QualificationNew Zealand Certificate in Maritime Operations (Level 5) also known as Master <500GT Near Coastal and Skipper Fishing Vessel – LimitedProgramme code: NZ2512
New Zealand Maritime School
International feesNZD$12,500 (approx.)
Ready to become a master or skipper of a vessel?
Do you hold a Watchkeeper Deck on ships less than 500 gross tonnage in a near-coastal area, or Mate Fishing Vessel - Limited certificate of competency? If you want to progress to a command role on a fishing or commercial vessel, then this is your next step.
Gain the knowledge and skills to become an effective master of a commercial vessel (less than 500 GT) in the near coastal area, or a skipper of a fishing vessel in the limited area. You will be responsible for the vessel, the crew, and the passengers.
Entry to this qualification is open for Domestic students but completion does not guarantee the award of a Maritime New Zealand license.
Applicants are recommended to hold the: Officer of the Watch (OOW)<500GT Near Coastal or Mate Fishing Vessel limited or Skipper Coastal and Offshore or equivalent licence.
International students: English Language Entry Requirements
International students will generally be required to provide evidence of English language proficiency, for this programme an IELTS Academic score of 5.5 with no band score lower than 5 is required.
For the minimum English language requirements refer to the requirements set out in the NZQF Programme and Accreditation Rules https://www2.nzqa.govt.nz/tertiary/english-language-entry-requirements-for-international-students//
All persons wishing to qualify for a seafarer license must also check the Maritime New Zealand prior certification and minimum service requirements for that license. https://www.maritimenz.govt.nz/content/commercial/certification/masters-and-deck/default.asp
All persons wishing to qualify for a seafarer licence must also check the Maritime New Zealand prior certification and minimum service requirements for that licence. Also: Seafarers Framework which outlines medical fitness requirements https://www.maritimenz.govt.nz/rules/part-34/default.asp and Maritime New Zealand Part 34:Medical Standards https://www.maritimenz.govt.nz/rules/part-34/Part34-maritime-rule.pdf.
You will complete your test in one day, plus get free online tuition to help you succeed. We offer paper-based or computer-delivered IELTS. Choose computer-delivered IELTS and get your results in 3-5 days.
Give yourself credit with Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL)
Did you know you can use the knowledge and experience you already have to your advantage?
Your previous work experience and on-the-job skills, volunteering, professional development, and other providers’ qualifications can be recognised as prior learning, matched against credits in our courses, and put towards your qualification – potentially saving you money and possibly helping you to complete your qualification faster Learn more.
You will need to complete the four courses below (60 credits):
941.501 Legal and management (20 credits)
Manage and monitor the loading, stowage, securing and care of unloading cargoes during the voyage. Demonstrate an ability to manage the operation of a small ship power plant. Manage the training of crew and the allocation and monitoring of shipboard duties.
943.544 Navigation command and control of emergencies (20 credits)
Controlling the operation of the ship and care for persons on board at management level and monitor compliance with legislative requirements.
943.545 Orals prep (10 credits)
Manage the planning, conduct of passage and maintenance of a sage navigational watch whilst responding to and controlling emergencies and distress at sea.
943.546 Manage vessel operation (10 credits)
To demonstrate as Master an integrated approach to vessel management, safety, compliance and seamanship practices.
Do you want to study a single course, without enrolling into the full programme?
Courses within some of our programmes may be offered as an individual Certificate of Proficiency (COP). Programme entry requirements and course fees apply. For more information, please speak to our friendly Ask Me! team.
Further training or study
On completion of this programme, you could pathway into the New Zealand Diploma in Nautical Science (Level 6) and complete the training for a MNZ Watchkeeper Deck certificate of competency to operate a vessel in any operating area.
Work as a Master <500GT on passenger or non-passenger vessels.
Work as a Skipper Fishing Vessel – Limited on fishing vessels.
"I’ve always been interested in fishing and diving and doing a bit of sailing when I was growing up. I thought it would be a cool way to extend that hobby into a career. All the instructors are A grade. Top of the line.
A lot of the practical learning is done in the simulator. There’s fairly realistic situations the lecturers can put you into. They can turn up the sea, they can reduce the visibility. They can put you in quite a hectic situation which really makes you think on your feet. Much like the real world could be.
My ideal job would be working on a boat, going cool places, preferably warm, and being able to see some pretty cool places around the country and around the world eventually.
Studying at NZMS is definitely worth it. It’s a good way to progress and it can lead to some pretty cool opportunities in the marine industry."
"I’ve spent most of my life growing up, on and around water. My old man worked in the fishing industry and is a skipper.
