EX RN LMA- Looking at Deck officer

Hi guys

i left the RN in May-13 after 9 years to start a degree in international relations, as i just had had enough of medical work and wanted to change my career field. I spent most of my career in green and so did not really come across the RFA, which had i may have led to a transfer instead. Whilst i am having no trouble with the academic side of university, i feel i aim missing something and the careers i now see from having been on the degree are not what i am after, and i am missing the RN lifestyle.

I have been seriously considering applying for the deck officer cadetship this year. However, i only have my 7 GCSES at grade C (English maths and science included) and apart from a my MA training and Submarine medic course( heath physics and chemistry, with high math content) all my qualifications are not technical, as my current degree in in a political science, which is current affairs and essay based, wbut with scientific elements.

My main query is if i go the careers office, will the they just tell me to re sit all my GCSES, or go on an access to science and maths course for a year ??. I am not expecting the RFA to take me with my current level of qualifications, even though i have 200+ UCAS points ,and after May-14 120 credits for the first year of my I/R degree.

Any help or advice to move me in the right direction would be greatly appreciated, as i am limbo at present.:wtf:

Nb: just to say that i would not consider RFA med tech, as the medic side is something would rather leave behind.

many thanks guys

Rob (age 29)


Lantern Swinger
The rfa are very strict about cadetship qualifications. You have to have grade b in maths and science at gcse.

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i understand that, i am just after a bit of help.

i have found an access to science and maths course, which qualifies someone for entry into a science or engineering degree course, which is obviously a higher level than GCSE. I would just like to know if this would cover all the bases for application, and so negate the need to rest my GCSE'S, as it stands to reason that if i become qualified for entry onto a technical degree then applying for deck officer should not present an issue.

but I am no expert.



From my experience it's there way or the highway, they are very strict and do not seem to make exceptions unless fairly remarkable circumstances.

You could always try joining when they recruit SG2's and try to do the whole rating-to-officer bit, but I don't really know anything about that.


Lantern Swinger
In my experience you need the stated qualifications despite having higher qualifications.

I have a hnd in computer networking and was working towards a computer science degree. Both of which have high maths and science content. I wasn't even granted an application form.

Best to phone them though, to get information on specific courses.

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War Hero
Or you could take a cadetship with a commercial shipping company, one, and there are many, who will accept grade C. Once qualified and with a couple of trips as an officer in your discharge book, apply to join the RFA as a qualified officer, unless of course you are having too good a well paid / well fed / every year a tax year time where you are.

The RFA still attracts outsiders and those who have already experienced it, downsides and all.

But the maths for cadets and RTOs is hard and those who can't crack a B at GCSE will struggle and even get binned, which is why, I'm told, the RFA unilaterally raised the requirement.
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Lantern Swinger
Seadog makes an excellent point. There are several cadets training with me who didn't meet the grade for a cadetship with the RFA but who fully intend to join as a qualified officer when the time comes. It's good advice.
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