Merchant Navy Day 2018

Posted on 3 September 2018 by Marine Society

For 262 years the Marine Society has been supporting seafarers to get ahead in their careers. Today, we offer a range of educational qualifications, from GCSE’s to Masters degrees, as well as a range of scholarships to help seafarers on their way. To celebrate Merchant Navy Day here are a couple of stories from our students.


William Sowter

“I’ve been in the yachting industry for the past ten years, working up to Chief Officer level. As the industry matures, the yachts are becoming bigger and my qualifications limiting me to 3000 GT has become a problem. I heard of the Slater scholarship through a colleague and this immediately proved the missing link to enable me to pursue a higher tonnage qualification.

"The scholarship enabled me to fully concentrate on my studies and not have to worry about finances. This became invaluable with unexpected or unplanned for expenses like examination fees. Communications with the Society were prompt and clear. Any questions I might have or advice sought was quickly solved. The bookshop was especially helpful, especially when it came to studying for the final oral exam, and some specialist publications.

"I was fortunate to pass all my examinations first time, and completed the entire syllabus including the final oral exam in just over seven months. I am now planning on working larger yachts or possibly through contacts with fellow students on the course, alter career slightly and try a fully commercial route on cross-channel ferries. Ultimately the return to studies has inspired me to carry on and pursue my Chief Officer Unlimited as soon as possible as well.

"I’d like to thank all the staff involved, their help and guidance has been much appreciated.”


Bari Khan

“In 2015 I was awarded the MSSC Lifelong Learning and Outstanding Achievement award after completing my BEng Honours First Marine Engineering and Management Degree at Warsash Maritime Academy which the Marine Society helped me through. Thereafter in 2016, I was fortunate to be supported by my employer the Maritime and Coastguard Agency whilst on the Graduate Trainee Surveyor Programme to achieve my Second Engineers Unlimited Certificate of Competency. This involved more short courses, time at maritime college, written and oral examinations.  Throughout my graduate programme I was well supported by fellow managers and surveyors, and in January 2017 qualified through my Surveyors board to take on the role as Marine Engineer Surveyor and Vertical Contract Auditor role in the MCAs External Monitoring and Assurance Branch. The role keeps me busy! I am constantly working in Survey and Inspection, undertaking surveyor training, as well as auditing our delegated associations, assisting in policy development and facilitating industry through working groups and technical forums.

"I am also working towards my professional accreditations with the Institute of Marine Engineers, Scientists and Technologists; whom I help with my work as Technical Secretary of the Southern Joint Branch alongside the Royal Institute of Naval Architects.”

"I also try and support the work of the Marine Society whenever I can and have undertaken a charity bicycle ride from London 2 Paris in 2017.  This year I have been fortunate to be given a space on the coveted Prudential Ride London Surrey 100."


If you're a seafarer and you would like to find out more about what options are out there for you to study with the Marine Society, visit our 'Study' page.