UGAS Undergraduate Apprenticeship Scheme - Marine/Weapons Engineer Submariner (MESM/WESM)

TNSL101

Midshipman
Hi,

I have applied to join the Royal Navy on the UGAS submariner engineering scheme. So far, ive passed the recruit test, interview and telephone medical interview.

Assuming I pass the in-person medical (fingers crossed!) and with my fitness not being a problem, my only concern is the specialist interview at the pre naval course...

I have A Levels in Maths and Physics (not great grades but I meet the required UCAS points), but I have no engineering background which I feel could be a factor in them not offering me a place on this course. I don't want to get my hopes up too much for this role as I'm happy to join as a regular W/M submariner engineer but I want to give this interview my best shot.

I was wondering if anyone could give me any tips on what they may ask me at this interview? Will there be a lot of engineering related questions? If so, are there any specialist submariner engineering books I can read up on beforehand?

Any help will be much appreciated. Thanks.
 

Ninja_Stoker

War Hero
Moderator
To be honest, the interview is as much about determining your leadership potential as your basic engineering knowledge because you are entering into a scheme that initially offers advancement into a leadership role. The engineering aspect we can teach, but the issue is aptitude and experience working within and leading a team.

If unsure what to expect, speak to your AFCO and request a briefing on what to expect and how best to prepare.
 

TNSL101

Midshipman
After my initial interview, my AFCO advised me to keep up with current affairs (North Korea, Russia, Syria etc) as he said I'll likely be quizzed a bit on that. I follow the news regularly anyway so this shouldn't be too much a problem.

But I'll definitely start having a think about scenarios when I've shown leadership skills as you suggested. Thanks for the reply.
 

dwade98

Midshipman
The medical process took me from the 2nd of November to the 6th of April (passed thank god!) and I'm waiting for my PRNC on the 30th of May. From what I've been told by my careers adviser, the interview will last ~40 minutes and will be focused around these points:
  • Technical acumen/interest
  • Motivation to join UGAS
  • Early evidence of an ability to work in a team
  • Early evidence of leadership ability
  • Suitability for Weapons/Mechanical specialisation
 

Al1902

Midshipman
dwade98,

Good to hear about the medical! Assuming you have done your PJFT? Sounds good! Let us know how you get on, good luck!
 

dwade98

Midshipman
Al1902,

Yeah I completed my PJFT when I visited MOD Caledonia back in February which was a nice surprise as I thought that the run we did was only to see if we were up to standard. Yeah I'll post an update on here as to how the interview goes if I remember (I'll be focused on my A Level exams by the time I get back as they start 4 days after I return from my PRNC.)
Cheers!
 

dwade98

Midshipman
Al1902,
How was your medical? Had my specialist interview the other week and I'm expecting a letter later this month which will tell me whether I'm successful or not.
 

Al1902

Midshipman
dwade98,

Funnily enough I passed the medical last Wednesday, awaiting a PJFT letter now! How did the PRNC go? Was the Specialist interview during the PRNC?
 

dwade98

Midshipman
Good good! Yeah PJFT should be fine, just crank up the speed to a moderate pace and just go for it. The PRNC was really enjoyable, though I already knew what to expect having been on a look at life course. Passed my 2.4km run and 50m swim in decent times. Also had a tour around HMS Artful which was convenient because I had a tour around HMS Vigilant last February so it was nice to see the differences and similarities between them.

The specialist interview was during my PRNC, it was actually at the end of the course so everyone was picked up from RNAC (North) at 11:45 and my interview was at 15:00 and me and the last guy to be interviewed were dropped off at Inverkeithing train station by one of the staff for about 16:30 so expect to be waiting around. My interview lasted an hour and was with a Senior member of staff and the Cdr overseeing UGAS (you may receive an email with some info on this when you get a PRNC date). The interview itself was mainly based around myself, what attracted me to the scheme, and a fair bit on my knowledge of nuclear engineering. I think if I were to give a single piece of advice it would be to just act yourself because they'll chase you down (metaphorically:eek:) if you try to be something you're not.
 

