Pre-Cadetship Programme // Level 2

A career at sea offers an exciting and rewarding career.

You can now start your career at sea with our brand-new Pre-Cadetship course at TyneMet, delivered in partnership with South Shields Marine School.

About South Shields Marine School

South Shields Marine School are specialists in maritime education and training. Since 1861, the school has transformed the delivery of education in this industry, offering world-class training for anyone looking to acquire the knowledge and skills to begin a career at sea.


This education leads to a career in the merchant navy, which is highly rewarding yet challenging, creating opportunities at sea with large international shipping companies or on-shore at ports across the world. In an evolving world, a career at sea will offer you a stable and lifelong career to be proud of..

What is a pre-cadetship?

A Pre-Cadetship is the introduction to training and teaches you the basic safety and technical skills of the marine sector.

This course is uniquely designed to prepare you for a full cadetship programme, where you will undertake a three-year training course while being sponsored by one of the many world-leading shipping companies  South Shields Marine School works with.

Our pre-cadetship aims to prepare you for a career in marine engineering.

How will I study?

The programme will provide the knowledge and skills required to be successful in securing a full cadetship. You will develop the variety of skills through visits, classroom learning and practical sessions. You will also be encouraged to grow fully as individuals and develop excellent interpersonal and communication skills.

What will I study?

At TyneMet, you will study the Level 2, Engineering pre-cadet pathway which is a stepping-stone to a career as a Marine Engineer.


As part of the course, you will study the following units:

  • Maritime Employment, Environmental and Health and Safety Practice
  • Survival in the Water during Maritime Emergencies
  • Maritime Security
  • Emergency First Aid in Response to Maritime Accidents or Medical Emergencies
  • Vessel Fire Prevention and Firefighting (STCW)
  • Safe Operation of Merchant Vessel Machinery Systems
  • Electrical Safety on Merchant Vessels
  • Producing Components Using Hand Fitting Techniques
  • Preparing and Using Lathes for Turning Operations
  • Maritime Sector Overview

During your studies, you will be based mainly at our TyneMet campus. However, some units are delivered at South Shields Marine School’s world-renowned Marine Offshore Safety Training Centre.

Your studies will also include a range of visits to South Shields Marine School to view the facilities, including the marine simulation suites, as well as meet students currently on a full cadetship programme. 

Entry Requirements

You will need to achieve 4 GCSEs Grade 5 / C (including maths, English and a Science) to be eligible for our pre-cadetship.

You will also need to be successful at an interview with a course tutor as well as an internal maths test. 



The course is designed to prepare you for a full cadetship. After studying your level 2 qualification, you can progress on to the Level 3 pre-cadetship programme to further prepare you for a career at sea.

On successful completion of the Pre-Cadetship, you would be eligible to undertake a three-year, sponsored cadet training programme. As a sponsored cadet, your fees will be covered which means you should have no student debt.


For a cadetship, you will be enrolled on to a three-year training programme split into 5 phases. Phases 1, 3 and 5 are based at college, studying the theory behind your chosen area including mandatory safety training courses. Phases 2 and 4 are based at sea so you will get the practical experience and knowledge to enable you to pass your final oral exams and become a fully qualified Officer.

A cadetship programme is the springboard to an exciting career away from the standard office based ‘9-5’ job. With no shortage of opportunities, those who qualify will gain a wealth of knowledge for use at sea on onshore.

All cadetships are sponsored by a commercial maritime company.

Please visit to see the list of vessels and companies who provide sponsorship


Further progression: After your cadetship

After studying our Level 2, pre-cadetship course, you will be well on your way to start your exciting career in marine engineering.

What does it mean?

A Marine Engineering Officer is responsible for the operation and maintenance of a ship’s propulsion, electrical generation, and all technological and ancillary systems which the ship relies on.

If you have an analytical mind and like to be hands-on, this career choice can open up many opportunities in the Merchant Navy and maritime industry. During the marine engineering cadetship at South Shields Marine School, you will spend a total of at least eight months at sea during the 3-year programme. You will also learn the practical and resourceful skills that will help you become a qualified Engineer at operational level. This is the first step for any Marine Engineer who wants to have a flourishing maritime career with progression opportunities including the highest rank of Chief Engineer. 

Course detail
Start September
Level Level 2
Attendance Full-time
Duration 1 year
Campus Coast Road Campus