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An overview of nautical science and how it is different from marine engineering

by Team Techvilly

To have a right career in sea, you need to be spot on the decisions front. When you are planning to start off at a maritime institute you will be confused on what stream you need to choose for studies, more so if you do not have direct access to anyone from the industry. A diploma in nautical science subjects or marine engineering are two ways by which you can avail a job in the ship.

Various instances have come to the fore where an individual has gone on to choose a course and realized it does not suit their job prospects or academic inclination. They would want to opt out of it or look to pursue viable alternatives. Hence it is important to be aware in advance which field you are going to pursue and the kind of job you will be doing on the ship after the course.

There are differences that exist between nautical science and marine engineering degrees. But the question is how are you aware on what to except from each of them.

The difference between nautical science and a marine engineering degree

If you choose a career in nautical science, you are well on route to become a deck officer. Nautical science is a 3 years course that would result in a diploma in nautical science or an undergraduate degree after which the person would be joining the ship as a trainee cadet officer. They are commonly referred to as the deck candidate

After completing sufficient amount of time at the sea (deck time/ experience, required as a deck candidate varies that is pursued at an undergraduate level. A clearing certificate is necessary for the competency exams then the cadet would become eligible to be employed as a navigating officer on a ship.

The first form of promotion is available in the form of a third mate. It can be a junior officer in some cases, where a shipping company would require some form of additional experience before becoming an OOW. Practical along with theoretical knowledge is really important for this course. The topics of ship maintenance, along with operations are imparted during the three years of the course. Even exposure to the sea is important that are a vital cog in the wheel to develop your managerial skills.

As a deck officer hands on training are important, and in- depth procedure along with maintenance, techniques of important deck machinery is an integral component of the course. Several forms of modular courses are necessary to join the ship and this is a part of the syllabus of nautical science. It is mandatory as part of the IMO STCW convention. At a primary level these courses are firefighting along with fire prevention, personal survival strategies with personal safety and social responsibility having an important role to play. You need to complete an advanced level of these courses, before you planning to appear for a certificate of the competency exams. They tend to be short term courses ranging between 2 to 5 days.

A diploma in nautical science will prepare you for a career in the sea. You will have an ability to choose a career as a navigating deck officer. By pursuing the course, you will develop professional soft skills in the form of critical thinking, effective communication and time management. The course curriculum is designed in such a manner that equips you to work with divers’ positions all around the world.

The course curriculum is designed in such a manner that it provides practical experience. It is through an integrated learning structure, the students will have an opportunity to combine theory along with practical learning. This is one of the main reasons why a career in nautical science is chosen by students from all over the world. By the time you are done with the course you have an idea to overcome any challenges that tends to arise in the course. They are suited based on your interest levels.

Marine engineering

This is a course that caters to the marine aspect of the maritime industry. Just like a conventional engineering course, this would prepare you for a 4-year course that helps an individual to become an engineer on a ship. The course caters to all about machinery on ships yachts or sea going vessels. Numerous technical teams tend to sprout out from this course. The course curriculum is designed in such a manner that it caters to the theory and practical aspect of marine engineering. A lot of emphasis is being laid to impart skills along with competencies that is necessary to maintain or operate machines on the on -board ships.

The subjects that are taught in the first two years of the course are similar to the ones taught in conventional marine engineering. The aim of the course is to introduce marine engineering to the students and ensure that they understand the application of those sciences in the various aspects of marine engineering. Coming to the third and the fourth years, it is totally devoted in imparting technology of marine engineering. It has to be said that both the theory along with practical aspects are covered with a special focus on the maintenance and operation of marine machinery. Practical knowledge in the form of workshop training is provided through labs so that the students are able to obtain hands on knowledge about the topics. They are aware on how to dismantle and deal with the repair of the ships.

After completing the course, a candidate needs to spend necessary time at the sea to gain experience. This would be mandatory for them to obtain an engineering certificate of competency exams. The moment you clear these exams you are entitled to obtain a compulsory certificate to be certified engineer on board the ship.

Both these streams have their own niche subjects, and it requires a genuine interest at the end of the students to complete the course.

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