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Program delivery update

To ensure we can safely offer the high-quality learning you expect, we've changed how many of our programs are delivered. Please view this program's delivery option(s) under "locations & availability". Learn more about how programs will be offered

Oceans Technology

Gain the knowledge-based skills used to create and apply technology solutions that are unique to ocean environments.

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Start Date:
Typical Length:
1 Year
Advanced Diploma

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This advanced program prepares you to work in the growing field of ocean technology – a sector comprised of knowledge-based companies, governments and academia that develop, produce and deliver technology products and services.

If you have a background in engineering or science and want to advance your knowledge by learning how it can be applied within ocean and marine environments, this program is for you.

You learn the principles and skills used in the ocean technology industry and its various sub-sectors: defence and security, shipbuilding and marine transportation, ocean science and observation, offshore and coastal energy and aquaculture and fisheries.

You work with applications where electrical, mechanical, electronic and instrumentation technologies intersect with the marine environment. The range of learning activities may include:

  • installing, commissioning and deploying devices in the marine environment (testing, troubleshooting and calibrating electro-mechanical and electronic devices).
  • studying the impact of the physical marine environment (temperature, salinity, bio-fouling issues, currents, pressure, etc.) on telemetry, energy flow, data transmission and device performance.
  • operating devices and understanding the marine/environmental properties being monitored.
  • planning and managing projects and field missions, collect and analyze data and prepare technical reports.
  • receiving basic seamanship skills and the appropriate safety training to work either at sea or in a land-based industrial setting.


  • The Oceans Technology program includes a mandatory internship at the end of the program, which students are responsible to secure.
  • Opportunities are paid and last approximately 14 weeks.
  • Transportation, accommodations and other cost related to internships are your responsibility.
  • For more information visit Work Experience Opportunities.

Choose NSCC

  • You get hands-on training. You study the theoretical concepts in class and then put the theory into action within the lab and industry environment. When you graduate, you have experience in real-life oceans technology settings.
  • The program is designed with the input of industry leaders to ensure you get current and relevant skills. You learn the latest practices and technologies that employers require.

Other info

  • Many employers in this industry require a current, official Criminal Record check as part of the hiring process. A conviction on your criminal record may impact your ability to secure employment.
  • Additional skills and abilities, including math, reading and workplace skills, are essential for your success in Trades and Technology programs. See the Trades and Technology Preparation Checklist (PDF 23KB).
  • This program places a high importance on providing you with skills and knowledge to work safely in industry. You participate in a number of introductory safety awareness courses to prepare for employment.

September 2020

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Ivany Campus/Online Dartmouth Full time BlendedBlended
Complete your program through courses that combine online (scheduled), and on-campus learning.

Admission requirements

  • Undergraduate degree in a natural science or engineering or a diploma in an engineering technology/technician program (electro-mechanical, environmental engineering, geographic sciences, mechanical, electrical, electronic or industrial instrumentation) or equivalent.

Program requirements

  • Portfolio Development – As part of your studies at NSCC, you develop a portfolio of your work; the portfolio captures your achievements and profiles your skills to employers.
  • Standard First Aid, CPR Level A
  • A current, official Criminal Record check is required to complete work placements (such as field work, internships, co-ops) in this program. A conviction on your criminal record may impact your ability to complete program requirements. Information on this process will be provided at the beginning of your program.


Tuition is valid for the 2020-21 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional.

Tuition (Domestic):
Tuition (International):

Tuition, fees and program costs

In addition to annual tuition, there are program costs (books, tools, etc.) and student fees for college services, health and dental plans, your student association and parking.

View detailed program fees page(s). Please note that amounts on these pages are meant for planning purposes only. They don't represent final amounts owing.

Career options

  • Nova Scotia is home to many companies and organizations that have established themselves as world leaders in ocean technology. These companies are primarily involved in engineering, technology, professional services, manufacturing, environmental monitoring and maintenance, as it relates to products and services that are unique to the ocean environment.
  • You obtain a skill set that is in demand around the world and prepares you to work in a growing sector. In Nova Scotia, the ocean technology sector employs 14% of the province's workforce.
  • Learn more about labour market information – visit Career Options.

Courses may include

These are some of the courses offered in this program. It is not a complete list and courses are subject to change in advance of the academic year.

This is an 8-hour Marine Emergency Duties (MED) training course focused on small non-pleasure domestic vessel basic safety. Participants will be introduced to possible hazards within the marine environment, emergency response techniques as well as survival and rescue methods.

MARI 7129 - Small Vessel Operator Proficiency
This course meets the requirements of a stand-alone course that addresses the particular need for minimum training of operators of commercial vessels, other than tugs, and fishing vessels up to 15 gross tonnage or 12 meters overall length engage on a near coastal, class 2 (including an inland voyage on Lake Superior or Lake Huron) or a sheltered waters voyage.

MEDC 1811 - Marine Basic First Aid
This course provides learners with the knowledge and skills necessary to recognize an emergency, provide appropriate first aid at the scene, notify emergency medical services and promote a safety oriented life style for the prevention of accidents. This course meets the requirements for first aid training as set out by Transport Canada and Workplace Occupational Health and Safety.

OTAD 5000 - Seamanship and Marine Safety
In this course, students will learn how to operate safely in the shop and in a variety of marine and shore-based settings. Material will cover marine rigging, marine first aid, marine emergency duties (MEDS), safety and emergency equipment, search and rescue, small boat operators course, winch and crane operation, confined spaces, hazardous materials, THA (Task Hazard Analysis) and SOP’s (Standard Operating Practices).

