Choosing your qualification

The Institute's academic year opened on 1st July 2019

To sit an exam with the Institute during the 2019/20 academic year, you will need to register as a student. This can be done online at


Professional Qualifying Examinations (PQE)

The Professional Qualifying Examinations (PQE) form the pinnacle of the Institute's qualification.  Completion of these exams is an illustration of one's developed knowledge and understanding of the commercial shipping industry.  It comprises seven exams which you can do over five years. Out of these, 4 are compulsory and the remaining 3 can be chosen from a list of 12 optional subjects (please refer to the syllabus section on our website).

Many people complete in a much shorter time and are often also eligible for exemptions to some exams based on industry experience and prior qualifications.  Exemptions don't apply to the Diplomas, so if you are eligible for a few, it may make sense to start your journey with PQE.

Embarking on PQE will mean you can pick and choose how many exams to take from the syllabus. Once you have completed your PQEs you will be eligible to apply for membership with the Institute.


Foundation Diploma

The Foundation Diploma is ideal for people with little industry experience, but who would like to gain practical knowledge and a sound qualification.  It involves taking the Introduction to Shipping paper plus one other subject from the group 2 list of optional papers from the Institute's syllabus.

The Foundation Diploma is a standalone qualification in its own right, but because it can count towards your membership examinations it is also a great way to ease into study and gives you an overall view of the business. The Foundation Diploma is awarded if both subjects are passed in the same exam sitting.


Advanced Diploma

The Advanced Diploma has been designed as a stepping stone into full professional qualification and suits those who have some industry knowledge. Like the Foundation Diploma, the Advanced Diploma is a recognised and respected qualification and it can count towards your Professional Qualifying Examinations.  It involves taking the Institute's benchmark paper Shipping Business plus one other subject from the group 2 list of optional papers from the Institute's syllabus. The Advanced Diploma is awarded if both subjects are passed in the same exam sitting.

IMPORTANT: Foundation Diploma and Advanced Diploma subjects will count towards your membership examination (i.e. PQE) for those who wish to comtinue their pathway to becoming an ICS Member however if "one of the two subjects" in Diploma Exams fails, the other one will not count in PQE. 


Tel: +90 (850) 220 2141

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Barbaros Mahallesi, Sümbül Sk. Deluxia Palace No:5 D:184

Ataşehir 34746 İstanbul / Turkey