Master (Yachts) - Celestial Navigation

About this course

This course provides students with the practical understanding and knowledge of celestial navigation and covers three areas:

Topic 1
Using celestial bodies to fix position:

  • identify and select the most suitable celestial bodies in the twilight period
  • determine the time of visible rising and setting of the sun
  • use acceptable methods to calculate altitude and azimuth
  • accurately plot lines of position obtained from a sight-to-fix position
  • use the nautical almanac and calculator or nautical tables to find a position line from an altitude obtained by a sextant and time obtained from a chronometer.

Topic 2
Determining latitude by celestial means:

  • calculate the latitude by Polaris
  • calculate the latitude by meridian altitude of the sun or planet
  • calculate the time of meridian altitude of the sun or planet.

Topic 3
Determining compass error by celestial means:

  • determine compass error by amplitude of the sun or a planet
  • determine compass error by azimuth or the sun
  • determine compass error by azimuth of a star or planet.

Useful tips and tricks

  1. Read though the exam syllabus.
  2. Your pass certificate is valid for one year.
  3. You do not need a Notice of Eligibility (NoE) to attend this course. However you will need an NoE for your MCA oral exam. Download the application form. Allow at least six weeks (currently even more) for the NoE to be processed by the MCA.
  4. Do the ‘proper’ PSCRB course instead of ‘Advanced Sea Survival for Yachtsmen’. The latter has not got an STCW Code which has the following implications: Not all flag states recognise the Advanced Sea Survival, meaning you might have to do the PSCRB later anyway. Your certificate will have a negative endorsement (‘not to be used on vessels with davit-launched life rafts’). There is also no updating course available for the Advanced Sea Survival.
  5. Pre-study makes the difference. That’s why we send you the course notes as soon as you book.
  6. Be familiar with the career progression requirements. View a simple progression chart.
  7. Did you know that you may be eligible to do the OOW Unlimited? Read our guide on how to gain OOW Unlimited certification when working in yachting.
  8. Our first-time pass rate is unsurpassed in the industry.
  9. View more FAQs.

Plan your training

Candidates booking this course usually also book the following: Master (Yachts) Navigation, Radar and ARPA SimulatorMaster (Yachts) Seamanship and MeteorologyMaster (Yachts) StabilityMaster (Yachts) Business and Law.

You might also want to consider: HELM(M)Proficiency in Medical First AidProficiency in Medical CareAdvanced Fire FightingECDIS.

Course delivery location

From September 2018, this course will be delivered from Solent University's main East Park Terrace campus in Southampton city centre. Please refer to your joining instructions for information of where to report to when you arrive. 

Southampton city centre map

Getting to Solent University

How to book

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

Telephone: +44 (0)23 8201 5004 

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

Please be aware that online bookings will be confirmed with joining information within one working day of the booking being made. Confirmation of payment should be received in the normal way.

Please ensure that you follow the booking process and do not enter payment details more than once, unless you are booking more than one course. If you experience any issues, please email


Course availability and booking

Date Places Fee Book
Monday 3 December 2018 Yes £1160 Book
Monday 7 January 2019 Yes £1160 Book
Monday 20 May 2019 Yes £1160 Book

Course information

Next available date

Monday 3 December 2018


5 days






Written exam.

This certificate


Master (Yachts) - Less than 500GT/3,000GT

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