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PMMA - Philippine Merchant Marine Academy


The Academy

The Philippine Merchant Marine Academy (PMMA) which was formerly known as the Philippine Nautical School has a colourful and illustrious history spanning more than a century.

The PMMA President RAdm Fidel E. Diñoso and Mr Baljit Singh, Managing Director of HCMI Education, at the MOA signing of the educational partnership between both organisations.

The PMMA President RAdm Fidel E. Diñoso and Mr Baljit Singh, Managing Director of HCMI Education, at the MOA signing of the educational partnership between both organisations.

Since its establishment, the PMMA has been producing efficient and well-trained merchant marine officers who are considered by many to be among the world's best. As evidence of its prominence, local graduates have constantly spearheaded the Philippines' efforts in International trade and have also served as auxiliary officers servicing naval needs in times of emergency.

Aside from ship officers, the Academy also trains its students in other fields of marine service, like marine surveying, port supervision, shipping office administration, ship management and others.

To educate and train midshipmen/women to become qualified and competent merchant marine officers for shipboard and shore-based positions, in response to the global requirements of the expanding international maritime industry as well as to become competent and capable naval officers who can serve as naval and military auxiliaries in times of war and national emergencies; and to contribute to the improvement of maritime education and the pool of ship business managers through graduate school programmes are the missions of the PMMA.

The Philippine Merchant Marine Academy envisions through its academic programs and quasi-military training to produce a balanced personality out of every graduate—an internationally acceptable officer and gentleman who can function confidently and effectively in his field.

The Courses

In partnership with HCMI Education, the academy offers two degree programmes:

1. The Bachelor of Science in Marine Transportation (BSMT), major in navigation and seamanship

The BSMT programme is designed to prepare PMMA Midshipmen for duties as deck officers aboard ships after graduation. It is a four-year residency course consisting of a three-year academic studies (1st, 2nd and 4th year) and one year apprenticeship training (3rd year) as deck cadets on board commercial vessels plying the international sea lanes.

The course structure is designed such that at the end of the third year of training, BSMT midshipmen would have fulfilled the requirements of Regulation II/4 of the STCW Convention (minimum knowledge requirements for certification of officer-in-charge of navigational watch on ships of 200 gross register tons or more) and would have gained knowledge to enable them to absorb effectively the professional subjects for the fourth year. The study during the last year is intended to equip BSMT midshipmen with advanced knowledge and skills in Marine Transportation. The curriculum has been designed to comply with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) requirements on General Education Components.

Aside from addressing the academic requirements of deck cadets/midshipmen, the curriculum also provides training for their leadership skills and discipline. The leadership and discipline training component is military-oriented for best effect. Such approach is catered towards the nature of the maritime profession, which requires the highest degree of leadership, discipline, integrity and decision-making skills.

2. The Bachelor of Science in Marine Engineering (BSMarE), major in steam engine and electrical engineering.

The BSMarE programme is designed to prepare PMMA Midshipmen for duties as Marine Engineers aboard ships. This four-year residency course consists of three years of academic studies (1st, 2nd and 4th year) and a year’s apprentice training (3rd year) as engine cadets on board commercial vessels plying the international shipping lanes.

The programme sets the first three years of study to contain and surpass the requirement of Regulation III/4 of the STCW Convention (mandatory requirements for certification of engine officers in charge of the watch). The study on the last year is intended to upgrade the midshipman to senior engine officer above the level of Regulation III/C of the STCW Convention (minimum knowledge required for certification of engine officers of ships powered by main propulsion machinery of 3000 KW or more). The Curriculum has been developed to comply with the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) requirements on General Education components.

Aside from addressing the academic requirements of marine engineers/ midshipmen, the curriculum also provides drilling on their leadership qualities and discipline. The leadership and discipline training scheme is military oriented. Such an approach is suitable for the uniqueness of the maritime profession that requires the highest degree of leadership, discipline, integrity and quick-thinking.

Benefits of the Programmes

1. 100% Job Placement after graduation
Generally, our graduates from both programmes have been able to secure employment almost immediately after graduation. In fact, the top students often receive offers of employment even before their official graduations, with many of them securing jobs even during the apprenticeship attachments.

