What are the Requirements for a Deck Cadet?

What are the Requirements for a Deck Cadet? - 09/01/2024

Thinking of signing up for a cadetship and want to know what the requirements are for a Deck Cadet?

Becoming a Deck Cadet is the first step in a long and lucrative career in the Merchant Navy. As a cadet, you’ll be the lowest-ranked member of the ship’s crew; however, after your Cadetship, you can gradually work up the ranks as you gain more experience.

Cadetships usually involve time spent in class and at sea training. Many courses come with a long-term contract from a major shipping company, meaning your tuition fees may be covered.

Little wonder that places are highly competitive. So, what do you need to do to become a Deck Cadet? What are the basic requirements?

Let’s find out.

What is a Deck Cadet?

A Deck Cadet in the British maritime sector is an apprentice who is training to become a naval officer. They are usually part of a ship’s crew, learning various aspects of seamanship and navigation, while also gaining practical experience in all deck operations.

This role involves a combination of hands-on training on board ships and theoretical studies, covering subjects like maritime law, safety procedures, and navigation techniques.

Deck Cadets work under the supervision of Senior Officers, gradually taking on more responsibilities as they progress in their training and move towards qualifying as certified officers.

Requirements Of A Deck Cadet Chiltern Maritime

Requirements for a Deck Cadet

To become a Merchant Navy Deck Officer (aka a Navigation Officer) responsible for the day-to-day running of ships, you’ll first need to complete your Cadetship. Your training will usually take place at an industry-sponsored maritime college or university.

Important Documentation

To become a Deck Cadet, you’ll need the following documentation:

  • Valid Passport: Required for international travel.
  • Seafarer’s Medical Certificate (ENG1): This certificate ensures fitness for duty at sea.
  • Certificate of Competency (CoC): A vital document that certifies the holder is qualified to serve as a Deck Officer.

A Seafarer’s Medical Certificate, like the ENG1, is a health certificate confirming that an individual is medically fit to work at sea. It assesses general health, vision, hearing, and medical conditions that could affect the ability to perform maritime duties.

The Certificate of Competency (CoC), on the other hand, is an official document issued by maritime authorities. It certifies that the holder has met the required standard of competence in maritime training and skills, including knowledge of navigation, safety procedures, and ship operations, qualifying them to serve in a particular capacity on a ship.

Deck Cadet Requirements Chiltern Maritime


To become a Deck Cadet, candidates typically require the following qualifications:

  • Educational Background: GCSEs or equivalent qualifications with good grades, particularly in English, Maths, and Science. A Levels or equivalent qualifications, especially in Maths and Physics, are often preferred.
  • Age and Identification: Candidates usually need to be a minimum age (often 16 years or older) and have a valid passport for international travel.
  • Maritime Training: Completion of basic maritime training courses or certifications in safety, firefighting, and survival techniques can be beneficial.

Here at Chiltern Maritime, we expect applicants for an HND to have a GCSE in Maths at grade 5 (or above) or Scottish Standard National Level 5 and GCSEs at grade 4 (or above) or Scottish Standard National Level 4 in English, Physics or Combined Science and at least two other subjects.

For a Foundation Degree in Marine Operations, you’ll need a minimum of 48 Tariff points through A Levels or their equivalents. We prefer Mathematics or a Science-based subject.

Finally, candidates for an Honours Degree in Nautical Science of Marine Engineering require a minimum of 80 Tariff points through A Levels or their equivalents, including Mathematics or a Science-based subject.

Deck Cadet Requirements 2024 Deck Officer Cadetship Chiltern Maritime

Apply for a Deck Officer Cadetship at Chiltern Maritime

We’re currently accepting applications for our 2024 Deck Officer Cadetship programmes. Sponsored by marine charities and maritime companies, our courses lead to a successful maritime career.

The programme includes a combination of course study, sea placements, qualification, and comprehensive mentoring. It leads to qualifications like a Foundation Degree or Higher National Diploma in Marine Operations and a UK Maritime and Coastguard Agency Deck Officer’s Certificate of Competency.

If you’re interested in a maritime career and meet the qualifications, consider applying for the 2024 Deck Officer Cadetship programme. Don’t miss this chance to embark on an exciting and rewarding maritime journey. Apply now and set sail on your career path!

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