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Armed forces training and education officer: Entry requirements

The academic subject requirements for entry into the training and education branches vary between the forces, but in all three a degree is essential and entry is not possible with an HND only.

The Royal Navy  recruits Engineer (Training Management) Officers - E(TM)s - with degrees in mathematics, engineering or physics, and have limited places for Arts graduates. A minimum of 180 UCAS points are required, and five GCSEs (A*-C), or Scottish Standard grades, or equivalent, including English and maths.

To become a Training Officer in the Royal Air Force (RAF)  graduates may have any degree. Professional qualifications will also be considered. The Army  will also consider applicants from a wide range of degree subjects.

A Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE) is not a pre-requisite, but teacher training can be advantageous. Other pre-entry postgraduate qualifications are not generally needed, neither is pre-entry experience, but some training with cadet forces, University Officer Training Corps (UOTC) , University Royal Navy Units (URNUs) , University Air Squadrons (UAS)  or the Army Reserve  can be helpful.

You will be expected to demonstrate a range of aptitudes. Candidates will need to show evidence of the following:

  • communication skills;
  • self-motivation and flexibility;
  • ability to lead and motivate;
  • a good level of physical fitness.

The Army will consider overseas applications. For further details, please refer to Army Careers . The Royal Navy and the RAF will consider applications form graduates with British, Irish, Commonwealth and British/dual citizenship. To apply to the RAF, graduates must have lived in the UK for at least three years before they apply to join.

For most branches of the armed forces, there are medical and eyesight requirements, and age limits. Physical fitness with good sight and colour perception is needed. University liaison officers (ULOs) can give you up-to-date information and also give advice on vacation training, cadetships, familiarisation visits, sponsorship and bursaries. Your careers service can give details of your nearest Army, Navy or Air Force ULO.

All three services run a system of sponsorship so that, if you apply for a commission prior to your final year, you may be eligible for a financial bursary per year. Your ULO will give you details of sponsorship.

Potential officers in the Royal Navy attend a two-day Admiralty Interview Board (AIB). This involves a formal interview and a discussion exercise. Applicants are also required to undertake a number of fitness and mental agility tasks, including verbal and non-verbal reasoning skills, concentration and spatial orientation. Applicants are also tested on their potential leadership skills. The Army and the RAF follow a similar process.

For more information, see work experience and internships and search courses and research.

Written by AGCAS editors
April 2012

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