Level 2 Diploma in Maritime Studies: Sea Fishing

SQA code: GD29 60
Ofqual code: 603/4893/8
Total Qualification Time: 386 hours
Guided Learning Hours: 348
Credit value: 39

The Level 2 Diploma in Maritime Studies: Sea Fishing will develop knowledge and skills in areas such as maritime employment, environmental and health and safety practice, survival in the water during maritime emergencies, maritime security, and emergency first aid in response to maritime accidents or medical emergencies.

This qualification may be available through employers and training providers.

Rationale and purpose of this qualification

This qualification develops the skills and knowledge required by ratings, crew members or deck hands on sea-fishing vessels.

It is intended for those who have no prior experience of the maritime sector.

Its primary purpose is to confirm the learner's occupational competence as a commercial sea fisherman. As a work-related, competence-based qualification it provides confirmation to employers and industry managers that the learner has the skills and knowledge needed to meet the nationally recognised standard to carry out the role.

Learners who achieve this qualification can use it to gain employment, to progress in the industry, or to work towards another qualification (see Progression).


The qualification is designed to meet the following objectives:

  • preparing learners for employment
  • meeting relevant programmes of learning
  • giving learners personal growth and engagement in learning
  • supporting a role in the workplace
  • confirming knowledge, understanding and skills 


The qualification is intended for people in the maritime sector and has been developed in conjunction with the Merchant Navy Training Board and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency to ensure it is 'fit for purpose'.

What does this qualification cover?

This qualification covers: communication using equipment and visual means, securing a vessel for passage, assisting with a vessel's navigational watch, vessel ropework, anchoring and mooring operations, assembling as well as operating and maintaining fishing gear, receiving handling and stowing the catch on a fishing vessel, maintaining your own work practice, and vessel construction and stability.

Learners have a choice of selecting one of two fire-fighting units.  Learners also have the option of an additional unit, 'Cooking at Sea'.

As this is a competence-based qualification, learners will be acquiring the knowledge and skills required through either on-the-job experience or in a learning environment.

To gain the qualification, learners need to achieve a minimum of 39 credits by completing 13 mandatory units (credit value 38) plus one optional unit (minimum credit value 1) from the qualification structure. Learners may also complete the additional optional unit but credit from this does not count towards achievement of the qualification.

Who is this qualification for?

The Level 2 Diploma in Maritime Studies: Sea Fishing is suitable for a wide range of candidates including:

  • school leavers
  • progression learners 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


Entry to the qualification is at the discretion of the centre.

There are no specific skills, knowledge understanding or any other qualifications that must be achieved in order to start this qualification.


For those completing the Sea Fishing Diploma there is an opportunity to advance to become a skipper of a vessel of less than 16.5 metres in length. Learners also have the opportunity to undertake an Advanced Maritime Apprenticeship, which will apply across a range of different types of vessel controlled by international regulations, and will lead to limited certification as an officer of the watch either on the bridge or in the engine room, depending on the pathway followed.

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Qualification structure

SQA group award code: GD29 60

Ofqual qualification code: 603/4893/8

The Level 2 Diploma in Maritime Studies: Sea Fishing consists of 13 mandatory units (credit value 38) and one optional unit (minimum credit value 1). Learners may also complete the additional optional unit but credit from this does not count towards achievement of the qualification.

Please refer to the qualification structure (96 KB) for more information.

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How to assess

The qualification is designed to be assessed in the workplace, or in conditions of the workplace, for example at MCA-approved fire-fighting and sea survival training facilities; college mechanical engineering and electrical engineering workshops; or on board an appropriate vessel.

Ongoing course assessment will apply. Each unit specification gives detailed information on the assessment criteria, assessment (evidence) requirements and guidance on instruments of assessment for the unit.

The qualification is assessed by completing a portfolio of evidence which details what the learner has completed at work. This can be gathered through observation, professional discussion, witness testimony or supporting documentary evidence. The assessor can work alongside the learner to confirm that they have met the requirements of the qualification and that they are therefore competent in their role.

Competence is displayed through the assessor observing the learner demonstrate that they carry out their normal work activities competently and to the industry standard and comply with current legislation and company procedures.

The assessment process will ensure that the learner can complete the tasks that they have been directed to undertake and that they can interpret the instructions correctly. They will demonstrate that they can select the appropriate resources for the tasks and can complete them within the given timescales and specifications.

Learner portfolio

Assessment strategy/principle