The Diploma in Dive and Marine Medicine is based on the Alfred North Whitehead philosophy of education. Whitehead is widely known for his influence on education theory. His philosophy inspired the formation of the Association for Process Philosophy of Education (APPE), which published 11 volumes of a journal entitled Process Papers on process philosophy and education from 1996 to 2008. Whitehead's theories on education also led to the formation of new modes of learning and new models of teaching.

One such model is the ANISA model developed by Daniel C. Jordan, which sought to address a lack of understanding of the nature of people in current education systems. As Jordan and Raymond P. Shepard put it: "Because it has not defined the nature of man, education is in the untenable position of having to devote its energies to the development of curricula without any coherent ideas about the nature of the creature for whom they are intended."

Another model is the FEELS model developed by Xie Bangxiu and deployed successfully in China. "FEELS" stands for five things in curriculum and education: Flexible-goals, Engaged-learner, Embodied-knowledge, Learning-through-interactions, and Supportive-teacher. It is used for understanding and evaluating educational curriculum under the assumption that the purpose of education is to "help a person become whole."

Whitehead's philosophy of education has also found institutional support in Canada, where the University of Saskatchewan developed a Process Philosophy Research Unit and sponsored several conferences on process philosophy and education. Dr. Howard Woodhouse at the University of Saskatchewan remains a strong proponent of Whiteheadian education. Two recent books which further develop Whitehead's philosophy of education include: Modes of Learning: Whitehead's Metaphysics and the Stages of Education (2012) by George Allan; and The Adventure of Education: Process Philosophers on Learning, Teaching, and Research (2009) by Adam Scarfe. The Diploma in Marine Medicine is developed using elements from all of Whitehead’s works, with special focus on Xie Bangxiu model and philosophy of educational wholeness in the ocean sciences.

Following the Whitehead philosophy of education, the Diploma in Dive and Marine Medicine FEELS good: