Guidance

UK seafarer careers: training provision, information and examination syllabuses

Training for seafarers including, career information, written and oral exam syllabuses and details for nautical colleges and training centres

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) collect and retain personal information provided on the medical examination of seafarers report form (ENG 2) the seafarer medical examination notice of failure/restriction (ENG 3), the certificate of medical fitness (ENG 1), and any seafarer medical report forms (ML5), which are referred to MCA for assessment.

We will use this information to fulfil our duties as stated in the Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour Convention) (Medical Certification) Regulations 2010 (which implement the UK’s international obligations under Maritime Labour Convention, 2006), the ILO Work in Fishing Convention (C.188) and the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended (STCW).

To find out more about how the MCA look after personal data, your rights and how to contacts our data protection officer please go to the mca personal information charter page.

Foundation degrees

Deck and engineer officers can study in areas of marine operation and marine engineering. Study programmes include studying for the officer of the watch (OOW) seafarer qualification. Courses cover management competencies as well as technical content. Foundation degrees are not available in Scotland but you can study equivalent programmes for merchant navy qualifications. These cover the same content as the foundation degree.

Higher National Diploma (HND) or Higher National Certificate (HNC) certificates

HND and HNC qualifications lead to a UK Certificate of Competency (CoC). Those issued by Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) and Edexel must be completed in an MCA approved training centre if they are being used towards gaining a CoC. In some cases there are collaborative schemes with overseas colleges where the qualifications are gained through an approved UK training centre – these are known as 1+1 schemes.

Careers at sea – merchant navy opportunities

Find more information about entry routes and training below.

Careers at Sea leaflet Visit the Careers at sea website.

Nautical colleges and training providers

Find contact details for Training providers (PDF, 242KB, 3 pages) running courses leading to a UK Certificate of Competency (CoC).

Nautical colleges, yacht deck training providers and small vessel engineer training providers

Find contact details for MCA approved Training providers (PDF, 242KB, 3 pages) running courses leading to a UK Certificate of Competency (CoC).

Training centres

MCA-approved training centres deliver STCW short/ancillary training courses such as:

  • advanced fire fighting
  • ship security officer training
  • specialised tanker training

Find contact details for MCA approved training providers (ATP) running specific courses.

UK marine offices

Telephone and fax numbers for all UK Marine Offices and locations on a map. Opening hours are listed where available. Oral Exams can be taken at Aberdeen, Belfast, Cardiff, Falmouth, Glasgow, Hull (Beverley), Liverpool, Newcastle (Tyne), Norwich, Plymouth and Southampton.

Oral exam syllabuses

Deck and engineer officers sit oral exams to gain their certificates of competency. Find the syllabuses in the marine guidance note below.

Written examination syllabuses

Deck officers written examination syllabus:

OOW and chief mate navigation and stability syllabus examination syllabus (SQA) (PDF, 160KB, 17 pages)

Engineer officers written examination syllabus:

Engineer officer of the watch IAMI A & B syllabus (PDF, 235KB, 4 pages)

Engineer officer of the watch engineering knowledge (EK) examination syllabus (PDF, 408KB, 10 pages)

Second engineer <3000kW, class 1 fishing engineer, yacht 2 chief engineer (Y2), general engineering science I &II (PDF, 238KB, 19 pages)

Second engineer written examination syllabus (PDF, 412KB, 50 pages)

Chief engineer written examination syllabus (PDF, 653KB, 61 pages)

Management Level (III/2) Academic Syllabus (PDF, 419KB, 27 pages)

Management Level (III/2) Engineering Knowledge (EK) Examinations (PDF, 111KB, 5 pages)

Deck yacht officers written examination syllabus:

OOW yacht written examination syllabus (PDF, 1020KB, 30 pages)

Master yacht written examination syllabus (PDF, 1.07MB, 54 pages)

Engineer yacht and small vessel written examination/course syllabus:

SQA yacht engineering syllabus (PDF, 266KB, 26 pages)

Approved engine course part 1 (AEC) (PDF, 272KB, 6 pages)

Approved engine course part 2 (AEC) (PDF, 765KB, 19 pages)

Small Vessel Engineer written examination/course syllabus:

Small Vessel Second Engineer Syllabus (PDF, 163KB, 13 pages)

Small Vessel Chief Engineer Syllabus (PDF, 430KB, 11 pages)

Workshop Learning Outcomes (PDF, 341KB, 2 pages)

Workboat less than 500 GT syllabus:

Workboat less than 500 GT syllabus (PDF, 153KB, 4 pages)

For consultation reference

Model Course for Ratings as Able Seafarer Deck (A-II/5) (PDF, 2.79MB, 157 pages)

External maritime organisations

Find links below to various organisations that can provide further information on nautical training, for example:

Published 6 May 2014
Last updated 11 June 2018 + show all updates
  1. SVE examinations updated
  2. Updated SVE 2/Eng Syllabi regarding Auxiliary Equipment and Operational Procedures & Basic Hotel Services
  3. AEC part 2 file updated.
  4. Oral exam syllabus 'G' added
  5. AEC Part 2 and Master Yacht Syllabus Updated
  6. Attachment updated
  7. Update to Workshop Learning Outcomes
  8. AEC file updated
  9. Updated IAMI Engineering EK Control syllabus
  10. Added Workshop Learning Outcomes and updated AEC 2
  11. Added UK LAP 2
  12. Updated Master and OOW Yacht Syllabuses
  13. Added consultation reference for Model Course for Ratings as Able Seafarer Deck (A-II/5)
  14. Added Small vessel Syllabus for Chief and Second Engineer
  15. Added Small Vessel (SV) Engineer MCA Oral Examination Syllabus
  16. Added Management Level (III/2) Academic Syllabus and Management Level (III/2) Engineering Knowledge (EK) Examinations
  17. AEC Part 2 added.
  18. Amended AEC Course and added Oral Exam H and F Syllabi
  19. Added Engineer yacht officers written examination syllabus: SQA Yacht Engineering Syllabus Approved Engine Course (AEC)
  20. Added electro-technical officer oral syllabus
  21. MIN (M) 470 The Government Support for Maritime Training Scheme (SMarT) - Additional Funding £3 million has been replaced by MIN (M) 486 The Government Support for Maritime Training Scheme (SMarT) - Additional Funding £3 million
  22. First published.