Officer Of The Watch (HNC/Exam Route) for Experienced Seafarers

Course Type:
STCW ➜ OOW (Deck)
Training School:
Warsash Maritime School
Southampton, United Kingdom

This course enables senior seafarers to achieve STCW 95 Officer of the Watch Unlimited certification by the Scottish Qualification Authority (SQA) exam route.

You'll receive tuition and assessment in HNC Nautical Science Part 1 units and the NARAS(O) course, as well as preparation for the SQA exams and MCA signals and oral exams. You’ll be expected to engage fully in the learning process and carry out some work independently.

You'll undertake a two-term course of study with continuous assessment and end-of-course tests in most subjects, plus two written exams in Navigation, and Stability and Operations, conducted by the SQA on behalf of the MCA. Successful candidates are awarded an HNC Part 1 in Nautical Science.

What you'll study

  • HNC (Nautical Science) Part 1 unit in Bridge Watchkeeping, Celestial Navigation, Chartwork, Tides and Sailings, Emergency Response and Communications, Cargo Work, Meteorology, Ship Stability, Ship Construction, and Law and Management.
  • Preparation for SQA Navigation, and Stability and Operations papers.
  • Preparation for MCA signals and oral exams.

Notice of Eligibility (NoE) and oral exams guidance

When you have accrued sufficient sea time to sit an oral exam with the MCA, you are required to apply for a Notice of Eligibility (NoE).

Visit our website (via the button below) for further details.


You must have a minimum 36 months' sea service, including six months' bridge watchkeeping duties under the supervision of a qualified officer. (Note: a. this is not the same as watchkeeping service; b. candidates holding a yacht OOW 3,000GT CoC or above do not need to provide any evidence of watchkeeping duties).

You must also hold STCW 95 certificates in Medical First Aid, Advanced Fire Fighting, Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats, GMDSS General Operators Certificate, and Efficient Deck Hand before taking your MCA oral exam. If not already held, these courses can be undertaken with us outside of the main certification course.

You must have a valid personal medical fitness certification recognised by the MCA.

International students must hold an appropriate English language qualification at IELTS 4.0 or equivalent.

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Warsash Maritime School

4.4 average rating Read reviews

St Mary's Campus,
Chapel Road
SO14 5GL
United Kingdom

Tel: (+44) 02382013074
Email: send message

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