What's it like to be a graduate officer?

Becoming an officer in the Royal Navy means joining a unique organisation. You’ll make your mark on the world, with a life, lifestyle – and prospects – to match. You’ll enjoy travelling the world and meeting all types of people. But it’s not for everyone - dangerous situations are part of the role and you need to be comfortable with that.


In our officers’ words: “It’s more than a job.”; knowing that you are part of something this important will give you a feeling of enormous pride whenever you put on your uniform.

But make no mistake - it’s not easy. You’ll be pushed mentally, physically and professionally. The hours can be long. There will be periods when you’re away from home and you won’t always have access to home comforts like social media. 

This will be challenging, at first, but spending long periods in close quarters with your colleagues creates an intense camaraderie. You have the ultimate support network to help you embrace the challenges of being an officer. This, along with the knowledge that you are fulfilling a vital role, means our officers enjoy a sense of pride and purpose every day.

The special camaraderie is not just limited to professional situations, though. Whether you’re serving at sea or spending time ashore, you’ll always have access to a dedicated officer wardroom, giving you somewhere to eat, relax and socialise after a hard day’s work – wherever you are in the world. You’ll always have access to sports facilities, too.


As an officer, you’re an essential part of Royal Navy command. You’ll be applying skills and knowledge gained from your degree, as well as what you learn during training, to lead a team of up to 30 men and women in circumstances that can be difficult and challenging. These situations can change; you could be delivering vital humanitarian aid to victims of a natural disaster or leading an armed boarding party in search of a drugs shipment, but your leadership capabilities will need to be exemplary for the safety of you and those under your command.


BEng Marine Engineering
- Marine Engineer Officer

The social side is as good as working experience. After a busy day working on interesting kit, you chill with your mates, and have a laugh and beer like anyone else.

BEng Civil Engineering
- Marine Engineer Officer 

The work side is good, and it’s a really sociable experience. There’s a lot of free time is available to do your own thing outside work.

BEng Civil Engineering
- Royal Marine Captain

To be successful and join such an elite fighting force when it’s so challenging to make the cut? It’s a great feeling.