The Diploma of Technology in Nautical Science is a globally recognized, co-operative program which is accredited by Transport Canada in accordance with the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers, 1978 as amended in 2010 (Manila Convention). This cadet program is designed to:


  • provide a strong theoretical and practical education in the field of nautical science;
  • prepare students for employment in marine transportation;
  • produce graduates who are capable of accepting the responsibilities and performing the duties assigned to them as ship’s officers.
  • prepare students for professional recognition as seafaring officers by Transport Canada and to sit for the remaining Transport Canada examinations for the Watchkeeping Mate Certificate of Competence.




Please refer to the Admissions section of this Calendar.




Applicants seeking entry to Marine Institute programs which lead to Transport Canada Certification for Seafarer’s should note that Transport Canada requires proof of satisfactory physical fitness prior to sitting for any Transport Canada exams. This includes satisfactory visual acuity, colour vision, and hearing among other physical requirements.


These programs include the Marine Institute Diplomas of Technology in Nautical Science, Marine Engineering, the Vocational Certificate in Marine Diesel Mechanics and the Technical Certificate in Bridge Watch Program. Proof of physical fitness is also required for students to participate in Marine Emergency Duties (MED) Training which is a compulsory part of these programs.


Proof of physical fitness must be provided by way of a signed medical from an approved physician. Signed Seafarer’s medicals from an approved physician are required for admission to each respective program. The list of physicians approved to conduct the Seafarer’s medical is available from the Marine Institute Office of the Registrar. Details of the physical requirements for the Seafarer’s Medical may be obtained from Transport Canada at the following address:


Marine Safety Directorate
John Cabot Building,10 Barter’s Hill
P.O. Box 1300, St. John’s, NL A1C 6H8
(709) 772 - 5167




As a co-operative program, the Nautical Science diploma consists of periods of study at the Marine Institute which alternate with periods at sea. The entire program consists of:


  • First Year consists of semester one and two followed by an eight-week technical session and;
  • a two-month sea phase following the first technical session;
  • a second or intermediate year of study consisting of semesters three and four, followed by an eight-week technical session;
  • a fifteen-month sea phase following the second technical session. This sea phase may by completed over two work term periods; and,
  • a third or advanced year of study consisting of semesters five and six followed by a final eight-week technical session.


The total time to complete the program is normally four years. As indicated, the first year of study, commencing in September, consists of two terms (fall and winter). Here the focus is on math, the sciences, and communications. Students are introduced to ships and shipping in their first and second term which is followed by an eight-week Technical Session. The Technical Session is completed in the spring following Term 2 The focus in technical session is on hands on courses and on short courses in Marine Emergency Duties.


The first Technical Session therefore serves the twin purposes of further introducing the cadet to the technical content of the program while carrying out practical exercises at sea and taking a series of short courses in Marine Emergency Duties (MED). The MED training prepares the students for the realities of emergencies at sea and the part that they might play in them. This, in combination with the practical exercises at sea, provides for safer sea phases for the cadets.


The second year focuses entirely on such technical subjects as navigation systems, stability, and seamanship. The second technical session serves the same purpose and its made up of technical courses which not only contribute to the overall technical competence of the cadets but provides them with other skills which employers consider essential. The student who has successfully completed all of the primary and intermediate parts of the program may be eligible to sit for the Transport Canada’s Bridge Watch Rating examination.


The final year of study covers advanced materials in courses introduced previously. Other subjects involving the business and management of shipping are also introduced here. The final Technical Session again involves technical materials including the practice of bridge resource management which, in part, is carried out on the Institute’s full mission bridge simulator.


Sea Phases


During the program, the cadet must accumulate a minimum of 12 months of recognized sea time in sea placements which have been approved by the Institute through The Office of Career Integrated learning. This is acquired through compulsory sea phase periods which are governed by the Marine Institute General Work Term Guidelines and the Nautical Science Work Term Regulations. These sea phases are, in fact, guided work terms for which accredited logbooks must be kept and the employers carry out personal evaluations of the cadets.


The first sea phase (WKTM 1102) is scheduled over a two-month period between the end of the first technical session and the beginning of the following semester.


Following the second Technical Session, the student commences the second sea phase (WKTM 2102). This is an extended period of 15 months wherein the student must accumulate the remainder of the required 12 months sea time.


Credit Earned: Diploma of Technology


4 years: (6 Academic Terms, 3 Technical Sessions and 2 Sea Phase Work Terms)


Normal Start: Fall


School of Maritime Studies


Contact: Admissions Officer
(709) 778-0380
1-800-563-5799 (ext. 380)




This program prepares graduates for a successful sea-going career as a ships’ officer. Transport Canada recognizes the professional competence of Marine Institute graduates through the provision of exemptions for specific certification examinations. Graduates also have the option of pursuing further education.


