RFA Cadetships

The Royal Fleet Auxiliary Cadetship Schemes mean you no longer have to choose between higher qualifications and earning a good salary. When you're on your way to becoming a Royal Fleet Auxiliary Deck or Engineering Officer you can do both.

Your training
Once you've learned all the essential officer skills over your seven weeks at Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) you will then join cadets from other parts of the Merchant Navy at one of the Maritime Coastguard Agency (MCA) accredited training centres. There you'll begin your three year course either as an Officer Cadet Deck, Marine Engineer or an Systems Engineer (SE) Cadet. If you have GCSEs you'll do the HND programme. And if you have further qualifications you'll embark on the foundation degree. 

HND programme
This is the route if you have at least five GCSEs, including English, maths and physics or dual science at grade B or higher. By the end of your course you’ll have earned a Higher National Diploma (HND) and your MCA Certificate of Competency.

Foundation degree programme
If you have higher qualifications you could join our foundation degree programme. On the Deck route, you’ll get an FDSc in Marine Operations, while as an ETO, you’ll earn your FDEng in Marine Engineering.

Continuing professional development
Once you’ve completed your Cadetship, you’ll go to sea as a Third Officer, keeping watch on the bridge or in the engine room. You'll also have plenty of opportunities to go on further training and open up your promotion prospects.

Download the RFA Careers Guide to find out more (PDF)

RFA Deck Cadet

As an Officer Cadet (Deck) you’ll be at the sharp end of our replenishment at sea (RAS) operations or, as an Electro-Technical Officer(ETO) Cadet, you’ll develop the skills and knowledge you’ll need as an Engineering Officer.

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    Life as a Rating

    Your ship isn’t just your workplace. And supplying the Royal Navy isn’t just your job. You’ll get generous paid leave and have plenty of opportunity to play every sport imaginable. What’s more, job security is unrivalled and the salaries compare really well with equivalent Merchant Navy jobs.

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      Life as an Officer

      Officers are the Royal Fleet Auxiliary’s management team, providing the leadership and taking the decisions needed to fulfil our many and varied jobs. You’ll also be responsible for the training and development, welfare, morale and ultimately the lives of the people under your command.

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        How to join

        Do you have what it takes to keep the Royal Navy effective all over the world? Take a look at what’s involved in our joining process.

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          Lifelong learning

          When you join the Royal Navy we will give you all the specialist skills you’ll need. But you can also build on this knowledge throughout your career. And because many of the qualifications you will gain are recognised and valued by both the Royal Navy and civilian employers, you will develop an enviable set of transferrable skills.

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            Families & careers advisers

            Key facts if your child is thinking of joining the Royal Navy and you’re wondering what to expect.

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