Southampton University Sub-Aqua Club
Whether you are already an experienced diver looking to continue diving while at university or you've never dived before then this is the place for you!
We are affiliated with the British Sub-Aqua Club (BSAC) and offer training as well as dive trips for all experience levels.
Have a look around our website, find us on Facebook, view our Instagram or contact us and we’ll be happy to answer any questions. Hopefully, we’ll see you out on a dive trip soon!
SUSAC President 2019 - 2020
We are a BSAC club run by students, for students. The club is a diverse mix of students with all kinds of diving backgrounds, from complete novices to instructors, from a range of training agencies including BSAC, PADI, SSI, and the French Underwater Federation. We welcome people from any background though, including non-studens and alumni.
We run scheduled courses and regular trips. Our trips can be inland sites, shore dives, hard boat dives or even dives from our very own boat. We've explored the length and breadth of both the UK and many other countries and will help you to too.
As a club member, you can also use our large stock of high-quality and professionally serviced equipment for extremely low prices. Items such as regulators, BCDs and even drysuits can be used from just £5/day.
We're not just a group of divers though, we're also a group of friends. We have a broad range of socials and meetups that take place throughout the year.
So, what are you waiting for? Come and join us!
Meet the committee
The committee are elected by the members at an AGM every year. The committee are entirely volunteers who manage every aspect of the clubs day to day functions and are there to make sure you get the most out of SUSAC. The committee are passionate about diving and about the club and strive to make the club the best it can be. We'd love to hear from you and we'd love you to get involved. If you have any questions, comments or suggestions, feel free to contact the committee at any time.
The president is responsible for the overall running and direction of the club. Alongside managing the rest of the committee they are responsible for interacting with external parties such as BSAC, the University, the student’s union and other clubs.
Sanne is a fourth year Marine Biology student. She started diving when she was twelve and completed her PADI Divemaster in 2015. The best dives are the ones where she spots nudibranchs or octopuses.
The secretary is considered the formal contact point for communication to and from the Branch and is therefore also responsible for Public Relations. They are responsible for ensuring an efficient level of communication between Branch Committee and membership; and between the Branch and BSAC Headquarters. They have responsibility for organising, in consultation with the President, Committee Meetings and the Branch’s General Meetings, taking minutes at these meetings and for publishing and circulating them to appropriate members.
The Treasurer oversees and maintains the finances of the club. Brad is a fourth year Electronic Engineer at the university who dives for fun! He completed his PADI Open Water way back in 2011 and took a break from diving for a few years before joining SUSAC and continuing his training through the club to become a BSAC Sports Diver. He is now a very active member of the club, taking part in as many dives as possible!
diving officer, boat officer & welfare officer
James is an MSc Student at the University. His responsibility as Diving Officer includes overseeing the safety of all diving in the club as well as awarding qualifications. Despite the emphasis on safety, the Diving Officer also exists to promote diving within the club and ensure that a diverse range of dives are being organised for all divers. As Boat Officer, James is responsible for ensuring the boat is maintained both mechnically and electronically, with most work being completed in house. James is also the welfare officer and as such works to make the club as inclusive and safe as possible. James is an instructor and a UK diver by heart and can often be spotted round the country with his twinset on.
James is also a member of the BSAC Council, a name for the board of directors, who oversee the complete management and organisation of the British Sub-Aqua Club (The National Governing Body for Recreational Scuba Diving in England and Wales). He has a strong emphasis on university clubs and would always like to hear from university club members. Email James.
membership and other agencies officer
Laura is a second year student in Marine Biology and Oceanography. She learnt to dive in Malta in 2017-2018 and joined SUSAC at the beginning of her first year, before becoming the Membership and Other Agencies Officer. She always tries to go diving as much as she can and has found the learning from the other more experienced members in SUSAC to be very beneficial. Laura is in charge of all membership records and other diving related record keeping. Her role also includes introducing people to BSAC who may have qualified and be members of other agencies.
The training officer is responsible for organising all of the training within the club, whether that is starting off your Ocean Diver or completing skill development courses. Joe is a Marine Biology student who has been diving for over 10 years and has worked as a Divemaster for 6 months in Thailand. He particularly enjoys the challenge of searching for nudibranchs.
Tim is a third-year Oceanographer, whose real passion lies with diving. Preferring sidemount diving, he is never happier than when he's literally in over his head. In his spare time, he can be found trying to spend the least amount of time in the equipment shed as possible. Tim is responsible for making sure all the club equipment is serviced and maintained to the highest possible standards. You can be sure that any equipment you borrow from SUSAC will be in top shape!
