UKSA Superyacht Cadetship Course

Number of phases
Course duration
4 years
Deckhand to Officer
Start dates

From cadet to officer on superyachts

Are you between 18-25 and looking for an exciting career on superyachts? The UKSA Superyacht Cadetship Course is a structured programme designed to train the future officers of the superyacht industry.

A great alternative to university, the course begins in August.

Superyacht cadetship work showcase

About the Superyacht Cadetship Course

Cadetship training brocuhre

The UKSA Superyacht Cadetship is a structured four-year programme designed to train the future officers of the superyacht industry.

Designed in consultation with the MCA, the Superyacht Cadetship combines the most relevant training and mentoring in the industry. It equips graduates with a strong foundation of knowledge alongside offering a realistic understanding of what it takes to succeed in a career in the Superyacht industry.

The four-year programme is a career path to STCW II/1 Officer of the Watch (Yacht <3000GT) and progressing to the STCW II/2 Master (Yacht <3000GT) qualification.

Cadets also have the opportunity to undertake a Foundation Degree in Operational Yacht Science during phase 1 and 3 of the Superyacht Cadetship, awarded by Plymouth University. This option provides additional career and training pathways into different sectors in the maritime industry.

The programme offers some significant advantages. Whilst the average debt for a University student in the UK can amount to £35,000 to £40,000, at UKSA our students can earn while they learn. This ensures they are able to pay off course fees while actively working and training within the industry.

Superyacht Cadetship Pathway Infographic

Download our Superyacht Cadetship Pathway Infographic

Superyacht Cadetship course stages

Phase 1 – Essential Cadetship training to launch your superyacht career – 160 days (academic study)

The Cadet will develop skills and knowledge of seamanship and safety as well as industry qualifications. Mentoring and guidance will help the Cadet obtain entry-level deck positions on superyachts, progressing into long-term opportunities within the sector.

Qualification gained

  • RYA Yachtmaster Offshore
  • STCW Basic Safety Training
  • RYA Powerboat Level 2
  • RYA Personal Watercraft Proficiency (Jet-Ski)
  • RYA Radar and Simulator training
  • RYA Short Range Radio
  • RYA Tender Operator Course
  • MCA Proficiency in Designated Security Duties
  • MCA Approved Engine Course
  • Superyacht Deck Maintenance Training
  • Foundation Degree in Operational Yacht Science (First year of study)

Phase 2 – Industry experience working onboard superyachts – the world is your classroom – 12-18 months (paid employment)

Our Cadets will be employed on a superyacht as an entry-level deckhand, following the guidance of the MCA Training Record Book with mentor support from UKSA.

Phase 3 – Yacht operations and management stepping up the ranks and taking on more serious roles – 3 weeks (academic study)

This is the link to progression from junior deckhand to more senior positions onboard, such as lead deckhand or bosun. Training builds on the Cadets working experience and provides the first steps to gain their Officer of the Watch (Yachts less than 3000gt) qualification. Cadet’s who are also completing the second year of the Foundation Degree will move forward with their coursework (Additional time-based at Falmouth University) and using the knowledge gained from working on board and training at UKSA, move closer to gaining their FDSC in Operational Yacht Science.

Qualifications gained

  • MCA Efficient Deck Hand (EDH)
  • MCA Human Element, Leadership and Management (Operational Level)
  • RYA Yachtmaster Ocean (Shorebased)
  • Foundation Degree in Operational Yacht Science, Year Two completion

Phase 4 – Industry experience 12-18 months (paid employment)

During this phase, the cadet will gain watch keeping experience, in line with the MCA Training Record Book. Practically applying and honing the techniques and practices learned.

Phase 5 – OOW Training from Cadet to Officer of the Watch (OOW) – 8 weeks (academic study)

This is the final stage of Officer of the Watch 3000gt training. Building on training and experience gained over the period of the course, cadets will study senior modules towards final examination and qualification competencies MCA Officer of the Watch Modules.

