Education Options for Seafarers in South Africa

Significant changes have taken place over recent years with respect to the education of seafarers in South Africa. In line with the Higher Education Qualifications Framework (HEQF), the qualification “Diploma in Marine Engineering" has been phased out - replaced by the formal qualification “Bachelor of Marine Engineering” which is a 3 year academic program. As a result of these changes, from the 1st January 2020 the following study options are available to students:

Engineering Officer of the Watch

Option 1: The mechanical academic subjects (as per the SAMSA requirements list) can be obtained from an academic institution (TVET college or University of Technology), and the maritime academic subjects can be done seperately via a private maritime institution. The students will be issued with a certificate of pass (statement of results) for the maritime subjects - acceptable by SAMSA - but not registered on the HEQF as a formal qualification.

Option 2: All of the subjects up to Chief Engineering Officer level (or alternative specialisation) can be done within the Marine Engineering degrees offered at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (Cape Town), or the Nelson Mandela University (Port Elizabeth). This qualification is regarded as STCW+, meaning that students will have acquired knowledge over-and-above the requirements of a Chief Engineering officer - allowing for easier progression to shore-based employment within the maritime industry.

* These qualifications are exclusive of seatime, workshops and safety short courses as required by SAMSA for the issue of a CoC.

2nd and Chief Engineering Officer (Management Level)

Option 1: Until the 1st January 2025, the subjects for the Diploma in Marine Engineering are still offered at CPUT to allow for those students currently in the system - to exit the system. This will still be recognised on the NEQF, but this option is only available for pipeline students. 

Option 2: Starting 1 January 2020, all of the subjects up to Chief Engineering Officer level (or alternative specialisation) can be done within the Marine Engineering degrees offered at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology (Cape Town), or the Nelson Mandela University (Port Elizabeth). This qualification is regarded as STCW+, meaning taht students will have acquired knowledge over-and-above the requirements of a Chief Engineering officer - allowing for easier progression to shore-based employment within the maritime industry.

* These qualifications are exclusive of seatime, workshops and safety short courses as required by SAMSA for the issue of a CoC.

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