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About the course

This highly specialist top-up degree, designed and taught by industry experts and tailored to the requirements of the maritime industry, gives professional seafarers the opportunity to top up their Professional Certificate of Competency as an Officer of Watch (STCW II/I) into a full academic honours degree.

As well as providing a thorough understanding of the interrelationships and fundamental principles of the three main maritime functional areas – navigation, shipboard operations and ship management – the course also incorporates the underpinning knowledge for the Chief Mate Certificate of Competency (STCW (II/2).

During your studies you will develop the knowledge, understanding and analytical problem-solving skills to anticipate, identify and generate timely and workable solutions to a wide range of problems and issues in those three areas, through the application of theoretical knowledge, practical and professional skills and experience in the workplace.

Our student-centred focus creates a learning environment which is academically rigorous, intellectually challenging and industry-relevant – giving you the tools to think independently, evaluate and enhance your own learning, challenge existing industry practices, and address real-world issues efficiently.

Fostering personal, interpersonal and leadership skills to work effectively as an individual and part of a team, on graduation you will be well placed to take your maritime career to the next level either at sea or in a wide range of shore-based roles, covering everything from management to legal, operations to insurance.

This course has access to Solent's specialist facilities.
Specialist facilities
After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent.
Further studies

Solent University’s Warsash Maritime School is a world-class hub of maritime excellence.

What does this course lead to?

A full honours degree can help advance your career in the maritime industry, with roles ranging from management, operations, finance, legal or insurance in shore-based ship management offices, to being the preferred choice for offshore roles based on your sea-going experience.

Who is this course for?

This course is ideally suited for experienced mariners with requisite sea-service who wish to enhance their understanding of the sciences associated with the wider maritime sector, and improve their career prospects for roles ashore and offshore by gaining a BSc (Hons) academic degree. 

Facts and figures

Fees icon

Fees and costs

Tuition fees

The tuition fees for the 2021/22 academic year are:
UK, EU and Channel Island full-time fees: £12,000 per year
International full-time fees: £12,500 per year

Following the UK government's confirmation that EU students will no longer be eligible for home fee status benefits, we've made the decision to keep EU tuition fees the same as UK tuition fees for 2021 entry.

For further information, please visit our tuition fees page.

Bursaries and scholarships

Solent University offers a range of bursaries and scholarships that provide financial assistance or waive fees for tuition or accommodation. Each bursary or scholarship has specific eligibility criteria. Check out our  bursaries and  scholarships pages to find out more.

Graduation costs

For graduates in 2020, there is no charge to attend graduation, but you will be required to pay for the rental of your academic gown (approximately £45 per graduate, depending on your award). You may also wish to purchase official photography packages, which range in price from £15 to £200+. Graduation is not compulsory, so if you prefer to have your award sent to you, there is no cost. Extra guest tickets will go on sale after results publication and will be sold on a first-come-first-served basis. The cost per ticket was £15 in 2019, but this fee is subject to change for future years. Please note, we do not guarantee there will be any extra tickets available to purchase.
Key entry requirements icon

Key entry requirements

This is a Level 5 and 6 top-up course. Applicants must have Professional Certificate of Competency as an Officer of Watch (STCW II/I).

Minimum 12 months’ sea time as OOW.

English language requirements

Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:

  • IELTS minimum 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each individual component
  • TOEFL IBT minimum 80 with a minimum of 20 in each individual component
  • Duolingo English Language Test - 100 overall with minimum of 90 in each component
  • or equivalent.

Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.

Pre-Sessional English programme

The University also offers a pre-sessional English programme for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.

Study location

Southampton City Campus

Got a question about this course?

Contact our Solent team:

If you are a UK, EU or EEA applicant please contact 023 8201 5066 If you are an international applicant please contact 023 8201 5066

How to apply

Applications for 2021 part-time entry have now closed. For any enquiries, please email admissions.

