Certificate validity: No expiry

Prerequisites: None

Qualification: MCA Approved Engine Certificate (AEC)

Enables you to work as engineer onboard a vessel over 24m, including dual role deck / engineer positions.

Duration: 5 Days (0900hrs – 1700hrs)

Cost: £750.00 inc vat (Please note all prices include vat @20%)

Location: South West Maritime Academy, Cromhall Quarry, Cromhall, South Gloucestershire, GL12 8AA


Approved Engine Course (AEC1)

What is the MCA Approved Engine Course and who is it for?

The MCA Approved Engine Course (AEC1)  is run over 5 days and its objective is to provide students with the basic theoretical knowledge and practical hands on experience of diesel engines and systems to enable them to meet the requirements of the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) Codes of Practice for The Safety of Large Commercial Sailing and Motor Vessels, the Safety of Small Commercial Motor Vessels and the Safety of Small Workboats and Pilot Boats.

The AEC1 course is the first step in the MCA engineering progression pathway.

The course does not attempt to make expert diesel engineers out of you, but rather is designed in such a way that you will be able to carry out regular maintenance and safety checks as well as troubleshoot should there be a problem.


(47 customer reviews)
Category: SKU: AEC


Approved Engine Course (AEC1)

Designed to teach crew the basics of marine diesel engines, associated systems and important surrounding issues, the MCA Approved Engine Course takes you from an ‘entry level’ knowledge expectation up to a point where you can confidently manage and look after a diesel engine on a maritime vessel.

The course is a good mix of hands on practical learning using our purpose built engineering shed as well as classroom theory tuition. Led by a highly experienced marine engineer, this course is as engaging and interactive as it is informative.

Course Content

The Approved Engine Course includes both practical and theory sessions covering the following elements of marine diesel engines and their operation:

    • Compression Ignition Engine
    • Cycle of Operation and Constructional Details
    • The Fuel System
    • The Role of Air in the Combustion Process
    • The Cooling System
    • The Lubrication System
    • Engine Electrical Systems
    • Power Transmission
    • Hull Fittings
    • Marine Pollution
    • Code of Safe Working Practices
    • Bottled LPG installations


PPE for the course is supplied as required by us.

Additional information

Course dates

22nd April – 26th April 2024, 17th – 21st June 2024, 12th – 16th August 2024, 7th October – 11th October 2024, 2nd – 6th December 2024

47 reviews for Approved Engine Course (AEC 1)

  1. I Alexeeva

    The course gives a lot of structured information and practical training.

  2. L Pike

    Very much enjoyed the course, picked up some very useful pieces of information, would recommend to anyone.

  3. J Scantlebury

    Course was delivered with great knowledge and enthusiasm. Phil took great time to explain and demonstrate all aspects of the course.

  4. Daniel McGrath

    It was good to have the mix of theory and practical sessions and working on actual boats during the week is a great benefit.

  5. Matt Whitticombe

    Phil is a very passionate and knowledgeable about engineering and a credit to the academy. This was an excellent course which has increased my knowledge.

  6. Oliver Wright

    Our instructor Phil was extremely knowledgeable and highly professional, he is incredible with immense knowledge of the field, what Phil doesn’t know isn’t worth knowing.

  7. Rob Hedderwick

    Very good course with a great balance of theory of practical. Phil had great knowledge and there wasn’t a question he couldn’t answer.

  8. Frazer Stewart

    I really enjoyed the course and learnt much more than just the syllabus. Enjoyable and informative.

  9. Paul Warrington

    Time served engineer been around a bit!! Excellent.

  10. Megan Kendrick

    Phil has brilliant knowledge of all aspects of the course and was always happy to answer all my questions. He was very patient and coped very well with delivering all the information. Thanks Phil for creating a non- judgemental easy atmosphere throughout the course!

  11. Sebastien Jones

    Course was fast paced with good detail and brilliant explanations. Phil was really friendly and always happy to answer questions in detail.

  12. Gavin Johns

    Phil is superb, lots of knowledge and a brilliant teaching style. Everyone at SWMA are superb.
    I am a complete novice on engines, the course content and delivery are superb, I’ve trained at other establishments for STCW etc but now SWMA is certainly my first choice for all courses.

  13. Anthony Hunt

    A very good course and well taught, lots learnt, thank you!

  14. Richard Absalom

    Instructor was excellent, everything explained in an easy to understand way, he was very friendly and approachable.
    This was a well run and informative course.

  15. Jozef Stano

    Very skilled instructor. The course was perfect. Definitely gave me a better understanding of how engines work.

  16. Adam Swires

    Instructor is very experienced and knows what he’s on about. Very understanding when I asked questions and had any issues.
    Very interesting for someone new to marine engineering. Left me wanting more and a desire to do more engineering practice.

  17. Dominic Treseder

    Excellent knowledge, experience and skills which translated to the teaching and practices.
    Very friendly and professional and knowledgeable training personnel, backed up by the same friendly and helpful back-office personnel.
    Highly recommended, a very big thank you.

  18. George Smith

    Informative course carried out professionally by South West Maritime Academy.

