Course information

Study type Study Tier Start Date Duration Course Contact

Full Time

  • Advanced
1 September 20202 yearsWill Satterly

Have you finished school and would like to set the foundation for a Maritime career?

The Maritime Foundation course gives you the basis to enter the maritime industry. Looking to escape the classroom and experience time on the water in diverse areas then this course is for you. Broaden your horizons and gain skills required to start a career within the maritime industry.


UKSA’s 2-year Maritime Foundation course is aimed at those who have no prior experience in watersports or yachting. This course provides the essential skills, qualifications and knowledge required to start a career within the Maritime Industry.

On completion of this course, learners are able to progress towards employment within the maritime sectors including watersports instruction, superyachts, merchant navy, Royal Navy, workboats, fisheries etc. Aiming towards roles such as seaman or deckhand.

Job opportunities available for students on completion of the Maritime Foundation course are:

  • Watersports instructor
  • Mate (Flotilla)
  • Deck officer (merchant navy)
  • Mate (tugs)
  • Deckhand ( Superyachts/Workboats)

Who is this Maritime Foundation for?

This course is funded as part of a full-time 16+ further education (FE) programme. Ideal for students with who are looking to escape the classroom and gain valuable work experience to enable them to find a role within the Maritime Sector or want a structured pathway into UKSA’s Flagship Superyacht Cadetship or further training going into the Yachting and Watersports industry.

For further information contact UKSA on 01983 203038 or the Student Services team at The Isle of Wight College via 01983 526631.


  • Interest or experience in watersports, outdoor education or maritime industry
  • Successful interview at UKSA
  • Students who do not have a 9-4 GCSE grades in English or Maths will be required to complete functional skills or GCSE’s in English and Maths, whilst attending The Maritime Foundation


  • Gain and develop essential skills valued by employers
  • Increased chance of sustainable employment
  • Further career progression opportunities within the maritime sector
  • Industry knowledge and guidance
  • Up to 28 UCAS points (Equivalent to 1 A-Level)
  • Practical learning in a maritime centre of excellence

Job opportunities available for students on completion of the course

  • UKSA’s Superyacht Cadetship
  • Superyacht industry
  • Tug Boats
  • Mate on a flotilla
  • Watersports Instructor
  • Professional Yachtmaster


Year 1 – work towards achieving

  • RYA Dinghy Instructor
  • BC Paddlesport Instructor
  • BC Paddleboard Instructor
  • Introduction into Windsurfing
  • RYA Powerboat Level 2
  • RYA First aid
  • RYA Safe and Fun
  • RYA Marine Short Range Radio certificate
  • BC Foundation Safety and Rescue Training


  • Maritime Sector Overview
  • Vessel Ropework, Anchoring and Mooring Operations
  • Securing a Vessel for Passage

Year 2 – work towards achieving

  • RYA Competent crew
  • RYA Day Skipper Theory and Practical
  • STCW Basic Safety Training
  • RYA Safety Boat
  • RYA Personal Watercraft Proficiency
  • Keelboat Introduction
  • NCFE Level 3 Introductory Certificate in Outdoor Pathway

NCFE Level 3 Modules

  • Exercise, Health and Lifestyle
  • Principles and Practices in outdoor adventure
  • Preparing for a career in sport and physical activity
  • Vessel Construction and Stability
  • Control operation of survival craft and rescue boats

Course structure

  • During this 2-year programme, 80% of your training will be practical with the remaining 20% theory.

Study Programmes

All Study Programmes for 16-19 year olds at The Isle of Wight College are designed to include:

  • Work experience which is effective, relevant, and includes careers fairs, site visits, guest speakers and introduces you to the expectations of the real demands of work
  • Extended work experience/industry placement for Level 3 learners Over the course of your Level 3 study programme you may be expected to do between 36 – 415 hours of industry placement depending on the course you have chosen. All learners are expected, and encouraged, to do their best to find their own relevant, purposeful work experience which supports their career progression.
  • English and maths, where students have not yet achieved a GCSE grade A* - C (9 - 4 using the new grades) in these subjects by age 16
  • Non-qualification activity, such as tutorials and work-related learning, to help further develop the personal skills relevant to your progression goals
  • A vocational experience which will form the substantial part of the programme

These four elements of the programme should combine to provide stretch and challenge for you helping to prepare you for progression to employment or further study.

Please refer to the 16 to 19 study programme document to learn more.

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