Further Education FAQs

What is a BTEC Qualification?

BTEC stands for ‘Business and Technology Education Council’ which runs the award and the exam board is Pearson. They are highly reputable vocational and work-related courses, designed to accommodate the needs of employers for immediate full time employment and allow students to progress to higher education to degree level (through UCAS points). Alternatively, a next step could be applying for UKSA’s Superyacht Cadetship (4 years).

A BTEC takes a practical approach to learning, without missing any of the important theory on the subject.

Where is the BTEC course delivered from?

All courses are delivered from UKSA in Cowes, Isle of Wight, which has specialist training facilities ‘under one roof’, a great social environment on-site and access to world class instructors.

Maritime Foundation and it’s qualifications

Successful learners will be fully qualified Dinghy, Windsurf, Stand-up Paddle Board and Kayak Instructors, and with careers and employment advice from UKSA, you will be able to prepare for employment in the UK – you have to be 18 to work outside of the UK.

If you don’t meet the GCSE entry requirements, and aim to be a watersports instructor, we have a Watersports Instructor Traineeship with functional skills in Maths and English study incorporated.

Who is the Watersports Instructor Development Programme aimed at?

UKSA offers the 24-week intensive Watersports Instructor Development Programme (IDP), to develop and progress candidates in the next stage of their careers in the watersports industry so they can apply for advanced watersports instructor jobs or centre manager roles. Students work towards instructor advancements and industry endorsements.  You can apply if you have successfully-completed the Watersports Instructor Traineeship at UKSA or an equivalent Dinghy Instructor course as well as a season’s experience as a watersports instructor.

Are the courses funded?

If you are 16-18 the course is funded. If you are 18+, funding may be available on a case by case basis, so speak to the Isle of Wight College Student Services team – see below.

Do I have to go on the water?

The courses encourage and offer opportunities and experiences within the outdoor industry and an interest in sport is essential to help relate theory-based work.

Do I need my own kit to do any of the courses?

UKSA has all the kit to do the course to keep you safe and warm outside, including wetsuits, buoyancy aids, spray tops and helmet. All you need to bring is some dinghy boots or old shoes to go in the water.

Where is the watersports training part of the course done?

The watersports activities are done in the River Medina at UKSA but also out in the Solent. When training out in the Solent you will be able to gain knowledge and experience of the tide, wind direction and how to control your vessel in any type of condition. You will have the opportunity to go on River trips in kayaks and canoes, plus try out Stand up paddle boarding at UKSA. All Windsurf is taught at Thorness bay, 3 miles down the road.

What equipment does UKSA have?

  • 7 yachts
  • Variety of designs and size
  • 5 x 42-45ft Cruising Yachts
  • 1 x 65ft Farrs
  • Dinghies and Keelboats
  • RIBs and Personal Watercraft (Jet Ski)
  • Variety of watersports kit and equipment