Shipping and Maritime Operations NC Level 6

What is special about this course?

This course will enable you to progress to further qualifications which form part of deck and engineer officer training programmes or alternatively if you wish to follow a career in shore based maritime operations.

The course offers a relevant mix of competencies to enable career progression whilst at the same time providing you with an articulation route to HNC/HNDs currently used in training programmes for Merchant Navy officers.

The course forms part of a scheme of training approved for professional certification by the Merchant Navy Training Board.

During your course, we introduce you to using a range of digital technologies, which will help you get the most from your course and at the same time develop your digital skills.  Find out more about key computing skills and essential student skills.


Entry requirements

You should have at least 3 National 5s or equivalent.

Alternatively you could have completed our NQ in Maritime and Aquaculture Skills. Mature students will be considered on merit.

  • Computing Office and Personal Productivity Applications
  • Communication - Level 6
  • Shipboard Operations  - An Introduction
  • Maritime Industry - An Introduction
  • Transverse Stability of Ships - An Introduction
  • Naval Architecture - An Introduction
  • Mathematics for the Maritime Industry
  • Nautical Science - An Introduction
  • Chart Work and Tides - An Introduction
  • Bridge Watch Keeping - An Introduction
  • Safety and Security of a Vessel whilst in a Port Environment
  • Marine Mechanics - An Introduction

How will I study my course?

  • Full Time

You normally need to commit to 18 hours per week (2-3 days) of blended learning time consisting of timetabled learning and personal study.

For the practical elements of your course, some of your timetabled learning will take place in and around our Mallaig College Centre. 

Internet connection and a suitable device with headphones, microphone & camera (minimum spec) is required. Please email us if you have any concerns about connectivity or equipment.

How long will my course last?

34 Weeks

Where can I study my course?

    • Mallaig

Start date

Late August/Early September


Most students have their course fees paid as this is a full time course. Please read our Fees & Funding information pages for more information regarding residency, previous study and bursary rates. Please contact if you have any further questions.

Rest of UK students : For students normally domiciled in the rest of the UK (England, Wales and N. Ireland, including Channel Islands and the Isle of Man), with a term-time address in Scotland, studying full time, the course fee is £5,800.

Some of our courses require students to have essential equipment/clothing.

If you are under 18, you are entitled to have essential equipment paid for whether you are entitled to Education Maintenance Allowance (EMA) or not. However you must complete an application even if you know that you're not entitled to EMA.

If you are 18 and over and are eligible for a bursary, these costs will be met through your bursary. If you are not eligible for a bursary, you will need to fund these items yourself.


Students may qualify for bursary funding.

What can I do on completion of my course?

This course can provide students with a sound platform from which to progress towards completion of HNC/HND marine training programmes and then on to other Merchant Navy Certificates of Competency.

Is there more information available online?

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What our students, graduates and staff say

My main aim in coming to Mallaig was to get a qualification, which would help me to get a cadetship.

I had Highers from school in Glasgow and so I was able to come straight on to Shipping and Maritime Operations, which does have a fair bit of marine related maths and science.

I have also been able to pick up three parts of the STCW ticket: PST, PSR and First Aid. I’ve done Day Skipper too. All of these are great for my CV when I finish.

I have upped my practical skills and filled the gaps in my theoretical knowledge. I’ve had a good time in Mallaig and we have worked hard.

My application for a cadetship was successful and I feel well prepared for when I start in Glasgow in September.

Robert Mattison

Apply for Shipping and Maritime Operations NC Level 6

We are no longer accepting applications for 2021/22

I want to start in 2022/23

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at West Highland College UHI. West Highland College operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.