Frequently asked questions


  • Can I get sponsored to attend university first before joining?

    Yes, there are sponsorship bursaries available to potential Officer candidates. However, each case is assessed on an individual basis so you need to speak to your local Careers Advisers for advice.


  • Can I join the Royal Navy if I have asthma?

    Each case is assessed on an individual basis, so the best thing to do would is speak to your local Careers Advisers for advice.

  • How do I apply to be a Royal Navy Rating?

    You can start your application online. You'll then go through a selection process designed to help you find out more about us and vice versa.

Submarine Service

  • Can I visit a Submarine?

    Yes you can.  At the Royal Navy Submarine Museum in Gosport they have an actual submarine that is permanently open to the public. Their website can be found at the link below.  There are also some occasions when you may be able to visit a serving operational submarine when in harbour.
  • How do you get letters on a submarine?

    Letters and parcels addressed to a submarine while it is at sea are forwarded to the next port they are scheduled to visit.

    If a submarine is on an operational patrol then it is sometimes possible for short messages to be sent at specific times; these "familygrams" are about 40 words long and each sailor from the CO to the most junior sailor gets the same amount.


  • Do I receive a pension if I have been in the Royal Navy?

    Yes, you will receive a generous pension after 20 years of service – not something available in many civilian roles these days.


  • How do I apply to be a Royal Navy Rating?

    You can start your application online. You'll then go through a selection process designed to help you find out more about us and vice versa.


  • How does the Royal Navy pay compare with that of other careers?

    The pay is on par with civilian salaries and the other Armed Forces, plus there are a number of other benefits that you just wouldn't get in a civilian role, like free medical and dental care, help with housing and more.


  • How hard is the training?

    Initial training is tough and will push you. But with a little preparation and the right attitude it should not be difficult. If you get in shape and follow the training schedule, you’ll stand the best chance of making it through.

  • How long is the initial training?

    Initial training lasts 10 weeks and takes place at HMS Raleigh. While officer initial training is at Britannia Royal Naval College in Dartmouth and lasts 15 to 30 weeks.


  • How much annual leave will I get a year?

    You will get six weeks of paid holiday and time off on all non-working weekends whether at home or abroad. As well as generous maternity and paternity leave.


  • What are the academic entry requirements to become an Officer?

    It depends on the job you would like to do, but as a general rule, you need at least 180 UCAS points from 2 non-overlapping subjects and 5 GCSEs (A* - C), which must include English and Maths. For some roles you need to have an undergraduate degree as well. Check the requirements of the job you’re interested in, for more details.


  • What benefits will I receive when I join?

    The Royal Navy has a package of benefits that is rarely equalled today. This includes a good pension, low cost accommodation, free medical and dental cover and a range of travel expenses entitlements. Sports facilities are also available on most ships and all shore establishments, and are free to use. Extra money and time away from your place of work is sometimes available for sport and adventure training as well as education and development courses.

Fleet Air Arm

  • What types of aircraft are there? What are their roles?

    The helicopters and their primary roles are:
    • Merlin – Anti-Submarine and Anti Surface Warfare, Troop Carrying
    • Sea King – Troop Carrying, Airborne Surveillance and Control, Search and Rescue
    • Lynx Wildcat – Anti-Submarine and Anti Surface Warfare
    • Lynx Mk8– Anti-Submarine and Anti Surface Warfare
    • F35 Lightning II (Joint Strike Fighter) - Carrier launched multirole fast jet capable of air-to-air and air-to-ground missions.

  • Why do we need aircraft on board our ships?

    What we call ship-borne aircraft have proven their value in numerous operations. They give Britain the ability and flexibility to conduct air operations from the sea. A feature that’s especially useful when certain missions are beyond the reach of shore bases. See Aircraft Carriers and Future Aircraft Carriers.