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  • FD vs. HND

    Hi, I am starting a Deck FD in September, and am still not entirely sure about the difference between HND and FD! Initially I wanted to do the HND as I was concerned that I was going to be chucked in at the deep end with all the maths etc. However I have since been assured that it's not too bad.

    would appreciate any help people could give
    Join the Warsash Maritime Academy September 2014 Facebook Group : https://www.facebook.com/groups/WarsashCadetsSept2014

  • #2
    There has been a lot of debate about this in the past, some which you can find on here. However, in my opinion for us merchant navy guys we want one thing which is our unlimited ticket. FD and HND (or HNC which is more common now) give the same CoC , we sit the same orals and do the same sea time, the only difference is the academic side. FD expect more coursework and more indepth maths etc but, unless its changed, no final written exams which the HNC side has and which are fairly difficult. I actually heard about some FD cadets sitting the HNC route final exams as a trial and failing spectacularly, the marking scheme is unforgiving and the spectrum of navigation and stability questions they can ask is fairly wide.

    The FD route does give you an excemption for when sitting for a Chief Mates ticket: 6 months college for HNC holders, shorter for FD holders (the exact time escapes me but I think its between 6 weeks to 3 months). The FD route was orginally introduced to try and attact more people who would have gone to university into the merchant navy so that says a lot. So, apart from what I mentioned above, there is very little difference.

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    • #3
      Thank you for your response. When I was interviewed, I was told not to worry too much about the maths, as the tutors at Warsash Are always willing to help those who ask for it. They also said that the maths used is fairly limited, and therefore becomes easier with time - unlike the wide scope of maths needed to pass an a level in maths
      Join the Warsash Maritime Academy September 2014 Facebook Group : https://www.facebook.com/groups/WarsashCadetsSept2014

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      • #4
        What you have been told is true, you learn the types of maths applicable to the role of a deck officer - such as spherical trigonometry, transposition of formulae, calculating compass/gyro errors etc. This is all incorporated into celestial navigation/navigational science so it falls into place after a while. After all, we are sailors not mathematicians! The only thing I'd say with FD as opposed to HNC is to expect more coursework and depth in these areas, however this additional depth is the reason you get an excemption in time when sitting a chief mates ticket.

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        • #5
          Personally I would say go for the FD, if it was available when I did my HND I would have done it. The end result is essentially the same, both can be upgraded for a BSc if you decide you want to, both courses lead to the necessary licenses. Both are considered less then a bachelors degree when someone looks at your CV.
          They are a means to an end, the are a way of the colleges providing the training and obtaining government funding and backing by putting the course into a title which is recognised by the education people... They used to throw in all sorts such as NVQ and IT courses to increase funding before.

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          • #6
            It would be really useful if one of the colleges or the MNTB could come and explain the differences.
            This topic comes up under various guises either what is the difference, is one better than the other, who works harder, what the pass mark is when doing the same unit for HND and FD, is it unfair to have exemptions etc.
            Answers have often been subjective from what I have seen.
            Anyway here are the links to the frameworks. The courses offered from what I see will differ from college to college, but all have to be approved, the FD has to be taught to the level of chief mates and the course has to be approved, same for the engineering side for their exemptions.
            Some colleges offer both and some only do the FD and some do both engineering and some only do deck.
            If I had the contacts I would go and research it just to put the topic to bed.
            In addition the exemption for chief mates exams has no date but a TBA on it so it could be changing?
            Happy reading
            http://www.mntb.org.uk/en-GB/Training-Frameworks
            The MCA info on it also has the syllabus for hnd and fd, deck and engineering.
            http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/mcga07-hom...ionfaq_s-6.htm
            Last edited by Midge; 7 March 2014, 08:04 AM. Reason: added mca info

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Midge View Post
              It would be really useful if one of the colleges or the MNTB could come and explain the differences.
              This topic comes up under various guises either what is the difference, is one better than the other, who works harder, what the pass mark is when doing the same unit for HND and FD, is it unfair to have exemptions etc.
              Answers have often been subjective from what I have seen.
              Anyway here are the links to the frameworks. The courses offered from what I see will differ from college to college, but all have to be approved, the FD has to be taught to the level of chief mates and the course has to be approved, same for the engineering side for their exemptions.
              Some colleges offer both and some only do the FD and some do both engineering and some only do deck.
              If I had the contacts I would go and research it just to put the topic to bed.
              In addition the exemption for chief mates exams has no date but a TBA on it so it could be changing?
              Happy reading
              http://www.mntb.org.uk/en-GB/Training-Frameworks
              The MCA info on it also has the syllabus for hnd and fd, deck and engineering.
              http://www.dft.gov.uk/mca/mcga07-hom...ionfaq_s-6.htm
              Thanks for that. I've just looked at the two frameworks and they do seem pretty similar. The maths is clearly more difficult than that in HND, so I'm just going to start revising now so it's not too much of a shock come September
              Join the Warsash Maritime Academy September 2014 Facebook Group : https://www.facebook.com/groups/WarsashCadetsSept2014

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              • #8
                Also be aware that the exemptions from the SQA exams at chief mates level is being revoked for Foundation Degree, I would assume anyone new starting will not have this exemption, but I can't remember the exact year the exemptions are being removed (have a feeling it's 2015).

