Superyacht cadetships

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We have introduced a new officer cadet training programme specifically tailored to the superyacht industry. The superyacht cadetship is the first of its kind to issue a UK MCA Officer of the Watch (Unlimited) Certificate of Competency (CoC).

Officer cadet training is ideal for those who may have no previous experience of working at sea and who wish to become officers in the superyacht industry, or the wider maritime industry, eg, cruise ships. The training programme lasts for three years consisting of five phases which alternate between academic studies at Warsash and time at sea to gain practical experience. Throughout the programme you'll be guided and mentored by a training manager with additional support from an on board training officer while at sea.

As well as gaining the OOW (Unlimited) CoC, you'll also gain a foundation degree - FdSc Marine Operations - and academic exemptions from working towards Chief Mate (Unlimited) certification. You'll receive the core tuition of the foundation degree, but you'll also study a number of superyacht-specific units, such as superyacht operations, paint care and hospitality. For the sea phases you'll gain sea service on board superyachts, sail training vessels and commercial vessels, meaning you'll build wide and valuable seagoing experience - in total you'll spend around 12-14 months at sea during the three-year programme.

Why choose an unlimited superyacht cadetship?

There are many reasons to consider studying for an OOW (Unlimited) CoC instead of a yacht-restricted CoC to work on a superyacht:

  • Work as a deck officer on any size of vessel, including superyachts above 3,000GT (which are classed as passenger superyachts or passenger ships).
  • Work on superyachts where the yacht asks for officers with unlimited certification, even if the yacht is less than 3,000GT.
  • Optimise your chances for career progression and gain an edge when applying for top positions within the superyacht sector.
  • Open up additional maritime career options across the broader maritime industry.
  • Enhance your long-term career prospects when transferring to a shore-based career.
  • Train to the highest standard in the maritime industry and gain an academic qualification.
  • Opportunity to progress to Master Mariner (Unlimited) - the pinnacle of maritime education and training.

Course details

Maritime education programme approved by the MCA logoCourse content

The FdSc Marine Operations units include:

  • Bridge watchkeeping
  • Chartwork
  • Tides and sailings
  • Celestial navigation
  • Emergency response and communications
  • Cargo work
  • Meteorology
  • Ship stability
  • Ship construction, and
  • Law and management

These units form part of the underpinning knowledge required by the MCA for the OOW and Chief Mate (Unlimited) qualifications.

You will also receive further superyacht-specific tuition, including:

  • Superyacht regulatory framework and superyacht operations
  • RYA Powerboat Level 2 certification
  • VHF short range certification
  • Day skipper, or similar
  • Superyacht tender operations
  • Personal watercraft certification (jetskis)
  • Paint care
  • Superyacht etiquette
  • Hospitality introduction.

Superyacht crewEntry criteria

  • Minimum 48 UCAS points.
  • GCSEs at grade 9 to 4 including maths, English and science.
  • ENG1 medical certificate
    • Officer cadets must be in good health and be capable of passing the Merchant Navy medical exam (ENG1). Deck officer cadets must also have normal colour vision and be able to pass the MCA sight test (corrective lenses may be acceptable in some cases).
      We advise you to take a medical exam and sight test as soon as possible to be aware of any physical reasons that may prevent you from undertaking a cadetship. The MCA holds a list of approved doctors, in the UK and abroad, who are able to provide ENG1 seafarer medical exams.

Course fees

In most cases cadets will be sponsored by a company, which will cover the training costs throughout the programme. Some companies may even pay cadets an additional living allowance.

To be eligible for funding you must be a UK or EU citizen and have resided in the UK in the 12 months prior to beginning the cadetship.

Occasionally we have self-sponsored international cadets on our courses - please email us as the cost depends on individual circumstances.

How to apply

To enrol on a superyacht officer cadetship, you must apply directly to a sponsoring company or its training management agency.

Sponsoring companies


Trinity House logo



The Corporation of Trinity House and Dohle Yachts are sponsoring superyacht officer cadetships at the Academy. Applications are made through Chiltern Maritime - visit their website to find out more and apply. 

In brief

  • Three-year programme.
  • UK MCA STCW II/1 Officer of the Watch (Unlimited) professional qualification.
  • FdSc Marine Operations academic qualification
  • Exemption from further academic tuition for STCW II/1 Chief Mate (Unlimited).
  • Sea service gained on board superyachts, sail training vessels and commercial vessels.
  • Additional superyacht-specific courses in tender operations, superyacht operations, RYA certification, paint care and hospitality introduction.
  • Full sponsorship available.
  • Opportunity to progress to a full honours degree.


Contact us

If you have any questions about the superyacht cadetship, please contact us:

Cadet Admissons
Telephone: +44 (0)23 8201 5025

Information for sponsoring companies 

There are many benefits to sponsoring cadets through a superyacht-specific OOW (Unlimited) training programme:

  • Train your own future officers to the highest standard.
  • Officers can be deployed on any size of superyacht, both under and over 3,000GT, and on yachts coded to the Passenger Yacht Code.
  • Gain long-term commitment from your officers.
  • There is the possibility of SMarT funding and tonnage tax reduction.
  • Be at the forefront of yachting.

If you are a yacht management companies and wish to train your own cadets, please contact us.

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