BSc Nautical Science vs DNS

DNS v/s BSc Nautical Science

When it comes to Diploma in Nautical Science (DNS) and BSc Nautical Science, many aspirants have doubts regarding which course to join and which one is the best. In this blog, we are going to do a comparative analysis of the pros and cons of both courses to help aspirants choose the right course for themselves.

This blog contains:-

  • Introduction to BSc Nautical Science and DNS
  • DNS and BSc: Career Progression
  • Why is BSc better than DNS?
  • Why is DNS better than BSc?
  • An overview of DNS Vs. BSc

Introduction to BSc Nautical Science And Diploma in Nautical Science

BSc Nautical Science was started in 1927 as the first course to train Deck officers.  Training Ship Dufferin was the first training academy set up for this purpose. BSc Nautical Science provides an opportunity for class 12 students to join as a Deck cadet on a ship. This course is of 3 years, consisting of 6 semesters, and provides a better insight into the job than the DNS course. BSc Nautical Science course provides an opportunity for class 12 students to join as a Deck cadet on a ship. After completing the pre-sea training and receiving the BSc degree, cadets can join a ship and can rise to the position of Captain in 8 to 10 years (Depending on factors such as the type of company, type of ship, etc.).

On the other hand, a Diploma in Nautical Science is an undergraduate course of one year. The course consists of two semesters and is also for class 12 students to pursue a career as a Deck Officer. DNS (Diploma in Nautical Science) started with the objective of producing more Deck officers for the Shipping industry globally because of the high rise in demand for seafarers.

DNS AND BSc: Career Progression

Most aspirants really fail to understand the difference between DNS and BSc in terms of Career progression. Given below is an infographic that helps you to understand and compare both courses.

BSc nautical science vs DNS: Career Progression

Which is better: BSc Nautical Science or DNS?

There are two courses to join the Merchant Navy as a Deck Officer. But which is better? There is no one answer to the question. Both BSc and DNS have their own set of drawbacks and advantages. Aspirants should analyze for themselves which course suits them best. Whichever course they go for there’s a crucial step that every aspirant has to take whether going for a B.Sc Nautical Science or a Diploma in Nautical Science i.e. IMU CET Exam. To get complete guidance for IMU CET you can enroll in our free IMU CET Guidance Series where you will get all the information related to IMU CET from how to prepare for IMU CET to how to clear IMU CET in the first attempt, all for free.

free IMU CET guidance series

Why is BSc Nautical Science better than DNS?

  1. Three unforgettable years
BSc nautical science gives you 3 years to enjoy college life

The BSc in Nautical Science spans over a duration of three years in a completely residential programme. If you are a BSc cadet, you get to experience college life, which is one of the most memorable aspects of your life.

In these three years, the college helps you build the right attitude to tackle all the challenges you may face on board. In these formative years, you are meant to stay away from your family, strengthen yourself physically and mentally, and gain technical knowledge and experience for a smooth career. This is where BSc in Nautical Science cadets fare slightly better in case of maturity when they join Ship for the first time.

  1. You want to quit ? BSc will suit you
Get a Bachelor’s degree in BSc nautical science after pre sea training

Actually, both BSc and DNS courses are Degree courses. BSc degree for the BSc Nautical Science course is awarded to the cadets after 3 years of their pre-sea training. DNS course also leads to a BSc in Nautical Science degree after DNS cadets complete their cadetship and obtain their second mate COC.

So, where does a BSc cadet have an advantage?

Sometimes students join this industry because of its glamour but do not understand the hardships involved in them and later realize that this field is not for them. If you have a BSc degree in hand, you can leave and will be able to enroll yourself in other post-graduate courses. On the other hand, if you have studied for DNS, you will be to be stuck and you will have to struggle until you clear your MMD examinations and get your BSc degree because a Diploma Degree will have very less value in today’s market.

3.Better Companies for Campus Placements

Top companies prefer BSc nautical science cadets

In this decade, the Maritime Industry has been experiencing a dip. It is important to join a good shipping company to secure your career. It has been seen that Top tier companies prefer BSc cadets over DNS cadets. Synergy, Scorpio, Anglo-Eastern, and Torm Tankers are the only top-notch companies that offer sponsorship to DNS cadets. DNS cadets, who fail to get into these companies, can fall prey to frauds, agents, or poor shipping companies. Whereas, if you are a BSc cadet and selected in a good Shipping Company, you get the opportunity to work for Industry leaders such as Chevron, Shell, Maersk, Nortrans, Mitsui OSK lines, NYK, K-lines, etc. provided you join a good college for your pre-sea training. Click here to know the best colleges for BSc.

Why DNS is better than BSc?

  • Investment in terms of fees
Fees for BSc and DNS

The pre-sea training course is substantially less for DNS. For the BSc course, TMI charges the highest fees (18 lakhs) and TS Chanakya takes the least amount of fees (6.6 lakhs). Comparing these figures to DNS fees; the highest fees is charged by AEMA (7 lakhs) and the lowest by TS Rahaman (3.5 lakhs). Since the course fee is lesser for DNS, you will find it easier to repay the debt amount. Click here to know more about Education loans in the Merchant navy.

