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Officer Of The Watch (HNC/Exam Route) for Experienced Seafarers

About this course

Warsash Maritime Academy offers experienced seafarers a programme leading to STCW 95 Officer of the Watch (OOW) certification by a written examination route.

This course enables candidates to achieve STCW 95 Officer of the Watch certification by the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) exam route. Candidates will receive tuition and assessment in HNC (Nautical Science) Part 1 units and NARAS(O) course as well as preparation for the SQA exams and MCA signals and oral exams, and will be expected to engage fully in the learning process and carry out some work independently.

Candidates will undertake a two-term course of study with continuous assessment and end-of-course tests in most subjects, plus two written exams in Navigation, and Stability and Operations, conducted by the SQA on behalf of the MCA. Successful candidates are awarded an HNC Part 1 in Nautical Science.

Those wishing to undertake the programme must have a minimum 36 months' sea service, including six months' bridge watchkeeping duties under the supervision of a qualified officer. (Note: a. this is not the same as watchkeeping service; b. candidates holding a yacht OOW 3,000GT CoC or above do not need to provide any evidence of watchkeeping duties). Candidates must also hold a valid personal medical fitness certificate recognised by the MCA. Overseas students must also hold an appropriate English language qualification at IELTS 4.0 or equivalent.

Candidates must also hold STCW 95 certificates in Medical First Aid, Advanced Fire Fighting, Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats, GMDSS General Operators Certificate, and Efficient Deck Hand before taking their MCA oral exam. If not already held, these courses can be undertaken at Warsash outside of the main course.

Course content  

  • HNC (Nautical Science) Part 1 unit in Bridge Watchkeeping, Celestial Navigation, Chartwork, Tides and Sailings, Emergency Response and Communications, Cargo Work, Meteorology, Ship Stability, Ship Construction, and Law and Management.
  • Preparation for SQA Navigation, and Stability and Operations papers.
  • Preparation for MCA signals and oral exams.
  • Navigation Radar and ARPA Simulation training (Operational Level) course – NARAS(O)

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 continue to be delivered from the Warsash campus.

Find out more

How to book

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

Tel: +44 (0)23 8201 5004

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

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

Course information

Training towards

OOW Unlimited certification




Minimum 36 months' sea service (including six months' bridge watch keeping duties) under the supervision of a qualified officer.
Valid personal medical fitness certification recognised by the MCA.

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