OTAD 5001 - Introduction to Oceanography
This course takes many fields of study into the marine context. Learning will contribute to the planning and execution of all types of work in the oceans sector. Course material includes oceans as a vital component of the climate system – climate change, redistribution of heat, salt and gasses, circulation patterns, and forces driving currents; ocean stratification, wave and tidal effects, marine chemistry and industrial pollution, marine biology and biological processes, marine geology, hydrography, and ocean resources.

OTAD 5006 - Oceans Technology Project I
This two-part course is intended to give learners the opportunity to apply their original field of study in a marine context. Teamwork will be required to identify and plan an actual marine study, collecting real time data and presenting the result in report form.

OTAD 5007 - Sampling Systems and Methods
The course will introduce sampling systems for geophysical, biological suspended particulate and chemical sampling. Learners will have the opportunity to apply learning in a shop setting, and whenever possible in field study situations.

OTAD 5008 - Navigation and Positioning
Course material includes the history and theory of navigation and positioning, GPS systems, date and time systems, dead reckoning, inertial navigation, bathymetry, electronic charts, GIS systems, depth and attitude sensing, Short and long baseline acoustic positioning and data protocols. Where possible, opportunities for field study will be included.

OTAD 5009 - Oceans Technology Project II
This two-part course is intended to give learners the opportunity to apply their original field of study and new learning in a marine context. Teamwork will be required to identify and plan an actual marine study, collecting real time data and presenting the result in report form.

OTAD 5011 - Remote and Autonomous Vehicles
The course covers a variety of types of vehicle, their propulsion systems control and monitoring systems, positioning and operation. Learners will also engage in mission planning using ROV’s, AUV’s and gliders. Where possible, opportunities for field study will be included.

OTAD 5013 - Oceans Technology Internship
This course provides learners with an opportunity to connect with industry and take part in real world operations in the oceans sector. The course content will depend on the placement arranged by the learner and will include following safety, procedures and professional practice particular to the company and situation. NSCC Faculty will advise and liaise with learner and supervisor, visiting the location where possible.

OTAD 5017 - Underwater Photography I
In this course, learners will be instructed in basic photographic skills, and the unique challenges for marine photography. Topics covered include lighting and colour temperature, lenses and optical ports, deployment of camera systems.

OTAD 5018 - Underwater Photography II
In this course, learners will be instructed in basic digital video principles and intermediate photographic skills, and the unique challenges for marine photography. Topics covered include basic video systems, advanced lighting control, time-lapse video, deployment of camera systems, metadata management and video codecs.

OTAD 5022 - Marine Electro-Mechanical Systems I
This course is intended to develop an understanding of electro-mechanical systems used in oceanography. Learners will be exposed to systems and designs, servicing strategies, sealing theories and maintenance, underwater connectors, cable splicing and terminations, effects of corrosion and coatings, effects of bio-fouling and mitigation techniques, instrument deployment and retrieval methods, flotation systems and techniques, mooring design and deployment methods, winches and handling systems including rigging and lifting techniques, underwater motors and actuators, slip rings and compressors. Learners will be exposed to electronic system design and servicing as they apply to ocean technology. These include basic AC and DC theory, power systems and grounding, cabling, connectors, data acquisition, data processing both real time and post processing, and transmission of data/control signals.

OTAD 5023 - Marine Acoustics and Spatial Data
Learners will study topics such as active and passive acoustics, propagation, acoustic sound sources and receivers, bathymetry, acoustic telemetry, acoustic imaging, acoustic positioning and marine seismology. Work will be carried out in both classroom and shop settings. Where possible, opportunities for field study will be included.

OTAD 5024 - Marine Electro-Mechanical Systems II
This course is intended to develop the ability to analyze project objectives and plan electro-mechanical systems solutions. Learners will plan the configuration, deployment and recovery of electronic instrumentation systems and evaluate their operation and need for adjustment or calibration. Where possible, opportunities for field study will be included.

OTAD 5040 - Industry Seminar and Field Camp
This course provides learners with the opportunity to listen to leading industry subject matter experts in a series of guest lectures. Learners are provided with the opportunity to extend, reinforce and apply learning in real-world situations. Learners will be required to plan, document and report on activities and will be required to journal and report on field study experiences.

SAFE 1000 - Introduction to WHMIS (Workplace Hazardous Materials Information Systems)
This course offers learners basic overview of WHMIS principles and establishes a solid foundation to support workplace-specific training on the safe storage and handling of controlled/hazardous products. Upon successful completion of the course, students receive basic WHMIS certification.

SAFE 1001 - Introduction to NS OH&S Act
This course offers students an introduction to the Occupational Health & Safety (OH&S) Act of Nova Scotia, which is required by any person employed in a Nova Scotia workplace. This is a generic, introductory course that provides basic knowledge of the Act for students and is considered to be the basis from which more specific training can be given.

SAFE 1020 - Introduction to Confined Space
The learner is introduced to the basic requirements and procedures involved with confined spaces. The definition and associated hazards of confined space are discussed as well as methods of confined space rescue. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1021 - Introduction to Hazard Identification
The learners are introduced to the types of hazards encountered in workplaces and the approach that should be followed when recommending and implementing appropriate controls. Two key elements of Hazard Identification are addressed: Hazard Assessment and Inspection. The Nova Scotia Occupational Health and Safety Act is discussed. The course material is to be infused throughout the curriculum and may be delivered in the classroom, shop or other opportunity as designed and developed by the instructor.

SAFE 1025 - Certified Fall Arrest and Protection
This course provides participants with an understanding of the hazards associated with working from heights and compliance with Workplace Health and Safety Regulations (2013). Throughout the course, participants will gain experience in the donning of a harness, an overview and presentation of system components involved when working from heights and learn how to complete a fall calculation and emergency procedures.

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