Officer of the Watch (HNC/Exam Route) - For Experienced Seafarers

About this course

Warsash Superyacht Academy offers experienced seafarers a programme leading to STCW 95 Officer of the Watch (OOW) Certification by a written exam route.  

Students will receive tuition and assessment in HNC (Nautical Science) Part 1 units and the NARAS(O) course, as well as preparation for the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) exams and MCA signals and oral exams, and will be expected to engage fully in the learning process and carry out some work independently.

Students will undertake a two-term course of study with continuous assessment and end-of-course tests in most subjects, plus two written exams in Navigation, and Stability and Operations, conducted by the SQA on behalf of the MCA. Successful candidates are awarded an HNC Part 1 in Nautical Science.

Those wishing to enrol on the programme must have a minimum 36 months' sea service (including six months' bridge watch keeping duties under the supervision of a qualified officer. Note: a) this is not the same as watchkeeping service; b) students holding a yacht OOW 3,000GT CoC or above do not need to provide any evidence of watchkeeping duties), and hold a valid personal medical fitness certificate recognised by the MCA. Overseas students must also hold an appropriate English language qualification at IELTS 4.0 or equivalent.

Candidates must also hold STCW 95 certificates in Medical First Aid, Advanced Fire Fighting, Proficiency in Survival Craft & Rescue Boats, GMDSS General Operators Certificate, and Efficient Deck Hand before taking their MCA oral exam. If not already held, these courses can be undertaken at Warsash outside of the main course.

Download our guide on How to gain OOW unlimited certification when working in yachting

Student testimonial

"I loved the course and felt I learnt an incredible amount. It was far tougher than I expected and because of that I now have an incredible feeling of achievement. I would like to thank all the lecturers for so willingly sharing their knowledge, and I speak for all the students with me on this course that we had a very challenging but enjoyable and rewarding seven months. We look forward to seeing you all again in the not too distant future for the mates and masters course".

Joe Arch, Second Officer and OOW Unlimited graduate

Course Content  

  • HNC (Nautical Science) Part 1 unit in Bridge Watchkeeping, Celestial Navigation, Chartwork, Tides and Sailings, Emergency Response and Communications, Cargo Work, Meteorology, Ship Stability, Ship Construction and Law and Management.
  • Preparation for SQA Navigation, and Stability and Operations papers.
  • Preparation for MCA signals and MCA oral exams.
  • Navigation Radar & ARPA Simulation Training - Operational Level (NARAS(O)) course

Book now

Book online for 28 October 2019 (superyacht specific)

Course delivery location

The classroom teaching for this course is delivered from Solent University's St Mary's campus, located in Southampton city centre. All mandatory STCW maritime safety training courses continue to be delivered from the Warsash campus.

Find out more

Contact us

Please contact the admissions team if you require more information about this course:

Telephone: +44 (0)23 8201 5015

Normal office hours are (UK time):
Monday - Thursday: 08.30 - 17.00
Friday 08.30 - 16.30

Your joining instructions will tell you which campus your training will take place at - please read carefully and take note.