HND Nautical Science – Deck Officer of the Watch

Duration and Structure

The UK accredited HND Nautical Science – Deck Officer Programme lasts 4 years:

– The 1st year of theoretical studies in Romanian Nautical College, Constanta, Romania (42 weeks),
– The 2nd year of theoretical studies in South Tyneside College, South Shields, the United Kingdom, (42 weeks),
– The 3rd and 4th years are dedicated to sea going voyages.

Download HND Nautical Science structure HERE

Why should I choose the HND Nautical Science programme?

-You obtain a British Academic recognition;
-You obtain a British Officer’s License for Merchant Navy, certified by the UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency, which helps you to find a job much easier!
-England is the ”leading nation” in the international shipping industry, you will benefit of the huge chance to recruit a job while you are still a student.
-You will get the most serious and robust education system in the world, in a full English Language teaching environment, following the Curricula approved by South Tyneside College, the longest and most prestigious naval college in England; thus, you will study STC manuals, your instructors are Captains and Chief Engineers endorsed by STC.
-The 4-year programme includes 12 months of sea going voyages, on board of international ships. You will be paid a minimum waiges of 400 euro/month!
-As a Deck Officer, your first salary will be minimum 2500 euro.
-You will join the elite of the international shipping, formally and informally recognized, you will experience a real adventure, you will build a special social status.

What Diplomas shall I get on graduation?

At the end of the ”HND Nautical Science” programme you will get:

-a ”Higher National Diploma (HND)” issued by the UK Department of Education, through the Scottish Qualification Authority.
-a ”Deck Officer Of the Watch (DOOW) Certificate of Competency (CoC)”, issued by the UK Department of Transport through the Maritime and Coastguard Agency.

The Deck Officer Of the Watch (DOOW) CoC will help you to find a job on board of merchant ships on the international and the UK market. The CoC is unlimited, you may join any ship, of any type, size, power or flag, and may navigate on any ocean, with no restriction. The first salary is normally 2500 euro or above. Download the format of the UK Officer CoC by clicking HERE

The HND NSc will help you when you decide to take a job onshore. HND NSc permits you to work wherever in the land shipping infrastructure, in offices of shipping companies, in chartering, manning or crewing business, in logistics and shipyard companies, as a Nautical Superintendent or Instructor, allover the World!

How can I promote to a Master Mariner?

Your career in the international merchant navy will be marked by 3 Certificates of Competency (CoC):

CoC 1: ”Deck Officer of the Watch”. To obtain this CoC, you must:

  • -graduate a 4-year HND Nautical Science programme
  • -prove that you performed at least 12 months of sea going voyages as “Deck Cadet”
  • -demonstrate your medical fitness
  • -perform the short STCW courses (also known as Ancillary Courses, e.g. Fire Fighting, Medical First Aid, etc.), in Romania or in the UK
  • -pass successfully a written and oral examination with the UK MCA

CoC 2: Chief Officer”. To obtain this CoC, you must:

  • -graduate the 10 weeks Chief Mate course (Note: if you hold a Romanian CoC, this course is 6 months)
  • -prove that you performed at least 12 months of sea service as “DOOW”
  • -demonstrate your medical fitness
  • -perform the Ancillary Courses in Romania or in the UK
  • -pass an oral examination with the UK MCA

CoC 2: Master Mariner”. To obtain this CoC, you must:

  • -prove that you performed at least 12 months of sea service as “Chief Mate”, or 36 months mixed as DOOW and Chief Mate
  • -demonstrate your medical fitness;
  • -pass an oral examination with the UK MCA.

You will better understand the huge advantage of the British programmes in comparison to the Romanian ones, by simply clicking HERE

IMPORTANT: Romanian CoCs are in disadvantage because they require 24 months experience instead of 12 months. Also, in the Romanian scheme, the direct route of 36 months of experience is not allowed. This is why the holders of Romanian CoCs promote to Master Mariner 10-12 years later than the UK CoCs holders.

