Access to Boatyards SCQF Level 4

What is special about this course?

This hands-on course will let you develop some of the basic skills required to work in a boatyard, boat repair or marina.

This course is perfect for anyone considering an Apprenticeship in Boatbuilding and Repair.

Coursework and practical activities lead to recognised SQA and RYA qualifications useful for getting started in the boatbuilding and repair, boat maintenance, and port and marinas sectors.

Entry requirements

There are no academic entry requirements for this course.

To give you an introduction to the many types of work carried out in boatyards you will learn a range of skills based on the following topics:

  • Boatyards – Boatbuilding Repair and Maintenance
  • An introduction to Carpentry and Bench Joinery 
  • Engineering Fabrication Skills 
  • Basic Fibreglass Techniques    

To give you experiences in the water-based activities normally taking place in and around ports and marinas you will also study the following:

  • Maritime Skills
  • Seamanship: An Introduction (National 5)
  • RYA Powerboat 2
  • RYA Essential Navigation
  • RYA Diesel Engine
  • Boat Electrics - An Introduction

There will also be opportunities to visit boatyards and local marinas to see the types of day-to-day work that takes place, and a chance to speak to the employers and craftsmen.


How will I study my course?

  • Full Time

How long will my course last?

18 Weeks

Where can I study my course?

    • Construction, Engineering and Renewables Centre

Start date

The start date is 23rd January 

This course will run on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays for 18 weeks.



Scottish resident full-time students will automatically have their course fees paid for this course.   

If you have recently moved to, or do not normally live in Scotland, you may need to pay £5,970 in course fees, these can be paid in instalments. Families of Armed Services personnel are subject to different fees regulations and may also have to pay course fees. If you think this may apply to you, please contact us and we can advise you. 

This course is not available to students who require a Tier 4 Home Office visa to study in Scotland (international or EU). 

Part-time FE students who are on low incomes or in receipt of certain benefits may also have their course fees paid for them. Please refer to page 2 of our Fees and Funding Guide to see if you are eligible.  


Bursary for Living Costs 

If you are 18 years of age or over on the start date of your course, and will be studying full-time you may be eligible for bursary funding, depending on your household income. Our bursary fund is finite and is allocated on a ‘first come, first served’ basis so it’s important to make your application for bursary as soon as the application process opens in July. You will need to have accepted our offer before you apply. 

If you are under 18 you may be eligible for EMA. EMA is paid at a rate of £30 per week dependent on your total household income.  

Please see page 2 of our Fees and Funding Guide for full details of Bursary and EMA.  

You may also be eligible for assistance with travel and childcare, and we have discretionary funds for those students in need. You can find all the information you need in our funding pages

Additional costs

Students wishing to obtain the full VHF (SRC) licence should be aware that there is a fee of £65 payable to RYA / Ofcom for the exam and licence. This exam is optional, and not required as part of the course and is not covered by your bursary.

What can I do on completion of my course?

This course can lead to employment in boatyards, ports and marinas sector where further study and qualifications can be gained through Modern Apprenticeships. 

Argyll has a great heritage of boatbuilding, maritime transport and many other water based activities. There is an increasing demand in Argyll for new candidates to enter into our boatyards and marinas to become the next generation of workers repairing, moving and maintaining boats. The local industries relying on these services include the aquaculture, workboats, renewables and leisure marine sectors.

Is there more information available online?

QR Code - scan to visit course page

You can use the above QR code to connect directly to the course details.

This course gives a great introduction to the skills and experiences you’ll need to work in and around boatyards and marinas. Engineering, metalwork, woodwork, and fibreglass activities plus a range of RYA qualifications including Powerboat, DSC/VHF radio, Essential Navigation and Diesel Engine give you recognised qualifications to help get you started in the sector.

Don Mitchell, Project Director of Marine Industry Training Centre

I want to start in Jan 2024

We are delighted that you are thinking about studying at UHI Argyll. UHI Argyll operates a fair and open admissions system committed to equality of opportunity and non-discrimination. We consider all applications on merit and on the basis of ability to achieve, without discrimination on grounds of age, disability, gender identity, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity status, race, religion and/or belief, sex, sexual orientation or socio-economic background. We welcome applications from all prospective students and aim to provide appropriate and efficient services to students with disabilities.