Studying in Australia

Find out what you need to do to study maritime courses in Australia.

If you live in a country other than Australia or New Zealand, you can attend maritime courses at AMSA approved colleges in Australia under the International Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW) to gain an STCW certification.

We provide certification of maritime qualifications for all crew members on Australian ships operating under the Navigation Act 2012 to meet Australia’s obligations under STCW. Our STCW certification allows seafarers to work in unlimited operational areas around the world, including within and beyond Australian waters and the economic exclusive zone.

These procedures apply to:

  • Masters and deck officers
  • Engineer officers
  • Ratings.

The specific Australian standards and regulations are set out in marine orders which are made under Australian laws, and they apply to Australian and foreign vessels and seafarers.

The relevant marine orders for AMSA certification are:

Before proceeding with an application to study in Australia, it is strongly recommended that you read the marine order relevant to the qualification you wish to gain. Read more about the marine orders relevant to your qualifications.

Related information

Important disclaimer

These instructions are summary information only. If you need formal assessment for a qualification, you must apply in writing to us using Seafarer form 419. We will not process any applications that do not include all required documents in their original form, or are true certified copies. If you have forgotten to provide any documents, or have not provided originals or certified copies, you may need to pay a new application charge.

How to take a maritime course in Australia

Read the relevant documentation

Firstly, you should read the relevant sections of Marine Orders 70 to 74 to ensure you have the qualifying sea service for the certificate of competency or certificate of proficiency you are studying.

It is your responsibility to make sure you have adequate sea service for the certificate of competency or certificate of proficiency you intend studying for. There is no requirement to apply to us for a sea service assessment prior to enrolling in an AMSA approved training institution. This sea service assessment can be done upon enrolment at the college and during the course.

Provide evidence of sea service

Check that you have proof of specified qualifying sea service for the qualification you want to obtain. Read more about sea service.

How to apply for sea service assessment

You will need to complete this sea service and then submit a Seafarers form 419 to us so we can assess your sea service and issue you with an AMSA assessment letter. This letter is the evidence you need to prove that you have met the sea service requirements for your qualification.

College and course enrolment

You should then contact the AMSA approved course provider in Australia of your choosing to find out about the appropriate courses and any entry prerequisites the college requires for enrolment in that course, including evidence of English language ability. Colleges may require different prerequisites for enrolment, including any recognition of prior learning. We do not consider refresher courses for the purpose of gaining an AMSA certificate.

Find an AMSA approved maritime college in Australia.

See international qualifications and training to find out more about the course requirements for your qualification.

You will then need to apply for enrolment to the college of your choice.

Apply for a visa

Once you have received a letter of offer from the college, take the letter to the Australian Embassy, high commission or consulate in the country in which you live and apply for a student visa to attend the course. Find your nearest 

Travel to Australia to undertake course

After getting your Australian student visa, you must make your own travel arrangements to attend the college if you are not being sponsored by a maritime shipping company to study in Australia. The college should provide you with information about costs of study, accommodation and attendance requirements before or at the time it makes the offer to you.



Last updated: 13 February 2020