Diver Training

As a BSAC branch, we are fortunate enough to have some experienced and willing instructors to teach SCUBA diving to everyone from beginners right up to Advanced Diver level, as well as many of the specialist courses available through BSAC. However, because BSAC is a club, not a commercial organisation, all our instructors give their time freely and voluntarily to help with training, and as a result we have to limit the numbers of new divers we can take on each year.

The exact training schedule will vary a little every year depending on instructor availability and the decisions of the current committee, but we are generally able to take on 6 new divers each year. We also take novice cross-over divers.

More advanced and specialist training is also available throughout the year for divers who are already qualified.


IMPORTANT!: Spaces for new divers are always in huge demand and are filled early in term 1, typically by mid-October. If you want to have the best chance of getting a place in the club, you MUST come and meet us at Fresher’s Fair in week 0. There is only one intake of new divers each year, so if you miss us you’ll have to wait a whole year for another chance!


New Divers

If you have never dived before, GUSAC is a great place to learn! We are an active and friendly club, and we have some extremely experienced, nationally-qualified instructors available to teach our new divers.

The training course follows the BSAC course syllabus, and once you join GUSAC as a new trainee, you will begin working towards your Ocean Diver qualification. This qualification teaches you how to dive safely in the temperate waters of the UK, and involves:

7 Theory lessons & multiple choice test
5 Sheltered water lessons (in a swimming pool)
5 Open water lessons (in the sea )

You will also receive an Ocean Diver Training pack to help you through the course, which includes a textbook, qualification record book and student notes.


The theory and sheltered water parts of the course are usually held during semester one (usually on Tuesday nights), and the open water lessons at the beginning of semester two at weekends. As a result, you should be able to qualify as an Ocean Diver early in semester two, which gives you the rest of the spring and summer to sign up to dive trips and really get out and enjoy your diving!

The course is quite intensive, and you will need to make sure you are committed to seeing it all the way through before you sign up as it can be extremely difficult to reorganise missed training sessions for individuals. For more information on this year’s timetable, please come and speak to us in the pub or at Fresher’s Fair, or get in touch with the Training Officer.

For information on the costs involved and what you will receive from us, please contact the Secretary.

Novice Cross-Over Divers

If you are already qualified through another training agency (such as PADI, CMAS or NAUI) you can join up to GUSAC as a ‘cross-over’ diver. Generally if you have completed your qualification in the tropics, or are PADI Open Water or Advanced Open Water grade (or equivalent) then you will need to attend a couple of training sessions in order to cross-over to BSAC.

This training includes:

2 Theory lessons
1 Sheltered water ‘refresher’ lesson
1 Open water ‘refresher’ lesson & drysuit training

You will also receive an Ocean Diver Training pack to help you through the course, which includes a textbook, qualification record book and student notes.


This training usually takes place over two weekends early in term one, after which you will be qualified as BSAC Ocean Divers.

Other Diving Qualifications

If you have a diving qualification not mentioned here, or have a more advanced qualification, we will be happy to talk to you about joining GUSAC and whether you require additional training or not. To discuss this you can come and speak to us directly in the pub or contact the Diving Officer.

We are always delighted to welcome qualified divers into the club, and if you do not require training you can join at any time of year. Please just get in touch if you have any questions.

Diving with BSAC

The BSAC qualifications and course structures will be described to you when you come to our stand at Fresher’s Fair and once you join GUSAC. However, more information can be found directly from the BSAC Website