Freja learnt to dive with PADI in Malta in 2016. She progressed to do her divemaster and instructor course in 2018 and then went on to work for the season in Malta. She has experience with taking all sorts of people diving and dives to see the Marine life with the UK seas being fantastic for that. She loves sharks and octopuses in particular and if you dive with Freja you'll notice she will be looking in all the nooks and crannies for creatures and will tell you about them after the dive! Freja says she's "Always up for a pint, a dive or both" (pint after diving of course!)
The social secretary is responsible for making sure everyone stays connected and has a great time doing everything in the club that isn't diving. Aside from regular pub meets, the social secretary aims to provide a wide diversity of activities including activities such as paintballing, go-karting, bowling and more.
Jack is currently a fourth year Aerospace Engineering student. He joined SUSAC 3 years ago as a novice and has recently completed his Sports Diver qualification through the club.
Dive With Us
We welcome people of all experience to SUSAC. Whether you're a seasoned UK diver, only ever dived in warm water, or if you've never even tried diving at all, we have something to offer you.
As well as a huge range of trips, we offer comprehensive training following the syllabuses provided by the British Sub-Aqua Club who are the National Governing Body for Recreational Scuba Diving in England and Wales. The first of these is called Ocean Diver and is a safe, thorough, highly-regarded and fun qualification.
You'll learn in the club with our own instructors and, since BSAC is a voluntary organisation, you'll receive all your training for an unbeatable price.
Furthermore we can offer training through to Dive Leader, the equivalent of PADI Divemaster. We also run a broad range of skill development courses to keep you up to date and learning.
So what are you waiting for? Click the buttons below to find out more about diving with us.
learn to dive
Our introductory course is called Ocean Diver and upon completion will qualify you to dive with another Ocean Diver or above to a maximum of 20m both inland or in the sea, all around the world. This is a highly regarded and internationally recognised qualification that you can gain right here at university!
To enroll, you’ll just need to demonstrate that you can comfortably swim 200m in a pool, and the only kit you’ll need is a swimsuit and towel.
Your instructor will start by getting you comfortable breathing underwater in a pool or sheltered water and then develop your skills so that you are competent to dive safely in open water. After that you’ll head out for a series of at least four dives to develop your skills and confidence in open water.
The Ocean Diver course also includes several elements at no extra cost that are not found in most introductory courses. We will teach and qualify you to safely use drysuits and nitrox gas mixtures. Commercially, both of these would cost you around £150 each on top of the standard course fees!
As a bonus, due to the voluntary structure of BSAC, we can offer all this at a price far below any commercial training centres. So, how much does it cost?
how much does it cost?
To enrol in the Ocean Diver course, you'll first need to make sure you've paid for certain things.
Firstly, you'll need to be a member of both SUSAC and BSAC. SUSAC membership options can be viewed here and currently stand at £45 for a years worth of membership. BSAC membership can be viewed here and currently stands at £31.50 for students for a year.
After this you'll need your course pack. This pack costs £40 and contains all the materials you'll need to become an Ocean Diver. This includes a qualification record book, a book called the Diving Manual as well as a workbook to help you with your theory. This fee also includes your certification card upon completion.
Finally, you will be required to pay fees for using the swimming pool (~£5 - £10 per session) and for two days of open water training (~£30/day).
And that's it! You'll become a fully qualified diver including nitrox and drysuit training for approximately just over £200! Commercially, you would expect to pay around £500 - £700 for an equivalent course plus an investment in basic kit.
We can offer this because all our instructors are volunteers. They are professionally trained and qualified but do not charge for their time. SUSAC make no profit on any diving courses.
how do i join?
We're running an Ocean Diver course beginning in October 2019!
As well as regular training, we'll also have plenty of social events so you can get to know the whole group. Once the course is complete, you'll be able to come and join us on all our exciting trips.
The best way to find out all the exact details is to come and find us at the Bunfight on Wednesday 25th September. This is the main event for clubs and societies. We'll have a stall with all the other clubs and societies and we'll be able to tell you all about the course including exact timings for all the sessions, prices and more.
We'll be running try dives in the coming days after the Bunfight where you can have a go a scuba diving in the pool with one of our instructors.
Following this, we'll let you know all about how to sign up so if you enjoy it you can learn to dive with us.
In the meantime, if you're interested in learning to dive then contact us and we'll note down your interest and answer any questions you might have.
Hopefully we'll see you soon!
progress your diving
sports diver, diver leader and skill development courses
We don't just offer introductory courses, we can also offer advanced diver training courses including Sports Diver, Dive Leader and a vast array of Skill Development Courses (SDC's).
