Slater Scholarship

Are you in the Merchant Navy and looking to progress your career?

Sponsored by Nautlius Slater fund

The Slater Fund, managed by the Marine Society with Nautilus International, offers Slater Scholarships of up to £18,500, with an additional discretionary £1,500 for completing the programme.The Fund helps ratings study for the first certificate of competency, and can also help Electro-Technical Officers and yacht, workboat and tug crew gain STCW certification.

It was established in 1977 in memory of former MNAOA General Secretary John William Slater. In the past 10 years, more than 1,000 seafarers have benefitted.

Who can apply?

Any Merchant Navy rating, Electro Technical Officer (ETO), Workboat, Tug or Yacht crew that wish to study for the STCW Officer of the Watch, deck or engine qualifications. Consideration is also given to those who already hold the Class 2 or Class 1 Fishing ticket and are looking to convert to the OOW Unlimited.

Please note the fund does not support those aiming for Chief Mate unlimited, Master of Yachts <3000gt or any Master certificate if you already hold the OOW unlimited.

Apprenticeship route

If you are aiming to achieve your Officer of the Watch (OOW) <500gt Near Coastal, you are not eligible to apply for a Slater Scholarship. Instead, you should consider the new apprenticeship standard as an alternative route to gaining this certificate. All training costs are met by the Government levy fund. You must be employed on a permanent contract and work for an English company.

For details of the standard please click HERE or for further information about how to apply please contact us at


Eligible applicants must be British seafarers who are resident in the UK and aged 21 years old or older.

Slater scholarships will only be awarded to experienced seafarers who have completed ALL the seagoing service required for the certificate they are aiming for. You will be expected to already have your Notice of Eligibility (NOE) or be in a position to apply for it. Please note that you do NOT need to have completed all your courses before applying for your NOE.

Funds are only available for two years from award date and you will be expected to achieve your certificate of competency within this time.

You cannot apply for funding retrospectively to cover the cost of any courses started, completed or paid for prior to submitting your application.

Due to the increasing number of applications, we now need to limit the number of awards at these two intake points per year.


Slater Scholarship Application Submission Schedule


Date of intake Open Date Closing Date

Notification Date

May 2024 12 Feb 2024 12 Apr 2024 22 May 2024
Jan 2025 2 Sep 2024 1 Nov 2024 7 Jan 2025



Priority will be given to applicants who meet the criteria and were placed on the waiting list from the previous intake. In the event that there are more applications than awards available, priority will be given to those seeking to obtain OOW unlimited, EOOW unlimited and ETO certification.

You can download an application form and return it to us either by post - at the address placed at the bottom of the form - or by email at

Please see guidance notes to assist you with the application process.


"The Marine Society's Slater Fund has enabled me to pursue and complete my goal of becoming an Officer of the Watch. Their advice has been friendly and professional, and I could not offer a higher recommendation."

Steven Rogers, Maritime and Coastguard Agency


How can I use it?

This scholarship can help offset the direct costs of obtaining a certificate of competency through any MCA approved nautical college or training provider within the UK.

It can also help fund the necessary courses and assist with accommodation, travel, learning resources and living expenses whille you study, as well as funding the cost of upskilling in functional skills, such as Mathematics, offered by Marine Society to those in need.


"I thought I was going to have a tough time trying to find an officer job but I’ve only really been looking seriously for the last week. I’m pretty sure I got that job due to being a slater scholarship recipient and Ab previously which was on my CV. Ive heard lots of cadets say that they are finding it hard to find work after qualifying but it’s not been like that for me so far."

Slater Scholar (June 2021)


How does it work?

Scholarships will be available for two years from the date of award and must start to be used within one year of being awarded. The Fund is available to experienced seafarers aged a minimum of 21 years old and permanently resident in the UK.

It is subject to status checks, and dependent upon the availability of funds.


"Having recently completed my Officer of the Watch, I believe I gained favour in securing a permanent position on the government research vessel MRV Scotia. My aspirations are to move forward, upward and onward with my Officer of the Watch Certificate of Competency."

