To qualify as a Deck, Engineer or Electro-Technical Officer in the Merchant Navy takes dedication and determination.
Once you meet all the programme entry requirements, including the academic entry requirements, you will follow a 3 year programme of study at one of the UK's specialist nautical colleges. This will be a phased programme of study which will include time at college interspersed with two periods of practical training at sea.
The academic studies which will be completed during the college phases of the programme will lead towards the award of an Higher National Certificate or Diploma, a Foundation Degree in England or a Professional Diploma in Scotland or an Honours Degree. Depending on the route followed the programme will last 3 years, but could be longer in some circumstances.
Usually the last element of training will be the MCA Oral examination. This will be a face to face meeting with a examiner who has considerable experience of the examination syllabus and a wide knowledge of the industry and the practical requirements of serving at sea as a Ship's Officer.
The ultimate goal is to qualify for the issue of an unrestricted Officer of the Watch (OOW) Certificate of Competency as a Deck, Engineer or Electro-Technical Officer. This is an internationally recognised qualification and will enable the holder to sail as a Ships Officer on ships not only on UK flagged vessels but also on vessels of most of the other major shipping nations of the world.
For candidates with the aptitude, the opportunity exists to undertake further studies leading to qualification at the higher ranks or complete a top up programme of study leading to the award of an Honours degree.
Updated: September 2017.