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Entry criteria

In order to be accepted on the Foundation Degree (FD), Higher National Diploma (HND) or Higher National Certificate (HNC), you'll need to have the following minimum entry qualifications:

Foundation Degree (A-Level or equivalent) - three years

  • A minimum of 48 UCAS tariff points (including a numerate subject for engineering) 
  • Plus four GCSEs at grade C or above and including the following subjects:
    • Maths 
    • English
    • Science (with significant Physical Science content)

Higher National Certificate/Diploma (GCSE level or equivalent) - three years

  • Four GCSEs at grade 9 to 4 (A* to C), including:
    • Maths
    • Science (with significant Physical Science content)
    • English or a subject using English (for example, history, geography, RE)


  • Passes in four subjects in the Scottish Certificate of Education (as above)


  • Passes in four subjects in the Northern Ireland Grammar School Senior Certificate Exam (as above)

Please note, the qualifications detailed above are the industry minimum but individual companies may require a higher standard.

UCAS tariff

Although you do not apply to UCAS, the maritime industry uses the UCAS tariff points system to help you work out your qualifications to see if you meet the entry requirements. The 48 UCAS points required for the foundation degree route can be made up of any combination of qualifications. 

AS/A Levels, International Baccalaureate, OCR Cambridge, BTEC qualifications, Welsh Baccalaureate, Scottish Higher etc. are eligible qualifications with tariff points awarded according to grades obtained, please download our summary document, alternatively click on Find out more about UCAS tariffs.


You must have an ENG1 or an ML5 seafarer medical fitness certificate to work at sea. Follow the link to find more information and to find your nearest MCA-approved doctor in the UK.