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FdSc Navigation and Maritime Science

Short-cycle tertiary education (ISCED 2011 level 5)


Cost Home/EU students - £9,250; International students - £13,800

This exciting foundation degree will set you on course for a successful career as a maritime professional in the global maritime sector. Opt to follow a two year programme designed for students wishing to pursue a career in shore based maritime management; or follow an accredited three year programme that includes a year working at sea, and gain internationally recognised qualifications for professional seafarers in the merchant navy, yachting or superyacht industries.

You will immerse yourself in the latest technology; we've equipped our Marine Navigation Centre with an advanced full mission ship simulator and the latest in electronic charts. You’ll develop the practical, communication and problem-solving skills employers are looking for. You’ll experience life at sea first hand as trainee officers to gain practical experience from a seagoing placement year.

Key features

  • Lay strong foundations for a successful career in the maritime sector. Join successful graduates who have gone on to work in a diverse range of maritime industries and professions such as professional navigator, marine manager and yacht racer.
  • Distinguish yourself with a degree that’s accredited by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, as well as the Merchant Navy Training Board.*
  • Immerse yourself in the latest technology; we've equipped our Marine Navigation Centre with an advanced full mission ship simulator and the latest in electronic charts.
  • Gain hands-on experience from the outset by learning to navigate our dedicated 13 metre sail and navigation training vessel 'Take The Helm' on Plymouth Sound. If qualified and approved, you'll be able to skipper her yourself.
  • Ensure you have the practical, communication and problem-solving skills employers are looking for with a mixture of lectures, tutorials, and practical’s featuring group and individual problem-based learning; case studies; debate and critiques; oral and visual presentations; field work; and professional development planning.
  • Gain sponsorship from shipping companies or training organisations, looking to train the next generation of professional seafarers. Sponsorship can become available to students already following our programme.   
  • Study this accredited degree as a sponsored student and receive funding towards tuition fees and living expenses from the sponsoring company, while you study. 
  • Experience life at sea first hand as trainee officers to gain practical experience from a seagoing placement year.
  • If you are not sponsored you can still follow an accredited trajectory into a professional seafaring career. Many of our students wish to work as officers in the superyacht industry, where qualified officers are increasingly in demand.
Structural components
Ship training
Internship/Workplace experience
Practical/Field work

Application procedure

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service).

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code.

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email

Grant opportunities

The Plymouth Navigator Scholarship

Up to £1,000. Navigation and maritime science students are automatically paid £500/£250 for an A / B in Mathematics A level and/or one further sum of £500/£250 for an A / B in a relevant science subject including A level Geography or Psychology. This is awarded to home/EU applicants who put us as their firm choice before the 1 August 2020. The scholarship is paid during the first semester of the first year.

There are additional prizes and awards to reward high achievement in later years of the degree.

Undergraduate scholarships for international students

To reward outstanding achievement the University of Plymouth offers scholarship schemes to help towards funding your studies.

Find out whether you are eligible and how you can apply


UCAS tariff


To include a grade E at a relevant science subject (Biology, Human Biology, Chemistry, Maths, Physics, Design Technology, Applied Science, Geography, Engineering, Geology, Environmental Science, Environmental Studies, Psychology), excluding general studies.

BTEC National Diploma/QCF Extended Diploma: PPP in a relevant subject.

BTEC National Diploma modules
If you hold a BTEC qualification it is vital that you provide our Admissions team with details of the exact modules you have studied as part of the BTEC. Without this information we may be unable to process your application quickly and you could experience significant delays in the progress of your application to study with us. Please explicitly state the full list of modules within your qualification at the time of application.

Pass science related Access course. Must have GCSE English and Maths grade C/4 or above or equivalent

International Baccalaureate: 24 points overall to include 4 at Higher Level science.

GCSE: mathematics and English language grade C.

An interview may be required. Equivalent qualifications will be considered.

Non UK residents will need to obtain sponsorship from their own national fleet subject to Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA) approval.

English language requirements

We welcome applicants with international qualifications. To view other accepted qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

ISCED Categories

Marine and maritime law
Machinery and operators
Naval engineering
Navigation and seamanship