If you are are interested in completing the HSE SCUBA course, there are certain prerequisites that we ask you to meet before the start of the course. 
There is no hurry to get these qualifications as most can be obtained during the first year of your degree. If you have never dived before it might be worth doing a ‘try-dive’ which is essentially a taster session to ensure diving’s for you. There are a number of local dive centres that offer the various training that students require. All of the below information will also be recapped at the start of the first year.
Enrolment process
On arrival at University all students eligible to undertake the HSE SCUBA will be able to attend an induction talk during their first week providing all the necessary information on how to enroll on the course and subsequent steps that need to be taken. This information will also be emailed to them. After attending the induction talk, and/or receiving the enrolment information email, students will need to undertake the following steps:
  • Register their interest for the HSE SCUBA course by emailing the address provided upon arrival at University.
  • Once randomly selected for one of the 56 spaces on the courses, candidates will be notified and asked to pay deposit (currently £900) to secure their place. This payment will need to be made before a deadline (usually a few weeks).
  • An enrolment form will need to be completed at this stage.
  • Those not selected will be placed on a waitlist and would be offered spaces as and when they become available should selected candidates choose to no longer undertake the HSE SCUBA.
  • Candidates will select which course they attend (June, July, August or September) in the January period by paying a second deposit (currently £900). Dates for this will be confirmed by email. These courses are selected on a first come first served basis via our online store.
  • The balance of the course fees (currently £950) is due no later than 31 March.
All of this information will be detailed in the induction week talks and emails, should there be further questions please feel free to contact us at the Marine Station.
Water confidence
The ability to be competent and confident on, around and under water is vital for candidates wishing to undertake the HSE SCUBA training. Students should make an honest assessment of their ability to swim (usually assessed during the recreational training with various agencies – PADI, BSAC, etc.) as well as their overall fitness levels. The HSE SCUBA course is a physically demanding undertaking and students should be suitably prepared for this.
Recreational dive qualification
This can be PADI Open Water, BSAC Ocean Diver or equivalent.
If you are unsure, please contact the Marine Station. Tel: +44 1752 584660 email: HSE-SCUBA@plymouth.ac.uk
Diving experience
As part of initial training divers usually complete four or five open water dives, in addition to this we would ask for ten dives, five of which need to be in UK (cold) waters in a drysuit. The most recent of which would need to be during the month prior to your HSE SCUBA Course.
HSE diving medical
Divers must have a valid certificate of fitness to dive under the Diving at Work Regulation 1997, which is issued by an Approved Medical Examiner of Divers (AMED). Should you feel you have anything in your medical history that may prevent diving we would suggest you speak to/complete the medical prior to undertaking any prerequisite training. 
Diving equipment
During the training candidates will need to provide their own drysuit, undersuit (or form of thermal protection), hood and gloves for their personal use and be proficient in the buoyancy skills needed for diving in a drysuit. A drysuit roadshow is normally run prior to the Christmas vacation to allow students to meet manufacturers and suppliers and try on different types of suit before, possibly, purchasing often at discounted rate to normal regular retail price. 
If candidates wish to use them then ankle weights would also need to be brought with them for the course. 
All other equipment needed for the course will be provided by the Marine Station, although, students are welcome to bring their own fins and mask (particularly if prescription lenses are required). 
First Aid at Work (FAW)
This is a three day course that provides a comprehensive set of practical skills needed by first aiders and the ability, knowledge and confidence to deal with first aid emergencies. We ask all our students to have a first aid at work qualification so should the situation arise any member of the team can administer basic first aid should it ever be required, not just a St. John’s Ambulance or Lifeguarding qualification, the FAW qualification includes the UK legislation knowledge necessary for a working environment.
Oxygen administration course
There are various dive agencies that offer oxygen administration; it is normally a one day course that teaches how to use oxygen as a means to increase the effectiveness of first aid treatment in diving related situations.
Student divers entry from platform of Wavedancer