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MAR50120 Diploma of Marine Engineering (Engineer Watchkeeper Specialist)

National ID: MAR50120 State ID: AC62
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Steer your career forward and advance to the supervisory role of Engineer Watchkeeper. This course will help you gain specialist skills to advance to the next level in your career.

This qualification is suitable for people who work in the maritime industry as an Engineer Watchkeeper on a seagoing ship powered by main propulsion machinery of any propulsion power in any operating area.

Be guided by our expert team of lecturers who are industry professionals, as you develop a skillset to maintain and repair shipboard machinery and equipment and identify and correct complex diesel problems. You’ll also learn to perform emergency survival strategies, firefighting technique, applying medical first-aid as well as leadership and team working capability.

SM TAFE has key maritime connections which give students strong employability opportunities in oil and gas, shipbuilding and defence industries, alongside partnerships with Shell, Rio Tinto, Royal Oman Police, MMA Offshore Marine, BHP, INPEX and Australian Offshore Solutions.

This qualification is currently cited as meeting some of the requirements for certification as an Engineer Watchkeeper by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA). People seeking certification should check requirements with AMSA.

Learn in specialised facilities

Situated in the port city of Fremantle, SM TAFE’s Fremantle campus includes some of the most comprehensive facilities for training in the country, with advanced training equipment and highly experienced and qualified lecturing staff. SM TAFE’s maritime training integrates simulator technology, a fleet of three vessels, biological and computing laboratories, along with engineering, seamanship and aquaculture workshops.

You can learn real-world skills in the ship, bridge and engineering simulator training suite and become job ready for your role. The technology used features the most advanced mathematical modelling and shipping databases in the world and the hardware replicates the current equipment installed on seagoing ships.

SM TAFE has been providing internationally recognised maritime vocational training in both coastal and ocean seafaring for over twenty years from the Fremantle campus.


  • apply leadership and team working capability
  • contribute to fire prevention and firefighting (basic firefighting)
  • follow vessel security procedures (security awareness training)
  • observe personal safety and social responsibility (PSSR)
  • operate survival craft, rescue boats and lifesaving appliances (proficiency in survival craft)
  • prevent, control and fight fires on board a vessel (advanced firefighting)
  • survive at sea in the event of vessel abandonment and personal survival techniques (PST)
  • apply basic principles of naval architecture
  • demonstrate basic knowledge of marine auxiliary machinery and equipment
  • demonstrate knowledge of ships and ship routines

This qualification is directly aligned with priority industry areas where the jobs are today, and into the future. As part of the state government Lower fees, local skills initiative, from 1 January 2020 through to 31 December 2025 you'll only pay half the course fees, capped for each year at $1,200; or $400 (plus resource fee) if you're aged 15—24 or eligible for a concession. Find out more

VET Student Loans (VSL)

This course is a VET Student Loan eligible course. A VET Student Loan creates a debt that must be repaid to the Commonwealth and is only available to students who are eligible.

To find out if you are eligible or to see the list of eligible courses visit our Student Loans page.

School Leaver Non-School Leaver AQF
Completion of WACE General or ATAR (Minimum C Grades) or equivalent Completion of WACE General or ATAR or equivalent (minimum C Grades) Certificate III

Prospective students should hold one of the following:

  • A Certificate IV in Maritime Operations (Marine Engine Driver Grade 1 Near Coastal) or
  • An AMSA approved equivalent trade certificate.

New students who have not studied MAR50120 Diploma of Marine Engineering (Engineer Class 3 Near Coastal) must apply instead for the Engineer class 3 qualification due to pre-requisite skills/knowledge requirements. Students that have already completed MAR50120 Diploma of Marine Engineering (Engineer Class 3 Near Coastal) are eligible to apply for a credit transfer to reduce the study load and overall course cost.

Attendance in class

This course is equivalent to 3 days per week when studied full time across 34 weeks. 

At-home study

As well as the in-class component, you will need to complete approximately 3.5 hours of additional study each week outside of class hours, including private study, assignment preparation, and research.

You will need to have the basic technical requirements for at-home study. If you don’t have access to a computer and WiFi at home, we recommend using our library computers during library hours.

Work placement

Work placement is not a requirement of this course.

What you need

On your first day you should bring your SM TAFE confirmation enrolment receipt, your student ID, stationery (pen, pencil, exercise book, eraser, folder for notebooks and handouts) and wear enclosed footwear.

Components of some units are delivered at ERGT, so attendance at their facility may require additional PPE. Details will be provided by your lecturer.

Minimum dress standards apply to campus and ERGT attendance:

  • Safety steel-capped work boots must be worn during engineering classes. Heavy leather uppers and heavy duty soles.
  • No sand shoe volley type of footwear allowed (even with steel caps)
  • Overalls during engineering classes
  • Water, food, hat and sunscreen for boat days

Please note this list should be used as a guide only as job titles and qualification requirements may vary between organisations.

To access free career planning and job search assistance, visit the Jobs and Skills Centres page.

Become a specialist in your field with university study

The information about university credit points and tuition costs provides a general guide only. SM TAFE recommends students discuss credit points with the university or college of their choice at the time of graduation.

Select your preferred campus and apply

Click on your preferred campus and study mode below to get started with your application.

Semester 1, 2023

Fremantle - Full time - On Campus

Duration 2 Semesters
When Semester 1, 2023
Where Fremantle
How On Campus

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