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Ocean Diver is the initial diver grade for BSAC and aims to introduce the core scuba diving skills to ensure safe diving up to a maximum depth of 20m in open water in the UK or abroad.  Once you have completed the course, you will be issued with an internationally recognised Ocean Diver qualification.

Ocean Diver Course

What does the course involve?

The Ocean Diver Course Content includes six theory modules, at least five sessions in a pool or sheltered water. This is followed by a short theory assessment and at least four open-water dives.

Where is the course held?

The theory sessions are approx. an hour long each and are usually delivered on our club night (Tues night at Molly Rigby’s, Padiham).  If this is unsuitable for students, we can often make alternative arrangements.

The pool sessions are also usually around 1 hour and are delivered at QEGS swimming pool at Blackburn on Thursday evenings (8-9pm).

For the open water dives, we usually choose a training quarry such as Capernwray or Eccleston Delph.  These are managed sites which are excellent for slowly & safely introducing new divers.

Who can do this course?

The BSAC Ocean Diver course is open to anyone from the age of 12. However, of Burnley Sub Aqua has a minimum age for scuba diving of 14.  If you’re unsure about committing to learning to dive and you just want  a taster session, then why sign up for a Try Dive.

You’ll just need to demonstrate that you can comfortably swim 200 m in a pool.  You’ll also need to complete a self-assessment medical form and a Photography Consent form.  

What will I need?

Learning to dive requires commitment and enthusiasm, but the only kit you’ll need for the pool sessions is a swimsuit and towel.  We will provide the basic scuba kit for use whilst training in the pool.   We will need to know your chest size and foot size so that we can ensure that the pool kit will fit. (For example, whether you need a small/medium or large jacket and the size of fins that will fit).

During the course, we will provide you with an Ocean Diver Training Pack and this will contain a copy of the theory lectures. It will also contain a Qualification Record Book (QRB) which is used to record your progress and will ultimately contain a record of your diving qualifications.

When it comes to the open water training, you’ll need a full set of dry-suit scuba kit.  We don’t expect students to purchase such kit all at once, as it can be expensive.  However, we do recommend these are hired from a local dive shop. 

How much does it cost?

Burnley BSAC – Club Membership: £140 per year (paid in instalments of £11.67 monthly).
Burnley BSAC – Ocean Diver training cost supplement: £100 (one-off upfront fee).
Local Dive Shop Membership: £95 per year. (up-front fee).
(This gives membership gives you free use of the pool on pool night and also 10 days of full dry suit kit hire. Each day of kit hire includes two air cylinders, which would normally cost about £4 to fill each).

There are some additional costs for diving at a training quarry: Initial cost of membership to the training site, then a daily cost if you are diving and, obviously, any travel costs. These costs vary per site, but membership costs are in the range of £15-£25 and entrance fees for diving is around £12 per day.


The next diver grade after Ocean Diver is Sports Diver. Many divers choose to continue their training as this gives them access to a greater variety of diving.

Why Progress to Sports Diver?

The Sports Diver grade allows divers to progress their maximum depth from 20m to 35m in increments of 5m as well introducing a number of new skills.  Additionally, it gives access to many more Skill Development Courses than are available to Ocean Divers. Sports Diver is the first BSAC diver grade that opens the door to the Instructor Training Programme i.e. your first steps towards becoming an instructor!