University Royal Naval Units (URNU), under the command of Britannia Royal Naval College (BRNC), are here to give university students a broader understanding of Royal Navy life. They offer you the chance to gain transferable skills, from public speaking to organisation, by exposing you to leadership and management opportunities.

What's in it for me?

  • Joining an URNU is your opportunity to experience military life without any commitment.
  • You’ll meet likeminded people and build friendships that could last a lifetime.
  • You’ll have the opportunity to deploy on a Royal Navy warship, participating in exercises designed to develop your communication, leadership and management skills.

The URNU has given me the chance to do things I never imagined. I’ve been on summer deployments to the Baltic, Adventurous Training weekends, and even taken part in the Ski Championships.

Ben, Officer Cadet, URNU Wales

Training and experience

You’ll have the opportunity to develop personally and professionally from the moment you join your URNU. Our core training is designed to prepare you for the challenges you might face in the future, whatever career you choose. You’ll also get maritime experience, which exposes you to the Royal Navy’s values and ethos, giving you an excellent platform for officer life.

Joining an URNU is your chance to maximise your university experience, with opportunities you won’t find in any other walk of life. As an URNU member, you will:

  • Get paid to be involved
  • Gain a CMI Level 4 qualification in Leadership and Management
  • Gain Royal Yachting Association (RYA) qualifications
  • Travel to new places, all over the world

Are you eligible to become an Officer Cadet?

To become an Officer Cadet, applicants must:

  • be attending a university within an hours travel of the existing URNU
  • be in good health (you will be required to pass a medical)
  • be a national of the UK or Ireland, or a Commonwealth citizen who has lived in the UK continuously for 5 years prior to application
  • be willing to make the most of a wide range of command, leadership and management experiences that will be put into practice on weekly training nights and at sea in the Maritime environment

In order to succeed, applicants should be proactive, motivated, with good teamwork skills, and essentially, have a sense of fun. 

Learn more about your local URNU by using the map below. Alternatively, you can submit an application and start your journey now.


Join the URNU Training Cadre

And support the next generation

Officers and Senior Rates

If you’re interested in training, mentoring and developing our Officer Cadets, you can apply to become an URNU Training Officer or Senior Rate. Making a real difference to the lives of young people, you'll be helping set them on the path to world-class careers and life experiences.



Becoming an URNU Chaplain is your opportunity to provide cadets with invaluable chaplaincy and pastoral support in the Royal Navy environment, making a real difference to their lives, through strengthening their community cohesion and ethical outlook.

Find out more