Transport Canada Certification


  • Subject to the Marine Institute general academic regulations governing graduation, graduates of the Diploma of Technology in Nautical Science having a cumulative average of 70% and an attendance rate of at least 90% in the program are eligible for exemptions from Transport Canada for specific examinations.
  • Transport Canada recognizes the benefits of education and training in marine transportation. The reality is that these benefits translate into a remission of sea service from Transport Canada for the time spent in school at the Marine Institute. In this case it is a full 24 months. Normally, seafarers applying to Transport Canada to sit for Watchkeeping Mate Certificate examinations would be required to have accumulated 36 months sea time. However, Marine Institute graduates are required to accumulate only 12 months for the same certificate.
  • Consequently, eligible diploma graduates may apply to sit for their Transport Canada examinations in Navigation Safety and General Seamanship. If successful in passing these examinations, the cadets will receive their Watchkeeping Mate Certificate of Competence from Transport Canada. Transport Canada grants exam exemptions at various other certificate levels.
  • Several other combinations of qualifications for Transport Canada certification for the Canadian coastal trade and offshore waters are possible through the diploma program. Students who are interested should contact the Marine Institute School of Maritime Studies or Transport Canada for further details.
  • In addition to the certification opportunities described, graduates of the Marine Institute Diploma of Technology in Nautical Science are eligible for admission to the Memorial University Bachelor of Maritime Studies program. Upon completion of the diploma, candidates are required to complete 13 additional courses for the Bachelor of Maritime Studies degree.




Term 1
CHEM 1100 (Chemistry)
CMSK 1105 (Technical Communications I)
ENGR 1105 (Engineering Graphics)
MATH 1100 (Pre-Calculus)
NASC 1104 (Seamanship I)
PHYS 1104 (Physics)
Term 2
CMSK 1205 (Technical Communications II)
ELTK 1203 (Basic Electrical Technology)
MATH 1212 (NASC Mathematics II)
NASC 1204 (Seamanship II)
ONGR 1201 (Meteorology I)
PHYS 1204 (Physics)
Technical Session I
NASC 1303 (Shipboard Skills)
NASC 2107 (Restricted Operator’s Certificate - Maritime Commercial)
SFTY 1102 (Marine Basic First Aid)
SFTY 1114 (Basic Safety - STCW’95 VI/I)
SFTY 1117 (Survival Craft - STCW” 95 VI/2)
SFTY 1124 (Confined Space Entry Awareness)
SFTY 1129 (Security Awareness Training for Seafarers with Designated Security Duties)
Work Term
WKTM 1102 (Sea Phase I - Nautical Science)
Term 3
MREK 2112 (Marine Engineering Knowledge I)
NARC 2102 (Ship Building)
NASC 2101 (Stability)
NASC 2108 (Navigation)
NASC 2112 (Introduction to Cargo Operations)
NASC 2113 (Electronic Positioning Systems 1 (EPS 1))
Term 4
MREK 2212 (Marine Engineering Knowledge II)
NARC 2202 (Ship Building)
NASC 2104 (Principles of Cargo Operations & Navigation)
NASC 2200 (Navigation)
NASC 2209 (Navigation Safety)
¹NASC 2213 (Electronic Positioning Systems 2 (EPS 2))
NASC 3108 (Stability
Technical Session 2
BSMG 3301 (Leadership and Teamwork)
NASC 2307 (Communications)
SFTY 1123 (Oil and Chemical Tanker Familiarization STCW’95 A-V/1)
Work Term
WKTM 2102 (Sea Phase II - Nautical Science)
Term 5
BSMG 3122 (Law and Environment)
MREK 3112 (Marine Engineering Knowledge)
NASC 3100 (Navigation)
NASC 3102 (Cargo Operations)
NASC 3210 (Navigation Systems & Instruments)
ONGR 3101 (Meteorology II)
Term 6
BSMG 3205 (Ship Management)
NASC 3200 (Navigation)
NASC 3208 (Stability)
NASC 3209 (Advanced Navigation Safety)
NASC 3211 (Seamanship III)
NASC 3212 (Navigation Systems and Instruments)
Technical Session 3
¹NASC 2300 (Navigation Systems - SEN)
NASC 3303 (Bridge Watchkeeping)
NASC 3310 (Transport Canada OOW Exam Preparation)
SFTY 1106 (Marine Advanced First Aid)
SFTY 1118 (Advanced Firefighting (STCW” 95 VI/3) & Officer Certification)


¹- Successful completion required as partial requirement for SEN 1 (Transport Canada) credit.


²- In order to get a credit for NASC 2307 a pass must be obtained in the Morse Light section of the course.