Dental Officer Cadet

Service:Surface Fleet
Dental Officer Cadet

The role at a glance

What you’ll do

Your journey will start at university, where you can apply to finish your studies in the Royal Navy, earning a salary and having up to the final three years’ fees paid for by us (not including any intercalation year). You will be part of a University Royal Naval Unit during your studies and form a social and support network. And after that? You’ll be on course for a dental career like no other. You can work in shore establishments and provide dental care for Service personnel on deployments and exercises across the globe. In return, you’ll be part of a world-class medical service that’s respected far beyond the Armed Forces. The very nature of life in the Royal Navy means we need dentists of the highest calibre.

If you have questions, talk to us

Your role

  • Once you’ve qualified, you’ll work on large warships, including our Queen Elizabeth Class Aircraft Carriers, where you’ll have a fully-fitted dental surgery and access to the sick bay’s operating theatre and ward facilities. On smaller ships, you’ll manage the portable dental unit that travels with you.
  • Later in your career you could have the opportunity to complete specialist training in areas such as periodontics or endodontics. You’ll also develop your management and leadership skills through our world-class courses and mentoring schemes.
  • Even the smallest dental problem can have a serious effect on the morale of a crew member and the effectiveness of the wider ship’s company. You’ll work with your team to complete preventative dentistry and deal with a full range of clinical problems, in some of the most challenging conditions imaginable.
  • Outside your practice, you’ll have a vital operational role to play. You could find yourself in a combat or disaster zone, where you’ll need to put flight-deck control, firefighting and advanced life support training to use.

What you’ll get

Skills for life

Qualifications you'll gain

  • Foundation dental training 
  • Opportunity to complete further post-graduate level study

Skills you'll develop

  • After completing Foundation Dental Training, you may be given the opportunity to further your skills in areas such as restorative and endodontics and complete further Masters level study.
  • Training will be a constant feature of your time with us. We’ll help you earn academic qualifications and gain specialist skills. As well as helping you develop your Royal Navy Career, everything you achieve will be recognised and valued by a future civilian employer.

Career progression

What you'll need


  • You must be aged between 18 and 54
  • 5 GCSEs grades A-C (9-4) which must include English Language and Maths at B (6) or above
  • Cadetships are available for your final three years at a UK dental school (not including your intercalation year)
  • A National of the United Kingdom, a Commonwealth citizen or Dual National
  • A Body Mass Index (BMI) between 18 and 28 (between 17 and 27 if under 18)
  • Pass the Naval Swimming Test

Skills and interests

  • Ambitious and passionate about dentistry
  • A confident leader
  • Always calm under pressure
  • Have a spirit of adventure

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. Your recruiter will then check for cadetship availability prior to proceeding

  • Naval Service Recruitment Test (NRST)

    You’ll be tested on general reasoning, verbal ability, numeracy and mechanical comprehension

  • Interview

    A formal interview to talk through your suitability for the role

  • Medical and eye tests

    These are quite comprehensive and must be completed by one of our Ministry of Defence-approved doctors

  • Pre-Joining Fitness Test (PJFT)

    This involves completing a 2.4km run on a treadmill within a certain time, at a fitness centre near you

  • Admiralty interview board

    This stage is unique to officers and takes place over a day and a half. It’s a competency-based assessment that confirms that you’re physically and mentally ready to become a Royal Navy Officer

  • Dental Officer Cadet Selection Board

    Selection boards are held 3 times a year where our senior Branch Managers will review your application and AIB report and select the very best candidates for a cadetship and onward career in the Royal Navy


Initial training

Once you have completed your Dental School training, You will join Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC) and complete 15 weeks of basic training, including 10 weeks militarisation and an additional 5 weeks of marinisation training. The military skills phase includes leadership and teamwork skills, and the principles of command and management. You will put this into practice during several exercises on Dartmoor.

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

Professional training

Following your Officer training at BRNC, you will join a Royal Navy Dental centre.  Here you will work closely with your team and deploy to ships, or even with the Royal Marines, and develop the leadership and management skills you have been taught.

You have the opportunity to further your training and skills in areas such as periodontics or endodontics.