Overview top


Entry Requirements top

The minimum entry qualifications for Foundation Degree courses are

  • A UCAS tariff of 56 is preferred, but which also includes GCSE passes in four subjects at grade B / 6 or better including Mathematics, a Physical Science, English or a subject which makes use of English such as History and one other. Suitable prior courses include: Scottish Highers; National Certificate/Diploma at merit/merit grade or higher in suitable subjects
  • Or Qualifications equivalent to this level and discipline, which must include either GCSE pass at grade C or better in English OR International English language Testing Services (IELTS) grade 5.0 or higher

Assessment top

All assessments are 100% formal examination all taken within the college.

The awarding body is University of Sunderland.

MCA Oral examination is carried out by MCA examiners.

Professional Opportunities top

Further periods of sea service and study lead to the award of the MCA Chief Mate Certificate of Competency and Master Mariner Certificate of Competency qualifying the holder to serve as Master of a merchant vessel. Successful completion of the Foundation Degree in Marine Operations gives entry into a maritime BSc/BSc(Hons) programme if this option is required.

Further Information top

All students are employed or sponsored by shipping companies and the first step is to apply to companies which are recruiting. They will support you through your training and pay you a salary or allowance during you raining period.  An full list of shipping and training companies can be found on the MNTB and Careers at Sea websites.

Health: Candidates must be able to pass a medical examination (normal good health) and an eyesight test (colour and form).

Covid-19 has challenged the delivery of professional programmes, but here at South Shields Marine School we have developed our professional standards for academic delivery with an effective approach to your programme of study which includes safe face-to-face teaching. This involves careful timetabling to dedicate each group (bubble) to a single classroom to prevent excessive movement and contact with others. Hand sanitiser and face coverings (masks) will be provided. Start times, coffee breaks, lunch and end times will be staggered as far as possible. Classroom windows will be open to increase fresh air flow.

Should there be a re-introduction of restrictions by the Government then we are also prepared to continue to deliver your programmes remotely.

The Curriculum Leaders remain active and will be meeting you during the first week to say hello, along with all of the lecturing team who will guide your learning and help with your assessments.  

In the coming months before commencing your studies please contact the marine administration office if we can offer any further guidance before joining us:


Sam Morgan or Lucy Howlett for deck cadet enquiries:


t: 0191 427 3930



t: 0191 427 3695



Dates & Fees

Contact us for current course dates and fees.