  19. Steve Jones

    10 OUT OF 10!

  20. Stephen Reynolds

    Instructor made sure everyone understood and was very clear and knowledgeable. Real world examples used both in the classroom and workshop.
    Course was run very well, helpful staff. Let me know when when you have AEC 2 running as would definitely come back and get on another course with Phil.

  21. H.W

    Instructor was very thorough, easy to get on with, non-judgemental of everyone’s ability.
    Very easy going environment, with good course structure and speed.

  22. Toby

    Overall a fantastic AEC. Will be booking future courses, Phil the engineer is a fantastic instructor. Enjoyed every minute 🙂

  23. William G

    Very good and well taught class, with tonnes of useful and applicable knowledge from industry experience.

  24. Ross M

    Very enjoyable course, got a lot out of it and will help in my position.

  25. Luke B

    I thought the course was instructed brilliantly, I really enjoyed the practical side of the course.
    I feel I have learnt more than I expected.

  26. Aghaude Amadi

    Instructors gave very detailed explanations. Instructor had a vast depth of knowledge and experience to draw examples from. Really enjoyable environment being able to have open discussion in class and workshop, as well as during breaks. Great experience, excellent teaching, and brilliant practical facilities. Looking forward to coming back in a couple of weeks for my STCW Basic Safety Training course.

  27. Kieran Elliott

    The instructor had very good experience with subject and relatable examples really helped with picturing how they systems work.
    Staff were very friendly and approachable with knowledge in more than just the subject taught.
    The course was taught very well by a very experienced instructor. All of the staff at SWMA are friendly and approachable and will do their best to help with any questions I had.

  28. Tim Tobin

    Phil goes that extra mile, with his wealth of knowledge he gets you taking things apart that you would think don’t come apart. Really practical and open minded.

  29. Charlie Tobin

    The AEC course was excellent. Phil’s depth of experience and friendly delivery gave me the confidence to learn the basics of marine engineering.

  30. Ashley Kirby

    Approachable + knowledgeable with real world scenarios.

  31. Steven Ballinger

    Good course well delivered. Staff all friendly and approachable. Instructors’ delivery was good and well paced. Great background experience to call on.

  32. Robert Copsey

    Phil was an excellent tutor.
    My previous engineering knowledge was poor. This course has certainly raised the bar on what I needed to know and understand. Many thanks.

  33. Adrian Pringle

    Instructor had obvious knowledge, enjoyment/enthusiasm for subject and good use of personal experience.
    Very useful introduction to basic engine principles, simple fault finding and servicing.
    Excellent course.

  34. Stuart Reynolds

    Phil made the whole course an absolute pleasure. learned everything and more. Thanks for everything.

  35. Adil Muhammad

    It’s made me better understand marine engines – course was good and enjoyable.

  36. William Southey

    V.professional and a top service – instructor was very helpful.

  37. Kyle Kenny

    Good course, good facility, Phil’s a good lad.

  38. Sam Cutting

    I felt that through this course the instructor explained all units clearly. Cheers!!! 🙂 🙂

  39. Alex Gurd

    Excellent communication ensuring everyone has understood the syllabus. No questions left unanswered. Phil = Hero.

  40. Matthew Collier

    A great experience, I got what I came for, the instructor was thorough.

  41. Jake Bowman

    It was great as always here. Great experience overall. Will be back when AEC2 is ready!

  42. Andrew Fogg

    The course is intensive but by the end I have a clearer knowledge of engines.

  43. Mark R.

    Hands on instructors who have worked / working in the industry.
    The instructors are very informative as they really knew the course content.
    I have done several courses at South West Maritime Academy and would recommend to my company and colleagues. The training is organised and I am always happy to do courses at South West Maritime Academy.

  44. Martyn J.

    An excellent and well presented course with both instructors very knowledgeable.
    The course had excellent facilities with approachable and friendly instructors who were on hand to answer any questions.

  45. Jon W.

    Another excellent course at South West Maritime Academy.

  46. Rory S.

    Instructors went above and beyond, very keen to share their knowledge.
    Great course, very informative, explaining all questions even above the requirements of the AEC.

  47. Rich S.

    The instructors are very knowledgeable.
    Great delivery, amazing instructors who have amazing patience and communicated the subject very clearly.

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Please note:

  • Annex 5 of the Safety of Large Commercial Sailing and Motor Vessels defines the Engineering Competencies required for these vessels.
  • Annex 7 of the Safety of Small Commercial Motor Vessels defines the Engineering Competencies required for these vessels.
  • Annex 11 of the Safety of Small Workboats and Pilot Boats defines the Engineering Competencies required for these vessels.

Contact us

Please contact us if you require any further information about this course or wish to book on behalf of a company:

Telephone: 01454 260130
Email: info@southwestmaritimeacademy.com

Normal office hours are (UK time):
Monday  – Friday: 08.30 – 17.00

Please be aware that online bookings will be confirmed with course joining information within one working day of the booking being made. Confirmation of payment will be received by email.

There is a wide range of local accommodation, some of which are within walking distance of the training centre to suit everyone’s budget. For a list of local accommodation please click here.