Overview top

This is a 10-week programme to assist students who have already completed their academic underpinning knowledge for Chief Mates to prepare for the Chief Mate MCA/SQA examinations in Navigation and Stability & Structure.

You will have 200 hours of tuition spread between navigation-based topics, stability-based topics and structure-based topics.  Academic tutorials are also held weekly to re-cap on particular topics should you require.

The course is taught by an experienced team of lecturers who will prepare you fully so you will feel confident before entering the exam room.

Additional taught sessions for the SQA Advanced Diploma Unit Marine Engineering Systems will be added for those requiring this unit should it not have been included on their original HND/FDSc qualification.  This will incur an additional fee.

Please note, this course is taught face-to-face on campus. 


Bridge example


The following short courses can be attended if required, although an additional fee is required:

  • Navigation Aids and Equipment Simulator Training (NAEST) Management. 
  • Human Element Leadership and Management (HELM) Management
  • Medical Care Onboard Ship 

At the end of the programme you will (if required) and for an additional fee attend two weeks of MCA oral preparation prior to your MCA oral exam. This course is specifically designed to cover the orals syllabus and each lecture is taught by a subject specific lecturer who will utilise our world class facilities and resources to their fullest extent.  You will also spend half a day at our Marine Offshore Safety Training Centre. 

To view our impressive facilities, check out our virtual tour here: 

Entry Requirements top

Entry onto this course requires you to already have passed a HND/Advanced Diploma in Nautical Science (or equivalent) or an FDSc in Marine Operations (or equivalent).

Prior to applying for a Chief Mate Notice of Eligibility you must ensure you meet the following requirements:

The MCA regulations require a candidate:

  • Not less than 12 months sea service as a watch-keeping officer whilst holding an OOW Certificate of Competency (CoC). 
  • Discharge book entries verifying sea service.
  • Watch-keeping certificates to support all watch-keeping sea service.

A candidate who does not have a discharge book will need to obtain documentation from their shipping company verifying their sea service. 

It is the responsibility of candidates to ensure that all entry requirements for the course and the issue of a Notice of Eligibility (NoE) by the MCA are met prior to attending the course.

For further information, please refer to MGN1856 - Amendment 1 on the MCA website. Maritime and Coastguard Agency - GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)

Assessment top

The MCA/SQA written examinations are externally moderated and are hosted within the college.

The MCA oral examination is conducted via Microsoft Teams by MCA examiners. 

Professional Opportunities top

With further sea service and experience candidates are eligible to enter the oral examination for the Masters (Unlimited) certification. Successful candidates can also progress onto our BSc (Hons) (Top Up) in Marine Operations.

Further Information top

To apply for this course e-mail nadmin@tynecoast.ac.uk for more information and an application form.

For UK students a £500 deposit is required and a deposit of £1000 for Non-UK students to reserve your place on the course (subject to availability).  For overseas students full payment will be required before a CAS (if required for this course) will be issued.

Any fees paid by Bankers Draft should be made payable to Tyne Coast College.

Accommodation is available in the college at Dr Winterbottom Hall or in private lodgings. For full details, please refer to the separate information page or contact Dr Winterbottom Hall directly.  Please telephone: +44 (0)191 427 3666 or email DWH@tynecoast.ac.uk for more information. 



Dates & Fees

Contact us for current course dates and fees.