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Master (Yachts) - Celestial Navigation

About this course

Our yacht deck courses have achieved the highest pass rates in the industry for the last six years - 85% overall and 94% for Master (Yachts) modules.

This course provides students with the practical understanding and knowledge of celestial navigation, including the ability to fix the vessel's position and determine compass error using celestial observations.

The course covers three areas:

Using celestial bodies to fix position

  • identify and select the most suitable celestial bodies in the twilight period
  • determine the time of visible rising and setting of the sun
  • use acceptable methods to calculate altitude and azimuth
  • accurately plot lines of position obtained from a sight-to-fix position
  • use the nautical almanac and calculator or nautical tables to find a position line from an altitude obtained by a sextant and time obtained from a chronometer.

Determining latitude by celestial means

  • calculate the latitude by Polaris
  • calculate the latitude by meridian altitude of the sun or planet
  • calculate the time of meridian altitude of the sun or planet.

Determining compass error by celestial means

  • determine compass error by amplitude of the sun or a planet
  • determine compass error by azimuth or the sun
  • determine compass error by azimuth of a star or planet.

Course delivery location

This course is delivered from Solent University's main East Park Terrace campus in Southampton city centre. Please refer to your joining instructions for information of where to report to when you arrive. 

Southampton city centre map

Getting to Solent University

How to book

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

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 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

Your joining instructions will tell you which campus your training will take place at - please read carefully and take note.


Course availability and booking

Date Places Fee Book
Monday 14 October 2019 Yes £1095 Book
Monday 18 November 2019 Yes £1095 Book
Monday 17 February 2020 Yes £1095 Book
Monday 30 March 2020 Yes £1095 Book
Monday 22 June 2020 Yes £1095 Book

Course information

Next available date

Monday 14 October 2019


5 days




Three hour written exam with a 65% overall pass (and at least 65% in question 1).

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