Open Water and Junior Open Water

The PADI Open Water Diver qualification is recognised world-wide, and as a qualified Open Water Diver you are entitled to dive with a qualified buddy anywhere in the world, and explore places that non-divers can only dream of. Here at the Oxford Dive Centre we believe in not only teaching you to meet the requirements that PADI lay out, but also in making you a great diver with the skills needed to safely enjoy our fantastic sport anywhere in the world.

The Open Water course will qualify you to dive to 18 metres. This applies to anyone over the age of 15 years old. The Junior Open water course will allow you to dive to 12 metres. This course is for 10 – 15 year olds.


  • 10 years of age
  • Be certified medically fit to dive by completing the PADI Medical questionnaire, including sign-off from your GP if required.
  • Able to swim 200 metres
  • Able to float or tread water for 10 minutes
  • Have completed the Home study as detailed in the PADI learning materials

What can I expect?

If you choose to complete the PADI Open Water Diver course with the Oxford Dive Centre, this takes three pool sessions, which can either be on a Thursday evening from 7.00pm to 10pm, or a Sunday morning from 9.15am to 11.15am, or a mixture of both.

In addition to the scuba sessions, you will be required to swim 200 metres and tread water for 10 minutes.

You will also have some home study, in the form of e-learning, followed by a classroom session with an instructor. This can be discussed and arranged on booking.

If you choose to upgrade the course to add in the Drysuit speciality, we will need you for an additional session in the pool.  There is also a small manual and DVD that accompanies this course. The session at the swimming pool will be learning the skills unique to diving in a drysuit.

The open water dives, are conducted over a weekend.  You will complete four dives in total (two each day). On these dives you will apply the skills learnt in the swimming pool, as well as experiencing an exciting dive site and completing your first ‘real’ dives! The drysuit upgrade will require 5 dives.

It is our aim that on completion of the course you will feel confident diving with any PADI Dive Centre anywhere in the world.

As an alternative, you may wish to take the PADI Open Water Referral course. This involves completing three evenings  or three weekend sessions with the Oxford Dive Centre (as detailed above). You can then complete your four Open Water dives with any other PADI Dive Centre in order to gain your certification. This is a popular option if you wish to learn to dive whilst on holiday, but would rather not spend your valuable holiday time in a classroom!

If your time is limited and you may not be able to commit to the schedule outlined above, call us to discuss your options to combine our practical sessions with PADI’s e-Learning programme.

Here is the website for the open water dive site.

*Drysuit is an optional extra. See below for prices.

How much will it cost and what do I need to bring?

Students need to bring their swimming gear for both the Referral and Open Water parts of the course. In addition you will need to purchase your own mask and snorkel.

  • PADI Open Water Referral: £355
  • PADI Open Water Diver: £495
  • PADI Open Water Diver in Drysuit: £555
  • PADI Open Water Dive with Drysuit or PPB Speciality Course: £625

Additional costs not covered by the course fees:

  • Entrance to the Open Water dive site:  £23 per day
  • Purchase of Mask and Snorkel: typically between £50-£75

What can I do after this course?

  • PADI Advanced Open Water
  • Escorted Dives
  • PADI Drysuit Speciality, PADI Peak Performance Buoyancy Speciality and many others. See chart below:


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