Fees and Taxes

For the series 2017-2021, total costs to obtain the ”HND Nautical Science” and the ”DOOW CoC” are:

A) Tuition Fee for the Year 1 in Romanian Nautical College is 4000 de euro, to be paid in tranches, as follows:

  • 1000 euro on the 15th of September 2017
  • 1000 euro on the 15th of January 2018
  • 1000 euro on the 15th of April 2018
  • 1000 euro after the 12 months of sea voyages are performed (Remember: RNC takes the responsibility to place students on board of ships. During the voyages, you receive minimum 400 euros per month as a Deck Cadet).

B) Tuition Fee for the Year 2 in South Tyneside College is 4750 £. If you are a citizen of the European Union you may receive 6000 £ from the ”Student Finance” programme, to cover the tuition fee and a part of daily costs (accommodation and meals). You will return the money in monthly payments after you get the CoC and your annual salary exceeds 21000 £. Find all details about ”Student Finance” Programme HERE.

C) Accommodation and Food:

  • Year 1 (10 months) in Constanța, Romania, around 300 euro/month
  • Year 2 (10 months) in South Shields, United Kingdom, around 500 £/month

Financial support

Financial support is available for all EU citizens via the UK governmental program ”Student Finance”. This programme allows you to borrow up to 6000 £ with a very small interest. You will return the money in monthly payments after your employment, when your salary exceeds 21000 £ per year. To simulate your financial support or to find all details, click HERE. Additional financial support may be obtained from BRD Societe Generale. Students may benefit from aloan with 6.5 % fix interest with 12 months of no payment period. Ask for details HERE. Last but not least, you should take into account that you will earn at least 6000 euro during the sea voyages as a Deck Cadet.

How can I apply?

  • You can apply online by clicking HERE
  • You can pay us a visit in Constanța, str. Lebedei nr. 1, in Marina Tomis, one of the most beautiful places in Romania! We are waiting for visitors Monday to Friday, 0800 to 1600 or Saturdays 1000 to 1300.

Permanent contact at Tel. 004(0) 756 130 192 (secretariat, daily 0800-1600) or email at:

Admission file will comprise:

  • ID (copy)
  • 2 passport pictures
  • Medical fitness certificate
  • Baccalaureate diploma (copy)

What is the structure of Admission Examination?

You have to pass an admission examination in order to join the Higher National Diploma – Nautical Science programme. The examination consists in two steps:
  • Step 1 – Interview in English language with an examiner. The interview lasts 15 minutes and tests listening and speaking abilities of candidates. Maritime terminology will not be evaluated. Step 1 is eliminatory, candidates will be scored “Pass” or “Fail”
  • Step 2 – Written test following IELTS patterns, comprising 50 multiple choice items. Additionally, the step 2 will include an Essay of max. 200 words on a subject chosen by the examiner. Maritime terminology will not be tested. Step 2 will be scored from 0 to 100 (%). You can find complete description of admission examination, including examples of tests given in previous years in the below “Admission Guide 2017”

Download the Admission Guide 2017 HERE.

The Candidate’s Admission Score is the score obtained at Step 2. For equal scores, the Essay score will prevail.

Important: In 2017, the maximum allocated seats for the HIGHER NATIONAL DIPLOMA – NAUTICAL SCIENCE (Deck officer of the Watch) Programme is 50.

What is the schedule of Admission Exams?

In 2017, there are two admission sessions:

  • Saturday, the 22nd of July 2017, 10.00
  • Saturday, the 16nd of September 2017, 10.00

The HND Nautical Science programme will start on Monday, the 2nd of October, 2017, 0800, at the Romanian Nautical College main building, str. Lebedei nr. 1 (Marina Tomis) Constanta, Romania, 900746

Download the Admission Guide 2017 HERE

Apply online HERE

What shall I study?

You can download HND Nautical Science programme official curricula, approved by South Tyneside College HERE