Hull Trinity House Nautical College

In partnership with The Vale Academy the Nautical College provides a focused education for those students aiming for a career at sea, supported by industry the college contains a state of the art bridge simulator and a range of engineering equipment that has been provided by our industry partners to give students the experience of working with the same equipment they would work with on board ship. 

In the maritime industry the majority of companies are unwilling to employ persons under the age of 18 for sea-faring roles. Our curriculum is designed to make young people “sea-ready” so at age 18 they are able to take up an apprenticeship, officer cadetship or enter direct employment. All students regardless of pathway will undertake a range of industry short courses alongside their larger qualifications including aspects of STCW essentials. This group of “Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping” qualifications is a requirement for all people working at sea and incorporates. 

  • Personal Survival Techniques
  • Fire Fighting and Fire Prevention
  • Basic First Aid Training
  • Personal Safety and Social Responsibilities
  • Proficiency in Security Awareness

Students will have the opportunity to develop powerboat and rescue boat skills in one of our powerboats that are moored in Hull Marina and will be offered the opportunity for work-experience on board ship with one of our partner companies. 

As a vocational pathway aimed at preparing ships officers students don’t select a range of subjects but rather a pathway, we offer three different pathways for students depending on ability and interest.

Becoming a ships officer is both physically and academically demanding therefore recommended qualifications for pre-cadetship and engineering apprenticeship are grade 5 English and grade 6 science and maths as well as the ability to pass the merchant Navy ENG1 medical exam.

Students who do not meet the recommended requirements may still be offered a place depending on other skills and qualifications they possess, they may also be offered a place on the foundation programme aimed at young people who may be looking to progress to crew positions.

Pre-cadetship pathway

Students study full time with Hull Trinity House Nautical College and will leave at the end of year 12 or year 13 to Merchant Navy officer cadetship at one of the full Nautical Colleges.

Students progressing this route would likely study for their unlimited COC (certificate of competence) at their chosen Nautical College after completing the programme.

The programme is designed to prepare students for foundation degree level officer cadetship as either a bridge, engineering or electro-technical officer and ensure they stand out against other applicants when applying for employment and company sponsorship. The programme comprises; A level Maths, A level Physics, Level 3 Maritime studies, seamanship and an extended project qualification (EPQ).

Marine Engineering Apprenticeship pathway

In partnership with HETA students are studying for a marine engineering apprenticeship working towards either MIN524 small vessel engineer COC. This is for vessels less than 3000 gross tonnage and 9000KW engine so is suitable for workboats, tugs, crew transfer vessels operating in the Humber.

Those students employed in the fishing industry on vessels with engines greater than 750KW will achieve the class 2 COC for fishing engineers as well as MIN524 small vessel engineer.

Students study year 12 with HTHA covering AS maths and Physics as well as level 3 maritime studies to get them ready for academic demands as an engineer.

Year 13 is practical engineering skills and level 3 engineering through HETA, year 14-15 is with the employer alongside HNC study through HETA and Fleetwood.


Foundation pathway

A foundation year is available for students who have not yet reached the academic standard required for acceptance onto year 1. This foundation year includes resit English and Maths as required as well as industry short causes, level 3 core maths, the EPQ and level 3 maritime studies. Students who make sufficient progress would move to one of the other pathways after year 12.


Level 3 Maritime studies

The level 3 maritime studies course is an A level equivalent covering a mix of units spread across year 12 and year 13 and is covered by all students.

Spread across both years

Operational and regulatory environment in the maritime sector

Year 12

Passage Planning

Maths and stability at sea - (officer pathways)

Practical Boat Handling skills (sailing) - (foundation pathway)

Year 13

Vessel Design and Construction

Practical Boat Handling skills (powerboat)


We accept applications via logon move on but you are also welcome to apply direct by contacting us on


If you have any queries about any of our courses please attend one of our open events. Check the academy news section for details of these events or email