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The University of Southampton
Southampton Sport

Theory courses

Time spent on the water is key when improving your performance in watersports, but time spent in the classroom can add further skills and knowledge to draw upon.

Time spent off the water learning can sometimes be seen as a waste when you would rather be out doing watersports.  However, these colder months are a great opportunity to spend some time inside increasing your understanding.  The University of Southampton runs a Royal Yachting Association (RYA) Recognised Training Centre which offers and runs all of our RYA training courses.

We have many Royal Yachting Association (RYA) classroom courses on offer:

We also offer a range of Online courses using the RYA Interactive service including:


RYA Day Skipper Theory

This in person 5 day course is aimed at those looking to skipper yachts by day, or anyone with an interest in the theory behind planning a safe passage. This course is an excellent step toward gaining your RYA Day Skipper practical qualification and is a requirement of commercially endorsing a day skipper qualification.


Some practical experience is desirable but not required.


Seamanship, coastal navigation and pilotage, chartwork, electronic charts, position fixing, plotting a course to steer, weather forecasting and meteorology, tides, collision regulations, seamanship, coastal navigation and pilotage, chartwork, electronic charts, position fixing, plotting a course to steer, weather forecasting and meteorology, tides, collision regulations.


Date (2023)LengthTime
Thu 6th, Fri 7th, Sat 8th, Sat 15th & Sun 16th April 5 days 09:00 - 17:00
Wed 9th, Thu 10th, Fri 11th, Sat 12th & Sun 13th August 5 days 09:00 - 17:00
Fri 27th, Sat 28th & Sun 29th October, Sat 4th & Sun 5th November 5 days 09:00 - 17:00


Membership TypePrice
Southampton Sport Member £192.50
Mayflower Member, Sports Pass and Non-member £350

RYA Coastal Skipper/Yachtmaster Theory

Ideal for candidates for the Coastal Skipper practical course & Yachtmaster Offshore exam. Some revision of the Day Skipper shorebased course plus more advanced skills in offshore & coastal navigation by day & night, pilotage & meteorology.


Knowledge to the level of Day Skipper Shorebased.


  • Position fixing, course shaping and plotting
  • tidal knowledge
  • use of almanacs and admiralty publications
  • electronic position finding equipment
  • taking and interpreting forecasts
  • plotting weather systems
  • weather predictions using a barometer

Currently We do not have any in person courses running, however we are able to offer a discount to our members and student to complete this course online with urban truant. For more information please see Urban Truant discounts page.

Date (2023)LengthTime
TBC 5 days 09:00 - 17:00
TBC 5 days 09:00 - 17:00


Membership TypePrice
Southampton Sport Member TBC
Mayflower Member, Sports Pass and Non-member TBC

RYA First Aid

Our one-day course covers all the usual first aid subjects, but from a boating perspective. It is aimed at anyone who goes afloat, whether on inland waters, rivers, estuaries or on cross channel passages. This course is MCA approved and satisfies the requirements for Coastal Skipper Yachtmaster and Advanced Powerboat certificates of competence and some commercial work afloat.


This course is suitable for those with no previous experience.


The recovery position in a confined space, CPR, including the drowning protocol, cold shock and hypothermia fromimmersion and/or exposure, seasickness and dehydration, medical assistance or advice by VHF, helicopter rescue.


Date (2023)Time
22nd April 09:00 - 17:00
10th June 09:00 - 17:00
21st October 09:00 - 17:00
22nd December 09:00 - 17:00


Membership TypePrice
Southampton Sport Member £53.00
Mayflower Member, Sports Pass and Non-Member £89.00

RYA Interactive Courses

To Compliment our variety of in person courses we also offer a number of online courses via RYA Interactive. These courses cover a wide variety of topics:

  • RYA Safe & Fun Safeguarding Course
  • RYA Marine Radio SRC Course (Exam in person)
  • RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship
  • RYA Professional Practices and Responsibilities (PPR)
  • RYA CEVNI test online

RYA Safe & Fun Safeguarding Course

An online course aimed at Dinghy and Windsurfing Instructors and Seniors, and anyone else involved in working with children and/org vulnerable adults at an RYA club or training centre. Newly qualifying Dinghy/Windsurfing Instructors and Senior Instructors are required to complete this course prior to their instructor course.

RYA Marine Radio SRC Course (Exam in person)

A course and exam for anyone who owns a fixed or handheld marine VHF radio. A radio is an important piece of safety equipment on board and it is vital to understand the correct procedures. The Short Range Certificate is the minimum qualification required by law to control the operation of VHF and VHF Digital Selective Calling (DSC) equipment on any British flagged vessel voluntarily fitted with a radio either fixed or hand held.

RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship

A basic introduction to navigation and safety for anyone new to boating: sailors, powerboaters, sea anglers, divers and boatmasters. Also useful for experienced dinghy and keelboat sailors and inshore racers.

RYA Professional Practices and Responsibilities (PPR)

A compulsory online course for new and revalidating RYA Commercial Endorsement holders. You can take this course anytime prior to your Commercial Endorsement application or renewal. Your PPR certificate will be valid either for your first Commercial Endorsement application or your next renewal.

RYA CEVNI test online

A test of the rules and regulations of the inland waterways of Europe. You will need this if you require the inland category validated on your International Certificate of Competence.

Course Cancellations/Transfers

We retain the right to cancel a date and transfer your booking or offer you a refund if the weather is unsuitable to run the course on the basis of health and safety. As part of this decision we will be looking at wind, temperature and sea state. Where possible we will give you 24 hours’ notice when a clear and accurate weather forecast comes through.

On the rare occurrence of staff sickness we will endeavour to cover the staff shortage and continue to run the course. This would also be grounds for a refund or date transfer.

For most of our watersports courses we have a minimum ratio of 1:3. Where possible we will always endeavour to run a course but if we are below ratio we may have to transfer you onto a future booking.


The bookee cancelling the booking

Over 7 days before the course: We are happy to offer a full refund or transfer your booking to another date upon request.

Over 48 hours before the course: We will give a full refund upon the presentation of a current doctor’s note.

Less than 48 hours before the course: We are not able to offer a refund

Please note that the time period stated refers to start of the day, not the start of the course.  All refunds are limited to course fees only.  If you book local accommodation, you may choose to take out cancellation/holiday insurance.

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