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MLA College: First class distance learning for the maritime professional

Professional development has always been at the forefront of Brady Hogg’s mind. Having worked in the maritime industry for almost 17 years, his attitude, commitment and work ethic saw him gain the MSc Engineering for Marine Professionals qualification with MLA College, and subsequently achieve Chartered Engineer status.

MLA College is a global distance learning education institution providing undergraduate and postgraduate qualifications, predominantly for professionals in the marine and maritime industry. Designed with the individual in mind, students work part-time, at times that suit them, whilst balancing other life and work commitments.

Brady jumped at the chance of studying with this approach; “Like many others, I have a full-time career and a family. I needed a course that would offer me the right qualification, opportunity to develop skills, and professional development whilst working around my career and personal commitments. I had to make time to study but could do so flexibly around my availability rather than a rigid timetable.”

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MLA College offers the right balance of study, work and family for Brady Hogg. Source: MLA College

He chose the MSc Engineering for Marine Professionals, a master’s by research project that requires students to complete a workplace-based research project independently over 12 months. Applicants should have a postgraduate diploma in marine engineering or the equivalent in relevant work experience.

Those that successfully graduate with this qualification meet the “knowledge and understanding” competency set out by The Engineering Council for those seeking Chartered status and recognition.

“I felt that studying at the master’s degree level would not only help me to develop a new set of skills, it also came with the added benefit of enabling me to use this qualification to work toward Chartered status,” says Brady. “When I saw an opportunity to align my engineering studies with my ongoing intention to become professionally registered and with the freedom to research an area that interested me, I couldn’t turn it down.”

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MLA College’s Total Learning Package allows Gordon Foot to continue studying his MBA-Maritime Operations even though he is away at sea. Source: MLA College

MBA-Maritime Operations student, Gordon Foot, chose MLA College due to their flexible approach and the ability to continue studying whilst away at sea. Having retired as Weapons Engineering Manager of the UK Royal Navy after serving a 19 year career in nuclear submarines on special operations, Gordon is now a consultant. He operates in a ship borne senior leadership role as a Senior Client Representative, supervising offshore operations on major offshore wind farms, oil and gas and environmental projects.

Gordon finds himself almost always away at sea. He benefited from MLA College’s award-winning Total Learning Package (TLP) which provides students with full access to all teaching and learning materials. The TLP has been designed with the maritime professional in mind and once downloaded can be accessed offline.

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What the Total Learning Package looks like on a laptop. Source: MLA College

“The MLA TLP is awesome as once you have downloaded it. You do not require a permanent wi-fi connection,” says Gordon. “My programme start date coincided with me joining a vessel in the Pacific. The MLA staff were excellent and assisted me with downloading the required files with my limited connectivity overseas and thereafter I had no issues at all. This enabled me to make my assessment submissions on time.”

MLA College, who have three terms per year which begin in January, May and September, also provide the BSc (Hons) Sustainable Maritime Operations, giving seafarers the opportunity to gain up-to-date, relevant industry knowledge that will help them advance their careers. This programme is also delivered at master’s level, MSc Sustainable Maritime Operations, which is suitable for those at Master Mariner level.

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Ross Cleland chose MLA College as they understand the needs of seafarers. Source: MLA College

Ross Cleland, an officer with Carnival UK, used education to help shape a future maritime career and chose MLA College due to their understanding of the needs of seafarers. “Before pursuing a career in the maritime industry I worked for eight years in retail,” he says.

“Having gained poor qualifications earlier in life, I took on the challenge of gaining an OOW licence and high grades at HNC level. This empowered me to believe in myself and that a little hard work goes a long way. I didn’t stop at the HNC, I continued my studies to achieve high marks at HND level and then pushed myself to complete the BSc with the knowledge that hard work pays off. At the age of 30 I now believe I have completely turned my life around and now work as a 3rd Officer with Carnival UK and with a BSc Hons to my name.”

Ross believes MLA College was the best choice for his needs. “MLA College was my college of choice to pursue the BSc as they understand the needs and work patterns of seafarers and were completely flexible around my needs.”

Maritime professionals from across the globe are enrolling with the College via many marine and maritime related professions; Royal Navy, cruise ships, SuperYacht industry, RNLI and ship merchants. The College even has a number of law students from Turkey who are studying the BSc (Hons) Sustainable Maritime Operations programme so they can gain an understanding prior to practicising Maritime Law.

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Alara Merzeci Kaleoglu would recommend the MSc Sustainable Maritime Operations to anyone. Source: MLA College

One student who is pursuing this is Alara Merzeci Kaleoglu. “I hope to become a lawyer soon and my hope is to pursue my career particularly within the maritime world,” the current MSc Sustainable Maritime Operations student says. “I believe what I will be taking home with me once I successfully finish this programme is invaluable and having this knowledge will allow me to be better at what I do. This programme may seem to be formed especially targeting the people directly involved with the shipping sector however I would suggest this programme for everyone from all sectors such as myself who are interested in maritime law.”

MLA College works in partnership with the University of Plymouth and the degrees mentioned in this article are awarded by the university.

With so many industry professionals taking advantage of distance learning and the quality-led education provided by MLA College, there is no better time to invest in your future. Apply now.

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