Diploma in Nautical Science

We offer customised and contract training to individuals and companies in almost any location. If you have staff in need of any aspect of navigation/bridge training or certification or assistance with a project we have an able team of bridge experts who are experienced trainers who have navigated the seas across the globe.

Our trainers will board your ship, have your bridge crew observed and assessed throughout a leg and customise crew training according to needs. Bridge Team Management, Navigation Control and Emergency courses are among some of the areas your crew may benefit from. Or it may be that your crew need to achieve a better level of communication, interaction and situational awareness to become a more cohesive operating crew.

     “The unrivalled benefits of training this way, are that the
     Captain and navigation officers receive training specific to
     their needs while on their ship, rather than a classroom, they
     then follow up the training in our world class full mission bridge simulator, in the Ports of Auckland, for more intricate procedures and then continue sailing in the same group. This means all crew members are able to apply what they learn immediately with a common understanding,” – Captain Kees Buckens, programme designer for Bridge management customised training.

Our trainers, who are also Captains and officers with many years experience around the world, attend conferences and expos in such places as Singapore, Hong Kong, Holland, UK, Miami, Mumbai and further keeping up to date with new industry developments from equipment to trends and global issues.

Programme Details

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(Officer of the Watch Certificate of Competency)

Go the whole nine yards with a career in nautical science
The Diploma in Nautical Science fits the bill if you want an internationally recognised qualification that can lead to a well-paid position in a foreign-going career with global shipping companies.

Your study is a mixture of practical seatime and training ashore. You’ll build on your knowledge base and learn futher about navigation methods, radar, bridge systems, hazards, compass work, meterology, maritime practices, ship properties and shipboard communications.

You’ll develop the skills and ability to accept positions of leadership and high responsibility immediately after graduation.

Successful students will, on completion of required seatime, also gain the internationally recognised Second Mate Foreign-Going Certificate of Competency (Maritime New Zealand).

Programme Code MN4324
Study Method Full time
Qualification MIT Diploma
Duration Three years
Applications Close when programme is full
Start Dates February
Level 5
Credits 300
Fees $5,599 (approx)
International Student Fees $12,450 per year

Offered by

New Zealand Maritime School

Entry Requirements

Applicants must meet the following entry requirements:

Applicants with no seagoing experience:

  • NCEA: A minimum of 48 credits at Level 2 and above, including a minimum of 8 credits at Level 2 or higher in English language and 14 credits at Level 2 in either mathematics or physics.
  • Mixtures of conventional qualifications and NCEA qualifications at different levels, or Cambridge, and International Baccalaureate systems, will be considered on an individual, case-by-case basis.
  • Completed the academic component of the MIT Certificate in Seamanship or have been enrolled in the existing Second Mate Foreign Going programme.

Students already at sea:

  • Don't need additional formal academic requirement, however, evidence will be required that the student is able to cope with the study demands of a Level 5 programme. This may be by way of school or tertiary qualifications or preparatory distance learning offered by the school
  • Produce evidence of having met the medical and eyesight standards currently in force by Maritime New Zealand. These are statutory requirements for working on ships.
  • Have English language competence to undertake this programme which is taught and assessed in English. Any applicant whose first language is not English must provide evidence of an overall IELTS (Academic) band score of 6.0 (with no score below 5.5) or equivalent. Prospective students may be required to undertake formal assessment of English language ability, at their own expense, where the interview panel is unable to satisfy themselves as to the English ability of the student
  • Show evidence of a positive attitude to learning and achievement, a high standard of personal discipline eg work references and school testimonials.

Applicants will generally be required to undertake at least one interview. Applicants will be selected for interview against the following selection criteria:

  • Apparent knowledge of the industry
  • Leadership apititude
  • Stated reasons for choosing the career
  • Work history indicating suitability for working in the industry
  • Maturity, responsibility, honesty, reliability.

The interview will comprise at least two staff members. An industry employer may supplement the panel.
The interview panel will consider:

  • Apparent motivation to succeed
  • Communication skills
  • Whether the personality is suitable for the industry.

Students who have attained the age of 20 years and do not hold the minimum entry requirements for a programme will be eligible to be enrolled as a student where their previous educational, work or life experience indicates they have a reasonable likelihood of success. Students who have not attained the age of 20 years and do not hold the required minimum entry requirements for a programme may also be eligible to enrol in exceptional circumstances. Such decisions will be made by the Faculty Dean.

Programme Summary

Students complete the following courses:

Year 1

  • Certificate in Seamanship, plus seatime

Year 2

  • Advanced Fire Fighting
  • Anti-collision Radar
  • Bridge Preparatory
  • Bridge Watchkeeping
  • Cargo Work
  • Celestial Navigation
  • Coastal Navigation
  • Compass Work
  • Deck Watchkeeping
  • Electronic Navigation
  • Maritime Computing
  • Maritime Industry Knowledge
  • Maritime Mathematics
  • Maritime Physics
  • Meteorology
  • Pfficer's Maritime Medical
  • Passage Planning
  • Radio Communication (Global Maritime Distress Signal System (GMDSS) and General Radio Telephone Operators Certiἀcate (GRTOC))
  • Ship Construction
  • Stability and Stress
  • Tidal Predictions.

Year 3
The following advanced courses are completed by assignment while students are at sea:

  • Anti-collision Radar
  • Bridge Watchkeeping
  • Cargo Work
  • Celestial Navigation
  • Coastal Navigation
  • Compass Work
  • Deck Watchkeeping
  • Electronic Navigation
  • Meteorology
  • Passage Planning
  • Ship Construction
  • Stability and Stress
  • Tidal Predictions
  • Orals/Maritime New Zealand.

Programme Structure
Classes are held for at least 20 hours per week. Class times are usually between 8.00am and 2.00pm, Monday to Friday, but may sometimes run until 4.00pm. Additional study time is required for assignments and projects. The programme is a mixture of practical seatime and training ashore. The dates of the programme are flexible, depending on seatime availability. All academic classes are held at the NSMS. Basic and advanced fire-fighting courses are held at an approved off-site fire ground.

Students must complete a minimum of 12 months’ actual experience onboard a foreign-going ship in order to also qualify for their Officer of the Watch Certificate of Competency (Maritime New Zealand).


Further Training or Study

After completing mandatory seatime:
Mate Foreign-Going Certificate of Competency.
Masters Foreign-Going Certificate of Competency.

Career Opportunities

Navigation officer positions on foreign-going ships.

Apply here now!

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