Singapore Maritime Academy

Leader of maritime education and training with sophisticated laboratories and workshops

Diploma in Nautical Studies (DNS) EAE/DAE only

Overview Entry Requirements What You'll Study Your Future

What You'll Study

This three-year training programme prepares students for the Diploma in Nautical Studies (DNS) and their first professional sea-going qualification - the Class 3 Deck Certificate of Competency. It is the first career step for the holder to sail as a junior deck officer, and later, as master of a ship.
The course comprises three phases. Phase 1 commences at the start of the SP academic year whilst Phase 3 is conducted each semester.
Phase 1 - Pre-Sea Induction (18 months)
This three-semester Pre-Sea Induction course at the Singapore Polytechnic prepares students as cadet officers aboard ship. Students are taught the fundamental knowledge and skills required for a deck officer. During this period, the student also attends the approved STCW Basic Safety Training course.
Phase 2 - Sea-Training / Correspondence (12 months)
During this phase the students undergo shipboard training and follow a structured training programme, which includes a correspondence course package and the completion of a training and assessment record book. As cadet officers, students are groomed to shoulder the responsibilities of a Navigating Officer. A minimum sea service of 12 months is required for the award of Diploma in Nautical Studies and the Class 3 Certificate of Competency.
Phase 3 - Full-time study at Singapore Polytechnic (6 months)
This final phase of study (one semester) for the Diploma in Nautical Studies course includes the Class 3 Certificate of Competency Preparatory Course. The holder of the diploma may be granted exemption from the written part of the Class 3 Certificate of Competency examination conducted by MPA Singapore. The student will be required to attend the approved STCW Medical First Aid on Board Ship course as an ancillary.

First Phase - 18 months

Module Code Module Name Total Hours
LC8001 General Education 1
Aims to equip students with critical reasoning skills and provide them with opportunities to practise critical thinking through the exploration of contemporary social issues. It also provides a platform for students to learn the basics of arguments through the formal argumentation structure.
LC8002 General Education 2
Aims to equip students with the skills to critically analyse the elements of persuasion in narratives used in a variety of contexts to appreciate the power of storytelling in our daily life. Students will also explore the history of discrimination in societies and craft their responses through their own narrative.
MA0534 Advanced Fire Fighting
Provides students with an understanding of shipboard fires, their hazards, and the methods and strategies used on board ship to identify, control and combat these hazards. Particular emphasis will placed on the organization, control and command of fire parties designed to deal with fires effectively.
MA0536 Introduction to Navigation
This module provides students with a foundation in navigation and chartwork. Students will be introduced to navigation terminology and definitions, navigational calculations and the determination of the ship position using celestial and terrestrial bodies, and other navigational aid. In the module, students will also be taught the principles of tides and currents, and the operation and use of basic navigational instruments including the magnetic compass, the gyroscope compass, the echo-sounder and the sextant.
MA0539 Principles of Navigation
This module builds on the Introduction to Navigation module and provides a foundation for the study of more advanced topics in navigation. The syllabus covers the solar system as used for navigation, the principles and concepts of celestial and ocean navigation, position determination using these principles and concepts, and an understanding of chart projections used in navigation. This module supports the module Practical Navigation taught at the Phase 3 stage.
MA0555 Ship Knowledge
Provides students with an in-depth knowledge of ship stability, and seamanship. Students are taught the principles of hydrostatics, form co-efficient, TPC, the effect of density, loadlines, transverse statistical stability, and the use of stability manuals carried onboard ships. In seamanship, they will be introduced to various types of ropes used onboard, lifting gear including procedures for ship maintenance. Students will also be taught the basic dimensions of a merchant vessel with a brief introduction to ship construction.
MA0558 Marine Communications & Radar
Provides students with knowledge and skills in basic maritime communications. Provides students with knowledge and skills of traditional and modern methods of communications aboard ships. Signalling flags and Morse code will also be covered. The syllabus includes an in-depth knowledge of radar and automatic plotting aids and training will include hands-on simulation incorporating bridge watchkeeping and collision avoidance scenarios.
MA0560 Collision Regulations
This module provides the students in-depth knowledge of the International regulations for Preventing Collisions at sea. Animations and case studies will be used to lend practical application of the module. The module will also cover the buoyage regulations.
MA0566 Basic Occupational Safety & Security Training
This module provides students with a sound knowledge of shipboard safety and security, to equip them with the necessary skills to take appropriate measures to safeguard the safety and security of personnel and ship. Students will be taught, personal safety and social responsibility, survival at sea techniques, shipboard fire prevention and fire fighting, and elementary first aid in accordance with updated STCW requirements for the Basic Safety Training certificate. Students will also be familiarized with security related duties such as responding to security threats, piracy and armed robbery.
MA0567 Electronic Navigation Systems 1
Provides students with an understanding and a working knowledge of various electronic navigational systems/equipment found onboard merchant ships. Training will include hands-on simulation.
MA0568 Basic Tanker Training
Provides students with knowledge of operations in oil, chemical and gas tankers. The potential dangers posed by these hazardous cargoes to personnel and the environment are emphasised. Prevention of pollution to the environment is also covered.
MS7141 Mathematics 1
Provides student with mathematical skills, knowledge and understanding required for their present course of study. Topics covered include basic algebra, geometry, trigonometry, plane and spherical triangles and their applications.
MS7341 Mathematics 2
This module is designed to provide students the necessary mathematics skills to obtain their Class 3 Certificate of Competency.
MS7442 Science 1
Provides students in nautical studies with basic knowledge and problem-solving skills in mechanics, hydrostatics and properties of matter. Topics include vectors, moments, energy, work, power, principle of floatation and strength of materials.
MS7452 Applied Science
Provides students with knowledge in applied science necessary for deck officers. Application of knowledge and problem solving skills form a major part of this module. Topics covered include heat, sound, electricity, electromagnetism, magnetism and corrosion prevention.
MS7542 Software Application
Provides students with a good understanding of the use of microcomputers. Students will learn and have sufficient hands-on practical exercises in industry standard application software for word processing, spreadsheet and database management. On completion of this module, students should have gained enough knowledge, experience and confidence to explore other application software on their own.
SP101A Education and Career Guidance 1
A compulsory module for all first year students, ECG 1 aims to develop an understanding of personal interests, strengths, values and life goals. With greater knowledge and understanding of self, planning and decision making in choosing a future career can be better developed. Some topics covered in ECG 1 include ‘Defining My SP Life’, ‘Personal Branding’, ‘Discovering My Interests’, ‘Planning for Success – My Personal Action Plan’ and more.
SP201A Education and Career Guidance 2
ECG 2 is taken by all second year students. This module aims to develop professional skills necessary to seek and secure work. It also guides the students on how to discover and develop skills, knowledge and attitudes needed for work effectiveness and changes related to work. Topics covered in this module include ‘Job Search and Market Trends’, ‘Discovering Your Unique Selling Point’, ‘Resilience’, ‘Work Place Values’ and more.

