Aquaculture Marine and Maritime Skills SCQF 5 (Mallaig) NQ

What is special about this course?

The maritime sector is a growth area within the Scottish economy, have you ever thought about a career change or a life at sea?  If so, this course maybe for you.

If you already work within the Maritime Sector and want to gain further certification or experience then this course could also be useful.

All we ask is that you have an interest in the maritime sector and a willingness to learn new things. 
This course is designed to get you into employment or improve the skills you  already have and make you more competent to use own boats at sea.

The course can be used as a gateway to the following industries.
•    Ferries (Including Hospitality and Retail)
•    Merchant Navy (Modern Apprenticeships)
•    Logistics
•    Aquaculture
•    Commercial Fishing 
•    Further Study (NC Shipping and Maritime Operations Course) and on to Merchant Navy Cadetships
•    Leisure Industry

You will also have the advantage of being taught by a master mariner and have the use of our own vessel, the Levanto, for practical aspects of your course.

The certification you can achieve as part of the course is

  • RYA Level 2 Powerboat
  • RYA Essential Navigation 
  • RYA VHF Radio
  • MCA    PST Personal Survival Techniques 
  • MCA   PSSR Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities
  • MCA    EFA   Elementary First Aid 

During your course, we'll also introduce you to using a range of digital technologies, which will help you get the most from your course and at the same time develop your digital skills. Find out more about key computing skills and essential student skills

Entry requirements

There are no set entry requirement for this course.  

  • you should have an interest in the Maritime Sector or already work within it
     If you're considering a career change, don't let lack of maritime experience stop you from applying for this course.  Basic training will be given to help you gain the skills required to work within this industry.
  • you will be at least 16 years of age at the start of the course
  • mature students are very welcome 



You will study:

  • Small boat engineering
  • Maritime environment
  • Seamanship
  • Health and Safety in the maritime sector
  • MCA STCW10 (PST, PSSR and EFA)
  • Knots and rope work
  • RYA Essential navigation and boat handling
  • RYA Level 2 Powerboat and VHF Radio
  • Navigation 1 and 2
  • Aquaculture: an introduction to shellfish production
  • Aquaculture: basic seamanship
  • Embedded development of core and essential skills
  • North European aquaculture: an Introduction
  • Aquatic environment: local investigation
  • Aquaculture: an introduction to finfish production
  • Scottish sea fisheries: an introduction

More than just your subject

Imagine coming out of college with your subject qualification PLUS a portfolio of skills endorsed by employers. That’s exactly what you will get with us. Our skills+ portfolio is part of your full-time course. You will develop skills in digital literacy, entrepreneurship, metaskills, work-readiness, net-zero, wellbeing, and the skills you need for your future aspirations. Our skills+ portfolio becomes your portfolio to take away with you. Whilst studying your subject you will build your skills+ portfolio and gain confidence and resilience along the way.


Internet connection and a suitable device with headphones, microphone and camera (minimum spec) is required. Please email us if you have any concerns about connectivity or equipment.

How will I study my course?

  • Full Time

You normally need to commit to 18 hours per week (2-3 days) of blended learning time consisting of timetabled learning and personal study.

For the practical elements of your course, some of your timetabled learning will probably take place in the Mallaig Learning Centre.


How long will my course last?

19 Weeks

Where can I study my course?

    • Mallaig

Start date

August and January each year.


Find out more about fees, fee waivers and funding options.


Students may also qualify for bursary funding.

What can I do on completion of my course?

When you finish this course you will have several choices available for future employment or study making use of both strands of learning (boat skills and aquaculture).

You might want to continue your studies with our NC Shipping and Maritime Operations (SCQF level 6), you could consider a career in the merchant navy, by applying for a cadetship with national shipping companies OR you could apply for a modern apprenticeship in Harbour Operations, Deck Rating or Hospitality (on-board).

Another career route could be into marine/aquaculture sector -  increasingly important for Scotland since seafood is one of our major exports; helping to sustain economic growth in the rural and coastal communities of the north and west. Fish farming and its related inudstries has a number of great career opportunities.

If you wish to move straight in to employment then you could apply for jobs, which will make use of the boat skills and aquaculture skills learned on the course. Jobs such as trainee fish farm technicians; boat crew at fish farms or harbour operatives for local ferry companies.

You could also enter the leisure sector as boat crew or sailing instructors after further suitable training.

You could work in freight logistics or the commercial fishing industry.

Is there more information available online?

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“I did some casual work at sea but not having the right tickets was holding me back. I started this course because it included the tickets that I needed. So now I’ve done RYA VHF Radio and Powerboat 2, First Aid and 3 parts of the MCA STCW10. I would recommend the course. It’s been hard work but there’s plenty of encouraging support. I’ve also been able to carry on working and earning while studying as the course runs 3 days a week.
I am now studying NC Shipping and Maritime Operations building up my knowledge, tickets and career options."

Daniel Langford

Apply for Aquaculture Marine and Maritime Skills SCQF 5 (Mallaig) NQ

I want to start in 2024/25

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI North, West and Hebrides. UHI North, West and Hebrides operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.