Pre-cadetship for the Merchant Navy Level 2 Diploma

Sixth Form

Date (from)


Awarding body


Full Time - September 2023



Course introduction

Are you practically-minded and interested in working at sea? Do you want a career that involves travelling the world? If so, this could be the ideal learning opportunity for you.

Our full-time Level 2 Pre-cadetship course gives you the knowledge and skills required to launch a career in the fast-moving world of commercial shipping.

Importantly, this programme will provide you with the foundation required for direct entry onto the Level 3 Pre-cadetship course, known as the Diploma in Shipping and Maritime Operations.

This in-turn may lead to a career in the Merchant Navy or an apprenticeship in Marine Engineering or Marine Manufacturing.

Why choose Brock for Pre-cadetship for the Merchant Navy Level 2 Diploma?

At Brockenhurst College all our maritime students learn and train at our purpose-built marine and maritime facility at Marchwood, on the Solent, near Southampton.

In addition, we work collaboratively with Warsash Maritime School. This means access to industry-standard equipment, marine engines and hands-on training in a simulated work environment.

Your training will be delivered by a team of lecturers with specific professional industry experience, which they will draw upon to guide and inspire you.

Teaching & learning

The course a 50/50 split between academic and practical learning and assessment.

A learning day will typically involve a morning of theory followed by an afternoon in the workshop developing practical skills and working with tools, engines and various materials.

You will also undertake various ancillary programmes such as the RYA Powerboat and the RYA First Aid at Sea courses.

Visits to ships, shipyards, Solent University, the RNLI and the Southampton Boat Show are all part of the learning experience.

In addition, you will hear from ambassadors from the Merchant Navy and current cadets.

Course structure

  • Health and safety: understanding H&S regulations applicable to the marine industry.
  • Tools: using tools and equipment safely in a marine environment.
  • Personal development: contributing to self-development and working relationships.
  • Engineers' drawings: interpreting drawings, instructions and relevant codes of practice.
  • Ship terminology: understanding terminology used to recognise boats, ships, ports and marinas.
  • Materials: evaluating wood, metal, composites and engineering materials and their properties.
  • Maths: understanding engineering mathematical processes.
  • Marine engine components: identifying engine types and understanding engine construction.
  • Cooling: identifying and understanding marine cooling systems.
  • Lubrication: identifying and understanding engine lubrication systems.
  • Diesel/petrol: understanding compression ignition engine systems.
  • Gearbox and propulsion systems: understanding how to service marine propulsion systems.

Minimum entry requirements

Four GCSEs at grade 3 and above to include:

  • English Language
  • Maths
  • Science

How will I be assessed?

  • Performing Marine Engineering Operations NVQ: approx 50% theory and 50% practical.
  • RYA Powerboat Level 2 Certificate: 100% practical assessment.
  • RYA First Aid at Sea Certificate: 100% practical assessment.

Information & support

  • Students are required to pay a £125 materials fee at enrolment.
  • Uniform costs are approximately £100, more details will be provided at enrolment.
  • Trips cost approximately £50.
  • You will also have the option to undertake the RYA VHF (radio) qualification.

What can I do with this qualification?

By completing this course successfully, you can progress to the Level 3 Pre-cadetship programme in Shipping and Maritime Operation.

The Level 3 programme will ensure you meet the requirements for a cadetship with a shipping company in the Merchant Navy or can undertake an apprenticeship in Marine Engineering or Marine Manufacturing.

You may also progress to another uniformed service such as the Royal Navy or Royal Fleet Auxiliary.

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  • Brock has been absolutely brilliant in preparing me for my future, I feel happy and confident. My tutors are all so supportive and there is a really friendly atmosphere.

    Emily Smith

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    Of students gained A* to C

    Pass rates above are for students who joined us with an average of grade 6 or above at GCSE. Results are across all A Levels.

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