Nautical Leadership Experience (NLE)

nautical leadership experience (NLE)

An immersive residential experience for 16-18 year olds exploring careers in the maritime and nautical sector.

The Nautical Leadership Programme at UWC Atlantic is a funded programme created in partnership with Trinity House Maritime Charity.

As part of UWC Atlantic’s continued Seafront Development Programme and 60th Anniversary Celebrations in 2023, the Nautical Leadership Programme 2023 is its second course which aims to support the College’s ambitious plans to establish a Nautical Leadership School. Apply today to be part of this immersive 12-day residential experience for 16-18-year-olds exploring careers in the maritime and nautical sector.


United World College (UWC) Atlantic was established in 1962 and is the founding member of the UWC movement, a group of 18 international schools and colleges worldwide.  With its imposing location in a 12th Century Castle on the South Wales coast overlooking the Bristol Channel and Nash Point, the College is steeped in educational provision and training in navigation, seamanship, marine safety and in particular boat building.


Trinity House is a charity dedicated to safeguarding shipping and seafarers, providing education, support and welfare to the seafaring community with a statutory duty as a General Lighthouse Authority to deliver reliable, efficient and cost-effective aids to navigation service for the benefit and safety of all mariners. Their vision is to be a trusted world-class aid to navigation authority and regarded as such by their stakeholders.


  • 2024 course details are not yet confirmed. Join our mailing list to get notified.

The Programme

What does the Nautical Leadership Experience look like?

The residential course is offered to 12 young people aged between 16-18 years and primarily aims to provide you with the skills, knowledge and interest to develop and explore a career in the maritime and nautical sector. You will gain formal recognition and an insight into the world of sea-based work and careers from teaching, training, the environment, naval and more.

In collaboration with Trinity House and other partners, the programme includes industry seminars and talks covering a range of topics and subjects linked to the marine and maritime industry.

You will live on campus and take part in many activities at the seafront. It is here that not only the practical and physical skills will be developed but is where the social and soft skills will also be honed and fine-tuned. Safety, teamwork, leadership, discipline, respect for others and communication skills are at the heart of the programme. Certain elements of the programme will also be delivered by activity partners in the local area.


You will gain the following qualifications:

  • RYA Sea Survival
  • RYA First Aid
  • RYA VHF Radio Licence
  • RYA Essential Navigation and Seamanship
  • RYA Powerboat level 2


You will also explore:

  • Equipment and PPE
  • Maintenance and Mechanics
  • Teamwork and Skills Development
  • Working with Voluntary Organisations


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Course Fees

The course fee is funded by Trinity House and UWC Atlantic. This includes lodging, meals and programming costs.

Other costs such as travel arriving at/departing from UWC Atlantic, insurance, visas etc are not included.

Should you cancel with less than 2 weeks’ notice without an exceptional reason, you may be asked to pay a cancellation fee of up to £500. The NLE programme is a funded programme with very limited space so we expect all applicants to only apply if they can fully commit to attending the full programme.


Application Process

The course is for 16-18 year olds with a maximum capacity of 12 participants (date of birth must fall between 6th November 2004 – 24th October 2007).

You must complete the Application Form where we will ask you more about your nautical experience and ambitions within a maritime career. Please note, this course is aimed at candidates without experience and qualifications, but who still have an interest in the nautical sector.

The application deadline is 22nd September 2023, midnight BST.

All applications will be reviewed together after the closing date and shortlisted applicants will be notified by 25th September 2023.


The application is made up of the following sections:
1) Participant details
2) About the participant
3) Participant medical/additional needs (to be completed by your parent/guardian)
4) Consent
5 & 6) Parent/Guardian information (to be completed by your parent/guardian)
4) Sharing your information

To ensure you complete the application smoothly, you are advised to prepare the longer answers beforehand for section 2.

The questions are:
1) Do you already have any relevant qualifications? (e.g. RYA)
2) What inspires you about a career in the nautical/maritime industry? (max 300 words)
3) Working in a nautical/maritime industry requires the ability to work in a team in a range of high-pressure environments. What experience have you got in team-working and/or working under pressure? (max 150 words)


The Nautical Leadership Experience is a residential course at UWC Atlantic, based in a 12th Century castle by the sea in Wales. You’ll have opportunities to explore the beauty of South Wales and with a 122 acre site, including its own woodland, seafront, farm and valley.

Contact Us

If you need to get in touch, contact us by email or call (+44) 1446 799 000