Diploma in Maritime Studies: Officer of the Watch (yacht) less than 3,000 gross tonnage (Unlimited)

Diploma in Maritime Studies: Officer of the Watch (yacht) less than 3,000 gross tonnage (Unlimited)

The level 3 Diploma is intended for people in the maritime sector and has been developed in conjunction with the Maritime Skills Alliance to ensure it is fit for purpose. 

Learners will develop knowledge and skills in areas such as:

This qualification is available through employers, colleges and training providers.

Why deliver this qualification

This Diploma at QCF level 3 can be offered in any of the following modes:

  • full-time
  • on the job training

Who does this qualification suit

The Diploma in Maritime Studies: Officer of the Watch on Merchant vessels of less than 3,000 gross tonnage at QCF level 3 is suitable for a wide range of learners, aged 16 or over, including:

  • school leavers
  • learners progressing from basic maritime qualifications
  • adults returning to education
  • employed learners who wish to enhance their career prospects
  • unemployed learners who wish to enhance their job prospects
  • learners wishing to move from one sector of the maritime industry to another

A deck officer assigned with the duties of watch keeping and navigation on a ship’s bridge is known as the officer of the watch (OOW). While keeping watch on the bridge, the OOW is the representative of the ship’s master and has total responsibility for the safe and smooth navigation of the ship.


Completion of this qualification can lead to career progression into Mate on board or Master of a yacht less than 3,000 gross tonnage.

This qualification also provides progression to a Foundation Degree in Nautical Studies.


The approval of this qualification is not devolvable to centres.  Centres who wish to come forward for approval and should contact SQA’s Business Development Team for guidance.

Assessors and verifiers must be able to meet SQA’s general requirements for technical/occupational competence as outlined in the Guide to Approval.

How to assess

On-going course assessment will apply. Each Unit specification gives detailed information on the Evidence Requirements and approaches to assessment for the Unit. Assessment Guidelines and Units are available on SQA’s secure website.


As with all SQA qualifications, entry is at the discretion of the centre.  Different combinations of relevant qualifications may be acceptable.   Examples of formal entry qualifications include:

  • Completion of the Level 2 Diploma in Maritime Studies: Able seafarer/Tug Rating, or
  • Hold a valid Navigation Watch Rating Certificate (STCW A-II/4) and a Certificate of Proficiency as an Able Seafarer/ Tug Rating (STCW A-II/5)

Qualification content and delivery tools


This qualification requires the learner to complete the mandatory Units

Group Award code: SQA: GG79 57. QCF: 600/8405/4

(138 QCF Credit Points)

For information on the structure of this qualification, please refer to the qualification structure.

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