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A year to study a Masters Degree and future commission.

#1
Hey guys,

I am looking to join the British Army next year and wanted to ask about a couple of things.
I am currently studying A Levels and want to join up as a regular soldier initially, following the OPMI(L) route. The LLC can be converted into a BA. I would love to supplement this with a masters degree when possible. Does the Army offer any opportunities to 'take time off' to pursue education? The degree would be relevant to the role in the Int Corps (International Relations). After the Masters I would love to go for Direct Commission as an officer. Is there an efficient way to do this? I guess serving my 4 years and then going for the masters and re-enlisting as an officer would be one option. I was wondering if there was a way to do it in a slightly shorter time span though.

Any help would be much appreciated.

Many thanks,

Sean.
 
#2
If I understand you correctly, you intend to do a first degree, then join the army for four years, leave to do a masters and then go to Sandhurst. If this is correct you may need to consider whether you will still be young enough to go to Sandhurst following your masters degree. I forget what the maximum age is, but I suspect you may be close to it by the time you have done all that.

A better option might be to do the masters degree straight after your first three years of university and then join the army after that, either through Sandhurst direct (if you pass AOSB, etc.) or as a soldier with a view to commissioning through either the DE or LE routes further down the line.


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#3
If I understand you correctly, you intend to do a first degree, then join the army for four years, leave to do a masters and then go to Sandhurst. If this is correct you may need to consider whether you will still be young enough to go to Sandhurst following your masters degree. I forget what the maximum age is, but I suspect you may be close to it by the time you have done all that.

A better option might be to do the masters degree straight after your first three years of university and then join the army after that, either through Sandhurst direct (if you pass AOSB, etc.) or as a soldier with a view to commissioning through either the DE or LE routes further down the line.


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No. You misunderstood. At 18 I will be joining the Army. While in Phase 2 training I will achieve a BA degree (24 months). If I have to do 4 years service, add another 2 to the Phase 2 training. After THAT I would like to pursue a Masters degree (1 year). Then I would like to commission.
Provided I do 4 years service meaning I leave the army to do the masters, that leaves me at 23 when applying for Sandhurst.. Not too old at all.

I am wondering if you are able to leave for a year to pursue education rather than having to do all 4 years. That was the main question. I would be coming back after the Masters and applying for DEC
 
#6
Why not try for a commission (obviously by no means guaranteed) and subsequently do a Masters whilst serving as an officer? There are still plenty of options both full and part time.
 
#7
Pretty much needed for some higher Officer Ranks. Also, it's a big interest of mine and would certainly help in the Intelligence field.
I'm afraid that statement is utter pish. A Masters degree is not a requirement for senior ranks, however, they will all have been to Staff College and thereby will almost all have gained a Masters (or 2) as a fringe benefit.
 
#8
Why not try for a commission (obviously by no means guaranteed) and subsequently do a Masters whilst serving as an officer? There are still plenty of options both full and part time.
To be honest, I would rather be a little bit older and maturer before commissioning. I will be 18 and have no life experience. Commissioning later on seems like the best route for me. You said there are opportunities to do a Masters whilst serving as an officer. What about as a soldier?
 
#9
I'm afraid that statement is utter pish. A Masters degree is not a requirement for senior ranks, however, they will all have been to Staff College and thereby will almost all have gained a Masters (or 2) as a fringe benefit.
That's what my recruiting officer told me. Maybe he didn't mean it as it came out. I used his exact words. Perhaps he meant most of them have Masters level qualifications.

Thanks for clearing that up. All the same, I would love to pursue the masters.
 
#10
No. You misunderstood. At 18 I will be joining the Army. While in Phase 2 training I will achieve a BA degree (24 months). If I have to do 4 years service, add another 2 to the Phase 2 training. After THAT I would like to pursue a Masters degree (1 year). Then I would like to commission.
Provided I do 4 years service, that leaves me at 23. Not too old at all.

I am wondering if you are able to leave for a year to pursue education rather than having to do all 4 years. That was the main question. I would be coming back after the Masters, so not like I'm abandoning the country!
Short answer is no. You will be welcome to do a distance learning package whilst serving, but you will not be able to take a year out for a MA of your choice, unless you leave and reapply. Your two years post training will be demanding (you will be expected to cement your skills with practical experience) and may include a deployment, so distance learning is something you will need to consider carefully. But, if you are prepared to burn the midnight oil and minimise your time on the razz, no reason why not.

