Student Survey.

Course details
  • Year 1

  • Core modules

    • Sailing and Powerboating (SOUD1077)

      This module will introduce students to dinghy sailing, power boating and yacht sailing. This will enable the learners to experience a number of different craft and to start to gain and improve on their seamanship skills.

    • The Yacht Industry (SOUD1078)

      An investigation of the yachting industry outlining the current structure, evolution, scale, economics, future developments, and diversification.

    • Navigation (SOUD1155)

      Navigation introduces the learners to inshore and coastal navigation and ways in which to fix your position by day using a variety of methods. This module will also include International Association of Lighthouse Authorities (IALA) buoyage and pilotage.

  • Year 2

  • Core modules

    • Nautical Safety for Offshore Sailing (SOUD1189)

      Learners will study a range of marine communication equipment how it can be used at sea and the theory behind how the various systems work. Meteorology plays an important part of marine safety and the ability to predict, forecast and interpret weather is paramount to become a safe, reliable skipper. The module will also investigate nautical accidents and lessons learned, along with research into how people act in emergency situations.

    • Coaching and Leadership (SOUD1302)

      This module will provide students with an understanding of coaching techniques as well as developing their own coaching profile. The module will also enable students to develop their own leadership skills.

    • Developing Research and Practice (SOUD1303)

      This module is designed to enable students to demonstrate that they have all the qualities and transferable skill necessary for relevant employment requiring the exercise of responsibility and decision making, including the ability to relate their professional practice to underlying theory and principles.

    • Yachting (SOUD2063)

      Learners will demonstrate an advanced level of knowledge into boat handling and navigation. Learners will be expected to work at a professional level and skipper a yacht in a variety of weather conditions and handle the yacht in difficult circumstances under engine and sails.

    • Advanced Navigation (SOUD2241)

      This module investigates advanced navigation and theoretical seamanship skills. Advanced navigation will also introduce learners into the great circle and astro navigation and concepts. Learners will demonstrate elements of navigation, pilotage, seamanship and safety included. Navigation at night and blind pilotage are also core elements of this module.

  • Final year

  • Core modules

    • Offshore Expedition (SOUD2065)

      Students will use their understanding to participate in an offshore sailing expedition. The voyage will be multi day and will demonstrate their navigation and decision making skills.

    • Performance and Racing (SOUD2240)

      Racing is a growing sector of yachting which interests club yacht owners to professional round the world yacht racers. This module will analyse boat and rigging design, sail performance and stability issues with cruising and racing yachts. Fine tuning of the rigging and aero foils will also be researched to gain the maximum performance.

    • Boat Maintenance and Repairs (SOUD2242)

      The working systems of the boat are vital to the safe operation of the boat and the safety of the crew. This module examines the various systems on board the boat and will enable learners to investigate and identify problems that may occur whilst at sea and the ability to maintain or fix the problem.

    • Research and Statistics (SOUD2254)

      The students will be introduced to the disciplines and techniques of collecting, analysing presenting data. It includes the application and understanding of qualitative and quantitative research methods, and the use of computers for the analysis and evaluation of statistical data.

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

In light of the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the changeable nature of the situation and any updates to government guidance, we may need to make further, last minute adjustments to how we deliver our teaching and learning on some or all of our programmes, at any time during the academic year. We want to reassure you that even if we do have to adjust the way in which we teach our programmes, we will be working to maintain the quality of the student learning experience and learning outcomes at all times.
Fees, costs and funding

As this course is delivered by one of our partner colleges, please contact the college directly for information on fees and funding.

How to apply
For further information and to apply for this course, please contact the college's admissions team directly using the contact details below. 
Progression routes

Completing this course enables you to progress onto these related courses and programmes with the University of Plymouth at level 5 or level 6, as specifically defined by this programme’s progression agreement.

For further information, including the progression from foundation degree form, please visit

Our partnership with South Devon College
The University of Plymouth has developed partnerships with institutions around the world with the sole purpose of making higher education more accessible to those people who need something just a little different.

Our Academic Partnerships enable students to enrol for a degree at a partnership institution closer to home, or engage in distance learning – even when they’re in the middle of the ocean. They are there for those people looking to return to education, or enhance their professional development. Full- or part-time; foundation degree to masters-level – we cater for a huge variety of needs and aspirations.

Many of our partners offer specialist degrees, unique facilities, and smaller class sizes at a competitive price. And as a student of two institutions, you get the best of both worlds; a supportive learning environment as part of a close-knit community, and a university-level qualification awarded by the University of Plymouth. You’ll enjoy not only the facilities and services your partnership institution provides, but also all of the additional support and resources you need from us, and you’ll automatically become a member of our Students’ Union, too.

We are continuing to grow the number of partner institutions and expand our academic community to new locations around the UK and overseas. Why not visit the Academic Partnerships page on our website for a full list of partners and for more details on studying with us?

One of our partners delivers this particular course – so please visit their website for full course details, entry requirements, tuition fees and information on what student life is like there. 

Please contact South Devon College to apply for this course:

South Devon College
Vantage Point
Long Road

Tel: +448000380123

Open days

Partner college open days

This course is run at one of our partner colleges. Open days are held at the college and more details of these can be found on the college website. You'll find contact details below, on this page.

University of Plymouth open days

You are also very welcome to attend a University of Plymouth open day, to get a flavour of the courses you can progress to from a partner college. There will however be limited information on this specific course and college.

Studying with South Devon College

At the heart of the sunny English Riviera, we’re an award-winning Beacon status college. Add to that our ‘outstanding’ rating by Ofsted (in 2009), modern facilities and our larger-than-life Students’ Union, and you’re left with the perfect environment.
Plymouth students working on a group project