Al1902

Midshipman
Yeah I've practised the 2.4km on a treadmill a fair bit over the last few months! Oh nice! So much for a 30 min interview! Haha. First points don't sound too difficult. When you say knowledge of nuclear engineering, to what depth would you say was appropriate? I.e. How a nuclear reactor works? Or deeper technical understanding? Yeah, even in the selection interview I had, they definitely tried to chase down any loose ends. I appreciate this info! Good luck with the outcome!
 

dwade98

Midshipman
For the nuclear engineering aspect of the interview I was able to go to town on it because I've got quite an interest in nuclear/particle physics and I thought that this would be able to compensate for my lack of engineering experience! To be fair I'd just have a good understanding of the process of reactor operations so that you can structure your answers around it. A few sites that I used were:
-http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/astute/
-http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/non-power-nuclear-applications/transport/nuclear-powered-ships.aspx
-https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=uk+submarine+propulsion&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiP2a7X0L3UAhXqJcAKHVvjCjUQ_AUICygC&biw=1366&bih=662#tbm=isch&q=submarine+propulsion&imgrc=eoqITenS1QbPEM:

and obviously you can use wikipedia, Royal Navy website, Rolls Royce, BAE etc.
 

dwade98

Midshipman
Oh and also, even if you're applying for UGAS MESM, get to grips with basic weapon systems on board. Also remember that weapon systems is more than missiles and torpedoes but also sonar and radar etc.
 

Al1902

Midshipman
That's fair enough then! Okay, I'll definitely be learning as much as I can over the next few months! Having undertaken a Thermo unit on my course, I'm sure I'll be able to relate to these operations. Thank you very much for the links as well, I'm sure they'll be useful for both Nuclear & Weapon related questions! Thanks again & good luck!
 

Sumo

War Hero
All you need is the knowledge to pass a TWS Board, Panel and FWD Tech board, and a good back aft walk round with Chief of the Watch then all you SM Eng knowledge ME & WE will be up to speed.
 

Sumo

War Hero
For the nuclear engineering aspect of the interview I was able to go to town on it because I've got quite an interest in nuclear/particle physics and I thought that this would be able to compensate for my lack of engineering experience! To be fair I'd just have a good understanding of the process of reactor operations so that you can structure your answers around it. A few sites that I used were:
-http://www.naval-technology.com/projects/astute/
-http://www.world-nuclear.org/information-library/non-power-nuclear-applications/transport/nuclear-powered-ships.aspx
-https://www.google.co.uk/search?q=uk+submarine+propulsion&source=lnms&tbm=isch&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiP2a7X0L3UAhXqJcAKHVvjCjUQ_AUICygC&biw=1366&bih=662#tbm=isch&q=submarine+propulsion&imgrc=eoqITenS1QbPEM:

and obviously you can use wikipedia, Royal Navy website, Rolls Royce, BAE etc.
You don’t need all that; it’s just a big kettle that produces some steam to make big turny things turn, back afties always try to big themselves up:D
 

dwade98

Midshipman
You don’t need all that; it’s just a big kettle that produces some steam to make big turny things turn, back afties always try to big themselves up:D
Ah you caught me out there Sumo;) To be honest I nearly sent them to sleep with my boring nuke knowledge. Al1902, I think as long as you manage to get across why you want to be on the scheme and what you can bring to the service then you'll be all fine!
 

Sumo

War Hero
Ah you caught me out there Sumo;) To be honest I nearly sent them to sleep with my boring nuke knowledge. Al1902, I think as long as you manage to get across why you want to be on the scheme and what you can bring to the service then you'll be all fine!
You are correct your Eng. studies should give a level of technical know how, they can train you for what they need, you academic's will show you ability to learn the techy stuff, it is then all about you, what drives you, do you fit what the navy is after, and with all interviews prior research shows a level of interest and some thought of what you think you may be getting yourself into? To that end we can assure you, you have no idea what you are volunteering for, the UGAS Undergraduate Apprenticeship Scheme, is a window of opportunity and no one will be able to tell you when it will close, it is to satisfy a naval need, if you want the RN and are able to achive the requirements for the UGAS Undergraduate Apprenticeship Scheme, grab it with both hands and go for it, good luck.
 

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