Maritime Skills National 5

What is special about this course?

This Skills for Work course consists of 5 units covering a wide range of maritime skills and knowledge. It is both practical and theoretical and is an excellent grounding in the maritime industry potentially leading to a career in any sector at sea including the Merchant Navy, fishing or Marine leisure etc. 

Entry requirements

This is a Skills for Work course and is open to S4, S5 & S6 school pupils.  Please discuss with your school guidance teacher if you wish to apply

Seamanship:  mostly practical and includes boat handling skills, knots and rope-work, safety, anchoring and mooring.

Small Boat Engineering:  in this unit we look at the systems that run within boats including engines, pumps, steering as well as engine maintenance.

Health and Safety in the Maritime Sector:  here we look at topics like sea survival, first aid, fire-fighting and assessing risk on and off the water.

Maritime Environment:  this unit covers chart-work and navigation as well as the effects of the weather on maritime operations.

Employability Skills and Careers in Maritime:  you will produce project work on three different maritime careers of your choice. In this unit we also work with you to improve and develop your employability skills.


Appropriate clothing and non-slip footwear during the boating season.

How will I study my course?

  • Part Time
  • Skills for Work

You will attend the Maritime Studies Department half a day per week for 2 academic years.

How long will my course last?

2 Academic Years

Where can I study my course?

    Start date



    Full time

    If you are studying a full time Further Education course (NCs, NQs etc.) the College claims your fees from the Scottish Funding Council for students who are under 18 on the first day of the course. Students over the age of 18 on the first day of the course have to apply to Orkney Islands Council (OIC) for a tuition fees bursary.

    Information on the tuition fees bursary is available on the OIC website.

    Part time

    Normally you are responsible for your course fees but if you are in receipt of certain benefits you may be eligible for a Part Time Course Fee Waiver. Not all part-time courses at Orkney College UHI are covered by the Fee Waiver Scheme and only certain benefits are acceptable as a basis for a Fee Waiver. Please contact the college to enquire.

    If you are eligible, you may be entitled to an ILA of up to £200 a year towards a course.

    What can I do on completion of my course?

    Students in S4 are given the opportunity to apply for basic safety training which enables them to find work at general purpose deckhand level or above. Alternatively they may wish to apply for officer cadetship for which funding is available. Access to the fishing industry is available through our links with the Orkney Fishermens’ Training Association. We also provide ongoing training through Royal Yachting Association courses.

    We also offer an S5 option of Coastal Navigation 1 and 2.

    Is there more information available online?

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    Please discuss with your school guidance teacher if you wish to apply for this course.  

    We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at Orkney College UHI. Orkney College UHI operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.