Gilbert Patterson, MRV Scotia

 Approved Provider Recognition Scheme                                                                   

The Scheme recognises maritime college and training providers that work with us to provide training for Slater scholars  working towards their certificates of competency. Approved Providers are those that have agreed favourable terms that provide better value for the Slater Fund, including discounts on course bookings.  

Slater scholars are instructed to only use Approved Providers when booking their courses except where their preferred location and availability of the course is not available. Approved providers are listed below and recognised by displaying an Approved Provider logo.

Blackpool and the Fylde College - Fleetwood Nautical Campus

Captain Barry Sadler Maritime Training

Chieftain Training

East Coast College

Fire-Aid Academy Ltd

Fred Wilson Marine LLP

Glasgow Maritime Academy

JPMA/Hoylake Sailing School Ltd

Maritime Skills Academy

North Kent College

Scottish Maritime Academy at North East Scotland College

SeaRegs Training Ltd

Seascope Maritime Training

Southampton Solent University

South Shields Marine School at Tyne Coast College

STCW Training UK Ltd

Stream Marine Training

UK Sailing Academy - UKSA

Western Maritime Training

Whitehorse Maritime Academy

You & Sea Ltd


If you are a training provider and want to become an Approved Provider, please email

    • You have to be a minimum of 21 years of age to be eligible to apply for this scholarship.

    • There is no upper age limit, however, it is expected that you are fit enough to work at sea (hold an ENG1 medical certificate) and plan to do so for the foreseeable future.

    • This funding is for an ‘experienced seafarer’ who want to gain their first certificate of competency or move up the career ladder. You are expected to have completed ALL the sea service required for the certificate you are aiming for, e.g. OOW unlimited requires 36 months sea service on vessels over 24m or 80GT with bridge watch-keeping requirements.

    • If you have been a permanent resident of the UK for the past 3 years or more you can apply for the scholarship. However, we will need proof of this such as copies of utility bills, rent agreement.

    • Yes, if you already hold the RYA Yacht Master Offshore/Ocean or IYT Master of Yachts. However, as an alternative, you may want to consider our new apprenticeship route for this certificate. For further information on the apprenticeship standard, please click on this link. If you would like to find out more please email

      • OOW Unlimited – will be given priority consideration
      • Engineer Officer of the Watch III/1 – will be given priority consideration
      • Small Vessel ENG 111/2
      • Master <200GT/<500GT
      • Master Yachts <500GT
      • OOW Tugs <500GT
      • Master Workboats <500GT
      • Master Tugs <500GT
      • OOW Yachts <3000gt
      • OOW Yachts <3000GT With Chief Mates endorsement
      • Electro-technical Officer – will be given priority consideration
      • Class 1 Fishing with OOW unlimited conversion
    • No, you are required to have completed all your sea service for the certificate you are aiming for and be in receipt of your Notice of Eligibility before submitting an application. This is so that you can focus on your studies and complete all your courses within the two-year period that the Fund is awarded for.

    • No, it is expected that you will be returning home to the UK to complete your studies. All courses and exams must be completed at MCA approved course providers in the UK.

    • The scholarship will only assist you to reach your first CoC. 

    • The scholarship will pay for all course and exam fees that are required for the CoC you are aiming for. It will also contribute towards temporary accommodation, food, travel, book and stationery. The scholarship will not pay for personal outgoings such as rent or mortgage on your permanent home and  utility bills or expenses such taxis, parking fees or international flights .

    • This is to ensure that you have the required level of numeracy and literacy skills to be able to cope with your OOW studies. They are maritime contextualised up-skilling courses that have been designed to support seafarers who may have been out of formal education for a number of years.

    • You can subscribe to Maths@sea and Writing@sea by visiting here. Please submit your quiz scores with your application. Only those who are granted a scholarship will be reimbursed their subscription fees to these courses.

    • Yes, please submit your application and supporting documents to

    • If you are considering studying via blended learning, it is important that we discuss this with you first to ensure that you have given full consideration to challenges you may face during this method of study.