Skills for Work National 5
Maritime SCQF Level 5

Develop key skills essential for progressing to employment in the wide-ranging maritime sector.


Why take this course?

The maritime sector includes commercial sea fishing, the Royal Navy, the Merchant Navy, Maritime Search and Rescue, marine leisure, ports and harbours.

This course will allow candidates to start to develop the general and practical skills, and the knowledge and understanding, needed to work in the maritime sector. On successful completion of the course you will have gained a recognised SQA qualification, and will be in a strong position for progressing towards further maritime training or employment after leaving school.

Throughout the course you will develop a range of key transferrable skills, including self-management, organisational and planning skills, and strong commercial awareness.

What you will experience

The course is made up of the following units:

  1. Seamanship: An Introduction
  2. Maritime Environment: An Introduction
  3. Small Boat Engineering
  4. Health and Safety in the Maritime Sector
  5. Employability Skills and Careers in the Maritime Sector

Course content will give you the opportunity to explore a wide variety of career opportunities — local, national and global — in the maritime sector. The course will enable you to:

  • Develop technical knowledge, skills and understanding related to the maritime industry;
  • Develop an awareness of health and safety issues relevant to a range of activities;
  • Develop and learn to apply practical, technical and communication skills;
  • Develop aspects of a range of core skills;
  • Develop good practice in maintaining a tidy and safe work environment;
  • Be prepared for further learning opportunities, study and training in maritime.

Teaching methods will include theory and practical activities, and you will be taught in the practical net hall and classrooms at the Scottish Maritime Academy in Peterhead. Throughout the course you will be offered the opportunity to review and identify how your skills are developing. You will be expected to demonstrate:

  • Good time keeping skills;
  • A safe approach to working in a workshop environment;
  • A willingness and commitment to learning and an interest in maritime;
  • A knowledge of appropriate dress, such as Personal Protective Equipment (PPE);
  • An ability to work independently;
  • Planning and preparation skills;
  • An ability to establish/maintain good working relationships with others;
  • Problem solving skills.

To achieve the full qualification, you must attend regularly and successfully complete all units. Assessment will be based on a range of classroom-based and practical activities in the net hall. The Assessors will observe you whilst you undertake various tasks, and you will be expected to demonstrate an awareness of health and safety throughout.

three male students in maritime surround

Key facts

Subject area

Entry requirements

There are no particular entry requirements but pupils should be prepared to work at N5 level.

What you will need

Whilst you are taking part in the course you will be required to wear the appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including safety boots and boiler suit.

What you need to know

Anything else?

Whilst you are taking part in the course you will be required to:

  • Be ready to start your class at the given time;
  • Adhere to the School Pupils Code of Commitment.

Eating and drinking is not permitted in the workshops or classrooms. Drinking water is available from water dispensers in the corridors within the College buildings.

Next steps


At North East Scotland College

Upon successful completion of this course, you could consider Modern Apprenticeship opportunities or may be able to progress to a full-time course at North East Scotland College. Alternatively you could pursue opportunities in training as a trainee deckhand. 


If you would like to progress directly to work upon completion of your course, you can pursue a range of positions in the maritime sector including work in:

  • Commercial Sea Fishing
  • The Royal Navy
  • The Merchant Navy
  • The standby/supply sector in the North Sea


Please note that courses are subject to minimum viability levels. In the event of insufficient numbers of applications, courses may be withdrawn from the programme. Certain courses are arranged with schools working in a consortium arrangement – in such cases, pupils from consortium schools will be given priority in the allocation of places.