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Engineer Cadet - Foundation Degree Programme

About this course

  The Academy offers a full engineer officer cadet programme by a foundation degree route, leading ultimately to the award of a UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) Engineer Officer’s Certificate of Competency (STCW A-III/I OOW), a Foundation Degree (FdEng) in Marine Engineering and a direct top-up pathway to BEng (Hons) Marine Engineering and 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 four distinct but complementary elements:

  • Academic education at the Academy in conjunction with work-based learning aboard ship to attain the Foundation Degree in Marine Engineering, which provides a direct top-up pathway to the BEng (Hons) Marine Engineering Management.
  • Engineering workshop skills training at the Academy to MNTB-approved standard.
  • Practical training on board ship, including completion of an MNTB Training Record Book. This enables cadets to develop the professional competency needed for initial certification by the 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 information, see How to apply for an officer cadetship.

See also our officer cadet training brochure

Course delivery location

The classroom teaching and workshop instruction 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

FdEng Marine Engineering



Teaching methods

Practical and classroom.

Career opportunities

Marine engineer


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.


  • Five 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.

Entry level

See prerequisites

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