Level 2 Diploma in Maritime Studies: Marine Vessel Maintenance

SQA code: GD20 60 Electro-Technical route and GD1X 60 Engineering route
Ofqual code: 603/4893/8

The Level 2 Diploma in Maritime Studies: Marine Vessel Maintenance qualification has two routes:

  • Electro-technical officer route

    Electro-technical officers are responsible for monitoring all electronic and electrical equipment on board to maximise the operational safety and efficiency of the vessel.
    Total qualification time: 666 hours
    Guided learning hours: 561
    Credit value: 67

  • Engineering officer route

    Engineering officers operate and maintain all of the mechanical and electrical equipment throughout the ship.
    Total qualification time: 909 hours
    Guided learning hours: 630
    Credit value: 91

This qualification may be available through employers, training providers and colleges.

Rationale and purpose of this qualification

The purpose of this qualification is to provide the necessary practical skills and knowledge to safely and efficiently maintain and repair the equipment fitted to merchant vessels.

Its primary purpose is to confirm the learner's occupational competence as an electro-technical or engineering officer. 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.


The qualification is designed to meet the following objectives:

  • 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'. This vocational qualification is one component of an approved merchant navy training programme and is the first step towards confirming occupational competence and achieving certification as an electro-technical or engineering officer within the merchant navy.

What does this qualification cover?

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 achieve the qualification, learners need either 67 or 91 credits dependent on which pathway is chosen. They must complete the mandatory units from the qualification structure.

Electro-technical route (credit value 67)

This route provides the skills and knowledge to:

  • monitor electrical and electronic equipment on board the ship, including radio communications and electronic navigation aids
  • ensure specific electrical/electronic equipment is maintained to the correct standards
  • carry out checks and ensure the safe and efficient operation of electrical and electronic equipment, including high voltage (>1000V) equipment
  • problem solve, eg diagnose electrical and electronic faults and take action to prevent the problem from happening again

Engineering route (credit value 91)

This route will provide with the skills and knowledge to:

  • operate and maintain machinery and support systems on a ship, including planning and preparation of engineering maintenance jobs
  • work safely in an engineering environment and comply with relevant regulations, guidelines and procedures
  • problem solve over a wide range of machinery and equipment
  • communicate clearly with staff at all levels
  • work effectively within a team 

Who is this qualification for?

This qualification may be of interest to someone who is:

  • wishing to enter the merchant navy
  • a rating already working within the shipping industry (who will not have this extensive range of skills), or wishing to transfer from another career
  • practically minded and enjoys learning in a structured and detailed manner using practical training — and who would enjoy the challenge that a career in technology and as a ship's officer entails 


GCSE grades A-C at Levels 1-3 (or equivalent) in the following subjects:

English Language, Maths, a science-based subject, and at least one other subject


a National Certificate/Diploma in an appropriate subject (such as Engineering or Science).


This qualification provides part of the approved training programme for merchant navy officers and can enable progression to a job as a junior officer within the merchant navy (following completion of the appropriate HNC/D qualification this qualification progresses on to).


On completion of the full, approved training programme for merchant navy officers, the rank that can be held (without further training) is electro-technical officer (electro-technical route) or fourth and third engineering officer (engineering route). Further professional development and assessment can lead to the role of chief electro-technical officer or second/chief engineering officer.

Following successful completion of the full training scheme (of which this qualification is a mandatory element) the learner will hold both a certificate of competency (issued by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency) as well as a higher education qualification that provides the skills and knowledge that are needed to undertake a role as a junior ship's officer. 

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Qualification structure

This qualification requires the learner to complete all of the mandatory units for whichever pathway is chosen.

SQA group award code: GD20 60 (Engineering route) or GD1X 60 (Electro-technical route)
Ofqual qualification code: 603/4893/8
The Level 2 Diploma in Maritime Studies: Marine Vessel Maintenance (Electro-Technical) (82 KB) consists of eight mandatory units (credit value 67).

SQA group award code: GD1X 60
Ofqual qualification code:603/4893/8
The Level 2 Diploma in Maritime Studies: Marine Vessel Maintenance (Engineering) (66 KB) consists of nine mandatory units (credit value 91).

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How to assess

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