Prospective cadets entrants must have at least 72 UCAS points. They then proceed to the Admiralty Interview Board, where they are tested mentally and physically. Several mental aptitude tests are administered, along with a basic physical fitness test and a medical examination. Officer cadets, as they are known until passing out from the college, can join between the ages of 18 and 39. While most cadets join BRNC after finishing university, some join directly from secondary school. The commissioning course is 30 weeks, with Warfare Officers and Aircrew spending a further 19 weeks studying academics at the college. A large contingent of international and Commonwealth students are part of the student body. The Royal Fleet Auxiliary sends its officer cadets to BRNC for a 10-week initial officer training course, before they start at a maritime college.
King George V and King George VI were naval cadets at Dartmouth. The first "significant encounter" between Prince Philip of Greece and the then Princess Elizabeth took place at Dartmouth in July 1939, where Philip was a naval cadet. The Prince of Wales and the Duke of York also attended Dartmouth. Prince William spent a brief period at the College after leaving Sandhurst as part of his training with all three of Britain's Armed Forces.
Sheikh Mubarak Ali Yousuf Suoud Al-Sabah, a member of the Royal Family of Kuwait, attended the Royal Navy Young Officer Course at Britannia Royal Naval College in 2002.