I was living on Stewart Island so for me I wasn’t able to come here for three months with work, so the distance learning, doing it all online played a huge role in me actually being able to do this course.
Having a career at sea means you get to experience things you can’t experience because there are no roads. Seeing whales, seeing dolphins, penguins are not uncommon. Every year we’d see a few whales as we travel up the coast. You get to experience a lot of what NZ is meant to be like. Getting away from all these big cities. Experiencing the nature and peacefulness of it all.
Most of maritime is hands-on experience. You always learn under a particular skipper. So you learn their way of doing things. But by coming here you’re learning the standard of the industry. It gives you that theoretical knowledge of why you’re doing something.
There are 7 simulators with one that is practically a boat. So that’s great hands-on because you can operate in low visibility with targets. It’s the most realistic way of learning how to do a lot of these things without actually being on a boat.
There’s quite a lot of work out there if you’re able to get experience."
"I’ve never been a student, I was a little bit on the fence about it but once I got here everything just worked out perfectly. I’ve just learnt so much more from being here.
There’s about 20 plus of us most of the time on the course. It is a good number. There’s also people from different backgrounds and other courses incorporated into the modules which is really good because you get people who have been in completely different circumstances. We have fishermen, we have sailors, and we have people doing their Skipper Coastal Offshore.
The thing I love about the course here at the NZMS is they do put a lot of theory into practice. We spent two weeks in the computer laboratory room learning the programmes, especially the electronic chart display and GPS, all of our navigational aids, and radar set up. Then we come into the bridge and put it all into practice which has been really helpful.
We also get put into emergency situations which obviously day to day in our jobs, you hope you don’t really come across. For example, a full search and rescue where each boat had a full search pattern and we had to follow that, follow the instructions, and search for a life raft with a person who we did ultimately find. Something like that is really helpful because in the real world if that does happen, we will have this hands-on training to refer back to."
"My old man has been in the merchant navy for most of his life and his father before him so it was a natural progression for me. I went into the fishing industry and haven’t looked back.
I enjoy the simulator the most at NZMS. The hands-on approach. Building up confidence for real-life scenarios. It’s hard being away from the family, but when you are home you’ve got a comfortable lifestyle and your family is able to see you. Get amongst it. It's good fun. It’s definitely a good career path. It pays good."
"We’ve got a really wide variety of domestic maritime programmes. We have a couple of programmes like the super yacht certificate that are really good for people entering the industry who don’t have any industry experience. The rest of our programmes are really geared towards people who are already in industry and are actually doing at-work learning and workplace learning. So they could be for people who are working for ferry companies, tug operators, coastal research vessels, all the way through to the inshore fishing fleet, offshore fleet and we do have programmes for super yacht, chief mate and master.
Everything that we are talking about in the theoretical aspect has a practical application on the vessel. So even though we talk about theory it’s actually put into practice. One of the things we’re talking about is in the simulator here. We can talk about theoretical collision, prevention regulations, all sorts of things like that, but it’s actually doing it in something like the simulator that makes the difference. So where it can be, it’s always reinforced in a practical sense.
One of the things about working on-board a vessel is that you do have a routine but your routine is punctuated by difference every day. So even though you have a solid routine that runs through your ship when you’re navigating from A to B, things change all the time. So it’s always quite exciting. You never quite know what’s happening or coming up. When you look out your window you’re in an amazing environment that changes all the time."
NZ Maritime School Senior Lecturer
Free study for the first year of your Level 3 or above qualification may be available under the government’s fees-free study scheme. Visit feesfree.govt.nz for eligibility criteria and more information. Students must be eligible to study as a domestic student. All free study is subject to funding confirmation. Proof of residency status required. Entry criteria, and some costs, may also apply. Eligibility for student allowances or student loans may vary. Contact StudyLink for more information.
Information is correct as at 29 November 2023. Programme fees are based on a full-time student and may vary depending on your final selection of courses that make up your programme. To provide you with an indication of costs, the approximate fees quoted in this publication are based on the indicative 2024 fee structure. The indicative programme fees for 2024 do not include the Compulsory Student Services Fee (CSSF). The CSSF is an additional levy to your 2024 programme or course fees. Further information about the CSSF can be found here www.manukau.ac.nz/cssf. Programmes stated as eligible for free study in 2024 are based on the 2023 fee structure and subject to funding confirmation for 2024. All fees are in New Zealand Dollars. You will be advised of the current fees at the time of enrolment. All courses and programmes will proceed subject to numbers and academic approval. Manukau Institute of Technology is part of Te Pūkenga – New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology. Te Pūkenga is accredited under the provisions of the Education and Training Act 2020. International students must study in class and will not be able to enrol for online study options.