The old Nautical College Building.


The Merchant Shipping Act in 1855 provided instruction of navigation leading to Master and Mates qualifications, and paved the way for Leith Nautical College in 1903. Courses were also offered in Marine Engineering and Naval Architecture and the then ‘modern’ wireless telegraphy, including classes for fishermen, deck boy’s courses, along with catering, radar and electronics.

The Glasgow School of Navigation was established in 1910 to provide seamen with the technical knowledge necessary to advance their career prospects. Models and apparatus were provided to demonstrate the principles of seamanship, navigation and nautical astronomy and its qualifications were recognised by the Board of Trade. In 1963 a revision of nautical education across the Strathclyde region concluded that all training should be concentrated at one site, and so the Glasgow College of Nautical Studies was born. 

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"Cadets, as potential officers, must be neat and tidy at all times. Comment on this will be made in reports to employers. Blazers with a company or M.N. badge and flannels will be worn within the College, except when in workshops when protective clothing will be worn. Hair must be kept short in the interests of safety.’

Text taken from the prospectus of the new Glasgow College of Nautical Studies which opened to students in 1969.

Fast forward to 2019 and a new era that witnessed the successful merger of the Glasgow College of Nautical Studies with Glasgow Metropolitan and Glasgow Central Colleges to form the world class City of Glasgow College super campus.

The college has now been delivering world class nautical training for 50 years which, since August 2015, has been at Riverside campus. This architecturally multi-award winning building is the most modern and most technologically advanced maritime campus in Europe. Located on the same site as its predecessor college, it overlooks one of the world’s great global waterways, the River Clyde, maintaining the link to Glasgow’s maritime and shipbuilding heritage.

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