A Levels/Degree

Blue Man

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How important is a degree?

Bit of background info on me, applied in Sept 2007, aiming for the 2008 batch, when I left school at 18. Anyway, with a problem with the physcometric plus that fact I need more life experiance I have decided to aim for the 2010 Batch, hopefully re-apply in September 2009.

So I have a couple of questions....

1) Just how important is a degree? I have missed UCAS for this year and to be honest I don't really want to go to Uni. Will it count against me much come the AIB and the Final Selection Board etc? If I have a reasonable about of 'life experiance' would a degree count for much?

2) What sort of things would the Corps be interested in? Currently doing some volunteer cricket coaching but with ref to travelling and gap years etc, is there anything particular that the AIB would take particular notice of?

Last year got B,B,C,U for AS and am on for C,C,C for A2, hopefully get a B in there too. So although quals should be fairly good, just wondered if there is any other helpful info you guys could share!

Cheers!

David
 

Ninja_Stoker

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1) It's not essential to have a degree to join the Royal Mauines as an Officer & it does not affect your chances of selection either way. A degree nearly doubles your starting pay from £14, 000 to £28, 000 however, as well as giving you as good a grounding in life-experience as anything else & generally indicates you have good "stickability" as compared to going off back-packing drifting from one place to another.

2) You need to demonstrate some practical leadership & management experience (besides being extremely fit). Voluntary work for a local cadet unit is ideal grounding, a Duke of Edinburgh Award scheme or a Princes Trust Scheme are other good methods of getting reliable, unbiased background.
 

Mitch

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Right, I'm pretty sure I have posted some information that i was given on this subject before as I am in the same position. I will attempt to phone the Captain for my area tomorrow in my lunch break (coursework permitting) to follow this up. I will PM you anything and everything he tells me David. Unless of course there is more interest in which case i will post it directly on the forum.
I don't want to uni either, just had enough of the education system at the moment. I do, however want to look into doing a degree whilst serving (POC, AIB, YO training, probation period and injury permitting!) so this will be the main focus of my questioning.

Mitch
 

Blue Man

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Mitch, good to hear from you again!

Thanks for that, no worries if you don't get hold of him- coursework first! I know I've spoken to you about it a bit before and I'm also sure that I don't want to go to Uni, but bit confused at the mo.

Once again, thanks.
 

Mitch

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Phoned the Captain today. He basically said what I have been told before; that having a degree does not alter your career prospects in any way other than the fact that you will spend less time as a Lieutenant if you are a graduate (and therefore less money). I asked about studying whilst a serving officer and he said it would be very difficult if the pace of operations keeps up.
In terms of a gap year I am just looking to work, go on a skiing holiday purely because I haven't done it before, go hill-walking in Wales and Scotland and get my fitness to a decent enough level. Personally, I am lucky because of the amount of things I have had the chance to do whilst at school through cadets and the like.

Hope this helps

Mitch
 

sb146564

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When I went for my interview, the downfall of being a graduate is that you can only be a troop commander ONCE. Go straight from A-Levels and you can be troop commander twice. Its put me of uni quite a bit, because troop commander is the job to have in my opinion. Just some extra info for ya.
Ste
 

Touchstone

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I am currently doing a BTEC National Diploma in Computing. Now I am told full marks on this is worth 360 UCAS points by my college. This is a single subject and overlapping, does this mean I would not be eligible as an officer?

What I wandered is if I have a degree afterwards would I be able to join as an officer without the A-levels but the UCAS points and a degree?

Thanks
 

Duffy1

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I cud b wrong but I think you need to acheive the specified UCAS points criteria, regardless of whether or not you have a degree
 

Ninja_Stoker

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... if I have a degree afterwards would I be able to join as an officer without the A-levels but the UCAS points and a degree?
Hello Touchstone & welcome to the site.

The short answer to your question is "no".

Despite further academic achievement above A level standard, you will categorically still need the minimum of 5 GCSE's A*-C (including Maths & English) & 180 UCAS points from two non-overlapping subjects at A level standard comprising no less than 40 points form any individual contributing subject. Either way, you must check this out at your AFCO.

The reason for these rules is that a full background academic history is required. It's not too late to undertake an A level to contribute to the all-up UCAS score if found lacking.

Good luck.
 

Touchstone

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Thanks for that. I should, if all goes well achieve 320 UCAS points.

So all I would need is one A level to achieve the standard? I don't know how I'd go about doing this, as I am starting university in September.

Although, the sergeant at AFCO seemed to be trying to discourage me from the commission, saying it is extremely hard to achieve, and that my grades where not good enough (9 GCSE's A* to C, B in Maths and English as well), which I thought odd...
 

