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Solent Unviersity Southampton logo

HNDNautical Science

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Why study a deck cadetship at Solent University

Build the foundations of a career as a deck officer in the dynamic maritime industry - supported by a sponsoring company to become a certified Officer of the Watch.

  • 0years
    of providing maritime training to seafarers
  • £0m
    investment in our campus and industry-standard facilities
  • Seafaring experience included - time at sea is built into the course, offering real-world experience.
  • Gain academic and professional qualifications while studying, and work towards your MCA Certificate of Competency. 
  • Cadetships are fully sponsored by shipping or maritime companies.
  • Warsash Maritime School has a full range of industry-leading training facilities, including a seamanship centre, fire school, and a full-function suite of networked maritime simulators.
  • 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. 
  • Study in the heart of Southampton, a major hub in the UK and European maritime and shipping industry. 

Course overview

Build the foundation of a great career as a deck officer in the dynamic maritime industry - the backbone of modern international trade. This maritime cadetship offers extensive hands-on training at sea on real working vessels, supported and fully sponsored by one of a huge range of shipping and maritime companies.

Combining specialist study in our cadet training facilities in Southampton – one of the UK’s busiest ports – with extensive practical training at sea, our deck cadetship is developed to meet the specific needs of the shipping industry and the Merchant Navy Training Board.

Shipping out as an 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.

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 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.

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

  • January start available

    This course has an option to start in January

  • Further studies

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

Who is this course for?

This course is ideally suited for students wanting to enter the Merchant Navy, who have good interpersonal and communication skills, and remain calm and capable under pressure.

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 maritime command. With further study and sailing experience you can take your career further, rising through the ranks to Captain.

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 a cutting-edge suite of networked 360° bridge simulators; built-in ECDIS suites; vessel traffic service and GMDSS radio communications; a dedicated seamanship centre; survival craft facilities, including lifeboats, fast rescue boats, RIBs and lifting equipment; a purpose-built live fire training facility with a three-storey steel ship/offshore unit; and our manned model ship-handling centre at Timsbury Lake.

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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