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. Providing learners with skills and qualifications that demonstrate their competency to work as a seafarer.

If your ultimate goal is to broaden your horizons and gain skills required to start a career within the maritime industry then this is the course for you!

Maritime Foundation student learning ropework

About the course

UKSA’s 2-year Maritime Foundation course is aimed at those who have no prior experience of the maritime sector,  provides the essential skills, qualifications and knowledge required to start a career within the industry.

You will develop practical knowledge and skills in areas such as maritime safety, vessel rope work, anchoring, mooring operations, securing a vessel for passage, vessel construction and stability and control operation of survival craft and rescue boats.

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

Other progression opportunities require further qualifications and time spent at sea in order to qualify for the necessary internationally recognised certification, including:

  • Bosun
  • Chief petty officer
  • Senior rating (on-board large yachts)
  • Junior deck officer (merchant navy)
  • Mate (tugs)

This qualification will also give the learner an opportunity to achieve the required UCAS points to progress onto UKSA’s foundation degree attached to the Superyacht Cadetship programme.

Maritime Foundation student learning first aid

Who is this Maritime Foundation for?

This course is funded as part of a full-time 16+ further education (FE) programme. Ideal for Isle of Wight students with no prior experience of the maritime sector, who are looking for a role within the maritime sector or want a structured pathway towards our flagship Superyacht Cadetship.

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

Maritime Foundation student looking at a sail


  • Interest or desire to start a career within the 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 56 UCAS points
  • A pathway onto our flagship Superyacht Cadetship course
  • Practical learning in a maritime centre of excellence
Maritime Foundation student on a powerboat level 2 course

Qualifications gained over 2 years

  • Year 1: SQA Level 2 in Maritime Studies Able Seafarer (Deck)
  • Year 2: NCFE level 3 certificate in sport and physical activity – 56 UCAS points
SQA Modules (year 1)
  • Maritime Sector Overview
  • Vessel Ropework, Anchoring and Mooring Operations
  • Securing a Vessel for Passage
  • Vessel Construction and Stability
  • Control operation of Survival craft and rescue boats
NCFE Modules (year 2)
  • Outdoor and adventures expeditions
  • Preparing for a career in Sport and Physical Activity
  • Exercise, health and lifestyle
  • Principles and Practices in outdoor adventure
  • Skills for water-based outdoor and adventurous activities
  • Equipment and Facilities for outdoor and adventurous activities
Enrichment & employability skills
  • RYA First Aid
  • RYA Marine Short Range Radio
  • MCA STCW Basic Safety Training
  • RYA Powerboat Level 2
  • RYA Safety Boat
  • RYA Tender Operator Licence
  • British Canoeing Paddleboard Instructor
  • RYA Competent Crew
  • RYA Personal Watercraft Proficiency
  • RYA Day Skipper Shorebased and Practical
  • Entry-level Engine Maintenance course
  • Introduction in Keelboating
Course structure
  • During this 2-year programme, 60% of your training will be practical with the remaining 40% theory.
Maritime Foundation student on a Jet-Ski

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 https://www.iwcollege.ac.uk/
  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?