Programme Title
Advanced Diploma in Deck Operations (also leading to OIC Navigational Watch)
Course Code

Programme Includes:(Apprenticeship/ Placement or Internship)

Taught Units Only (No Apprenticeship/No Placement/ No Internship)
MQF Level

Level 4
Type(refer to Appendix 1 for Parameters)

Accreditation Status(Note: If the Type is Award or Qualification, therefore by default, the Accreditation Status should be Accredited)

Accredited via MCAST’s Self Accreditation Process (MCAST holds Self-Accrediting Status as per 1st schedule of Legal Notice 296/2012)
Mode of Delivery

Face to Face
Duration (hours or years)

2 years full time for the Advanced Diploma. A further 12 months training at sea and Transport Malta written examinations including final oral exam to achieve the Officer In Charge of Navigational Watch Certificate Of Competence (Unlimited)
Total Number of Credits

120 ECTS
Total Learning Hours (25 Total Learning Hours for each ECTS)

3000 Hours
Target Audience

Ages 16 – 65
Target Group (the type of learners that the educational institution anticipates joining this programme)

Students exiting compulsory education
Programme Fees

€8500.00(Applicable for Non-EU and Non-EEA Countries) – the fee mentioned here is indicative.  Please refer to, as well as to MCAST’s MG2I International Section for any updated fees as well as terms of payments.
Date of Next Student Intake

Language of Instruction

The official language of instruction at MCAST is English. All notes and textbooks are in English (except for language courses, which will be in the respective language being instructed). International candidates will be requested to meet English language certification requirements for access to the course.
Application Method

Applications to full-time courses are received online via the College Management Information System. Applicants can log-in using Maltese Electronic ID (eID) in order to access the MCAST Admissions Portal directly and create one’s own student account with the identity being verified electronically via this secure service.

Non-EID applicants need to request account creation though an online form after that they confirm that their local Identification Document does not come with an EID entitlement. . Once the identity is verified and the account is created on behalf of the applicant, one may proceed with the online application according to the same instructions applicable to all other applicants.

For more information about how to apply online for a course at MCAST, please visit:

Information for Non-EU Citizens

Non-EU candidates require a study visa in order to travel to Malta and join the course applied for. For further information re study-visa please access
Address where the Programme will be Delivered

MCAST has four campuses as follows:

MCAST Main Campus
Triq Kordin,
Paola, Malta

All courses except for courses delivered by the Institute for the Creative Arts, the Centre of Agriculture, Aquatics and Animal Sciences and the Gozo Campus are offered at the Main Campus address (above).

Courses delivered by the Institute for the Creative Arts, the Centre of Agriculture, Aquatics and Animal Sciences, or the Gozo Campus, are offered in one of the following addresses as applicable:

Institute for the Creative Arts
Mosta Campus
Misraħ Għonoq Tarġa Gap,

Institute of Applied Sciences
Centre of Agriculture, Aquatics and Animal Sciences,
Luqa Road, Qormi

Gozo Campus
J.F. De Chambray Street
MCAST, Għajnsielem

In the case of courses delivered via Online Learning, students will be following the programme from their preferred location/address.

Programmes delivered via Blended Learning, and which therefore contain both an online and a face to face component shall be delivered as follows:

Face to Face components – as per above address instructions
Online components – from the student’s preferred address.

Course Description/Deskrizzjoni tal-Kors


Advanced Diploma in Deck Operations (also leading to OIC Navigational Watch) programme is designed to prepare candidates for a career in the maritime sector.
The Advanced Diploma is a 2 year full time course and the qualification is issued by MCAST, whilst the programme also prepares candidates as sea cadets with a further 12 month sea placement and Transport Malta written exams including the final oral exam to qualify for the ultimate maritime qualification with the Certificate of Competence as an Officer In Charge of a Navigational Watch (unlimited) on ocean-going merchant vessels. This qualification is issued by Transport Malta (Maritime) Authority.
Candidates can opt to take the course leading to Officer In Charge of Navigational Watch alone and sit for Transport Malta examinations OR the course leading to Advanced Diploma in Deck Operations alone and sit for MCAST examinations OR both with full qualifications.
It is to be noted that those candidates taking the Advanced Diploma in Deck Operations course will not be entitled to work as navigation ship officers.
The course consists of a number of maritime related subjects such as Navigation, Meteorology, Signals, Ship Knowledge and Stability, Cargo Operations, International Regulations, and leadership training in which all candidates are expected to participate.
Officer Cadets are expected to wear a merchant marine uniform whilst undergoing training both ashore and on board ships.
Officer Cadets attending the course will be expected to find own ship sponsor for the practical training period at sea during the third phase of training of the course. However, assistance will also be offered.