If you're familiar with the PADI system, Sports Diver is considered equivalent to Rescue Diver and Dive Leader to Divemaster. After qualifying, Sports Divers can also dive to 35m and Dive Leaders to 50m with full training given in decompression.
We can offer courses such as drysuit training, nitrox workshops, Practical Rescue Management, Dive Planning and Mangement, Oxygen Administration the RNLI Sea Survival Workshop, wreck diving and more.
We also have club members who are experienced in using twinsets, stages and sidemount diving configurations so no matter your equipment or your qualification, you should feel right at home in SUSAC.
If you're interested in any of the above or have anything else you would like know, please contact us.
Trips and expeditions
SUSAC have members with experience of diving worldwide. We have members who know where to book the perfect holiday in the sun and those who know where to find the best wrecks around the UK coastline.
Every Easter we go on holiday. We suggest locations and ask our members for their budget and their preferences on where to go. We find the perfect mix of affordable and fun so that you can experience the best diving for the best value.
We also run regular trips in the UK. Being on the south coast priovides the perfect base to run regular trips to places such as Portland, Cornwall and many other highly-regarded dive sites around the UK. We have our own boat enabling us to reach any site we want and there is a wealth of knowledgeable charter boats in the south for larger trips or more complex sites.
To see the trips we run, check out our photos here on our website, or on Instagram @sotonunisac.
If you have questions, suggestions or ideas about or trips and expeditions feel free to contact us. We'd love to hear from you!
Can I try it out before I join?
We run a try-dive session every year during Fresher’s Week, in the pool of the Jubilee Sports Center on Highfield campus. Here, you can meet the instructors, get a feel of breathing and swimming underwater, and find out if diving is the sport for you.
We charge £5 for the try-dive, but if you decide to join us afterwards, this will be waived from your membership costs.
I’m not a student, can I join?
Anybody is welcome to join our club, including students, staff and those just living locally. Our only requirement is that you are fit to dive. This involves being able to sign a medical self-declaration form, and the ability to confidently swim a short distance.
How do I join SUSAC?
If you are interested to join send us an email or a message on Facebook so we can help you sort everything out.
When and where do you meet?
We organise frequent diverse socials such as bowling or going to the pub. We publish any upcoming events on our Facebook group.
I trained with another agency (e.g. PADI, SSI), Can I join?
Certainly! BSAC welcomes divers from all training backgrounds and many club divers have trained with other agencies. You will have to do an equivalency lecture where we explain the difference between BSAC and other agencies. Once this is done you can dive and train with us.
Importantly, you won’t lose your current qualifications or be unable to do further training with them. You simply gain access to a different agency’s training. So, you never lose, only gain! If you have any questions about the BSAC system or qualifications, please contact us (Add hyperlink to contact form).
How much does it cost?
To join the club you will need both SUSAC membership and BSAC membership. SUSAC membership options can be viewed here and currently stand at £45 for a years’ worth of membership. BSAC membership can be viewed here and currently stands at £31.50 for students for a year.
The cost of UK diving is kept at cost price of fuel, food, slip fees, parking and boat charter costs. The club does not make any profit on diving. Expect to pay around £50 for a typical coastal boat charter day and £15-30 for a typical inland site day.
Is UK diving worth it?
Although diving in the UK is undeniably colder and more challenging than in the tropics, it’s well worthwhile! With our strong naval history, the Channel is now the home of many amazing wrecks. For those more interested in the life beneath the waves, our seas host a wide array of animals, from tiny nudibranchs, to the seals of the Farnes Islands and the Isles of Scilly, up to the massive basking sharks that can be found off Cornwall. If that hasn't tempted you check out what BSAC have to say and see some amazing photos!
What if I haven’t got any equipment?
The club maintains an extensive supply of scuba equipment, which is available for use on all U.K. dives. The cost of equipment hire is kept to an absolute minimum at £10 per day for full kit hire. Kit hire is capped for the year at £50. Trainees do not have to hire equipment for training sessions ran in the UK.
It is possible to dive entirely using club kit; however, any diver will tell you that it is far more comfortable to have your own. We recommend that all of our members invest in basic gear, including a mask, fins, boots, gloves and a hood. We are all happy to provide suggestions on particular pieces of kit, as well as arranging trips to local dive shops. We also run an annual trip to the Birmingham Dive Show every October.
More questions? Contact us!
To keep up to date, follow us on Instagram @sotonunisac
Any questions? Let us know! We'd love to hear from you and no question is too big or small. Drop us a message and we'll do out best to help you with whatever questions you have.
A member of the committee will be in touch with you ASAP. We aim to respond to all enquiries within 24 hours.