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Overview top

This is the MCA required signals exam for OOW certification. 

morse code


Entry Requirements top

There are entry requirements, but candidates should be training towards their OOW certification.

For an OOW CoC candidates will also need to meet the following:

The MCA regulations require a candidate:

  • To be not less than 19 years of age
  • To have at least 36 months of qualifying sea service in an acceptable deck capacity with testimonials which show that at least 6 months have been spent on bridge duties.
  • To have discharge book entries verifying 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 sea time assessment a candidate may log onto the MCA's website

Assessment top

The MCA signals exam is conducted by MCA approved examiners within the College.

Sending and receiving Morse Code and 3 words/per minute

Flag code and de-code

Signals oral on signal flags, two letter meanings, SOLAS card and other associated signals items.




Professional Opportunities top

With further sea service and experience after OOW certification candidates can progress onto further certification, including Chief Mates (Unlimited) and associated academics.

Further Information top

If you require some tuition prior to the exam please get in touch as we frequently run signals courses throughout the year.

To apply for this course, please download and complete relevant application/deposit form:

o book please complete an application form and return it to the college. Alternatively, you can e-mail for more information.

Please see below a link for overseas students which will enable you to calculate how much it will cost to study in the UK -

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 sheet or contact Dr Winterbottom Hall.  Please telephone: +44 (0)191 427 3666 or email for more information.


COVID Update 

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 you require any further guidance before joining us at or telephone 0191 427 3592. 




Dates & Fees

Start End 19+ Full Cost
27/5/2022 27/5/2022 £70.00£70.00*
1/7/2022 1/7/2022 £70.00£70.00*
*Fee for non-UK residents
Whilst we make every effort to ensure that all information relating to courses and fees is correct on the website it is always advisable to call our Student Services team to check the current situation with regards to fees and funding.