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Ship's Cook

Get the specialized skills and training you need to cook aboard a ship.

A man carries a pot in a ship's galley.
Start Date:
Typical Length:
9 Weeks
Certificate of Professional Studies

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Ship's cooks are in demand, so there's no better time to get the specialized training you need to be a cook in the marine industry.

Add to your skillset by taking this Transport Canada-approved certification that prepares you for a culinary career at sea.

You learn:

  • Marine first aid and safety
  • Emergency duties on a ship
  • Galley management

This program is designed for graduates of NSCC's Culinary Skills or Culinary Management.

Funding is available for women and Indigenous peoples
To help meet the marine industry demand and diversify the workforce, the federal government is providing $2.5 million in bursaries for women and Indigenous peoples.

  • Apply for funding if you've been accepted into, or completed, the Culinary Skills or Culinary Management program and are continuing on to Ship's Cook.
    • Women and Indigenous peoples may qualify for a $5,000 bursary.
    • Indigenous students are automatically considered for additional funds (up to $10,500) to cover living expenses.

Sea time

  • You complete a 30-day work placement at sea as a member of a ship's culinary team on board Canadian or international vessels. You put into practice the skills and knowledge you've acquired during the program.
  • International students must find a work placement on board a foreign vessel as a Canadian Passport/Permanent Resident Card is required to sail on Canadian vessels. Once you secure your work placement, we'll coordinate details with your employer.

Choose NSCC

  • For more detailed information specific to the marine industry, visit Careers at Sea.

Other info

  • Students must take the Marine Advanced First Aid, MEDSTCW Basic Safety, Vessel Personnel with Security Responsibilities and Shipboard Galley courses to satisfy Transport Canada's requirements to work as a ship's cook.
  • International students may not be eligible for a Transport Canada certificate of competency unless granted citizenship or permanent resident status. You are strongly encouraged to verify currency of training with your government prior to registering. View additional Transport Canada details

2023-24 programs

Program delivery may be subject to change based on Public Health guidelines.

April 2023

Campus Location Full time/part time Delivery Availability
Strait Area Campus Port Hawkesbury Full time In person Delivered in-person. Some courses may have online elements. Seats available

Admission requirements

  • Successful completion of all courses in the NSCC Culinary Skills Certificate or Culinary Management Diploma programs with the exception of the Work Experience course.
    • Work Experience will be completed in tandem with the Ship's Cook Seagoing Service course.

Program requirements

  • A Marine Medical certificate is required prior to the start of the program. For more information, visit Transport Canada.
  • Additional program requirements include a valid Canadian Passport with Canadian document number and a clear criminal record check.


Tuition amounts are for the 2022-23 academic year. Program costs and fees (textbooks, supplies, etc.) are additional. 2023-24 tuition will be announced in the late Spring.

Tuition (Domestic):

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

  • The marine industry, including the offshore industry, is significantly understaffed in this area. Cooks who are trained and certified in both culinary skills and marine duties are in high demand.
  • Upon successful completion of all requirements toward this Transport Canada-approved program, you're eligible to write the Transport Canada exam for the Ship's Cook certifications. 
  • Certification is required to work as a Ship's Cook.

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.

Recognizing prior learning / transfer credits
If you have previous learning (course, employment, etc...) that's relevant to your program, you may be able to apply to earn credit. Not all programs are eligible. Learn about our recognizing prior learning (RPL) process.

COOK 2999 - Seagoing Service
The seagoing service component provides the learner with the opportunity to apply new skills and concepts appropriate for positions within their occupation.

COOK 3050 - Shipboard Galley
This course builds upon the skills acquired in the Culinary Arts program by preparing learners to understand the complex dynamics of cooking at sea.

MARI 1086 - Vessel Personnel with Security Responsibilities
This course is intended to provide the knowledge required for seafarers with designated security duties in connection with a Ship Security Plan (SSP) to perform their duties in accordance with the requirements of Chapter XI-2 of SOLAS 74 as amended, the ISPS Code and Section A-VI/6 and Table A-VI/6-2 of the STCW Code, as amended.

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.

MEDC 1821 - STCW Basic Safety
This course provides all Seafarers with the basic understanding of the hazards associated with the Marine Environment and their own vessel; the prevention of shipboard incidents, including fire and procedures for abandonment. It provides Seafarers with the knowledge necessary to raise and react to alarms and to deal with emergencies. The course will ensure that all Seafarers are able to provide assistance in fire and abandonment in emergency situations. It will provide Seafarers with the knowledge and skills which will enable them to assist in their own survival and rescue. The course content meets Standards of Training and Certification of Watchkeeping Seafarers, MED with respect to STCW Basic Safety (MED BST). This course also aligns with Transport Publication 5562 of the Transport Canada certification standard for officer cadets.

MEDC 2812 - Marine Advanced First Aid
This course provides learners with the knowledge and skills necessary to recognize an emergency and apply immediate advanced first aid in the event of an accident or illness on board. This course meets the requirements of first aid training as set out by Transport Canada and Workplace Occupational Health and Safety.

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