                As others have said, foundation degree is meant to be more independent learning / coursework than being taught absolutely everything, you'll be expected to do your own studying (they give you all the notes so you just really need to read them, don't exactly need to go off searching).

                At present (although when exemptions are revoked it won't apply) you don't actually have to return to college prior to chief mates - you only have to obtain NARAS(M), Medical Care and ensure you have a valid Signals Examination certificate (valid for 2 years).
                ?Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn?t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.?

                ? Mark Twain
                myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by alistairuk View Post
                  Also be aware that the exemptions from the SQA exams at chief mates level is being revoked for Foundation Degree, I would assume anyone new starting will not have this exemption, but I can't remember the exact year the exemptions are being removed (have a feeling it's 2015).

                  As others have said, foundation degree is meant to be more independent learning / coursework than being taught absolutely everything, you'll be expected to do your own studying (they give you all the notes so you just really need to read them, don't exactly need to go off searching).

                  At present (although when exemptions are revoked it won't apply) you don't actually have to return to college prior to chief mates - you only have to obtain NARAS(M), Medical Care and ensure you have a valid Signals Examination certificate (valid for 2 years).

                  This was posted by newbie a while back: Perhaps Newbie can update if this has changed?

                  MNTB APPROVED FOUNDATION DEGREE/PROFESSIONAL DIPLOMA AND
                  HONOURS DEGREE PROGRAMMES AND SQA EXAMINATIONS




                  1. This information note provides confirmation of the agreement between the MNTB and the Maritime and Coastguard Agency that SQA safety paper examinations will not be introduced into FD/SPD and Honours Degree programmes for the foreseeable future.


                  2. Whilst the MCA has identified a concern regarding the lack of an external written component within the above programmes separate from that covered by degree awarding institutions, it is recognised that the introduction of SQA safety paper examinations into such programmes at Officer of the Watch level would not serve any valuable purpose at this time.


                  3. Please ensure you inform your officer trainees at the earliest opportunity to confirm that those on FD/SPD/Hons programmes will not need to sit SQA safety papers.


                  4. In addition, the MCA will be introducing Chief Mate written SQA examinations for all candidates in 2017, following a review of the current Chief Mate/Master syllabus which will be undertaken with the assistance of the MNTB Technical Committee. Therefore current officer cadets who would not expect to undertake SQA exams for the Chief Mate certification will not be affected until 2017 at the earliest. Again, please ensure you inform your officer trainees accordingly.


                  5. Colleges and universities providing the above programmes have also been informed of this position.

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                  • #10
                    So, assuming someone starts the FD course in September of this year, would they be required to sit the SQA exam for their chief mates?
                    I'm also curious as to whether or not this requirement will be a "bolt on", I.E. only apply to those starting the FD after the new requirements come into force, or apply to ALL FD holders regardless of their start year.
                    Pointy bit is the front, blunt bit is the back... Simples!

                    Will work for money/sea time.

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                    • #11
                      If you were to start studying now then you would only be completing your OOW course in 2017, you require 18 months sea time as a qualified officer to be eligible for chief mates - so no if you start now you can expect to have to sit SQA exams when you come to do your chief mates.

                      You shouldn't have to do then at OOW level on FdDg as your assessed internally by the college.
                      ?Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn?t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.?

                      ? Mark Twain
                      myBlog | @alistairuk | flickr | youtube Views and opinions expressed are those of myself and not representative of any employer or other associated party.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by alistairuk View Post
                        If you were to start studying now then you would only be completing your OOW course in 2017, you require 18 months sea time as a qualified officer to be eligible for chief mates - so no if you start now you can expect to have to sit SQA exams when you come to do your chief mates.

                        You shouldn't have to do then at OOW level on FdDg as your assessed internally by the college.
                        pardon the simplicity of this question, but does the FD make it more possible to become a captain faster than if you were to do the HND?
                        Join the Warsash Maritime Academy September 2014 Facebook Group : https://www.facebook.com/groups/WarsashCadetsSept2014

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                        • #13
                          Nah. In terms of progression to captain its all based on seatime: OOW > 18 months seatime > chief mate > 18 months sea time > master. The course you do at college makes little difference.

                          Of course obtaining a master's license and actually sailing as captain are two very different things. You can get your master's ticket in a few years if you get the seatime in quickly but I doubt anyone is going to employ you as a captain until you have significantly more experience.

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                          • #14
                            No, to sit a masters ticket you need 18 months of sea time after you've got you're chief mate ticket. No matter if you did HNC or FD way back.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by The Kraken View Post
                              FD expect more coursework and more indepth maths etc but, unless its changed, no final written exams which the HNC side has and which are fairly difficult. I actually heard about some FD cadets sitting the HNC route final exams as a trial and failing spectacularly, the marking scheme is unforgiving and the spectrum of navigation and stability questions they can ask is fairly side.
                              Just to clarify here, FD students do sit final exams, which cover (in theory at least) all of the Chief mates syllabus, not just the OOW syllabus, (hence the chief mate exemption) but they are college set exams not SQAs. The SQAs that the HND/C courses do only go up to the OOW level. There is then a further set of SQA exams to do for your chief mate ticket. As it has been stated already, this exemption is being revoked soon.

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