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About this course

This course is for candidates who have successfully completed a UK deck officer cadetship via the Higher National Diploma (HND) or Foundation Degree (FdSc) routes and who hold a valid Officer of the Watch (OOW) Unlimited certificate accepted by the UK Maritime & Coastguard Agency (MCA).

The course enables candidates to achieve Chief Mate (Unlimited) and Master (limited to <3000 GT) certification via the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) route.

Once candidates have achieved the chief mate Certificate of Competency (CoC), they must complete 36 months' watchkeeping service while holding an OOW Unlimited II/1 CoC before taking the exam for Master certification. This period may be reduced to 24 months if at least 12 months of such seagoing service has been served as Chief Mate while holding a Chief Mate Unlimited II/2 CoC. 

See career progression chart for this course

What you'll study

During the course, candidates will receive tuition in Command Management, NAEST and HELM (Management Level) courses, as well as preparation for the SQA exams in Navigation and Ship Stability, and the MCA oral exams.

Navigation Aids and Equipment Simulator Training (Management Level)

The aim of the training at this level is to maintain safe navigation through the use of Radar, Automatic Radar Plotting Aids (ARPA), Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS), Automatic Identification Systems (AIS) and modern navigation systems to assist command decision-making and the application of effective bridge resource management principles and procedures.

At the end of the training, candidates will be able to:

  • plan a voyage and conduct navigation;
  • determine position and the accuracy of resultant position fix by terrestrial observations and using modern electronic navigational aids;
  • maintain safe navigation using information from navigation equipment and systems, including Radar and ARPA to assist command decision making;
  • maintain the safety of navigation using ECDIS and associated navigation systems to assist command decision making;
  • manoeuvre and handle a ship in all conditions;
  • coordinate search and rescue operations; and
  • establish watchkeeping arrangements and procedures.

Deck revision

This is an independent study option for candidates wishing to utilise the University's learning resources as part of a personal revision programme to refresh and/or update their professional knowledge.

This study option includes full access to Solent’s learning resources, including the library, internet access, training software and past MCA question papers.

Participation in relevant class tutorials or even direct tutorial support can be arranged in advance if required, with associated costs being determined by the level and amount of tutorial support needed. Please discuss your individual requirements with admissions, although you may be referred to a particular lecturer to answer specific queries.

Additional prerequisites

In addition to a personal medical fitness certificate recognised by the MCA, candidates must also hold a Proficiency in Medical Care on Board Ship STCW certificate before taking their MCA Orals and applying for a Certificate of Competency. 

Course start dates

30 September 2024 - 24 January 2025

20 January - 2 May 2025

14 April - 18 July 2025

Course fee

£5,630 (the fee includes NAEST(M) and Human Element Leadership and Management at the Management Level)

Course information

  • Next available date

    On demand

  • Duration


  • Price


  • Approvals


  • Prerequisites

    See main course description.

Course availability

Please contact our short course sales team for more information around course
023 8201 5066

Contact us

Please contact our short course sales team if you require more information about this course.

Online bookings will be confirmed with joining information within one working day of the booking being made. Confirmation of payment should be received in the normal way.

Please ensure that you follow the booking process and do not enter payment details more than once, unless you are booking more than one course. If you experience any issues, please email

Admissions Team

Normal office hours are (UK time):

08.30 - 17.00 Monday to Thursday
08.30 - 16.30 Friday