Joining FAQs : Bristol University Royal Naval Unit

Joining FAQs

Which Universities do you recruit from?

We mainly recruit from Bath, Bristol and UWE, and these are the fresher’s fairs we attend. We are however open to applicants from any higher education institute in the Bristol region. We have previously had students from Bath Spa, Gloucestershire, and Exeter, although commuting to unit activities can be very demanding if you live a substantial distance away!

Which Fresher’s Fairs will you be at?

We have stands at the Societies Fairs at UWE on 18th September, Bristol University on 25th September,  Bath University also on 25th September.

What do I have to do before I can join?

Before you are able to join the URNU, you will need to attend our Introduction Evening, fill in an application form, have an interview and pass a medical.

How do I attend your Open Evening?

The Open Evening is free for anyone to attend, and is an informal event where  you can speak to current members of the unit, and ask any questions you may have.  The first Open Evening will be held at HMS Flying Fox on Tuesday 22 September the second will be on Tuesday 29th September.  If you are unable to visit us at freshers, then please feel free to fill in the online  application form and come along.

After the presentations and Q&A session you will be able to put yourself forward for the next stage of the recruitment process which is the interview stage.

Do I have to attend a certain amount of the time?

Yes, we ask that all our members, as a minimum, attend 16 drill nights, 3 sea weekends and 2 weeks of continuous training, usually a deployment, spread out over the year. We understand people may not be able to attend some of these, so some leniency is possible.

Will I have a rank?

Yes.  In your first year you will be an Officer Cadet in the Royal Naval Reserve (RNR), and in your second and third years you will hold the rank of Midshipman in the RNR

Will I be liable to go to war?

No, although as a member of the URNU you are a member of the military, you hold an honorary rank in the Royal Naval Reserve and cannot be called up to war.

Do I need to join the Royal Navy when I graduate?

No, there is no requirement for you to join any of the armed forces on graduation, and you are free to leave the URNU at any point.

Will I need to have a medical check?

Yes, you will need to have a medical check if you are invited to join the unit. This is not as scary as it sounds, and is a straightforward medical examination to ensure you are not suffering from any medical condition which would endanger you or others while at sea.  This medical is not as stringent as those for the regular Royal Navy and Royal Naval Reserve.  If you have any worries about your eligibility to join the unit on medical grounds, please do contact us and we will try our best to help!

Will I be paid as a member of the URNU?

Yes, while on duty, members of the URNU (not associates) are paid a standard daily rate of pay, currently around £40.  You are also paid 1/4 days’ pay for each drill night you attend.  If you meet the minimum training requirements, a bounty will be paid which is currently around £146 for a first year member. This means that a first year who completes all their minimum training requirements will earn around £900 or more a year!

What is the interview like, what should I know?

If you have applied and are offered an interview, you should research recent naval and current affairs, and think about why you want to join the interview. You should be able to sell yourself, and give us an idea of what you would bring to the unit.

Do I have to be a fresher to join?

No, although we ask that you have at least 3 years left on your degree course, in order that you can benefit from our full 3 year teaching syllabus.

What if my degree course involves a year out?

This is not a problem. You are able to take a year out from the unit and your place is guaranteed for when you return from your placement year.  If your placement year is local to Bristol, you are more than welcome to continue attending as you would if you were at university.