Dan il-programm ta’ Advanced Diploma in Deck Operations (also leading to OIC Navigational Watch) huwa mfassal biex iħejji kandidati għal karriera fil-qasam marittimu. Advanced Diploma huwa kors ta’ sentghejn full time u l-kwalifika tinhareg mill MCAST, kif ukoll il-programm jipprepara lill-kandidati bhala kadetti marittimi billi jaghmlu 12 il-xahar tahrig fuq il-bahar u ezamijiet ta’ Transport Malta inkluz ezami orali ta’ l-ahhar. B’dawn ikunu jistghu jikkwalifikaw għal Ċertifikat ta’ Kompetenza (minghajr limitu) bħala Uffiċjali tal bahar sabiex jiehdu l-pozizjoni ta’ Ufficjali marittimi u jkunu jistghu jahdmu fuq kwalunkwe bastiment f’ibhra internazjonali. Il-kandidati jistghu jaghzlu l-kors tal Officer In Charge of Navigational Watch u jersqu ghal ezamijiet imhejija mit Transport Malta JEW il-kors tal Advanced Diploma u jersqu ghal ezamijiet imhejija mill MCAST JEW it-tnejn. Nigbdu l-attenzjoni li dawk il-kandidati li jaghzlu l-Advanced Diploma biss ma jkunux jistghu jahdmu bhala ufficjali ta’ navigazjoni fuq il-vapuri. It-taħriġ jikkonsisti f’numru ta’ suġġetti relatati mal-baħar, bħan-Navigazzjoni, il-Meteoroloġija, is-Sinjali, l-Għarfien u l-Istabbiltà tal-Vapuri, l-Operazzjonijiet tal-Merkanzija, ir-Regolamenti Internazzjonali, flimkien ma’ taħriġ fit-tmexxija, li fihom il-kandidati kollha huma mistennija li jipparteċipaw. Kadetti marittimi ikunu mistennija li jilbsu l-uniformi waqt it-tahrig kemm fuq l-art u fuq il-bastimenti. L-Uffiċjali Kadetti li jkunu qed jagħmlu l-kors huma wkoll mistennija iffitxu sponsor ghal perjodu tat tahrig prattiku fuq il-bahar, ghalkemm jingħataw għajnuna wkoll.
Career Opportunities

Advanced Diploma holders : Port inspector, Terminal inspector, GMDSS operator, Cargo operator in yard/ship terminal
Officer In Charge of Navigational Watch (unlimited) holders: 2nd Officer onboard ocean going ships of any size and operations.
Entry requirements(Refer to Programme Specification)

MCAST Diploma in Deck Operation
Any MCAST Level 3 Diploma, whilst being in possession of the compulsory subjects as indicated hereunder
4 SEC/O-Level passes/SSC&P (Level 3) passes:
Compulsory: Physics, Mathematics and English Language

Other Entry Requirements

Medical Test
Students must have reached the age of 18 years prior to start of sea experience

Programme Learning Outcomes (Refer to Programme Specification)

At the end of the programme the student is able to:

1. Explain and undertake navigation at the operational level.
2. Discuss Cargo Handling and stowage at the operational level.
3. Demonstrate the safe operation of the ship and care for persons on board at the operational level.
4. Demonstrate professional recognised navigation and ship operations skills.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment Procedures

The programmes offered are vocational in nature and entail both theoretical lectures delivered in classes as well as practical elements that are delivered in laboratories, workshops, salons, simulators as the module requirements dictate.

Each module or unit entails a number of in person and/or online contact learning hours that are delivered by the lecturer or tutor directly (See also section ‘Total Learning Hours).

Access to all resources is provided to all registered students. These include study resources in paper or electronic format through the Library and Resource Centre as well as tools, software, equipment and machinery that are provided by the respective institutes depending on the requirements of the course or module.

Students may however be required to provide consumable material for use during practical sessions and projects unless these are explicitly provided by the College.

All Units of study are assessed throughout the academic year through continuous assessment using a variety of assessment tools. Coursework tasks are exclusively based on the Learning Outcomes and Grading Criteria as prescribed in the course specification. The Learning Outcomes and Grading Criteria are communicated to the Student via the coursework documentation.

The method of assessment shall reflect the Level, credit points (ECTS) and the schedule of time-tabled/non-timetabled hours of learning of each study unit. A variety of assessment instruments, not solely Time Constrained Assignments/Exams, are used to gather and interpret evidence of Student competence toward pre-established grading criteria that are aligned to the learning outcomes of each unit of the programme of study.

Grading criteria are assessed through a number of tasks, each task being assigned a number of marks. The number of grading criteria is included in the respective Programme Specification.
The distribution of marks and assessment mode depends on the nature and objectives of the unit in question.

Coursework shall normally be completed during the semester in which the Unit is delivered.

Time-constrained assignments may be held between 8 am and 8 pm during the delivery period of a Unit, or at the end of the semester in which the Unit is completed. The dates are notified and published on the Institute notice boards or through other means of communication.

Certain circumstances (such as but not limited to the Covid-19 pandemic) may lead Institutes and Centres to hold teaching and assessment remotely (online) as per MCAST QA Policy and Standard for Online Teaching, Learning and Assessment (Doc 020) available via link

The Programme Regulations pertaining to this Programme’s MQF/EQF level available at: link, apply.

Grading System

All MCAST programmes adopt a Learner-centred approach through the focus on Learning Outcomes. The assessment of MCAST programmes is criterion-referenced and thus assessors are required to assess learners’ evidence against a pre-determined set of Learning Outcomes and Assessment Criteria.

For a student to be deemed to have successfully passed a unit, a minimum of 50% (grade D) must be achieved.

All full time units are individually graded as follows:
A* (90-100)
A (80-89)
B (70-79)
C (60-69)
D (50-59)
Unsatisfactory work is graded as ‘U’.

Work-based learning units are graded on a Pass/Fail basis only.

Detailed information regarding the grading system may be found in the Programme Regulations pertaining to this programme’s MQF/EQF Level available at: link

Contact details for Further Learning Opportunities

MCAST Career Guidance
Tel: 2398 7135/6
Regulatory Body/ Competent Authority Contact Details (where applicable – in the case of a programme leading to Regulated Profession)

Download PIT (Public Information Template) pdf here  

Last updated: 2024-07-09