Can you join as an officer without A-levels

Groundgame12

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Hi all,
I am 16 years old and I think a Career in the Royal Marines is definitely one I would like to peruse, and therefore think joining as an officer would be in my best interests.

However, after GCSE’s, A-levels were not my thing and instead I am studying Civil Engineering at a Technical College. I understand that the 72 UCAS points required to join as an officer can be obtained from different qualifications other than A-levels.

However my question was more to do with training and selection itself. If you have the minimum required grades to join as an officer, will this effect your chance at selection when compared to other recruits with diplomas etc? Or are you just as eligible for training as the other recruits who went to uni etc as long you have the required minimum grades?

Also, when in training, is it competitive, and the people who are at the bottom of the pile sent home even if they meet the standards required? Or is it more along the lines of: as long as you meet the set requirements then you are able to stay?

Thanks
PS. Sorry the title was a bit misleading but didnt know how to word my question.
 

Bellionaire679

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I’ve wondered this too.

I only have 48 UCAS points but I found a way into uni. If I wanted to be an officer by the time I finish uni and have a degree. Would the service look at my degree over my a levels?
 

sbradb

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A-level equivalents such as Level 3 BTEC Diplomas with Extended Diplomas I’m positive are excepted as long as you have over the minimum required UCAS points (which was 180 when I applied). You can’t apply for a commission without any further education though.
Everyone is as eligible as eachother after this point and it is down to the individual applicants to prove on POC and AIB that they have the potential to become an officer in the corps.
Positions are also limited with one intake a year but it is decided by the selection board after AIB in July(?) who they’ll grant the positions to- depending on each person’s combined performance during their POC and AIB.
 
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Caversham

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If you have the required educational requirements then you are eligible to apply. However, you will be in competition with many more guys than places available and competition is extremely fierce and they only accept the best.

After passing the PJFT you will have to attend and pass a Potential Officers Course, (POC), After that you have the AIB to attend, which is extremely tough.

If you get through this, it is essentially a level playing field. The Corps will have invested an awful lot of money in getting guys to the start line every September and the only failure of anyone after this point would be through injury, or the failure to meet the required high standards that are set.

It is not an easy path, but good luck.

Alan
 

Chelonian

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...and therefore think joining as an officer would be in my best interests.

Welcome. A good starting point might be to consider the requirements and interests of the service and then making a determined effort to exceed the required entry standards. Arguably one can only do this by thoroughly researching the roles of Officer and Other Rank to gain an understanding of how the roles differ.

As mentioned by @Caversham meeting the academic requirements merely gets an Officer applicant to the starting point.

Keep an open mind about both Officer and Other Rank roles. Neither is intrinsically 'better' than the other but understanding the difference is fundamental to making an informed decision.

This forum has a fine resource of information. It's definitely worth trawling the forum using the search box. Just dive in.
Best of luck.
 
D

dodgyknees

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The RM will set a quota each year on the number of YOs it needs. Last year 47 were selected. All met the necessary educational standards, passed POC and AIB and were then selected down to the necessary number. AIB scores are the most important factor in this final selection.

Once in training they do not select down to a final number, but it is attritional. Most YOs are lost through injury but others voluntarily withdraw or fail a criteria test and are removed. To put it in perspective, the batch now has around 33 remaining after nearly 7 months of training.
 

Ninja_Stoker

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I’ve wondered this too.

I only have 48 UCAS points but I found a way into uni. If I wanted to be an officer by the time I finish uni and have a degree. Would the service look at my degree over my a levels?
Quick answer: Unfortunately not.

You can however join as an other rank & if good enough, get put forward for a Corps Commission as a trained rank with justvthe five GCSEs.

The only time I've seen a degree accepted in lieu of the A Levels is if you have a second degree (ie Masters or Phd).
 

Ninja_Stoker

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With regard accepted equivalents to A Levels, such as BTEC level three, dual & triple awards only....In my experience, whilst they can be accepted if passed at distinction/merit or triple merit, those in this group seem to make the cut when they also have one or two A Levels in addition to the BTEC double/triple award. It is less common to see a person with a BTEC in isolation make the final cut.
 

cressernater

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When I made my orriginal application to the Marines it was for Officer, I thought I had the correct qualifications as I had over 180 UCAS points (did A-Level before the point system change) and have a 2.1 Degree with Hons. But unfortunatly my UCAS point were not all from A levels so I was rejected. The AFCO guy said to me even though my test scores for the recruitment test were high there was no point giving me a writen recomendation as so many apply with the correct qualifications and still dont make it.

Long story short if you really want to be an officer go back and do your A Levels, or like me apply as a other rank and make sure you work your ass off to prove you have what it takes to earn a Corps Commission.
 

Ninja_Stoker

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I had over 180 UCAS points (did A-Level before the point system change) and have a 2.1 Degree with Hons. But unfortunatly my UCAS point were not all from A levels so I was rejected. The AFCO guy said to me even though my test scores for the recruitment test were high there was no point giving me a writen recomendation as so many apply with the correct qualifications and still dont make it.

They cannot reject an application on academics if the individual meets the academic threshhold and passes the recruit test. I'd strongly recommend a formal written complaint if that was the only reason you weren't forwarded for POC &-AIB.

As stated earlier, in my experience, comparatively few seem to get selected if they only have accepted A Level equivalents but it is definititely not grounds for stopping an application moving forward.

Under the old style A levels, all contibuting UCAS points must come from separate subjects scoring over 45 points. This means A2 Level grade E or lower or AS Level at grade B or lower is not accepted. Likewise BTECs or equivalents must be passed at merit for triple awards or distinction/merit for dual awards. Single awards are not valid.
 

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