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Who is This Course Suitable For?

Studying the Superyacht Operations Diploma is perfect for captains and senior crew as well as shore based professionals such as, yacht managers, brokers, yacht agents, recruitment consultants, marine lawyers, owners representatives and project managers.

12 – 18 months

12 in total

Diploma: £2,950
Certificate: £2,150

Recognised by:
University of Portsmouth

About the Course

The Superyacht Operations Diploma will develop and deepen your knowledge of the Superyacht industry and its onboard operations, which in turn will help you to excel in your career. Whether you work at sea or on land, this course will provide you with essential industry knowledge and skills, giving you a better understanding of how to run a Superyacht with success and efficiency.

Module subjects include chartering, operational management, ISM, ISPS, personnel and interior management along with other essential subjects such as accounting, legal aspects, insurance, repairs and maintenance.

Course Structure

The course consists of 12 modules. All students are required to successfully complete and pass the module assignments. Diploma students will also be required to sit and pass a final examination.

1. An Introduction to the Superyacht Industry
  • Historical development
  • Different types and styles of yacht
  • The industry today – designers, builders, crews, insurers, brokers
  • The owners and their requirements
  • The role of the yacht manager
  • Where can the superyacht be found?
  • Future trends
2. Personnel
  • Crew structures and sizes
  • The role of the Captain
  • Crew character and qualification requirements including STCW 95
  • Recruitment, training and retention
  • Career progression
  • Contracts of employment, terms and conditions, ships articles
  • MCA and qualification requirements
  • International Labour Organisation (ILO)
  • The Maritime Labour Convention (MLC)
3. Operational Management
  • Why do we need Management Systems?
  • Authority, policies and standing orders
  • Safety management
  • Documentation and record keeping
  • Personnel
  • Risk assessment
4. Interior Management and Catering
  • Hospitality management review
  • Operating procedures and policies
  • Quality management
  • Health and safety
  • Food and drinks service
  • Housekeeping
  • Specialist guest service
5. Accounting
  • Financial policy
  • Bookkeeping
  • Accounting
  • Budgeting
  • Costing
  • Cash management
  • Internal controls
  • Charter accounting
  • Auditing
  • Value Added Tax (VAT)
  • Brexit & VAT
  • Corporate ownership
  • Anti money laundering
  • Bribery ACT
6. Chartering
  • Superyacht chartering
  • The Charter Broker Network
  • Forms of charter agreement – what is included
  • Chartering seasons and shows
  • Commercial chartering or to defray costs
  • Customer relations and fixing a charter
  • Managing the charter – crew and guests
7. Repairs and Maintenance
  • Health & safety
  • Routine maintenance v condition monitoring
  • Proper planning
  • The owner and the budget
  • Enlisting outside help
  • Repair/refit facilities and periodic maintenance
  • Yard tenders and tender evaluation
  • Paint maintenance and paint system repairs
8. Legal Aspects of Superyacht Management
  • Introduction to English Law and the National legal system
  • The Law of Contract
  • The Law of Tort (negligence)
  • Liability in Contract & Tort
  • Responsibilities
  • Admiralty Law and Jurisdiction
  • International Maritime Law
  • Governmental control of shipping
  • Shipboard documentation
  • Codes of practice for commercially operated yachts
  • The Flag State
  • Pollution
  • Chartering commercially operated yachts
  • Health and safety on board ship
  • Marine Insurance
  • Value Added Tax (VAT)
  • Recreational craft directive
  • Finance
  • Employment of seamen in UK flag yachts
  • Conduct and discipline
9. Insurance
  • Introduction
  • The legal side of marine insurance
  • The practical side of marine insurance
10. New Building Project Management
  • Defining requirements and obtaining viable tenders for building the vessel
  • Analysing tenders, contract negotiations and signing
  • Design development, project management, plan approval, inspection, trials and delivery
11. Security and ISPS
  • Yacht security
  • The ISPS Code and how it affects superyachts
  • Security personnel and duties
  • Searching and search procedures
  • Yacht Security systems
  • Owner and guest security ashore
  • Superyacht crews
  • Piracy and armed robbery
12. The International Safety Management Code (ISM)
  • Introduction
  • Key players
  • Legal and insurance implications
  • Practical aspects of the code
Career Pathway

Career path:
Starting as junior crew and progressing through the ranks to either Captain, Chief Engineer, or Purser.

Depends upon the size of the vessel and its location but starting at around £25-30K per annum for a junior crewmember and rising to £100K+ per annum for a senior and experienced Captain or Chief Engineer. More senior positions tend to have more generous leave allowances.

Any and all aspects of operating and maintaining a superyacht across all departments.

Meet the Course Director

Jonathan Beckett

Chief Executive at Burgess

Jonathan joined Nigel Burgess in Monaco in 1981 aged 23. He moved to the London office in 1983 and became a partner in 1986. Sadly Nigel Burgess died in 1992 whilst competing in the Vendée Globe single handed non-stop around the world race. Jonathan was appointed as Chief Executive and has since led Burgess to become one of the world’s leading superyacht brokerage houses.

Click Here to read what the Course Director Jonathan Beckett has to say about the Superyacht Operations course!


On passing the Diploma, you will receive the above icon. Please use it on your business cards, LinkedIn profile and website(s)!

You can also use these letters after your name: MTA Dip SYO


Online learning allows you to study in your own time, at your own pace from anywhere in the world. This saves on travel and classroom costs and allows you to fit your studies around your job and progress your career.


While the nature of distance learning is independent study, we recognise the importance of support. Students can contact us at any time during their course for assistance and our team of industry experts are always on hand for advice.


We have over 50 industry experts writing, developing and advising on our course material. We truly believe that allowing students to tap into their expertise and knowledge is of the utmost importance to fulfil your dream career.

If you would prefer to complete this as a classroom-based course, please contact us.


How long do the courses take to complete? What's the difference between a Diploma and a Certificate? Read through our Frequently Asked Questions below to find out the answer.

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