First Bachelor Degree in the Diving Industry Launched in Malta
The joint effort between DAN Europe (which is a Maltese NPO), the Institute of Tourism Studies of Malta (ITS) and the local PDSA (Professional Diving Schools Association), have created a unique academic program, focusing on diving safety, sustainability, and professional management of diving activities. It is the first Bachelor Degree in the diving industry.
The Bachelor of Science in Diving Safety Management aims to offer its students an educational program with the perfect combination of diving, medicine, and tourism. The theory sessions will be held online, whilst the practical sessions will take place on the beautiful island of Gozo (Malta). The program also includes full dive training education til Instructor level. Interestingly, all those candidates who already hold a professional level in diving can get education credits, and have their certification as dive professionals recognised upon passing a quality & knowledge test, according to RPL (Recognition Prior Learning) standards.
The final purpose of this new program is to have dive professionals and businesses grow their competence and better understand the risks associated with scuba diving, as well as increasing key business skills related to this specific industry. A modern management and leadership approach that was long needed in our sector as well!
The Job role which will profit most from the program is that of a Director of Diving / Diving business manager, with competences as Instructor, Dive Safety Officer, Research/Scientific Diver, Hyperbaric Chamber Operator, Diving Medical Technician, and Gas Blender.
As diving enthusiasts, having the opportunity to become high-level professionals in this area under a formal academic title would be a dream. In addition, being able to achieve it in one of the best-known dive destinations in the Mediterranean, is a further point of interest.
Why an academic program focusing on diving?
Diving is an activity that exposes humans to a unique environment. While impressive and wonderful, the underwater realm would not be compatible with human survival, unless using special equipment and measures.
It is key that these measures are recognised and correctly applied, and that a culture of safety is implemented and disseminated. To do so, relevant knowledge is required. It is important to properly train those responsible for the safety of all divers as well as for protection of the environment. An academic course that brings all these aspects together is a great step ahead.
The Hospitality and Tourism Industry provides the backbone to the Maltese economy framework, an industry which is growing all year round and is not just seasonal.
According to Malta’s Tourism Authority, the archipelago had 2.77 million inbound tourists in 2019. Approximately 6,5% of visitors engaged in diving activities throughout their stay. This represents about 182.000 divers per year, 15.160 per month, more than 500 per day! Not bad for a small archipelago with a total land area of only 316km².
Malta hosts over 60 professional diving centres, which are known by their excellence and high-quality assistance. So, when it comes to tourism and diving, Malta is one of the most experienced countries in the world. Because of its history and the importance diving holds for the islands, this seems like an ideal place to start the project.
Institute of Tourism Studies: a key partner
Offering multiple programs, ranging from Foundation to Master Degree level, the Institute of Tourism Studies (ITS) is an institution of higher education aimed at meeting the changing needs of the Travel, Hospitality, and Tourism industries. With a growing number of divers visiting the archipelago, it’s undeniable that scuba diving has become a very important element for the Tourism industry. Now, having a Bachelor of Science in diving included within the ITS repertoire seems just like a natural match.
How is the Bachelor Degree composed?
The Bachelor of Science in Diving Safety Management is a Level 6 degree program that last 32 months, including LITP and IITP.
The educational program includes the following courses:
- Oxygen First Aid & On-Site Neurological Assessment for Divers and Freedivers – I
- Hazardous Marine Life Injuries – I
- Basic Research Operator – I
- Research Specialist – I
- Diver Medical Technician – I
- Enriched Air Diver – I
- Gas Blender _ I
- Deep Diver 40 – I
- Freediver – I
- Research Diver (Scientific Diver) – I
- Divemaster Course
- Open Water Scuba Instructor – II
- Local Placement
- Foreign Language for hospitality
- Hospitality Computing Applications
- Introduction to Tourism Marketing
- Quantitative Research Methods
- Employee Engagement and Relationships
- Web 2.0 and its applications in Tourism, Culture and Heritage.
- Qualitative Research and Innovation Methods
- Tourism Economics 1
- Tourism Economics 2
- Human Resource Management in Hospitality
- Occupational and Business Health & Safety in the Workplace
- The risks & medical aspects of diving
- Diving Technical Aspects and Diving Equipment
- Legal Aspects and Regulations Diving Industry and Legal Liability Issue
- Insurance and Issue
- Hazard Identification and Risk Assessment (HIRA)
- Ecological Aspects – Awareness
- The DAN Hotline
- International Placement
- Pediatric Basic Life Support & AED and First Aid – II
- Oxygen First Aid – II
If you would like to apply, or want to know more about the program, visit this page.
About the authors
Manu Bustelo is an environmental entrepreneur & MarCom specialist. He’s worked in the adventure industry for over 20 years, representing numerous brand. He currently works with Aqua Lung, PADI & DAN Europe as an Ambassador. Alana Alvarez is a Pharmacist with a huge passion for the sea & conservation. When not scuba-diving or working as a DAN Ambassador, Alana fills in her time connecting the dots between cooking and sustainable eating. They are a loving couple but above all, a team.