Qualification gained:

  • General Ship Knowledge (OOW Yacht)
  • Navigation and Radar (OOW Yacht)
  • Proficiency in Survival Craft and Rescue Boats Other Than Fast Rescue Boats (Restricted)
  • Electronic Chart Display and Information Systems (ECDIS)
  • GMDSS General Operators Certificate (GOC)
  • Oral Preparation Officer of the Watch (Yachts less than 3000gt)
Confirmed selection dates :
  • 20th – 21th June 2024
  • 18th – 19th July 2024

Assisted funding available

As a great alternative to University, our cadets can graduate debt-free

As a charity, we have funding opportunities available for many of our students. UKSA can help with assisted funding towards the Superyacht Cadetship Programme. Please follow the link for further information on UKSA’s Superyacht Cadetship funding. Alternatively, please talk to one of our course advisers who will be able to provide you with further information on the funding that is available and assess your eligibility.

Please note, even if you are not eligible for financial support, most of our Cadets earn enough during the work phases to more than cover the next phases of training. You really could graduate debt free, with all the required qualifications and experience to work at the pinnacle of the superyacht industry.

Meet the Cadetship Manager

photo of James Potipher - UKSA Cadetship ManagerWe have a dedicated Cadetship manager who is on hand to support, mentor and guide our cadets through their exciting journey into the superyacht industry.

James has extensive knowledge and skills from working on superyachts to teaching a variety of MCA modules. He has passed all the courses students will be completing on the Cadetship, so has first-hand knowledge of the entire programmes. He has also completed his MCA oral exam to gain his OOW 3000gt ticket and teaches these courses to our students with impressive feedback.

With the wealth of experience both working and teaching in the industry, James is perfectly positioned to support our Superyacht Cadets to ensure they fulfil their potential and rise through the ranks to progress their careers on superyachts.

Superyacht Cadetship requirements

  • You must be aged 18-25 when you start the Superyacht Cadetship, but can apply when you are 17 if you wish.
  • Excellent communication, oral and written skills, are essential, as is a good understanding of mathematics.
  • Cadets should ideally have GCSEs grades 9-4 (or equivalent) in English, Maths & Science.
  • If applying for the Foundation Degree alongside the Superyacht Cadetship 48 UCAS points are required.
  • All seafarers must have an ENG1 seafarer medical fitness certificate to work at sea (click here for more details).Whilst it’s not essential to hold your ENG1 to complete your training with UKSA, it is required to hold this to secure work in the industry. For this reason, we recommend all students gain their ENG1 before they attend training.

Apply now

  1. To apply, you will need to contact a course adviser who will provide you with an application form to complete and discuss your suitability.
  2. The next step is to book a cadet selection at UKSA. Our selections are usually run over two days. On the selection you will be required to deliver a detailed presentation on a superyacht of your choice and sit an interview with UKSA’s cadetship selection panel, where you will be required to demonstrate a proven interest in a long-term career within the superyacht industry.

Create your success story today

To learn more about the selection event and how to apply, please call us on+44 (0)1983 203038 or email [email protected]

Superyacht Cadetship FA iconFAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions on the Superyacht Cadetship.

What is a cadetship?

The UKSA Superyacht Cadetship is a structured four-year programme designed to train the future officers of the superyacht industry.

Do you get paid for a cadetship?

The 12-18 month paid placement can be with a number of different providers. It is not possible to give a figure of the actual amount that a cadet would earn. If you’d like to know more details about what to expect, please contact us and we’ll be able to give you a more accurate figure based on upcoming placements.

What is a cadetship program?

The unique cadetship program at UKSA is aimed at those wanting a career in the maritime industry, specifically at full progression to be a superyacht captain. The 5-phase structure builds technical knowledge and experience, gains industry qualifications, and real industry experience, travelling around the world.

How to get a cadetship?

See the apply now section to find out more. There are some cadetship requirements to make sure you quality for acceptance, and there are funding opportunities available for candidates that qualify.

What are the benefits of a cadetship?

The cadetship programme at UKSA is unique, we’re the only ones that offer this type of structured pathway. It’s a fantastic alternative to university and provides an entry to the amazing world of working on board a superyacht. You’ll get industry qualifications alongside real world experience, providing you with all the skills you need in your future career.

Why train with UKSA?

From our unique waterfront campus in Cowes, on the Isle of Wight, we have a wide range of facilities and fleet to ensure that our students have the very best learning experience. This course is all-inclusive, meaning everything is on site and all of your food and accommodation is included, so you can focus on your training.

Don’t just take our word for it

Lewis Coppinger – UKSA Superyacht Cadetship Graduate

Lewis Coppinger supreyacht cadetship training case study pdf

“I particularly like UKSA’s well structured and organised approach. It feels more like going to university than your typical sailing centre.”


Get free careers advice

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