The Maritime Foundation: NCFE (Level 3 Introductory Certificate)

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

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.

About the course

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 (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
  • 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
  • NCFE Level 2 Certificate in Outdoor Sports
  • RYA Powerboat Level 2
  • RYA Dinghy Instructor (subject to completing the skills preassessment)
  • RYA First Aid
  • RYA Safe and Fun
  • FSRT- Foundation Safety and Rescue Training in Kayaking/Canoe
  • Paddleboard ready to Ride
  • STCW Sea Survival
  • Work Experience including Rope work, anchoring, maritime sector overview and industry guidance
  • Participating in sport
  • Outdoor and adventurous activities
  • Leading an outdoor activity session
  • Plan, deliver and evaluate an activity session
Year 2 – work towards achieving
  • NCFE Level 3 Certificate in Outdoor Sports
  • RYA Competent Crew
  • RYA Marine Radio Short Range Certificate
  • RYA Day Skipper Theory (Subject to ability)
  • Introduction to basic deckhand skills such as splicing, wire work and varnishing
  • STCW- Fire Fighting and Prevention, First Aid PSSR, Security etc
  • MCA Accredited Engine Course Introduction
  • Simulator Training and basic Nav
  • Industry Guidance including CV and Interview preparation
  • Industry visits such as Red Funnel, Sail loft, Yacht Squadron and Haven
NCFE Level 3 Modules
  • Exercise, Health and Lifestyle
  • Principles and Practices in outdoor adventure
  • Preparing for a career in sport and physical activity
Course structure
  • During this 2-year programme, 80% of your training will be practical with the remaining 20% theory.
  • 4 days a week minimum

How to apply?

Want to apply, why not attend a selection day?

If you’re interested in applying for the Maritime Foundation and would like to attend a selection, please contact UKSA to register your interest. Or alternatively register with the Isle of Wight College as detailed below.

  1. Visit
  2. Select ‘courses’
  3. Select ‘activity leadership’
  4. Select either ‘course of interest’ or ‘apply online’
  5. You can now apply online by registering an account or using an existing account
This course is funded as part of a full-time 16+ further education (FE) programme.

If you are aged 18+,  we would advise looking at our career training courses. Or why not join us on an open day?

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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

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