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RFA Engineering Cadetship - Graduate

09traej

Newbie
I’m a currently studying a masters degree in marine engineering and am looking at career at sea, as a merchant navy officer, when I have finished. I understand that with my degree I am eligible for an accelerated cadetship and have gained an LOIA from Warsash in lines with recommendation from the RFA. It basically states that I need to complete 6 months sea time, 3 month workshop time (at sea or in collage), and then short courses (Shields said about 11 weeks when I spoke to them at there open day), before sitting the EOOW COC exam. I have applied to a couple of places and got some offers but the RFA is my fist choice (I have my sift interview on the 9th of December) but undetstnd it will be a long process. I just wanted to know if anyone had any experience doing an accelerated cadetship with the RFA. How did you find it? How was sitting the oral having not gone to collage? How long did it take and how was it paced (e.g. did you go to collage first before going on ship)?

Thanks in advance :)
 

Random

Lantern Swinger
I just wanted to know if anyone had any experience doing an accelerated cadetship with the RFA.

Having a Masters of Engineering is an unusual thing in the RFA, I have yet to encounter anyone else but myself who will admit to having one!

That said the orals you will have to sit are the same as any other aspiring Marine Engineering Officer, this means that there is a wealth of knowledge to avail yourself of from the branch around you. You will be adequately prepared, like most worthwhile exams it will be tough and might need a couple of goes to pass.

You have my sympathy as a fellow suffer of Dyslexia; however best to have a sense check before you hit post, you wouldnt want some mariner taking the piss for you studying 3 months of Collage workshop to get a contract with the Airforce!
 

09traej

Newbie
Having a Masters of Engineering is an unusual thing in the RFA, I have yet to encounter anyone else but myself who will admit to having one!

That said the orals you will have to sit are the same as any other aspiring Marine Engineering Officer, this means that there is a wealth of knowledge to avail yourself of from the branch around you. You will be adequately prepared, like most worthwhile exams it will be tough and might need a couple of goes to pass.

You have my sympathy as a fellow suffer of Dyslexia; however best to have a sense check before you hit post, you wouldnt want some mariner taking the piss for you studying 3 months of Collage workshop to get a contract with the Airforce!

Thank you for the reply, I know that having a master’s degree is a little bit of an unorthodox entry into a cadetship. I come from a very non-maritime background and only started to understand the best routes into a career at sea once at university. However, for me, coming into the career a couple of years older and wiser can only be a good thing.

I have done a bit of research and understand the exam and standards are the same. I am just interested in how people found sitting it without going through the designed route of a maritime college. I was just trying to gauge if going to college was an advantage, and if so how much.

Is it common for people to resit the COC exam? How much is having to resit considered a ‘bad thing’?

And yes, sorry, first post nerves. That is definitely not a mistake I plan on making :) (ships > planes).
 

Blase

Newbie
I’m a currently studying a masters degree in marine engineering and am looking at career at sea, as a merchant navy officer, when I have finished. I understand that with my degree I am eligible for an accelerated cadetship and have gained an LOIA from Warsash in lines with recommendation from the RFA. It basically states that I need to complete 6 months sea time, 3 month workshop time (at sea or in collage), and then short courses (Shields said about 11 weeks when I spoke to them at there open day), before sitting the EOOW COC exam. I have applied to a couple of places and got some offers but the RFA is my fist choice (I have my sift interview on the 9th of December) but undetstnd it will be a long process. I just wanted to know if anyone had any experience doing an accelerated cadetship with the RFA. How did you find it? How was sitting the oral having not gone to collage? How long did it take and how was it paced (e.g. did you go to collage first before going on ship)?

Thanks in advance :)

You will go to BRNC for 10 weeks (quite fun in summer).
You will start with about 4 months at college. You will do your workshop course where you drill, file, lathe, turn, weld and lots of other stuff. None of which you will ever do again in your career.
Whilst at college you will then do some mandatory short courses that allow you to go to see as a cadet.
You will then do 2/3 trips at sea to get your required sea time (it was 8 month for me, may have changed). You will have a task book to get signed off. You will not be required to write ALL the reports the other cadets have to write as it's assumed you can write by now! Remember, they are working for a foundation degree/HNC, you are not! You just want a EOOW.
Though you are excempt from science and maths exams you will have to do the Engineering Knowledge exam and a control engineering exam. I REALLY struggled with these as I had no tuition on these whatsoever. They assumed as a technical grad I'd breeze it. Funnily enough, a Mechanial Engineering degree covers f**k all about turbochargers, 2 stroke engines and scavenger fires!! You will have to do some more short courses in this time.
You will then sit your oral EOOW exam (again I struggle as I didn't get the prep the "normal" cadets did), which is your final task to qualifying as an officer.
From First day at BRNC to qualifying took me 27 months... but I was crap!
Can def all be done in 24 months!
 
Last edited:

Blase

Newbie
Is it common for people to resit the COC exam? How much is having to resit considered a ‘bad thing’?

Not common, not unheard of.
Noone will really care if you fail once. (but it's nice not to!)
You're doing something wrong if you fail twice.
But to be honest, when you join your first ship, noone would know if you'd failed 10 times.
 

09traej

Newbie
You will go to BRNC for 10 weeks (quite fun in summer).
You will start with about 4 months at college. You will do your workshop course where you drill, file, lathe, turn, weld and lots of other stuff. None of which you will ever do again in your career.
Whilst at college you will then do some mandatory short courses that allow you to go to see as a cadet.
You will then do 2/3 trips at sea to get your required sea time (it was 8 month for me, may have changed). You will have a task book to get signed off. You will not be required to write ALL the reports the other cadets have to write as it's assumed you can write by now! Remember, they are working for a foundation degree/HNC, you are not! You just want a EOOW.
Though you are excempt from science and maths exams you will have to do the Engineering Knowledge exam and a control engineering exam. I REALLY struggled with these as I had no tuition on these whatsoever. They assumed as a technical grad I'd breeze it. Funnily enough, a Mechanial Engineering degree covers f**k all about turbochargers, 2 stroke engines and scavenger fires!! You will have to do some more short courses in this time.
You will then sit your oral EOOW exam (again I struggle as I didn't get the prep the "normal" cadets did), which is your final task to qualifying as an officer.
From First day at BRNC to qualifying took me 27 months... but I was crap!
Can def all be done in 24 months!

Thank you very much for your detailed reply. It is pretty much how I imagined it to be, but it just takes a little longer than I assumed. I study a specific marine engineering degree so all the engineering I have done has had a definite marine focus. Hopefully this will put me in a good position, but I’ll keep my notes as it seems I will be assumed to know quite a bit
 

Blase

Newbie
If you know what an air compressor does and what a bilge well is you are miles ahead of where I was when I joined my first ship.
It was comical. They assumed I was just an idiot (maybe they were right).
You could possibly to it all in 18 months, I had prob 6 months leave as a cadet
Don't believe anyone that says 12 months... not gonna happen!!
 

Ballistic

War Hero
A collage of colleges :p

 
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