Accelerated Apprentice Scheme (Submariner)

Fast track role A high priority role with an accelerated joining process.
Service:Submarine Service
Submariner working on equipment

At a glance

What you’ll do

Joining the Royal Navy on the Accelerated Apprentice Scheme (Submariner) means furthering your career with one of our most elite teams, where you’ll be paid to study, gain practical skills and use highly sophisticated equipment.

You'll spend time in active service as either a Marine Engineer Submariner (MESM) or Weapon Engineer Submariner (WESM). As a MESM, you’ll operate and maintain the nuclear reactor of a submarine, taking part in highly classified operations. Alternatively, as a WESM you’ll guarantee the efficiency of Spearfish torpedoes and Tomahawk missiles, or provide the nation's nuclear deterrent.

If you have questions, talk to us

Your role

  • Be a crucial part of one of our most respected and highly-trained teams.  You'll be supporting your boat's nuclear reactor, ensuring its safe operation, and maintaining all the support systems that are vital to submarine missions
  • Work on board a Vanguard Class submarine, ensuring the nation's nuclear deterrent is operational, or an Astute Class vessel where you'll be part of some highly-classified hunter killer operations
  • Operate at the highest levels of the industry as you complete an accelerated scheme to become a nuclear engineer.  After that you can extend your service, apply to become a commissioned officer, or transfer your new skills to a career in the civilian sector

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • An Advanced Apprenticeship (level 3) in Engineering.
  • The opportunity to complete a Foundation Degree in Mechanical or Electronic Engineering depending on your career progression and your career stream.

Skills you'll develop

  • Gain a firm grounding in electrical and mechanical engineering principles, and an opportunity to gain an in-depth understanding of nuclear reactor theory.
  • You’ll learn to maintain and operate some of the most cutting-edge kit on the planet.
  • You’ll become familiar with a variety of sophisticated mechanical systems – as well as an opportunity to manage and maintain a submarine's nuclear reactor. 


What you'll need


  • You need to be aged 17 to 25
  • A minimum of three GCSEs (or equivalent) at grade 4 or above including Mathematics, English language and at least one Science
  • British National (or hold Dual Nationality iaw UKSV policy)
  • You need to be a minimum height of 157cm
  • A Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18 and 28 (between 17 and 27 if under 18)
  • Pass the Naval Swimming Test

There are 2 options for acceptable qualifications required in addition to the basic academic criteria above:

Option 1

  • A National Qualifications Framework Level 3 Diploma (with a minimum of a Merit Pass) in Engineering discipline

Option 2

  • At least 48 UCAS points in A-levels (or equivalent)in Mathematics and a STEM based subject  (minimum grade D or above in each subject)

Skills and interests

  • A quick thinker, with a keen interest in mechanics and electrics
  • A problem-solver who can work well as part of a team
  • A real sense of adventure, with a high level of physical and mental fitness
  • Enthusiasm for learning to maintain and fix cutting-edge equipment
Check Eligibility

Starting your career

Joining process

Once you’ve confirmed your eligibility, the joining process is as follows:

  • Submit an application

    Once you’ve registered your interest and have satisfied the basic eligibility criteria, you will be sent an online application form

  • Defence Aptitude Assessment (DAA)

    You’ll be tested on: Verbal Reasoning, Numerical Reasoning, Work Rate, Spatial Reasoning, Electrical Comprehension and Mechanical Comprehension.
    To prepare, you can practise the DAA

  • Interview

    A formal interview to talk through your suitability for the role. This is normally conducted using your own device over the Shine video platform 

  • Candidate Preparation Course (CPC)

    This is a four-day induction to life in the Royal Navy, which is a pass or fail course. This will include:  

    - Pre-Joining fitness test  
    - Swimming test  
    - Medical test  

  • Start training

    Once you’ve passed a Security Check, you’ll be offered a place at HMS Raleigh

Initial training

Your Royal Navy career begins with 10 weeks’ basic training at HMS Raleigh, a shore base in Torpoint, Cornwall. The discipline, teamwork, organisational, firefighting and weapon handling skills you learn here will stay with you right through your career.

Aim to get yourself as fit as possible before you arrive. You’ll be doing a lot of physical exercise, and you’ll find it much easier if you’re already in shape.

There's also a swimming test, so if you can't swim, make sure you learn by the time you join us.

Professional training

You’ll be embarking on one of the world’s top apprenticeship schemes, which means training will be a constant feature of your time with us. As well as helping you develop your Royal Navy career, everything you achieve will be valued by a future civilian employer. It will also be recognised by Professional Institutions, so you can take a streamlined route to registering as an EngTech or an IEng.

Once you have the essential military and maritime skills under your belt, you’ll undertake marine engineering training at HMS Sultan, focussing on:

  • Learning how machinery works

  • Repairing equipment

  • Making components

  • Using essential tools and techniques
  • Safety procedures