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Deck Cadet - Foundation Degree Programme

About this course

The Academy offers a full deck officer cadet programme by a degree route, leading ultimately to the award of a UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) Deck Officer’s Certificate of Competency (STCW’95 II/I OOW), a Foundation Degree (FdSc) in Marine Operations and a direct top-up pathway to BSc (Hons) Marine Operations Management.

The scheme consists of five phases (usually over three years), three spent at the Academy for academic delivery and two at sea gaining practical experience. The education and training programme consists of three distinct but complementary elements:

  • Academic education at the Academy in conjunction with work-based learning on board ship to attain the Foundation Degree in Marine Operations, which provides a direct top-up pathway to the BSc (Hons) Marine Operations Management.
  • Practical training on board ship, including completion of an MNTB Training Record Book. This enables candidates to develop the professional competency needed for initial certification by the UK’s MCA.
  • In addition to the academic studies, the MCA requires officer cadets to take a number of safety and survival courses during their cadetship.

How to apply

Under the current foundation degree route, you apply direct to a shipping company (do not apply through UCAS). For more details, see How to apply for an officer cadetship

See also our officer cadet training brochure

Course delivery location

The classroom teaching for this course is delivered from Solent University's St Mary's campus, located in Southampton city centre. All mandatory STCW maritime safety training courses are delivered from the Warsash campus.

Find out more

Further information

Please contact the admissions team if you require more information about this course:

Telephone: +44 (0)23 8201 5004

Normal office hours are (UK time):
Monday - Thursday: 08.30 - 17.00
Friday 08.30 - 16.30


Course information

Training towards

  • Foundation Degree (FdSc) in Marine Operations
  • MCA Certificate of Competency




A) Sponsorship from a shipping company to gain sea service.

B) Holds the minimum academic entry qualifications:

  • A minimum of 48 UCAS tariff points, including a numerate subject.


  • GCSEs grade 9-4 in the following subjects: Maths, English, Science (with Physical Science content).

C) A valid personal medical fitness certificate recognised by the MCA.

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