Email us

What you'll study

Year one

Core modules

  • Advanced Ship Stability and Construction
    This module develops your understanding of factors affecting stability and trim, focusing on application of academic theories and International Maritime Organisation (IMO) regulations to real life situations and problems. The module also covers ship structures, construction of ships, damage limitation, maintenance, and conduct of surveys.
  • Bridge and Engineering Systems
    Expand your knowledge of the application of regulations and systems from a command perspective; operation of ships’ navigational equipment in normal and reversionary modes; vessel manoeuvring in confined waters and non-standard circumstances; and develop a basic understanding of marine engineering systems and procedures.
  • Cargo and Port Operations
    This module develops the knowledge and understanding required for planning, loading, handling, stowage, carriage, custody, care and discharge of wet and dry cargoes. Learn about the regulations, codes, conventions and other legal instruments that pertain to port and cargo operations, as well as the potential commercial and legal penalties for non-compliance.
  • Command Passage Planning
    Explore the activities and duties involved in passage planning and conducting navigation from a leadership and command perspective. Learn to appraise, prepare for and document the passage, and to make contingency and action plans for emergency situations. 
  • Law and Management for Mates and Masters
    Develop your understanding of legal and management issues which can arise in ship management at a Master’s level, enhance your ability to analyse the dynamics of the legal structure between various parties, and learn to develop and apply practical solutions within that legal framework. 

Year two

Core modules

  • Applied Ship Stability and Naval Architecture
    This module helps broaden your ship stability knowledge and skills; assessment of real ship damage stability, real-life calculation of lightship, working of loadicators; stability during docking and grounding; and relationship between hydrostatic factors and operational factors, leading to effective savings in ships’ operational and construction costs, and reduced environmental impact.
  • Dissertation
    Research, evaluate and explore a topic of your choosing, developing the skills to critically analyse, synthesise, and evaluate information collected by you, as well as other academic and industry sources. Learn to manage and take full control of your time, work autonomously, and pull together a range of materials into a coherent, compelling, and effective report.
  • Marine Surveying and Insurance
    The module offers deeper understanding of ship surveys and inspections to manage marine risks; cargo damage; marine insurance and liability; complex relationships between organisations; the practices, scope and limitations of maritime organisations, including claims resulting from damage and liability, and recovery from those held accountable.
  • Maritime Business and Commercial Practices
    On this module you will learn the fundamentals of chartering and brokering, explore the role of the Baltic Exchange, and understand how commercially appropriate decisions are made, based on global business strategies. You will examine the impact of financial markets on the shipping industry, examine the shipping market itself, and learn to evaluate real world organisational strategies.
  • Navigation Management
    This module develops your ability as ship’s senior management staff to carry out complex navigation procedures; understand weather systems to greater depths; and apply meteorology and navigation in high latitudes – all to mitigate potential damage to your own vessel or to vessels you manage from ashore.


Web-based learning

Solent's virtual learning environment provides quick online access to assignments, lecture notes, suggested reading and other course information.

The Student Hub

The Student Hub is a central space where you can access all of the information and support you need during your time at University.

Professional and experienced staff can help resolve any query, and if they cannot answer the question themselves they will find the person who can.

Career support


The NAEST (Management level) course will be delivered in our state-of-the-art simulation suites, as will some MCA Orals prep lectures and exercises.

The university library provides access to the latest online maritime publications and regulations. The library has long opening hours, with study spaces for individual and group work, as well as suites of Apple Macs and Windows PCs featuring a range of software packages.

Students learn from a team with a broad range of industry and academic experience.

Your future

Warsash Maritime School’s BSc (Hons) Maritime Sciences course will prepare you for a wide range of graduate level employment opportunities, including:

  • Assistant surveyor
  • Junior superintendent
  • Assistant harbour master
  • Assistant cargo surveyors
  • Junior recruitment managers
  • Junior quality surveyors
  • Assistant quantity surveyors

We also offer a range of maritime focused postgraduate master’s courses if you would be interested to take your studies further:

  • MSc Shipping Operation
  • MSc International Maritime Business
  • MSc International Shipping and Logistics

Further study

Enhance your career prospects by continuing your study at Solent.

Get ready to find your place

You can still experience life at Solent at a virtual open day! Hear from course tutors, take virtual campus and accommodation tours, and chat to us live.

Register for a virtual open day