Cadet Programme Preparation

Preparation for the Merchant Navy Officer Cadet Programme content

Preparation for the Merchant Navy Officer Cadet Programme



This preparatory course provides an alternative access pathway to the Merchant Navy Officer Cadet Programme. It could also provide an entry route to other maritime courses or careers.

It is aimed at persons who wish to train as Deck or Engineer Officers but do not meet the normal requirements for direct entry to the cadet programme. This could include persons considering leaving school after S4 or who have left school but would like to return to further education to become a cadet.

The course will provide you with a foundation of theoretical and practical knowledge and experience relevant to maritime industries. Successful completion of the course will qualify you for entry to the Merchant Navy Officer Cadet Programme or provide a basis for a range of other maritime careers.


Entry Requirements

You should normally have at least three National 4s (or equivalent), including English, Mathematics and a Science based subject.

Other equivalent qualifications and/or relevant experience may also be accepted.



This course covers a range of subjects relevant to maritime careers, including:

  • Maritime Sector Overview
  • Vessel Construction and Stability
  • Basic Navigational Watchkeeping
  • Vessel Ropework, Anchoring, and Mooring Activities
  • Securing a Vessel for Passage
  • Basic Vessel Engineering Systems
  • Electrical Plant Safety and Maintenance
  • Mathematics
  • Employability Skills

You will also have the opportunity to make visits to a variety of ships and to engage with people working in the maritime industries.


The course will be assessed through a mixture of oral, written and practical assessments throughout the programme.



On successful completion of the programme you will receive:

  • a National Progression Award (NPA) in Maritime Studies (SCQF Level 5)
  • National Certificate (NC) modules:
    • Mathematics
    • Communications
    • Employability Skills

Successful completion of the programme will fulfil the academic entry requirements for the Merchant Navy Officer Cadet Programme (although they do not guarantee entry to the programme).

If you complete the programme and wish to progress to the Officer cadet Programme you will be guaranteed an interview with a sponsoring company.



This a full-time taught course delivered at the NAFC Marine Centre over approximately 20 weeks (from January to June).



  • 18th January to 5th June 2021

Please contact the NAFC Marine Centre for further dates.



Fees will normally be paid for eligible students.


Booking / Queries

To book a course please download an application form, or contact NAFC.

If you have any questions or need any more information please contact NAFC.