Mitch

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Touchstone I got the whole 'it is really difficult' thing when I first went to the AFCO. The sailor (cannot remember what rank) tried to discourage, or at least that what he seemed to be doing, both my friend and I from attempting to join as an officer. He never mentioned anything to us (we went together) about academic things because we hadn't taken our GCSE's at that time but he did start to ignore me and just talk to my friend, who is a few months older than i am, when I mentioned that I was only just old enough for them to start talking to me about careers! It was annoying at the time but hasn't made me change my mind in the slightest.

Mitch
 

AdmiralAwesome

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Sorry to high-jack the thread, but I'm curious about this:

What do they consider an overlapping subject at A-Level? Would English Lit, English Language, History and Philosophy be considered 'overlapping' as they are all humanities?
 

Ninja_Stoker

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Sorry to high-jack the thread, but I'm curious about this:

What do they consider an overlapping subject at A-Level? Would English Lit, English Language, History and Philosophy be considered 'overlapping' as they are all humanities?
Again you'll have to check, but I'm fairly sure your A2 level subjects are OK. You can only count UCAS points at AS level for B grades or better. By non-overlapping, you cannot count the points from AS English Language and A2 English Language, nor have the whole 180 UCAS points met from a single subject such as a Public/Uniform Services Course or Computing BTEC as mentioned initially.
 

Touchstone

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Im sure if you get a Uni degree that should be enough?
Apparently not.

How exactly would I go about getting an A level considering I'm coming up to the end of the course and will be going university in the next academic year?
 

Ninja_Stoker

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Apparently not.

How exactly would I go about getting an A level considering I'm coming up to the end of the course and will be going university in the next academic year?
Most graduates lacking the UCAS points would probably undertake an AS level, providing they get an A or B grade to add to their UCAS points if the subject they were taking was found not to fulfill the academic eligibility requirements. Alternatively you could apply for a Corps Commission having joined as an other rank. You only need the mandatory 5 GCSE's for this route, however it is also the most arduous route to becoming an officer.

As always, you should speak to your Area Careers Liaison Officer at the earliest opportunity to confirm your academic eligiblity. It may well be the course you are currently undertaking has sufficient academic content to be considered acceptable by the AIB - there's only one way to check this out.
 

Touchstone

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Most graduates lacking the UCAS points would probably undertake an AS level, providing they get an A or B grade to add to their UCAS points if the subject they were taking was found not to fulfill the academic eligibility requirements. Alternatively you could apply for a Corps Commission having joined as an other rank. You only need the mandatory 5 GCSE's for this route, however it is also the most arduous route to becoming an officer.

As always, you should speak to your Area Careers Liaison Officer at the earliest opportunity to confirm your academic eligiblity. It may well be the course you are currently undertaking has sufficient academic content to be considered acceptable by the AIB - there's only one way to check this out.
Why is it the most arduous? Do you have to be the senior most rank before you can apply for a commission? And once training to become an officer, do you have to do the entire training again (i.e commando course) or just the YO training?
 

Duffy1

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Sum info Ninja posted a while bak:


It would be incorrect to suggest it's easy, if fact anyone who can join as an officer would be well advuised to do just that. No-one would particularly want to complete 32 weeks Other Ranks training followed by 14 months of pretty much the same (but harder!) as an Officer, bringing their career into jeopardy. If you fail Officer training, you have to leave, you cannot always revert to Other Rank. It's up to the individual whether they wish to apply for Officer throughout their career, so there's no such timescale that indicates how long you wait until you apply.

If under 26 & you complete the full Officer Commando Course package, then you can expect to be a troop commander afterwards.

If over 26 you would normally complete the Senior Upper Yardman (SUY) route which involves a shorter course but would usually mean you would be in a support rather than front-line billet.
 

LAS920

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Its interesting that a degree is not taken into consideration when assessing suitability, but a degree is used to determine pay rates...?

Obviously this decision was taken to attract graduates who may have various job options available to them, however, does the navy not risk loosing potentially very good officers through taking this decision?
 

Ninja_Stoker

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Its interesting that a degree is not taken into consideration when assessing suitability, but a degree is used to determine pay rates...?

Obviously this decision was taken to attract graduates who may have various job options available to them, however, does the navy not risk loosing potentially very good officers through taking this decision?
It's not suitability, so much as eligibility. Graduates can & often do join as Other Rank marines. There is an interesting argument that if you get paid £28K for a non-vocational degree as an Officer, why not as an other rank? For Officers they are simply aiming for candidates to have a good solid academic foundation prior to their degree.

You'd be surprised how many A level students & indeed graduates actually do not make the grade for Officer on the Recruiting Test - around 20-30% as a guesstimate. This places emphasis the need for a solid academic foundation given that the recruiting test greatly resembles the verbal reasoning, non-verbal reasoning & mathematics sections of the 11+ exam- albeit at a very rapid pace.
 

Lloydy101

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Degree??

niggly questions!!

If i am a RM Graduate what are the advantages and perks?? because i am not sure if i should go to uni next year!!

by having a degree does it help you with application, selection etc?? i cant seem to find any info!! can some please enlighten me haha

cheers
 
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