Posted on 13 March 2017 by Nick Chubb

One of the best things about going to sea is having your initial education and training paid for – whether you go as a rating apprentice or an officer cadet, there is money available to kick-start your career. But what about after your initial training is finished? How can you fund ongoing training, career development and education?

Did you know that last year Marine Society alone granted more than £1.7million in scholarship funding to individual seafarers? Whether you want to work towards your next ticket, do a degree, or top up your CPD, we have put together a funding guide for UK seafarers to help get you there.


  • For: Merchant seafarers – ratings only
  • Eligibility: UK nationals resident in the UK
  • Amount: up to £17,500
  • Contact: Marine Society

On behalf of Nautilus International, Marine Society administers the Slater Scholarship for Merchant Navy ratings who wish to study towards their first Certificate of Competency. Up to £17,500 is available to ratings to cover the cost of short courses, academic study, and reasonable living expenses whilst studying.


  • For: Unemployed Merchant seafarers – all ranks
  • Eligibility: UK and EEA nationals resident in the UK
  • Amount: Depends on circumstances and courses
  • Contact: MEF Training

The MEF provides various rating and officer development opportunities, including grant-funding support to eligible unemployed seafarers to update their skills and/or revalidate specific certification requirements to increase their employability potential through defined training. Click here to find out more about eligibility.


  • For: Merchant seafarers, all ranks
  • Eligibility: UK nationals resident in the UK
  • Amount: up to £2,000
  • Contact: Marine Society

Marine Society offers interest free loans up to £2,000 for seafarers to supplement their resources while studying at college or attending courses necessary for their employment or advancement. Loans are only granted for courses directly related to the maritime sector to British seafarers domiciled in the UK. The loans are paid back in instalments over 24 months starting four months after completion of a course.


  • For: Unemployed Merchant seafarers – all ranks
  • Eligibility: UK and EEA nationals resident in the UK
  • Amount: up to £9,303
  • Contact: Merchant Navy Training Provider

Support for Maritime Training (SMarT) Funding is a government pot of money available until March 31st 2018 to unemployed seafarers who want to claim back the cost of some eligible short courses, rating to officer conversion training, or OOW to chief mate/second engineer training. The Merchant Navy Training Provider (MNTP) administers the funding, full information on the scheme and how to apply can be found in MGN 455 and MIN 486.


  • For: Merchant seafarers – all ranks
  • Eligibility: UK nationals resident in the UK
  • Amount: up to £500
  • Contact: Marine Society

Where their employer has not offered support, seafarers who need to take qualifications essential to work at sea (such as renewing basic safety certificates) or courses for continuing professional development can apply for up to £500 funding towards the cost with a Hanway Scholarship.


  • For: Merchant seafarers – officers
  • Eligibility: UK nationals resident in the UK
  • Amount: up to £1,000
  • Contact: Marine Society

The Worcester Scholarship is aimed at officers who wish to take academic qualifications such as a bachelors or master’s degree in Maritime Operations or Marine Engineering. In certain circumstances, it can be used for advanced professional qualifications where there is no support available anywhere else.


The Mars Training Ship fund is open to any UK national who needs funding for a course in preparation for, or continuation of, a career in the Merchant Navy. The grant must be spent on a training course or ancillary costs such as accommodation or study materials. Grants are awarded twice a year, in March and September and the amounts can vary depending on demand for funding but are generally in the range of £200 to £600.


We will update this post whenever we become aware of any other financial assistance available. If you know of any other funding sources for UK seafarers please comment below or get in touch so that we can add it to the guide.