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Eligibility & qualifications

Did you know?

Both men and women can become Weapon Engineer Officers but first you'll need to have:

  • 180 UCAS points
  • Five GCSEs (A* to C) or Scottish Standard Grades or equivalent, which must include English  and Maths
  • British or British dual nationality

In addition for direct graduate entry you'll need:

  • A UK recognised first degree in an engineering, maths or physics-based subject

If you have tattoos that are visible in parade uniform you won’t be allowed to join. There are several other eligibility criteria that you need to meet as well. Please take a look at the tabs below.

To join you must have:

British or British dual nationality.

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Eligibility in detail



To join you must be:

  • At least 15 years old when you apply (at least 14 years old for Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College)
  • At least 17 years old on entry
  • Under 30 years old when you begin basic training
  • Under 34 years old when you begin basic training in exceptional circumstances if you have relevant industry experience



To join as a Weapon Engineer Officer you need to have British, or British dual nationality.

Criminal convictions


If you’ve been convicted you may still be able to join. Certain kinds of offences or serving certain types of sentences, might however permanently prevent you from entering or re-entering the Royal Navy.

Security and CRB Checks

For all branches of the Royal Navy you will need to complete a full Security Check. This is done online and checks your details against Government data. You will have to declare all previous convictions, whether spent or not. To find out more, take a look at the MoD Form 493 Rehabilitation of Offenders Act 1974.

Tattoos and piercings


Most tattoos or piercings are not a problem but if they’re offensive, obscene or excessive in size or number you won’t be allowed into the Royal Navy. 

If your tattoos are visible in parade uniform you won’t be able to join. This means any tattoos on your head, neck and hands.

When you apply to join you’ll need to fill in a form describing your tattoos and their locations and show them to us during you medical examination.


If you have body piercings which cause holes that don’t close up (known as flesh tunnels) you will not be able to join the Royal Navy. If the holes have healed up or are in the process of doing so without leaving a hole, you will be eligible.

For health and safety reasons you will have to remove certain body piercing jewellery before taking part in any physical activity during the application and selection process.

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