Ready for BSc (Hons)

Nautical Science

3 years
UCAS Points:

Build the foundation of a great career as a deck officer in the dynamic maritime industry - the backbone of modern international trade. This innovative new course combines the benefits of a maritime cadetship programme, supported by a sponsoring company and offering extensive hands-on training at sea on real working vessels, with the recognised career-enhancing potential of a full academic honours degree.

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.

Why choose this course?

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.

Our Warsash Maritime School has over 70 years' history of maritime education, and an international reputation for quality.

A major hub in the UK and European maritime and shipping industry

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

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.


Our vibrant campus brings state-of-the-art facilities to enhance your learning and elevate your student experience. Our award-winning teaching building, The Spark is centred around students and offers a stimulating study environment with flexible learning spaces.

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. If you're looking to gain a year's worth of industry experience as part of your studies, this course is for you. Our course and placements teams will help you find the perfect industry placement in your chosen field.

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