Second Phase - 12 months

Module Code Module Name Total Hours
II9003 52 Weeks Sea Service
During this phase, the candidates undergo shipboard training and follow a distance learning programme. Candidates are required to complete a total of at least 12 months sea service to enrol for the Phase 3 Diploma in Nautical Studies, and for the Class 3 Certificate of Competency examination. Students are required to document their training in a Training & Assessment Record Book.
LC0654 Communicating for Personal and Team Effectiveness
Aims to equip students with the necessary skills to develop self-confidence in their spoken and written interactions with intended audiences for specific purposes, in informal contexts.

Third Phase - 6 months

Module Code Module Name Total Hours
MA0525 Ship Operations
Provides students with knowledge of the safety aspects of shipboard operations with emphasis on the rules and regulations. Also provides knowledge and guidance in seamanship and safety practices aboard ships to enable them to keep an independent watch and assist the senior officers in shipboard emergencies.
MA0542 Practical Navigation
This module provides students with comprehensive hands-on application of terrestrial, celestial and ocean navigation principles that are essential skills for keeping an independent bridge watch at sea. Students will be expected to demonstrate and apply their knowledge of various sailing calculations used in navigation, their understanding of nautical astronomy, and position fixing at sea with the help of the celestial bodies. This module applies the principles and concepts studied by the students throughout the course including Principles of Navigation taught in Phase 1B, and forms an integral component of the syllabus of the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) for an officer in charge of a navigational watch.
MA0543 Coastal Navigation
This module provides students with an in-depth knowledge of coastal navigation, and the practical skills to enable them to perform the duties of an independent bridge watchkeeping officer. Students will undertake a more in depth study of tide predictions and calculations on secondary ports, and basic principles and skills on passage planning. The students will also be introduced to the work and duties of a junior navigating officer with respect to preparation of the chart folios, correction of charts and the various publications for the intended voyage.
MA0562 Cargo Work and ISM
This module provides the students with a working knowledge of various types of cargo and their operations to enable the students supervise cargo operations aboard ships as a watchkeeping cargo officer. Students will also be provided an overview of the International Safety Management System implement onboard ships.
MA0563 Electronic Navigation Systems 2
Provides students with an deeper understanding and a working knowledge of various electronic navigational systems/equipment found onboard merchant ships. Training will include hands-on simulation. This module builds on Electronic Navigation Systems 1 taught earlier in year 2.
Provides students with knowledge and skills in maritime communications. This module is geared towards the General Operator Certificate (Global Maritime Distress and Safety System) issued by the Telecommunication Authority of Singapore.
MA0565 Ship Construction & Ship Stability
This module provides students with a sound working knowledge of ship stability to ensure that ships under their charge are in a safe condition at all times. Particular emphasis will be placed on cargo distribution, its effects on ship construction and their stresses, the stability of the ship both at rest and in a seaway environment.



Please note: Course structure subjected to change.

I enjoy my studies at  SP. With its state-of-the-art facilities like the Integrated Simulation Centre, SP certainly helps to prepare me to become a world-class seafarer.

Third-year student Chin Chow Yien