Training courses

Engine room watchkeeping officer / Chief engineer 8000kW


The French Maritime Academy (ENSM) trains engine room watchkeeping officers ( also called second or third engineer ) responsible for the maintenance, operation and repair of the main and auxiliary engines as well as other engine-room duties at the operational level.
They are qualified to work onboard vessels of any type and propulsion power.

They supervise all machinery affecting the safe operation of the ship and are more specifically in charge of the maintenance of the machinery while ensuring the safety of passengers and cargo.
According to their post, they may intervene in all the technical production and distribution fields i.e production of electricity, water, steam, management of combustible materials and waste, sustainable development…

The training consists of well-diversified courses and the following subjects are taught : electrotechnology/electronics, hydraulics, hydraulic reefer holds, pneumatics, automation and all types of propulsion engines : motor, steam, gas, diesel, electric
After seagoing service as a trainee then as an engineer officer, a Chief Engineer certificate will be obtained following the three-year training and will enable the above mentioned officers to operate ships powered by main propulsion machinery of less than 8000kW.


Admission : Post-baccalaureate
Registration : on Parcoursup
Duration : 3 ans
Campus : Saint-Malo
Studies fees 2020/2021 : 1430€
48 positions available on 2020

Training courses programme

The different subjects taught are divided into modules. Passing all the modules will first enable students to obtain two diplomas. The Certificate will be issued later on after completing a navigation period. For information purposes only, here is the list of subjects taught during the three-year training to become an engine room Watchkeeping Officer and Chief Engineer 8000kW :

– First year :
 Mathematics, physics and hydromechanics, construction, description of propulsion plants, ship management, international regulations, marine pollution and prevention, preparing for the TOEIC exam, basic safety training (CFBS) ; stability ; maritime English ; security training ; electricity ; basic workshop training ; strength of materials (RDM) ; communication and officer’s role ; merchant shipping ; automation ; technology ; pumps and piping systems for a total of 776 hours.
– Second year : Thermodynamics ; maintenance and repair of engines ; course on marine diesel engine ; hydraulics ; refrigerating systems ; engine operation ; engine simulator training 1 ; static electrical equipments ; rotary electrical equipments ; electronics of components and captors ; power electronics ; automation ; welding workshop ; lathe training ; technical English and communication in the engine room in English ; tanker training ; technical drawing for a total of 814 hours.
– Third year : Computerized Maintenance Management System ( CMMS) ; technical reports and simulator 3 ; electrotechnics/electronics ; practical knowlegde of the restoration of electric and electronic equipments after repairs ; engine tests and engine failure incidents ; automation ; study of engine diagrams ; commercial and management maritime English ; stability after engine failure ; work regulations and safety ; ship management ; commercial training ; maritime law ; Abstract Syntax Notation (ASN ); steam boiler ; gas turbine ; gas engine ; engine refrigeration ; Bridge room management BRM/Engine room management (ERM) ; Certificate of proficiency in survival craft and life rafts (CAEERS) ; Medical II ; advanced firefighting training (CQALI) ; welding and design workshop for a total of 826 hours.

Studies scheme – Diploma

The certificates are issued once the students have successfully passed each of the modules.

The engine room Watchkeeping Officer certificate
The certificate is issued after 12 months consisting of a six-month engine room training experience on board a ship which can be done from the beginning of the course and a six-month workshop training throughout the three-year schooling at the French Maritime Academy (ENSM).

The First-Assistant Engineer 8000kW certificate
The First-Assistant Engineer 8000kW certificate is issued after a 12-month navigation period as an engine room Watchkeeping Officer.

The Chief Engineer 8000kW certificate
The Chief Engineer 8000kW certificate is issued after a 36-month navigation period as an engine room Watchkeeping Officer or a 24-month period only if 12 months were done as a Second Engineer.

Degree Watchkeeping Officer / Chief Engineer 8000kW
Possibility of admission to M2 based on application file with « Deck Watchkeeping Officer » and « ship operation » classes


Holders of a Watchkeeping Officer certificate and a Chief Engineer 8000kW certificate can access the training for Unlimited Chief Engineer later on (the curriculum is being revised. It consists of 888 hours at the moment).

According to the qualifications relating to each certificate, marine Officers may work as Second Engineer then as Chief Engineer depending on the job opportunities offered by French and foreign ship-owners.

At any time during their career, officers in the Merchant Marine have the choice of relocating ashore where they are fullly appreciated thanks to their technical knowledge, management skills and availability which make them more than able to fill a number of positions.

As part of the Convention on Standards of Training, Certification and Watchkeeping for Seafarers (STCW), students learn rescue at sea technique at the French Maritime Academy’s Survival and Rescue at Sea Training Center (CESAME) in Saint-Malo.

Admission conditions

The entrance to the Watchkeeping Officer and Chief Engineer 8000kw training depends on the educational record and performance.

The three-year program takes place at the French Maritime Academy in Saint-Malo exclusively.

Visit registration page for modalities information

Social promotion and professional training courses

In the framework of continuing education and professional enhancement, students who have obtained the Watchkeeping officer degree, then the Watchkeeping Officer certificate can continue their education and obtain higher certificates.

Physical ability conditions

Seafarers have to meet the physical aptitude requirements which have been internationally agreed on. Refer to the Decree published on January 30, 2015 which amended the Decree published on April 16, 1986 relating to seafaring physical aptitude, for cargo and fishing boats as well as for yachting.

Ship to board

The French Maritime Academy (ENSM) organizes a « Meeting with Shipowners » day in Saint-Malo in order to help each student find a ship to board and get to know maritime companies.

Information / Contact

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