Open Water Questions

What time does it start/finish?

  • Exact times can vary, but these are the general run-times for the Open Water course:
  • Alternate Thursday evening sessions run between 7.00pm-10pm.
  • Sunday morning sessions start at 9.15am and finish at 11.15am.
  • Open Water dive days start at 7:45am, and finish at approx. 1.30pm.  (These times vary through the year, please ask on booking)
  • You will be advised of start/finish times when we confirm your booking.

Where is it?

  • Introduction and kit familiarisation sessions are conducted at the Oxford Dive Centre.
  • Confined Water (swimming pool) sessions are conducted at either Radley College or Oxford Brookes University (Harcourt Hill).
  • Open Water dives are conducted at Vobster Quay inland dive site (

Are there parking facilities nearby?

  • There is parking available at all sites (Oxford Dive Centre, Radley College, Oxford Brookes)

What do I need to bring?

  • You will need your study materials, swimming gear, mask and snorkel.

What are the course pre-requisites?

  • You must be minimum 10 years of age, a competent swimmer and medically fit to dive. See ‘Courses, Open Water’ for more information.

What happens on the course?

  • The course combines e-learning, kit familiarisation sessions, swimming pool sessions and open water dives. You will be taught to execute the skills necessary for diving in a safe, confined water environment before progressing to open water to fine-hone those skills. Please see Courses, Open Water for more information.

What’s the advantage in taking the DrySuit upgrade option?

  • The Drysuit upgrade option provides a swimming pool Drysuit orientation, and enables you to complete the Open Water dives in a Drysuit. This will provide additional comfort as body temperature is maintained more efficiently in a Drysuit. This is recommended for cold water diving such as in the UK.

How old do I have to be to take part?

  • The minimum age is 10 years old.

Is there anywhere at the swimming pool to get changed?

  • Yes, there are changing, toilet and shower facilities* at the swimming pool.  (*Depending on Covid restrictions in place.)

Can I bring food and drink?

  • Yes, but you cannot consume food or drink at the swimming pool.

How deep is the swimming pool?

  • Radley College is 3.5m.

Do I need to be able to swim?

  • Yes, you must be able to swim 200m continuously, and tread water for 10 minutes.

I have a medical condition, can I still take part?

  • If you answer Yes to any of the questions on the PADI Medical Statement (see ‘Downloads’ section), you must refer to a doctor before taking part.

Where are the Open Water dives conducted?

  • These are conducted at Vobster Quay, Upper Vobster, Radstock, Somerset, BA3 5SD. See for more information.

Is the any local accommodation at the Open Water dive site?

How much is the entry fee at the Open Water dive site?

  • The entry fee per diver, per day is currently £23 for non-members.

How soon after the course will I get my e-certification card?

  • Your e-certification card should be ready within 1-2 weeks of completing the course. If you require proof of certification within this timeframe, please let us know and we will be happy to print a Temporary certification card for you.
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