Academic Levels for Officers

Discussion in 'The Fleet' started by Chalky, May 17, 2006.

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  1. I'm currently awaiting my AIB date and was wondering what sort of academic competition I'd be facing and how much it would be considered.

    As mentioned before I am leaving Uni before finishing my degree as I'm no longer fussed and intend to finish it later through OU.

    My A levels are BBC and I have 10 GCSE's, 6 of which are A's.

    I also worked for 3 years before going back to uni, so I'm 23 now.

    How would this position me and how relevant is it overall?
  2. There's a pretty big range of academic qualifications at BRNC - from 17 year olds coming from scotland with the equivalent of 2 A-levels (which is all you really need for some branches) to people with 1st class honours degrees.

    And to be honest I'd say it makes little or no difference - anyway, if you have the ability to get into a degree (even if you dont finish it) means you're hardly going to be the bottom of the pile! Plus because of your age you'll be a Subbie.
  3. Competition? Nil! As said above, there are all sorts in the RN as officers, with not exactly a huge representation from the more elite universities. BRNC academic content is pretty basic, and anyone with basic skills (esp your skills) should breeze it in that way. The leadership training, aptitude for sea and all-round officer like qualities are considered (quite rightly) much more important than certificates gained in childhood!

    It's often said that the really intelligent people leave after 6 years because they've had a great time, served their country and now want to earn some real money. I'd also add that, IMHO, the really really intelligent people stay in for 20 years and become Admirals because all their competition for flag rank left at either the age of 27 or on reaching Pension Point! Actually, that was told to me at a CTP by Sir Alan West when he was Chief of Defence Intelligence, who added that he ascribed his promotion to something called the "Peter Principle". No idea who Peter was, but as he then did fairly well afterwards (CINCFLEET and 1st Sea Lord) I'd say he was pretty accurate.
  4. Nope. The REALLY intelligent people join up as pilots, get their flying training paid for by Pusser, leave on a whacking pension on spurious medical grounds and now fly 757s for pocket money. Sweeeeeet!

    Back to the subject - don't worry about academics at Dartmouth. You can buy the exam papers off the civilian staff the week before for a bottle of whisky!
  5. Thanks a lot for the tips. It seemm that a lot of your potential is measured at the AIB, and I've been reading as much on modern naval warfare as I can to try and offer at least a smidgen of knowledge about the subject at hand :)
  6. Chalky - I'd forget about modern naval warfare if I were you - the AIB staff don't know much about that! BUT make sure you know what ships we have in the RN and (much more importantly from an AIB point of view) where they are in the world and why. Navy News has a whole page now on current deployments around the globe.
  7. Noted. Thanks Geoffrey. As this process goes on I've no doubt I'll have more questions for you :)
  8. I would urge you STRONGLY (nee VERY VERY STRONGLY) not to give up on your degree studies. You will, I promise you faithfully, regret deeply giving up the study and with best will in the world the OU is hard goin when you are in the service.

    Some of the observations above are right. Academics are not everything and you will be assessed for your all round qualities as much as anything. But some of the comments above are a little misleading. Intelligence and its effective use are criteria on the annual Officers assessment form, the OJAR and increasingly as we engage in more sophisticated warfare we need people with strong intellect and an ability to apply it to varying situations. As for clever people leaving at the 16 year point - yes, there may be some merit in that but if that is to be you in 16 years time - fed up with continuous sea time of whatever the reason is - then having a degree at age 38 and 16 years service as an Officer is FAR more marketable than not. The Navy may be eveything you ever want to do now but that may change and you are that much better prepared for waht may follow wiht a degree.

    Please ... DONT give up your studies. BRNC will wait for you and you will be much better prepared for life.

  9. I'd agree with that

    At 18 I had university places in the bag. I was so determined to get away from schooling that I didn't go and joined up straight after A-levels. Then at Dartmouth I was offered a nomination to City University to do the RN-sponsored systems degree. Didn't take that opportunity either!

    I got around to my degree 20 years later with the OU and it was hard work!

    I had a great time as a Midshipman - travelled extensively and so on and I think quite honestly I needed to mature - a process that probably happened a lot quicker in the RN than at university.

    Horses for courses, but I'd advise taking the opportunity. You may join later but it all evens out in the end
  10. I appreciate the advice, SBS and Navy1, but I'm not too concerned about doing an OU degree as I can transfer the credits from my existing degree to an OU/DL one, which would only leave me about 3 modules to complete, so my time at uni won't be wasted and I think I'll have a reasonable amount of opportunity to do it.

    I also think some of the BRNC modules class as academic courses so they can contribute to the overall total, if necessary.

    Thanks for the advice though.
  11. The well-meaning advice above is correct Chalky for 18 year olds, and those giving up a degree, in my very humble opinion, but in your case you have a win win situation. The academics at Dartmouth not only count towards a degree they pretty much ARE a degree these days (see the BRNC site for details). You also get 10 OU points at "Undergraduate Level 3" from the Initial Command & Staff Course at Shrivenham (which you do at about 6 years in - see the JSCSC page) so it all adds up. Go for it!

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