Level 2 Diploma in Maritime Studies: Able Seafarer (Engine Room)

SQA code: GD1Y 60
Ofqual code: 603/4893/8
Total Qualification Time: 447 hours
Guided Learning Hours: 366
Credit value: 45

The Level 2 Diploma in Maritime Studies: Able Seafarer (Engine Room) will develop knowledge and skills in areas such as maritime employment, environmental and health and safety practice, survival in the water during maritime emergencies, and maritime security.

The Diploma also includes emergency first aid in response to maritime accidents or medical emergencies, safe operation of merchant vessel machinery systems, electrical safety on merchant vessels, producing components using hand-fitting techniques, and preparing and using lathes for turning operations.

Learners can specialise in control operation of survival craft and rescue boats, maintaining electrical equipment/systems, and providing a fire-fighting response on board a vessel.

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

Rationale and purpose of this qualification

This qualification has been developed by the Maritime Skills Alliance (MSA) and is suitable for people who are working, or intending to work, in the maritime sector including: merchant navy, tugs, sea fishing, inland waterways, rivers and limited distances to sea.

The qualification is aimed at those who have no prior experience of the maritime sector and will develop their skills and knowledge as ratings, crew members or deck hands.

Its primary purpose is to confirm the learner's occupational competence as an engine room able seafarer. 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.


The qualification is designed to meet the following objectives:

  • preparing learners for employment
  • preparing learners to progress to another qualification
  • 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 Level 2 Diploma in Maritime Studies: Able Seafarer (Engine Room) 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?

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 whole qualification, learners must complete 10 mandatory units from the qualification structure. Learners may also complete any of the three additional optional units, however, credit from these does not count towards achievement of the qualification.

Who is this qualification for?

The Level 2 Diploma in Maritime Studies: Able Seafarer (Engine Room) 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. 


This qualification is a mandatory component in the Maritime Occupations Apprenticeship in England (as detailed in SASE).


This qualification provides the opportunity to progress to:

  • MCA certification as an able seafarer (after completion of the required sea time)
  • an Advanced Maritime Apprenticeship with a choice of pathways

This qualification can lead to progression within the maritime industry, particularly when it is taken as a component of an apprenticeship in maritime occupations.

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Qualification structure

SQA code: GD1Y 60
Ofqual qualification code: 603/4893/8

The Level 2 Diploma in Maritime Studies: Able Seafarer (Engine Room) consists of 10 mandatory units (credit value 45). Learners may also take three additional optional units — however, these do not count towards achievement of the qualification.                                                  

Please refer to the qualification structure (88 KB) for more information.

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How to assess

The Diploma 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, at 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