National code: MAR50320

    Diploma of Maritime Operations (Watchkeeper Deck)

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    OverviewAbout this course

    Combine your navigation abilities with your sense of adventure and challenge yourself to take the next step in your maritime career. This course is your passport to life on international waters as a 2nd or 3rd deck watchkeeping officer.

    OutcomesWhat you'll gain

    Learning outcomes

    Through a mixture of theory and practical course work, learn to:

    • Manage a vessel's stability and seaworthiness

    • Respond to emergencies and provide first aid

    • Lead your crew in watchkeeping, ship operations and maintaining equipment

    • Transmit and receive information using visual signals and the global maritime distress and safety system

    • Survive at sea in the event of vessel abandonment

    • Manage on-ship needs including inventory, budgets and procurement

    Course outcomes

    Gain practical experience and develop specialist skills that give you an advantage in the job market.

    • Train on an AMSA-approved Ship's Bridge Simulator to analyse information from bridge equipment and conduct a safe navigational watch in a variety of conditions

    • Experience in managing firefighting and fire prevention activities onboard a vessel

    • Exposure to conducting emergency response drills and man-overboard drills using life-saving equipment in simulated environments

    • Eligibility to apply for a Watchkeeper Deck Certificate through AMSA

    SuitabilityIs this course right for you?

    Entry requirements

    Some courses require evidence of previous experience or study before you can enrol

    • There are no entry requirements for this qualification. You can enrol today.

    Entry recommendations

    To be prepared for this course, we recommend that you have:

    • Awareness of the AMSA certification requirements and associated costs – see licensing requirements

    • The ability to jump into a pool from a raised platform, swim 50 meters and stay afloat for 5 minutes without a life jacket

    • A Master less than 35 metres or Integrated Rating (IR) qualification

    • The ability to supply or use your existing Personal Protective Equipment like safety shoes and protective clothing

    • The ability to supply navigation and plotting equipment like a scientific calculator, parallel rulers, compasses and dividers

    • Math skills at a Year 10 level or equivalent

    • TAFE NSW may ask you to complete a Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) skills test.

    • This skills test helps us to understand your individual study needs, to design an individualised plan that supports your study success and ensures your LLN skills match the demands of the course.

    TAFE NSW is committed to meeting the learning needs of every community. Meeting these needs can mean there are additional entry requirements at different campus locations. Check your preferred location for further requirements. If you need help preparing for study, contact us to find out how we can support you.

    PathwaysFuture career and study options

    Career pathways

    Our graduates go onto roles like: 3rd officer deck watchkeeping officer and 2nd officer deck watchkeeping officer.


    The maritime industry is regulated by the Australian Marine Safety Authority (AMSA). AMSA sets specific requirements for each maritime qualification to ensure you are ready to join the industry. Graduating from this course only meets part of the AMSA exam criteria. You will need to meet other requirements through your sea service and medical status. Visit AMSA for further information, eligibility and requirements before you apply.

    Study pathways

    Take your study further with other courses offered at TAFE NSW:

    Previous study1 Course

    Begin here to gain experience and confidence in this study area.

    Further study0 Courses

    Advance your skills to take your career to the next level

    The Diploma of Maritime Operations (Watchkeeper Deck) does not have any post-graduate courses.

    Related study0 Courses

    Strengthen your expertise and gain specialist skills to expand your employability.

    The Diploma of Maritime Operations (Watchkeeper Deck) does not have any related courses.

    Your experience counts

    At TAFE NSW, we recognise your previous study and work experience. You can apply for recognition of prior learning or a credit transfer with any of our courses. If you're successful you'll get your qualification faster.

    UnitsUnits taught in this course

    Courses are made up of a combination of both core and specialty units. In the Diploma of Maritime Operations (Watchkeeper Deck) qualification, you’ll need to successfully complete 22 units of competency, including 19 core and 3 speciality units.

    Please note, not all specialty units are offered at every TAFE NSW location. It is highly recommended that you check with your preferred campus for information about the specialty units offered at that location.

    Core units are central to the job outcomes of a particular industry or occupation. These are the units industry has agreed are essential to be capable and qualified at a particular study level.

    • Provide First AidHLTAID011

    • Maintain seaworthiness of the ship (ship stability)MARA017

    • Monitor, loading, unloading, securing and stowage of cargoMARA025

    • Apply leadership and team working capabilityMARF031

    • ... 5

    TAFE NSW servicesFacilities and support

    TAFE NSW provides support services across all campus locations and online. Whatever your needs or circumstances, we have the people, resources, counselling and facilities to support you in focusing on your studies.

    • TAFE NSW Disability Support Service

    • TAFE NSW Language, Literacy and Numeracy (LLN) support

    • TAFE NSW Aboriginal Support; Learner support (ABE)

    • TAFE NSW Careers, Counselling and Pathways Service

    • TAFE NSW Libraries

    • Scholarship programs – be supported as you explore your talents and fulfil your potential

    • Read&Write literacy and study support software is available free for all TAFE NSW students to use while studying on campus and at home

    • LinkedIn Learning – an online resource which offers innovative courses and tutorials to improve your personal and professional skills

    • Student associations – get social with our student community

    Study optionsFind a location to enrol