Degrees At Sea

Our seafarer-friendly degree pathway means you can gain qualifications without stepping ashore.

Seafaring workman working with pipes and machinery

If you need an academic qualification to open doors ashore but don’t have the time or money, then work-based learning is for you.

Working with Middlesex University, we’ve developed opportunities to gain academic qualifications. These courses allow you to integrate your current qualifications, experience and study all while you work, meaning it’s easier to fit around your day job.

Marine Society College can look after your enrolment and administration so you can focus on improving your CV with a universally recognised qualification.

In some cases, we may be able to help with a scholarship to reduce the fees still further.


The qualifications on offer are:

  • Bachelors degree: top up an HND/FD to an honours degree
  • Masters degree: trade on your professional qualifications and experience to get an academic masters degree
  • Doctorate in Professional Studies

Is this the right course for me?

If you’re looking for a qualification that will allow you to transfer into a different industry, then this is a good way to do that.  

You should ideally hold a Class 1 Certificate of Competency for three years or an equivalent qualification in a related subject.

Time frames are also flexible, meaning you could complete a course in as little as eight months, a perfect option if you’re keen to get your qualification quickly. Equally, if you want to take your time, you have up to 16 months to finish, ensuring you’re able to fit it around your day-to-day work.

To find out more about the courses, including fees, visit Middlesex University’s website. 

To find out how details on applying, please call us on: 020 7654 7050 or email:


Open University

We’ve partnered with the Open University, the UK’s only university dedicated to distance learning, to offer you an ideal way to continue your education.

For more than 40 years, we’ve been working with the Open University (OU) to allow seafarers to take full advantage of learning opportunities and gain academic accreditation for their profession.

As a distance-learning specialist, the OU has flexible learning methods with limited barriers to entry. No interviews and no qualifications are required for most courses.

Seafaring workman cutting a rope with a knife

We’ve created tailored packages for seafarers and those working in the maritime sector. These include a degree in business, leadership and management, and a route to chartered status for marine engineers. And because they come from the OU, it can be achieved either at sea or ashore.

To help you concentrate on your learning, we can enrol you on the course, arrange all exams at sea and also provide support for all the administrative aspects involved. We can also arrange for there to be no examination fees.

We’ve also negotiated special discounts for seafarers wanting to enrol in the OU’s continuing professional development courses, as well as some higher-level programmes.

The MBA programme

One of these programmes is the Open Business School’s MBA programme. The OU offers a BA/BSc Open Degree, especially for seafarers, that focuses on business, leadership and management.

Open qualifications are highly regarded by employers as they equip you with a wide range of expertise, skills and capabilities that are much sought after in today’s highly competitive job market.

This degree has been mapped for credit transfer against a seafarers’ HND in nautical science or marine engineering and attracts 120 points at Level 1 and a further 60 at Level 2. That leaves only a 60-point course at Level 2 and two 30-point courses at Level 3 to earn the degree. This makes the qualification achievable within two years and also makes it more affordable.

You will gain relevant and practical skills in communication, the use of IT, numerical interpretation, collaborative working and reflective thinking. It will also provide you with a range of skills such as marketing, human resources, finance, plus leading and influencing change.

If you have any questions, or would like to find out more about OU study, please email: or call us on: 0207 654 7050.