2. One of the most highly-regarded Marine Training Academies in the world
The PMMA is internationally recognised as one of the top Marine Training Academies in the world. Its illustrious history spans almost two centuries, and has produced countless graduates who have gone on to become prominent figures in the shipping industry, as well as in society.

It is therefore hardly surprising that every major global shipping company features PMMA graduates among their employees.

3. Guaranteed attachment stint with reputable global shipping corporations
To reinforce the knowledge and skills imparted to students, every student undergoes a year of on-board apprenticeship training during the third year as part of the curriculum.

The shipboard training programme provides all cadets with the opportunity to use a ship as a sea-going laboratory wherein they are required to complete the tasks listed in the Training Record Books. This Record Book will be evaluated and graded and will serve as a requirement for enrolment in the final stage of the course as Fourth Year cadets.

For this purpose, PMMA has entered into a Memorandum of Agreement with almost 100 of the world’s largest Shipping Companies for the Shipboard Training Programme of PMMA cadets. These shipping companies support the cadets in achieving quality education and training by providing the cadets the opportunities to put into practice what they learn in the classrooms.

4. Employment opportunities with the largest international shipping lines
Through the apprenticeship attachments, students have opportunities to impress potential employers, and several do receive offers of employment by the time they complete the attachments, even before the final year of training with the PMMA has commenced!

The PMMA’s tradition of producing top talents in the shipping industry has also seen many of these reputable shipping firms conduct hiring presentations and campaigns in the academy regularly, trying to attract the best students.

Last but not least, with HCMI Education’s Head Office being situated in the city of Singapore, the location of arguably the busiest shipping port in the world, there is constant and convenient access to job openings with the giant shipping conglomerates.

5. Exciting career path away from monotonous desk-bound jobs
A career in the marine industry ensures that life in the workplace does not merely consist of a monotonous and repetitive task behind the office desk.

Life for the officer at sea includes visiting more cities and countries than one can probably remember. Meet people from all walks of life from different cultures and expand your horizons. Wake up to the sun rising in the horizon and enjoy the peace and beauty of the vast oceans. Find yourself looking forward to going to work!

6. Safe and secure training and living environment
With the PMMA’s and the instructors’ experience, you can be sure that training procedures and lessons are designed to be fruitful but safe. Learn from these veterans in the trade how to keep yourself safe during training and also on board the vessels.

The premises of the academy are well-secured. Equipment and tools used are also updated and well-maintained. Living areas are kept clean and comfortable. Students may therefore rest assured that training is low-risk but also at the same time realistic.

7. Courses conducted in English
The Philippines is a country in which more than 90% of the population converses in English. It is widely-regarded as the third-largest English-speaking country in the world. Students will therefore find it very easy to communicate both with the instructors and also the locals. All lessons will also be conducted in English, making it easy for students who speak English to follow the course content.

8. Exclusive* and limited seats per intake
Seats for every intake are highly limited. This is to ensure that there is a very good instructor-to-trainee ratio and that every trainee receives a good amount of attention and interaction with the instructors. This way each trainee receives very close guidance and also the instructors will be able to very intimately understand the individual learning styles and capabilities of each student and tailor the instruction for best effect.

Admission Requirements

Applicants need to fulfil the following requirements in order to be eligible to apply for the course:

  1. Physically and medically fit.
  2. Free from being accused or convicted of any crime against the law and the state.
  3. Between 16 and 22 years of age.
  4. Completed Grade 10 or equivalent examinations, with passes in English, Mathematics and Science.
  5. At least 162.5cm in height and 55kg in weight for males; or 157.5cm in height and 50kg in weight for females.

Students will also be required to do an entrance test before commencing the course. This will include:

  1. Written tests in English, Mathematics and Science.
  2. Colour Perception Test
  3. Neuro-psychiatric and psychological tests
  4. Physical, medical, dental and laboratory examinations

*Students are advised that HCMI Education is the exclusive partner for the PMMA in several countries. Please be wary of other companies that may try to offer seats in the PMMA. If you are unsure if the country you are in is included among the exclusive areas, please do contact us to find out.

For more information, please feel free to contact us at or drop by one of our offices for a comprehensive discussion with our friendly education counsellors.

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