PADI Specialty Courses

We offer over 20 PADI Specialty courses so we have something to interest everyone.

Specialties let you engage in new activities and try new equipment under the guidance of an experienced instructor.

You will extend your diving abilities and have increased awareness of the underwater environment.

If you have already done one of the specialty dives as part of the Advanced course, you can credit this towards the specialty, and vice versa, saving you time and money.

Enriched Air Nitrox Diver

Learn to dive on Nitrox on the Nitrox/Enriched Air Course. This certification enables you to dive at depth for much longer and this is PADI’s most popular specialty course. 

Enriched Air contains a greater percentage of oxygen and less nitrogen. This means that your body absorbs less nitrogen during a dive and you can dramatically increase your maximum allowable bottom time. This is particularly effective at deeper depths; from 16m – 30m.

Malapascua has several dives sites with fairly deep, square profiles and is the perfect place for to dive Nitrox with the thresher sharks or on our wrecks. We recommend e-learning.

2 dives or non-diving option. 

Digital Underwater Photographer

PADI Specialty Dive on Malapascua Island

With today’s easy to use underwater cameras, many divers think that all you need to do it point and shoot. But they sometimes come away disappointed with their results. 

Learn how to easily improve your underwater photos and how to use editing software. If you have ever felt your underwater pictures could be better, let us teach you how to improve your underwater photos drastically. 

Course price includes the manual and an invaluable White Balance Slate. E-learning is available and we offer two dives as part of the course.

2 dives. 

We also offer a range of more in-depth courses for all levels written and taught by our photo pro, Sylvia Jenkins. 

Thresher Shark Diver

The PADI Thresher Shark Diver Distinctive Specialty is unique to Thresher Shark Divers Malapascua!

You will learn all about sharks, in particular threshers. Two dives are included during which you will make observations of the sharks and you will lead dives to find thresher sharks. 

Find out more. 

2 dives.

Wreck Diver

Wreck Diving on Malapascua Island

Malapascua has several excellent wrecks and so is a great place to learn more about wreck diving, whether or not you have dived on wrecks before. 

Learn the techniques for diving on wrecks, for using reels and lines, tying off and penetrating exciting underwater wrecks! If you are going to Coron to dive their WWII wrecks this specialty course is an excellent preparation.

This specialty has 4 dives, if you have completed a Wreck dive as part of an Adventure Diver or Advanced Open Water Progam, that may count towards this rating.

4 dives. 

Deep Diver

Deep dives give you access to many dive sites you may not otherwise reach. You will go deeper at Monad Shoal to look for thresher sharks, or even for hammerhead sharks if it is the right season. You can also explore our wrecks and see new kinds of aquatic life. 

Learn to notice the effects of nitrogen narcosis on your body under the watchful eyes of our instructors. Gain the knowledge, skills, and techniques for diving deeper and learn about its planning, techniques, and hazards. Maximum depth 40m/130ft. 

4 dives. 

Sidemount Diver

Tec Diving Malapascua Island

Sidemount is becoming one of the most requested PADI Specialty courses at Thresher Shark Divers!

Sidemount is a scuba diving equipment configuration which has tanks mounted alongside the diver, below the shoulders and along the hips, instead of on the back. It is becoming a very popular way to dive, more so given you only need to be Open Water certified with 10 dives to take the course! Available as different courses for both recreational and technical divers. 

Find out more on this unique specialty HERE.

3 or 4 dives (recreational/technical)

Dive Against Debris

Conservation has always been an integral part of TSD’s philosophy and as part of this we do regular beach and underwater cleanups year round, offering our customers a free dive if they want to join in! 

And now we are delighted to have this new course from PADI, Dive Against Debris. Learn about the problems of marine debris, conducting Dive Against Debris surveys, and how divers are a part of the solution to keeping our oceans clean. And then try out your new knowledge on a cleanup dive.

We feel this is such an important course, it is also offered free as part of our Divemaster Internship and Instructor IDC Programs. 

