Maritime Foundation Programme

Who’s it for?
School leavers
2 years
Maritime Careers

Year 1 – NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Sport

Year 2 – NCFE Level 3 Introductory Certificate in Sport and Physical Activity  Outdoor Pathway

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.

About the course

UKSA’s 2-year Maritime Foundation Programme 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 gain the experience and qualifications to apply for various job opportunities within the maritime sectors. This can include:

  • Watersports instructor
  • Mate (Flotilla)
  • Deck officer (merchant navy)
  • Mate (tugs)
  • Deckhand (Superyachts/Workboats)
Who is this Maritime Foundation Programme 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 traditional classroom and gain valuable work-related experience to enable them to find a role within the Maritime Sector or further training going into the Yachting and Watersports industry. For further information contact UKSA (01983 203038) or the Student Services team at the Isle of Wight College (01983 526631).


  • Interest or experience in watersports, outdoor education or maritime industry
  • Successful interview at UKSA
  • A minimum of 4 x Grade 3 and above including English and Maths (for students who have not achieved this, we will assess on a case-by-case basis)
  • Completion of interview day set task


    • 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
    • Practical learning in a maritime centre of excellence
    Job opportunities available for students on completion of the course
    • UKSA’s Superyacht Cadetship
    • Superyacht industry
    • Tugboats
    • Mate on a flotilla
    • Watersports Instructor
    • Professional Yachtmaster


Duration of Course

2-year full time course attending UKSA 4 days a week minimum

Maths and English compulsory classes each week for those who have not achieved a Grade 4

Attendance is compulsory in all timetabled sessions

Year 1 – work towards achieving*

  • NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Outdoor Sports
  • Maths and English compulsory classes each week for those who have not achieved a Grade 4
  • RYA Powerboat Level 2
  • RYA Marine Short-Range Radio
  • RYA Dinghy Instructor (subject to completing the skills preassessment)
  • RYA First Aid
  • RYA Safe and Fun
  • PSCR Paddle sport Safety and Rescue Course
  • BSUPA Paddleboard ready to Ride
  • STCW Proficiency in Security Awareness
  • Work Experience including Rope work, anchoring, maritime sector overview and industry guidance
NCFE Level 2 Units*
  •  Participating in sport
  •  Outdoor and adventurous activities
  •  Leading an outdoor activity session
  •  Development of Personal Fitness through Training
Year 2 – work towards achieving*
  •  NCFE Level 3 Introductory Certificate in Sport and Physical Activity
  •  Maths and English compulsory classes each week for those who have not achieved a Grade 4
  •  Introduction to Yachting
  •  STCW Personal Survival Techniques
  •  RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship
  •  Introduction to basic deckhand skills such as splicing, wire work and varnishing
  •  STCW Personal Safety and Social Responsibility
  •  Introduction into engineering
  •  Simulator Training and basic Navigation
  •  Industry Guidance including CV and interview preparation
  •  RYA Safety Boat
  •  STCW Fire Fighting and Fire Prevention
  •  BSUPA Level 1 Instructor
  •  Industry visits
  •  Work experience
NCFE Level 3 Units*
  •  Exercise, Health and Lifestyle
  •  Principles and Practices in outdoor adventure
  •  Preparing for a career in sport and physical activity



How to apply?

If you are interested in applying for this programme of study, please apply directly through the IW College website as detailed below: · Visit –

You can apply online by clicking the ‘+ Apply Online’ button on the Isle of Wight College Website

Once completed, applications will be processed, an interview date will be sent out by email. All interviews are conducted by UKSA Education Tutors – interviews will be 1:1 and will include the completion of a set task. This will be stated in the letter sent by the Isle of Wight College.

Get free careers advice

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.


UKSA has had a huge influence on my choice of career; without them, I wouldn’t be starting my job on the superyacht in the Med!

Sophie Wilmot -Deckhand/SY Crew Training

Read more