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Solent Unviersity Southampton logo
Solent Unviersity Southampton logo

BSc (Hons)Nautical Science

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Campus: St Mary'sView on Google Maps

Why study a deck officer cadetship at Solent University

Start your maritime career in one of the UK’s busiest ports, at training facilities that are among the best in the world – combining the hands-on training of a cadetship with a full academic degree.

  • 0years
    of providing maritime training to seafarers
  • £0m
    investment in our campus and industry-standard facilities
  • 0th
    in the top 20 best student cities (StudentCrowd, 2023)
  • Seafaring experience included - time at sea is built into the course, offering real-world experience.
  • Our maritime training facilities are among the world's best: with a UK-leading simulation centre that allows for digital twinning of specific vessels or ports; a dedicated fire training school; and the UK's only manned model ship handling centre.
  • Cadetships are fully sponsored by shipping or maritime companies.
  • A world-class hub of maritime excellence: our Warsash Maritime School has over 70 years' history of maritime education, and an international reputation for quality.
  • Graduates from our Warsash Maritime School can be found throughout the maritime industry worldwide, in every role from shore-side management to senior positions at sea.
  • Study in the heart of Southampton: a major hub in the UK and European maritime and shipping industry.

Course overview

Fully sponsored by one of a huge range of shipping and maritime companies, and developed to meet the specific needs of the shipping industry and the Merchant Navy Training Board, your degree cadetship combines rigorous academic study at our dedicated cadet training centre in Southampton – one of the UK’s busiest ports – with extensive practical training at sea.

Shipping out as a deck officer cadet on a range of vessels owned or operated by your sponsoring company, you will develop the essential skills, knowledge and behaviours needed to become a deck officer in the Merchant Navy. As well as developing your personal, interpersonal and leadership skills, you will learn to work competently and responsibly as an individual and as part of a team.

Using theoretical knowledge, practical experience and professional skills and judgement informed by study and experience in the workplace, you will acquire a strong understanding of the fundamental principles and interrelationships of the three main shipboard functional areas – navigation, shipboard operations and management – and learn to anticipate, identify and generate timely and workable solutions to a wide range of problems and issues.

As part of your degree cadetship, you will gain your first qualification as an Officer of the Watch – and be equipped with all the knowledge and understanding to you need to undertake tasks as detailed in the industry-based onboard training – and with academic exemptions for further professional qualifications under the internationally recognised Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping (STCW) and UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) regulations.

And with a full academic honours degree, you will also be well placed for a range of senior, shoreside and management roles later in your career – making this the perfect course for a long and lasting career in maritime command.

This course is part of the South Coast Institute of Technology (IoT), a partnership of colleges, universities and industry-leading employers to create new career opportunities in the technology sector. IoT courses like this one are precisely tailored to the needs of employers in the maritime, engineering and digital industries – industries which are hungry for talented new engineers, technologists, technicians and creatives like you.

Any questions?

Contact UK admissions

Email: 023 8201 5066

Contact international admissions

Email: +44 (0)23 8201 5066

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Course features

  • Specialist facilities

    This course has access to specialist facilities

  • Additional qualification

    This course offers additional qualifications for you to obtain with your degree

  • Further studies

    After successfully completing your studies, there's an opportunity to continue your studies at Solent

  • January start available

    This course has an option to start in January

Who is this course for?

This course is for students who want to achieve a higher level academic qualification whilst training for a professional qualification in nautical science.

What does this course lead to?

This exciting course will allow you to gain your first qualification as an Officer of the Watch, opening up a wide range of opportunities within the maritime sector. With further study and sailing experience, you will be able to rise to become a ship’s master.

And should you wish to move back onshore at some point in your career, this course will give you the skills and knowledge to move into a range of land-based careers such as shipping and port operations, marine surveying, marine superintendent, marine insurance, law, chartering and more.

Meet the team

The University cannot guarantee any particular members of staff will teach specific aspects of the course in the future, but will endeavour to ensure the teaching team maintains their balance of experience and qualifications.


Warsash Maritime School has a full range of industry-leading training facilities including bridge simulators and ECDIS suites where deck cadets can learn and develop their passage planning skills and navigate ships in an environment that closely resembles the equipment and layouts found on a modern ship’s bridge. Practical maritime safety training takes place at our Warsash campus at our fire training ground, medical training centre, and pier head.

Away from studying, why not try out the gyms, fitness studios and sports halls in our £28 million Sports Complex, or watch a blockbuster film at our student-run cinema with Dolby Atmos audio.

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