MDK 411 - Marine Communications

Course Description

This course is designed to acquaint the student with communication systems commonly found in the Marine Industry. It includes the basic layout of the Global Maritime Distress and Safety System (GMDSS), communication equipment requirements, licensing requirements, principles and procedures for marine communications, the characteristics of radio wave propagation, frequencies, and modulation. Included also is the Morse Code Flashing Light, and general Distress Signals. STCW.

Credit Hours


Contact Hours


Lecture Hours


Required Prerequisites

All prerequisites for all GLMA courses are satisfied by following the approved Course Sequence Guide and any deviation from this guide needs to be approved by the cadet's adviser.

Recommended Prerequisites or Skills Competencies

ENG 111 and MTH 122

Course Learning Outcomes

  • Describe the theory of radio wave propagation.
  • Describe U.S. Marine Radio licensing structure, requirements, procedures, equipment.
  • Decode Flashing Light Morse Code transmission at 4 words per minute.
  • Communicate from ship to ship and ship to shore; domestically and internationally.
  • Describe how U.S. Marine Radio relates to the GMDSS.
  • Demonstrate radio transmission equipment and procedures.
  • Develop familiarity with Morse Code (through use of a Flashing Light Simulator).
Human Dimension:
  • Demonstrate leadership skills as a U.S. merchant marine officer.
Caring - Civic Learning:
  • Appreciate the need to communicate effectively with a diverse workforce while onboard a vessel that is in worldwide service.
Learning How to Learn:
  • Demonstrate the STCW Code Knowledge, Understanding and Proficiencies (KUPs) for Able Seaman -Deck: 4.13.A.
  • Demonstrate the STCW Code KUPs for Officer in Charge of a Navigation Watch: 8.1.A, 8.2.A.