Find out more from the PADI website. 

Night Diver

Night Diving on Malapascua Island

It is a different world down there at night. See your favorite dive site in a completely new light. Octopus, squid, and lobsters come out at night, as do other marine creatures you are unlikely to see during the day. 

This specialty has 3 night dives, if you have completed a night dive as part of an Adventure Diver or Advanced Open Water Progam, that may count towards this rating.

3 dives. 

Multilevel and Computer Diver

Throw away your RDP Table and plan multilevel dives to extend your bottom time! 

You will learn to use the eRDPml ‘Multilevel’ -the RDP ‘computer’ – as well as how to use dive computers. A must for anyone thinking about Divemaster. 

This specialty has 2 dives, if you have completed a multilevel/computers dive as part of an Adventure Diver or Advanced Open Water Progam, that may count towards this rating.

2 dives. 

Peak Performance Buoyancy

Bouyancy practice with Thresher Shark Divers Malapascua

We believe that good buoyancy control is the most important skill you can learn as a diver. It is an essential part of a safe and comfortable dive. It will extend your bottom time, and protect the fragile underwater environment as well as protect expensive dive equipment. Fine tune your buoyancy with PPB. 

This specialty has 2 dives, if you have completed a PPB dive as part of an Adventure Diver or Advanced Open Water Progam, that may count towards this rating.

2 dives. 

Underwater Naturalist

Learn more about and then identify local marine life. We will pour over the marine life identification books, then see how much you can remember underwater. 

You will learn about relationships between marine animals. You have seen “Finding Nemo” – did you know the sea anemones / clownfish relationship is true? How about goby and the shrimp? Do you know how to recognize cuttlefish when they are mating? Where to find commensal shrimp? How to approach squid closely? This and much more. 

This specialty has 2 dives, if you have completed a  Naturalist dive as part of an Adventure Diver or Advanced Open Water Progam, that may count towards this rating.

2 dives. 

Underwater Navigator

navigation Malapascua Island

Learn the important skill of underwater navigation and start to dive without a professional. This will increase your confidence immensely, you will feel more in control on guided dives, and enable you to start diving without a guide if you wish. 

This specialty has 3 dives, you have completed a Navigation dive as part of an Adventure Diver or Advanced Open Water Progam, and this can count towards this rating.

Drift Diver

What a great feeling to just hang motionless mid water and let the current take you along as you watch the underwater world go by. 

Learn the techniques and procedures for drift diving.  

This specialty has 2 dives, if you have completed a Drift dive as part of an Adventure Diver or Advanced Open Water Progam, that may count towards this rating.

Search and Recovery Diver

Search and Recovery Dive on Malapascua Island

You will develop the techniques involved in locating and retrieving lost articles, large and small, within recreational limits and while avoiding disturbing delicate marine life. You will learn search patterns and how to use lift bags, putting all of this into practice on real “missing” items. The mechanics of the search are truly an art; while the principles applied to the operation are firmly grounded in science. 

4 dives. 

AWARE Shark Conservation

Learn about sharks, what you can do to protect them and how you can become an ambassador for shark conservation. 

This specialty has 2 dives, if you have completed an AWARE dive as part of an Adventure Diver or Advanced Open Water Progam, that may count towards this rating.

Oxygen Provider

Boat rescue Malapascua Island

New PADI Specialty course focusing on providing emergency oxygen. Very useful for all divers, but particularly for Dive Professionals. 

This is a non-diving and highly recommended for all divers, especially Rescue Divers and Divemasters.

You can find more info on this course HERE.

Equipment Specialist

Learn how to maintain and repair your scuba equipment. 

This is a non-diving and highly recommended for all divers, especially for Rescue Divers and Divemasters.

Gas Blender Course

PADI Gas Blending Course on Malapascua Island

Learn how to blend nitrox/trimix safely. This is a great course for anyone who wants to become or already is a dive professional. Along with Equipment Specialist, it will make you a much more employable dive shop worker. 

