Course: FdSc Nautical Science

Study Level

Level 5


Lowestoft Campus


Two Years



A career at sea offers a wealth of exciting opportunities for anyone looking for adventure and a job away from the usual humdrum of a desk job. The Merchant Navy is the collective term for commercial shipping. Merchant Navy includes a diverse and extensive industry sector with a variety of vessels from cruise liners, container, general cargo, tankers, aggregate seabed mining, surveying and scientific exploration, ocean cable laying and repair, wind farming integration, tugs, and offshore support and emergency response and recovery.

This fast-moving and technologically advanced industry requires highly trained ship officers in Navigation (Deck) with a Certificate of Competency issued by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

You will gain core leadership, navigation, shipboard operation, and meteorological skills through time on ships and in our simulator. You have an opportunity to distinguish yourself with a Foundation degree accredited by Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) and the Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB), which will provide the underpinning knowledge for the Officer of the Watch (OOW) under STCW (Regulation II/1) Unlimited and Chief Mate Under STCW (Regulation II/2) Unlimited Certificates of Competency. Once you complete the mandatory ancillary courses and pass Maritime and Coastguard Agency Oral examination, you will obtain the Officer of the Watch Certificate of Competency to serve as a Deck Officer onboard merchant ships.

Modules you will study include:

  • Bridge Management
  • Stability and Ship Construction
  • Ocean Navigation
  • Cargo Operations
  • Coastal Navigation and Marine Meteorology
  • Maritime Law and Management

You can apply for this course on the University of Suffolk website to study at the East Coast College Lowestoft campus. Click ‘More Information’ to be taken to the full course and application page.


48 UCAS tariff points (or above) CDD (A-Level), MMP (BTEC).

All applicants are required to hold GCSE English and maths at grade 4 or above. Applicants who do not hold these qualifications may be considered on an individual basis based upon their overall application and the course applied for.