Your Studies as a Deck Cadet training in the Merchant Navy

Your initial college studies will be common to all Officer Cadets and include:

  • General Ship Knowledge - You will soon get to understand: shipboard terminology and its relevance; the differences between the many and varied vessel types; learn the different responsibilities for officers and ratings onboard; appreciate the etiquette expected of a ship's Officer.
  • Maths, Maths and More Maths - Whether you have chosen to train as a Deck, Engineer or ETO Officer, your studies are going to draw heavily on maths. During your initial college phase you will gain sufficient knowledge to complete the later professional studies of your chosen discipline.

  • Initial STCW Training - This includes the mandatory safety training that is required to be completed by all seafarers prior to joining their first vessel. Subjects include First Aid, Fire Prevention and Fire Fighting, Security Awareness and Survival training.

Professional Studies:

Your later studies will concentrate on navigation and stability which are the bedrock of the Deck Officer's duties. Other subjects will include meteorology, cargo work, marine law and management. 

Studying at Sea:

Experience gained at sea will include:

  • a minimum of 12 months Sea Service.

  • six months watchkeeping experience.

  • completion of a MNTB Training Record Book (TRB).

At the end of your Officer Cadet training programme, you will qualify with a Deck Officer of the Watch (DOOW) Certificate of Competency.

This will enable you to take a watch on any size of vessel trading anywhere in the world. In a very small number of cases, vessel type specific training may be required, although this is usually easily achieved and any additional training short in duration.

Future Progression from Deck Officer to Master:

After completing at least 18 months sea service as a qualified Officer holding DOOW certification, further education and training can be taken which will qualify the candidate to hold a position as Chief Mate.

A similar pattern of experience needs to be undertaken including a further 18 months service and additional education and training before the candidate can qualify as Master (or Captain).

In addition to qualifying for more senior roles you will also have to demonstrate the required personal qualities for promotion as vacancies arise.

Future Career Progression:

Many seafarers consider following a career ashore later in their maritime working life. Many opportunities are available to enable seafarers to utilise their skills and experience gained at sea in employment ashore.

  • Marine Education and Training.

  • Marine Finance.

  • Marine Insurance.

  • Pilots and other roles connected with worldwide ports.

  • Recruitment and offshore operations.

  • Ship operations.

  • Superintendency.