  • Start earning early
Start earning early

Apart from the low fees of the pre-sea training, DNS offers you the opportunity to start earning early in life. You can begin earning when you are as young as 19 years old. But for BSc, the minimum age you can start earning is 21.

  • Job security
Secure your career through DNS sponsorship

The BIGGEST advantage DNS has over BSc is that you will know which company you are selected in. Sponsorship helps you get a job even before the start of your pre-sea training and you will know the type of company you are selected in. So, the nervousness and worry of campus placements are no more there. Director-General of Shipping made it mandatory for DNS cadets to obtain a sponsorship before joining the pre-sea course.

So, the question of JOB SECURITY never arises in your mind. On the other hand, if you join the BSc Nautical Science course from a College with a very good placement scenario, you will still have to give your best to get placed and God forbid , if you join a College with a poor placement record and pass out WITHOUT A JOB in hand , then it will be a very very bad scenario for you and your family. To know more about Sponsorship in DNS, click here. 

  • Is DNS just a diploma degree?

This is the biggest MYTH in DNS. It is a common belief among the masses that those who join DNS cannot take up higher studies in the future. This is FALSE. In the case of DNS, the BSc degree is awarded after 18 months of sea training as a Deck cadet and 4 months post-sea course for the second mate course. After receiving the BSc degree in Nautical Science, you are eligible to study in any post-graduate programme.

  • Education loan is available
Education Loan available for DNS as well!

Usually, it is not possible for Diploma course students to obtain loans for their education. But that is not the case with the DNS course, since DNS leads to a BSc in Nautical Science degree. DNS cadets can ask for loans explaining that it will eventually lead to a BSc in Nautical Science degree. To know more about Education loans, click here.


Course duration1 year3 years
Sea time training as Deck Cadet18 months12 months
MEO exams (till 2nd MATE CoC)6 written exams and 3 orals6 written and 3 oral exams since 2015, earlier only Orals were being taken.
Course feesMax – AEMA (7 Lakhs); Min – TS Rahaman (3.5 Lakhs)Max – TMI (18 Lakhs); Min – TS Chanakya (6.6 Lakhs)
The minimum age when you begin earning19 years21 years
PlacementAssured placement because of sponsorship; MAKE SURE YOU JOIN A GOOD SHIPPING COMPANY.Worry of campus placement
Shipping companyOnly a few renowned companies like Synergy, Scorpio, Anglo-Eastern, and Torm Tankers.World-Class Companies such as Chevron, Shell, Maersk, Nortrans, Mitsui OSK lines, NYK, K-lines, etc. provided you join a good college.

Which course would you prefer: DNS or BSc and why? Comment in the section given below.

This blog is written under the guidance of Chief Engineer Praneet Mehta who is an active sailor and also the Director of JMDi Academy, Dehradun. Where he mentors students to join Merchant Navy after Class 12th by clearing sponsorship of good Shipping Companies and also clearing IMUCET with a good rank. He has been closely involved in the selection process of students for the last 4 years and has shared his experience.

Best of luck!👍🏻👍🏻👍🏻

Disclaimer :- The opinions expressed in this article belong solely to the author and may not necessarily reflect those of Merchant Navy Decoded. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the information provided and disclaim any responsibility for it. Data and visuals used are sourced from publicly available information and may not be authenticated by any regulatory body. Reviews and comments appearing on our blogs represent the opinions of individuals and do not necessarily reflect the views of Merchant Navy Decoded. We are not responsible for any loss or damage resulting from reliance on these reviews or comments.

Reproduction, copying, sharing, or use of the article or images in any form is strictly prohibited without prior permission from both the author and Merchant Navy Decoded.

4.1 9 votes
Article Rating
Notify of
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Rishabh raj

DNS is much better than BSC….as we have sponsership of company in hand before our presea course…


DNS hands down !

Rinosh Johnson

After 2015 even bsc nautical science candidate’s should appear for writtens that is 6 written pappers

Abdulla Ubaid Dilshad

Information regarding Bsc is not correct, we have to clear written exam + Orals to get COC . Please correct it

Soyal Khan

DNS because it’s fees is less then bsc and you start earning after 1 year of course and the best thing is you get a lot of experience onboard during your 18 months sea training while the bsc nautical science’s students can’t get that experience in the colleges.


This blog is really insightful Indeed ,both paths have their own pros and cons but the destination remains the same.Shipping is all about the addition of new technology in the upcoming years each cadet needs to update him/her with time.

S Swaminathan

Be careful about your marks scored when you apply. Some shady institutions take you up for training and you land up in trouble when you apply for 2nd mates exam!!!, BEWARE.

Jyoti Naidu

Glad that you shared these tips, such information was much needed for students who are confused to choose between DNS & BSc. course.<a href= “” title=”Merchant Navy”>BSc.Nautical</a>

Swetank Saxena

Is sponsorship compulsory for bsc naitical science

Swetank Saxena

Ok sir
Thank you sir🙏🙏
Jai Mata Di🙏🙏


If we have less percentage in 12 then can we do DNS after doing graduation?

[…] DNS vs. B.Sc: Exploring the Differences and Choosing the Right Path for Your Maritime Career […]

Aakash Anand

I do bsc