Learning to scuba dive opens up an exhilarating world of underwater adventure and can be a life-changing experience.

If you’re keen to learn to dive BSAC’s Ocean Diver course is the place to start. This entry-level diving qualification will equip you with the core skills to dive to a maximum of 20 metres in open water, in the UK and abroad.

Life will never be the same… I decided to learn to scuba dive after having a go on holiday. The Ocean Diver course has given me the confidence to explore UK waters which means I can dive far more often. I never realised how much wildlife there was on my doorstep. I’m hooked!

Lisa Schears, Phoenix Sub-Aqua Club

The Ocean Diver course is open to anyone from the age of 12. 

You’ll just need to demonstrate that you can comfortably swim 200m in a pool, and the only kit you’ll need is a swimsuit and towel.

Your instructor will start by getting you comfortable breathing underwater in a pool or sheltered water and then develop your skills so that you are competent to dive safely in open water. After that you’ll head out for a series of at least four dives to develop your skills and confidence in open water.

You’ll learn how to use basic dive gear, control your buoyancy and move about underwater. You’ll also learn some basic safety skills and how to plan and manage your diving. The course includes six theory modules, at least five sessions in a pool or sheltered water, and at least four open-water dives.

It’s a continually assessed course so after your classroom and in-water training and a short theory exam you’ll have the grounding to continue your scuba diving journey.

What you’ll be qualified to do 

Qualified Ocean Divers can dive buddied with another Ocean Diver, under the supervision of a Dive Manager – so long as you stick to familiar locations and conditions you have encountered during your training.

If you want to expand your experience by exploring different locations and conditions, you can easily do this accompanied by a Dive Leader or higher-grade diver.

Your qualification will be recognised worldwide and you will be qualified to use breathing gas mixtures of up to 36 per cent Nitrox to increase your safety on dives (you’ll learn all about Nitrox on the course). Many ‘learn to dive’ courses don’t teach Nitrox or rescue skills, but BSAC believes they are important skills to start learning from the start of your scuba journey.

What diving experiences will this open up for me?

At depths of down to 20m, Ocean Divers have plenty of chances to encounter a fascinating variety of wildlife and shipwrecks in seas, rivers, quarries, lochs and lakes. 

Imagine finning over a rocky reef teeming with fish and covered in sessile life such as seasquirts, sponges and brightly coloured anenomes, spending precious moments watching grey seals at play, or exploring a historic wreck. 

You can sign up to do the Ocean Diver course by joining a BSAC club. Find a club

Training at your local BSAC club allows you to learn at your own pace, spreading your training sessions over several weeks. You’ll be taught by volunteers who are keen divers, and will attend club training sessions with other BSAC members.

You can get involved in social events at your club, and start building a network of friends to go diving with in future. Many clubs have access to boats, compressors, and diving kit that members can use.

Alternatively, doing your Ocean Diver training at a BSAC centre means you can reduce the time it takes to do the course to four days.

You don’t need any special kit to become an Ocean Diver – a swimsuit and towel should be enough, although you may soon want to buy your own mask and snorkel.

You’ll receive a training pack when you sign up, which contains all the learning materials you’ll need. We recommended you also buy a Dive Profile Red Logbook and BSAC Nitrox Decompression Tables, available from the BSAC shop

An Ocean Diver's view...


After the Ocean Diver course – developing your skills

With BSAC's Ocean Diver course, your learn-to-dive adventure is only just beginning.

  • You can quickly progress to Sports Diver, which is the next grade in BSAC’s Diver Training Programme, and opens up diving to depths of up to 35m.
  • You could also develop specific skills to expand your diving interests further. Imagine understanding more about wreck diving or driving a dive boat. Check out the Skill Development Courses you can get involved in.

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