This is a non-diving course and highly recommended for anyone aiming to be a dive pro as it is a useful, but rarely found certification that will make you more employable.  

Self Reliant Diver

The Self-Reliant Diver specialty course recognises and accepts the role of the buddy system and its contributions to diver safety while identifying and developing self-reliance and independence while diving. This course covers applicable diving alone situations, the need to compensate for those situations, and includes dive planning, life support system readiness, adaptive training, equipment and responsibility.

This course is perfect for photographers who often get left alone, and serves as a great stepping stone between recreational diving and Tech Diving. It is also a very useful qualification for Divemasters and Instructors who may find themselves having to dive alone at times, especially when working as guides. Must be AOW with 100 logged dives. 

3 dives. 

Cavern Diver

Malapascua Gato Cave

Cavern diving is defined as any dive conducted within the light zone of a cave. The light zone of a cave is defined as that part of the cave from which natural light illuminating the entrance is visible at all times. The course have four dives. During the first, you will practice the use of lines, reels and emergency procedures. The other three dives will include real cavern penetration dives. Must be AOW and over 18 years old. 

4 dives. 

Discover Tec

For those who want to get a taste for technical diving, this course is a great choice and lets you try technical diving equipment and procedures. 

You can find more info on technical diving on Malapascua HERE.

2 dives. 

IANTD Recreational Trimix

Trimix Diver on Malapascua Island

Another great intro to technical diving, though still a recreational course, this will teach you the basics of diving on trimix. Rec Trimix is very similar in structure to Nitrox and is the next logical progression. No special equipment is required – the course can be completed using recreational dive equipment and a single tank. Max depth is 30m/39m depending on students maximum depth certification and all dives are no-stop dives. 

We offer two dives as part of this Specialty course

Underwater Videographer

Learn how to use an underwater camcorder and shoot your own video! The ultimate way to take home all your memories. You will learn about different video systems and different shooting techniques. We will review your footage after each dive so you will learn from your mistakes. An optional part of the course is to learn about digital video editing software and how to edit your own video. And of course you get to keep your footage!

3 dives. 


Free diving, or breath-hold diving, is gaining in popularity around the world. 

Learn about the physiological effects of free diving and techniques used for effective breath-hold dives. During one confined water and two open water dives, practice breathing techniques, effective diving and swimming underwater, and demonstrate rescue techniques for a free diver. 

Find out more on this specialty HERE.

In your future as a diver, you are almost guaranteed to dive from a boat. Say goodbye to long surface swims and surf entries and learn all the ins and outs of boat diving. 

This specialty has 2 dives, if you have completed a Boat dive as part of an Adventure Diver or Advanced Open Water Progam, that may count towards this rating.

Project AWARE Coral Reef Conservation

Project Aware is PADI’s non-profit marine conservation organization. Find out more about the plight of worldwide aquatic ecosystems and learn what you can do to protect our aquatic resources. 

This is a non-diving course and available for non-divers also.

Project Aware Fish Identification

Schooling fish Malapascua

Learn basic fish identification and survey techniques.

Marine Resource Management

Our seas and our coral reefs are in grave environmental trouble. Learn more about the ecology and biology of reefs, why they are in trouble and what can be done to help, particularly from a diver’s perspective. 

This is a non-diving course aimed at dive professionals and marine park managers.

Master Scuba Diver

Master Scuba Diver Challenge Malapascua Diving

Become the ultimate diver!!! Master Scuba Diver is the highest non-professional rating in the PADI system. It defines a well-rounded diver who has acquired dive experience and knowledge by participating in a variety of courses and logging a minimum of 50 dives. Complete Open Water Diver, Advanced Open Water Diver, Rescue Diver, and five specialty courses. Special packages are available if you wish to complete the whole program. Go from non-diver to Master Scuba Diver in as little as three weeks.

Thresher Shark Divers was recently winner of the worldwide PADI Master Scuba Diver Challenge. So there is no better place on earth to do this certification!