Are you passionate about engineering? Do you want to use your skills in an exciting and varied environment? Training as an engineer officer cadet in the UK’s Merchant Navy will offer you the chance to travel the world while gaining valuable academic and practical engineering knowledge on a fully sponsored three-year marine engineer officer cadet programme at the world-renowned Warsash Maritime Academy.
Officer cadet training schemes typically last for around three years and are split into five phases which alternate between academic studies, practical experience and safety training at Warsash Maritime Academy and seagoing periods to gain practical shipboard experience.
To enrol on an officer cadet training scheme, candidates apply directly to shipping companies, not through UCAS. This is because officer cadet training is fully sponsored by the shipping company, covering course fees and also providing the means for gaining the mandatory work-based learning on board ship. Cadets will often also receive a small salary or living allowance while they are training.
Marine engineer officers are responsible for the maintenance and operation of the ship’s main propulsion machinery and auxiliary plant, including deck machinery, air conditioning plants and domestic and electrical services. During their training at Warsash, engineer cadets are taught the necessary academic underpinning knowledge, as well as engineering workshop skills training, allowing them to develop a detailed understanding of the safe operation and maintenance of the engine room and auxiliary machinery of a modern merchant vessel.
To apply for a foundation degree in marine engineering, you must undertake a three year Engineering Officer Cadet Training programme (Officer Cadetship) approved by the Merchant Navy Training Board (MNTB) and meet the academic entry requirements as stated.
The next step is to find a company to sponsor you so that you can complete the sea service elements of the training programme. You should apply direct to the sponsoring companies for details of their recruitment policies and the availability of sponsorship.
There are a number of UK sponsoring companies that recruit UK/EU nationals as officer cadets to work in the various shipping sectors of the merchant navy (for example, cargo, container, cruise, tanker etc.), either individual shipping companies recruiting to fulfil their own staffing needs or training organisations that recruit on behalf of their clients.
Companies normally start the recruitment process around January each year for entry in the following September or January.
- A numerate subject or national engineering award at level 3.
- GCSE grade 4 or above in at least mathematics, English and science, plus one other (previously grade C).
- Entry to this course is through a sponsored cadetship; please see the Warsash Maritime Academy website for details.
- For further information about UK, EU and international qualifications, please refer to our course entry requirement statement.
English language requirements
Applicants who do not have English as their first language will be required to demonstrate an approved level of proficiency in the use of the English language. The agreed minimum requirements for this course are:
- IELTS minimum 6.0 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in each individual component
- TOEFL IBT minimum 80 with a minimum of 19 in each individual component
- or equivalent.
Qualifications are checked before enrolment, and international students must bring their original certificates or certified copies when coming to study at the University.
The University also offers a pre-sessional English programme for international students who wish to improve their level of English before starting a degree course.