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In 2019, we were awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for excellence in further and higher education, becoming one of only four colleges in the UK to achieve this. We achieved this through a combination of cutting edge innovation and years of advancement, as the oldest purpose-built marine college in the world. South Shields Marine School provides everything you need for a successful maritime career, with opportunities all over the world.


Varied subject sectors


Different courses


Of our pre-cadets progress to employment or sponsorship


Earn up to £80k per year as a senior officer

Business ship sails on a green sea


If you begin your career at sea with a 3-year course at South Shields Marine School, you will be at sea for a minimum of 8-12 months. Whether you’re cooking, engineering or navigating by the stars, you’ll have the opportunity to travel.

After your qualification, you can launch a career that takes you all over the world.

A man and a woman work on a machine.


Our teaching team is packed with industry experts who have years of experience. They provide top level merchant navy training, while being both friendly and accessible, and offering one-on-ones with students.

The team would love to welcome you to one of our nautical science courses.

A man stands in a ship control centre.


Our ground-breaking research in advanced 3D modelling is well known. However, we are also leaders in the courses that we offer: for example, we have developed a series of renewable energy training courses in partnership with specialist companies.

Our facilities, too, are cutting edge: particularly the offshore bridge simulator, which provides an immersive learning experience.

“I’ve learned a lot at South Shields Marine School. For example, I knew nothing about celestial navigation before this course, but now I can navigate using the stars. Male or female, I would definitely encourage anyone to start a career at sea. However, you have to be prepared to work and study hard, but the course is also a lot of fun.”

Hannah Lewis
Deck Cadet

“When I was first looking at the Pre-Cadet programme, the promise of assistance and applying for sponsorship, as well as specialised classes covering the Merchant Navy and its operations, really appealed to me. I have now secured an ETO sponsorship, and I’ve loved developing my knowledge and sea survival skills.”

Ami Celeste Gay
Former Pre-Cadet, now sponsored with Disney Cruises


Whatever you’re learning at South Shields Marine School, it’s a great place to be. We have a heritage of providing a great learning experience. You’ll be gaining a variety of skills, making friends, and studying in the heart of Tyneside – unless you choose one of our distance learning courses. Our longer courses also guarantee time at sea so you can put all your new knowledge into practice.