Detailed guide: UK seafarer careers: training provision, information, examination syllabuses and COVID-19 guidance

Maritime Coastguard Agency

March 18
11:09 2020

The Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) collect and retain personal information provided on the medical examination of seafarers report form (ENG 2) the seafarer medical examination notice of failure/restriction (ENG 3), the certificate of medical fitness (ENG 1), and any seafarer medical report forms (ML5), which are referred to MCA for assessment.

We will use this information to fulfil our duties as stated in the Merchant Shipping (Maritime Labour Convention) (Medical Certification) Regulations 2010 (which implement the UKs international obligations under Maritime Labour Convention, 2006), the ILO Work in Fishing Convention (C.188) and the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978, as amended (STCW).

To find out more about how the MCA look after personal data, your rights and how to contacts our data protection officer please go to the mca personal information charter page.

COVID-19: Contingency Plan and Guidelines for Seafarers

Please see the documents below for the MCAs response and advice to industry on areas of operation which may be affected by COVID-19.

COVID-19: Contingency Plan and Guidelines for Seafarers (PDF, 96.3KB, 4 pages)

COVID-19: MCA approved course delivery information (PDF, 68.5KB, 2 pages)

COVID-19: Availability of Approved Doctors for ENG1/ML5 examinations (PDF, 76.2KB, 2 pages)

Foundation degrees

Deck and engineer officers can study in areas of marine operation and marine engineering. Study programmes include studying for the officer of the watch (OOW) seafarer qualification. Courses cover management competencies as well as technical content. Foundation degrees are not available in Scotland but you can study equivalent programmes for merchant navy qualifications. These cover the same content as the foundation degree.

Higher National Diploma (HND) or Higher National Certificate (HNC) certificates

HND and HNC qualifications lead to a UK Certificate of Competency (CoC). Those issued by Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) and Edexel must be completed in an MCA approved training centre if they are being used towards gaining a CoC. In some cases there are collaborative schemes with overseas colleges where the qualifications are gained through an approved UK training centre these are known as 1+1 schemes.

Careers at sea merchant navy opportunities

Find more information about entry routes and training below.

Careers at Sea leaflet Visit the Careers at sea website.

Nautical colleges, yacht deck training providers and small vessel engineer training providers

Find contact details for MCA approved Training providers (PDF, 120KB, 3 pages) running courses leading to a UK Certificate of Competency (CoC).

Training centres

MCA-approved training centres deliver STCW short/ancillary training courses such as:

  • advanced fire fighting
  • ship security officer training
  • specialised tanker training

Find contact details for MCA approved training providers (ATP) running specific courses.

UK marine offices

Telephone and fax numbers for all UK Marine Offices and locations on a map. Opening hours are listed where available. Oral Exams can be taken at Aberdeen, Belfast, Cardiff, Falmouth, Glasgow, Hull (Beverley), Liverpool, Newcastle (Tyne), Norwich, Plymouth and Southampton.

Oral exam syllabuses

Deck and engineer officers sit oral exams to gain their certificates of competency. Find the syllabuses in the marine guidance note below.

Written examination syllabuses

Deck officers written examination syllabus:

Related Articles


  1. We don't have any comments for this article yet. Why not join in and start a discussion.

Write a Comment

Your name:
Your email:

Post my comment

Recent Comments

Follow Us on Twitter

Share This

Enjoyed this? Why not share it with others if you've found it useful by using one of the tools below: