Diploma in Nautical Science (DNS)

Embark on a Year-Long Nautical Science Journey


The Diploma in Nautical Science is a pivotal one-year residential program that serves as the gateway to a dynamic career in the maritime industry. Aimed at enthusiasts of marine navigation, seamanship, and safety management, this pre-sea course molds students into proficient Deck Officers. With a duration of one year, it imparts comprehensive training in applied mathematics, sciences, ship construction, navigation, and more. Students opt for DNS to embark on rewarding careers as Navigating Officers, Deck Officers, Ship Surveyors, and beyond. The course, recognized internationally, opens avenues for further studies in maritime fields, such as BSc in Nautical Science or specialized master's programs. The curriculum is meticulously structured, covering theoretical and practical aspects, ensuring a well-rounded education. The DNS course, approved by the Directorate General of Shipping, Government of India, not only fulfills academic aspirations but also sets the foundation for a successful journey in the maritime domain.

Eligibility Criteria 

Candidates should carefully review and fulfill the specific eligibility requirements of the institute offering the DNS program, as these criteria may vary slightly among institutions. Additionally, a thorough medical examination is essential to meet the physical standards mandated for sea service.

Completion of 10+2 with Physics, Chemistry, and Mathematics (PCM).

  • Minimum 60% aggregate marks in PCM; 50% minimum marks in English subject in 10th or 12th.
  • 5% relaxation in PCM for SC/ST candidates (not applicable to English marks).
  • Minimum age: 17 years; upper age limit varies by gender and category.
  • Physically fit for sea service as per DGS norms.
  • Vision 6/6 in each eye; no color blindness; D.G. Shipping-approved medical certificate required.
  • Mandatory possession of a passport at the time of course commencement.
  • Some institutes may require sponsorship from a shipping company.


A Diploma in Nautical Science equips students with a comprehensive understanding of maritime principles and practical skills essential for a career at sea. The program also covers advanced navigation techniques, maritime management principles, and safety protocols, preparing graduates for roles in navigation, ship operations, and maritime management, with a strong emphasis on adhering to international regulations and ensuring the safety of both crew and vessels.

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Applied Sciences
  • Ship Construction & Stability
  • Navigation 
  • Cargo Handling and Seamanship 
  • English & Human Factors
  • MARPOL & Marine Engineering Knowledge
  • Emergencies, Maritime Communication & Commercial Shipping

Practical Learning

The Diploma in Nautical Science (DNS) program prioritizes practical learning to provide students with hands-on experience in various aspects of maritime operations. Practical components are integrated into the curriculum to ensure that students gain real-world exposure and develop the skills necessary for a successful career in Nautical Science. These practical learning opportunities encompass different areas:

Applied Sciences Lab: Students engage in hands-on experiments and applications of scientific principles relevant to maritime studies within a well-equipped laboratory setting.

Computer Lab: Practical sessions involve using navigation software, electronic chart plotting tools, and other maritime-related applications in a dedicated computer laboratory.

Workshop Practices: The application of theoretical knowledge occurs through practical scenarios related to ship construction, maintenance, and repair in workshop settings.

Seamanship Lab: Practical training takes place in a seamanship lab, where students learn and apply seamanship skills, knot tying, rope work, and other essential deck operations.

Navigation Laboratory: Practical exercises simulate navigation scenarios, bridge equipment operation, and chartwork to provide hands-on experience and enhance navigational skills.

Signal: Practical training sessions cover maritime signaling, including flag signaling and communication protocols, to ensure students are adept in practical aspects of maritime communication.

Boat Work: Practical sessions involve hands-on experience in the handling and maintenance of boats and small vessels.

Ship Visit: On-site visits to ships, ports, or maritime facilities offer students first-hand exposure to industry operations, enriching their understanding of real-world maritime practices.

These practical learning components serve as a bridge between theoretical knowledge and its practical application, preparing DNS graduates comprehensively for the challenges of a career at sea. The hands-on experiences contribute to the development of essential skills in navigation, seamanship, and overall ship operations, enhancing the overall competence and readiness of students entering the maritime industry

Course Curriculum

Through the structured curriculum of this 1-year diploma course, students delve into foundational subjects such as mathematics, physics, and English communication, laying the groundwork for more specialized studies. Navigation, ship stability, and construction, along with marine engineering, provide in-depth knowledge of essential maritime operations. Courses on meteorology, maritime law, and cargo handling broaden students' perspectives on weather patterns, legal frameworks, and safe cargo practices. 

First Semester

  • Applied Mathematics
  • Applied Sciences
  • Ship Construction & Stability I
  • Navigation I: Navigation & Chartwork
  • Navigation II: Bridge Equipment, Watchkeeping & Meteorology
  • Cargo Handling, Stowage and Seamanship I
  • English & Human Factors

Second Semester

  • Navigation III: Navigation & Chartwork
  • Navigation IV: Advanced Bridge Equip, Watch Keeping, and Meteorology
  • Cargo Handling, Stowage and Seamanship II
  • Ship Construction & Ship Stability II
  • MARPOL & Marine Engineering Knowledge
  • Emergencies, Maritime Communication & Commercial Shipping

Top Institutes

In the pursuit of a career in the maritime industry, securing sponsorship from reputable shipping companies is often a crucial step for aspiring cadets undergoing the Diploma in Nautical Science (DNS). Below is a curated list of well-regarded shipping companies that offer sponsorships, along with the IMU CET-approved pre-sea training colleges:



Anglo-Eastern Group, Delhi

Anglo-Eastern Maritime Academy (AEMA), Maharashtra

Great Eastern Shipping, New Delhi

Great Eastern Institute of Maritime Studies (GEIMS), Maharashtra

Executive Ship Management Pvt. Ltd. Singapore

Samundra Institute of Maritime Studies (SIMS), Punjab

Synergy Marine

Tolani Maritime Institute (TMI), Maharashtra 

International Maritime Institute (IMI) Noida

TS Rahaman, Mumbai


Tolani Maritime Institute (TMI), Maharashtra

Applied Research International (ARI), New Delhi

International Maritime Institute (IMI), Noida

TS Rahaman, Mumbai

Shipping Corporation of India, Mumbai

Maritime Training Institute (SCI-MTI), Maharashtra

Torm Shipping India Pvt. Ltd, New Delhi

Tolani Maritime Institute (TMI), Maharashtra

Fleet Ship Management

International Maritime Institute (IMI), Noida 

Tolani Maritime Institute (TMI), Maharashtra

TS Rahaman, Mumbai

Dockendale Ship Management

International Maritime Institute (IMI), Noida

Mediterranean Shipping Company

International Maritime Institute (IMI), Noida

Tolani Maritime Institute (TMI), Maharashtra

Tolani Shipping

Tolani Maritime Institute (TMI), Maharashtra

Wilhelmsen Ship Management

Tolani Maritime Institute (TMI), Maharashtra

MSI Ship Management

International Maritime Institute (IMI), Noida

Pacific International Lines

International Maritime Institute (IMI), Noida

MMS Maritime (India) Pvt. Ltd. (MMSI)

International Maritime Institute (IMI), Noida

Varren Marines Shipping

Tolani Maritime Institute (TMI), Maharashtra

Career Growth

After completing the Diploma in Nautical Science (DNS), graduates have promising career opportunities in the maritime industry. The program equips them with the necessary skills and knowledge to pursue various roles. The potential career growth pathways include:

Phase 1: 1-Year DNS Course at Academy (Semesters 1 and 2) - Fully Residential

Aspiring individuals embark on a comprehensive 1-year Diploma in Nautical Science (DNS) course at an accredited maritime academy. The program encompasses semesters 1 and 2, providing theoretical and practical training in navigation, seamanship, and safety management.

Phase 2: 18-Month Sea Service with Distance Learning (Semesters 3, 4, 5)

Graduates transition to the sea training phase, engaging in an 18-month practical experience aboard a ship. During this period, individuals may pursue distance learning for semesters 3, 4, and 5, balancing on-the-job training with academic studies.

Phase 3: Appearing for 2nd Mate F.G. Exam + Obtaining B.Sc. Nautical Science Degree from IMU

Following the sea service, individuals are eligible to appear for the 2nd Mate Foreign-Going (F.G.) examination. Simultaneously, some may choose to pursue a Bachelor of Science (B.Sc.) in Nautical Science degree from the Indian Maritime University (IMU).

Phase 4: Joining as a 3rd Officer Followed By Promotion to 2nd Officer

Successful candidates enter the workforce as 3rd Officers, assuming responsibilities related to navigation, safety, and cargo operations. Through continuous sea service, professional development, and clearing additional examinations, individuals progress in their career, eventually securing promotion to the position of 2nd Officer.

Phase 5: Career Advancement - Chief Mate F.G. Examination

Building on experience, individuals aim for further career advancement by appearing for the Chief Mate F.G. examination. Successful completion qualifies them for higher-ranking roles, overseeing more extensive deck operations.

Phase 6: 12-Month Sea Service as Chief Officer

Following the Chief Mate F.G. examination, individuals undertake a 12-month sea service as Chief Officer. This phase allows them to apply advanced skills in managing deck operations, safety, and overall ship functions.

Phase 7: Master Mate F.G.

Upon meeting the requisite criteria and accumulating sufficient sea service, individuals aim to qualify for the Master Mate F.G. examination, marking a significant milestone in their career.

Phase 8: Master/Captain

Successful completion of the Master Mate F.G. examination opens the pathway for individuals to attain the prestigious rank of Master or Captain. In this pinnacle phase, professionals take on the highest responsibilities, overseeing the overall command and navigation of the ship.


The Diploma in Nautical Science (DNS) offers a broad and promising scope for individuals aspiring to pursue a career in the maritime industry. With a strong emphasis on navigation, seamanship, and safety management, DNS graduates are well-equipped to take on crucial roles as Navigating Officers, Deck Officers, and contribute significantly to the maritime sector. The program's comprehensive curriculum, including both theoretical and practical components, prepares students for the challenges of the dynamic maritime environment. Graduates find opportunities not only in merchant navy roles such as Deck Officers and Ship Surveyors but also in managerial positions like Port Managers and Marine Safety Inspectors. The international recognition of the Certificate of Competency (CoC) issued by the Directorate General of Shipping, Government of India, further expands the global career prospects for DNS graduates. Additionally, the option to pursue higher education in maritime studies, coupled with specialized roles in marine engineering and environmental compliance, adds versatility to their career trajectory. As the demand for skilled maritime professionals continues to grow, DNS serves as a gateway for individuals to embark on a rewarding journey in the maritime domain, contributing to the efficient and safe operation of ships worldwide

Pros & Cons


  • Direct pathway to maritime careers.
  • Sponsorship by top companies.
  • Hands-on training through ship simulators and sea time.
  • Global job opportunities with diverse responsibilities.
  • Specialized knowledge in navigation, stability, and maritime law.
  • Emphasis on regulatory compliance and safety protocols.
  • Development of teamwork and leadership skills.


  • Intensive training demands physical and mental resilience.
  • Limited career diversity, geared towards navigation and deck operations.
  • Adaptation to prolonged periods at sea may be challenging.
  • Job opportunities are influenced by industry fluctuations.
  • Need to stay updated on evolving maritime technologies.