To be commissioned from OPMI(L) you will need to be selected, as you probably know. Having completed an MA in service would be no bad thing in this respect, but does not constitute a guarantee. If commissioning is your ultimate aim, the route advised by BC is probably the way to go.....
 
#11
Short answer is no. You will be welcome to do a distance learning package whilst serving, but you will not be able to take a year out for a MA of your choice, unless you leave and reapply. Your two years post training will be demanding (you will be expected to cement your skills with practical experience) and may include a deployment, so distance learning is something you will need to consider carefully. But, if you are prepared to burn the midnight oil and minimise your time on the razz, no reason why not.

To be commissioned from OPMI(L) you will need to be selected, as you probably know. Having completed an MA in service would be no bad thing in this respect, but does not constitute a guarantee. If commissioning is your ultimate aim, the route advised by BC is probably the way to go.....
In which case I guess I will just serve out my 4 years and then do it. 23 isn't that old to go to RMAS I suppose.
Thank you for your answer.
 
#13
Why not go to Uni, join the UOTC see if you like being a soldier/officer whilst studying?
Then join the Army once you have your degree?
Or are you after the army paying for it so you don't get in to debt???
 
#14
I've always been wary of people who look for ways of escaping work before they've even joined up. Take that whichever way you like, but you don't come across as someone the army will get any real benefit from.
I was actually asking for a way to take one year off but still be enlisted. I want to stay in the army. Even when I leave for the Masters I will return.
Why not go to Uni, join the UOTC see if you like being a soldier/officer whilst studying?
Then join the Army once you have your degree?
Or are you after the army paying for it so you don't get in to debt???
The main reason is that the army long language course style is not given at any civvie universities. You start a language from scratch to degree level. It's the only way to be a linguist in the Army. The fact that you have no debt is just a bonus.
 
#15
Your best bet is to join up and see what's available when you have access to accurate and timely information to mould your decision. And wanting to take a year out of work to do a masters (which has actually **** all to do with your job - most people crack on perfectly competently without one) and then pissing off to RMAS smacks heavily of wanting your cake and eating it - so don't be surprised when the army has other ideas.

ps most Corps ruperts do very little intelligence work - leaders and managers, not normally at the 'sharp end' of any j2 work

Good luck joining though, always good to have aspiring new bods in the Corps

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#16
Short answer is no. You will be welcome to do a distance learning package whilst serving, but you will not be able to take a year out for a MA of your choice, unless you leave and reapply.
Not strictly true. Wouldn't he be able - hypothetically - to take an unpaid career break of up to 2 years to do something like this, which negates the need to leave and then rejoin? I seem to remember that scheme being trumpeted a couple of years back, with the caveat that any employment during the break has to be cleared by the CO beforehand etc etc, but it should fit the circumstances here.
 
#17
Sabbaticals were available (unpaid year off), they were at one time officers only, but were extended in to ORs. Not sure of the status of the scheme at present but were available prior to 2010. With all this overmanning they may have been binned.

Occams Chainsaw, you seem to be running around like a kid in a sweet shop...

I think you need to get in touch with the Int Corps, talk to them about the different roles and decide what you want to do with yourself.

There is more available to you than just your intended route.

For a start you could study for a Masters with OU or other distance learning.

You have the option of LE commissioning, rather than DE.

You have the option of (as you are suggesting) persuing a DE commission from the ranks, with out the need for a masters/sabbatical.

I think the upper age limit is now 28 for getting on to a CC.

You may not even enjoy being an officer, esp if you become a Ling Mong.

Ask the ACIO for how to contact the Int Corp Recruiting team. I am sure they can give you some help.

Other options would be going to Uni and joining the UOTC or indeed one of the Int Corps (V) units.

I would just say, think about what you want to do. Really do. Not just fill your trolley!
 
#18
Not strictly true. Wouldn't he be able - hypothetically - to take an unpaid career break of up to 2 years to do something like this, which negates the need to leave and then rejoin? I seem to remember that scheme being trumpeted a couple of years back, with the caveat that any employment during the break has to be cleared by the CO beforehand etc etc, but it should fit the circumstances here.
This is it. I might not want to commission. Doing this would mean I could do my masters and get straight back into working in whatever capacity I was before the year off.

I wouldn't want pay. I'm not doing my job during that year, after all. This seems to be what I was after. I don't want to have to leave the army but also want to be able to pursue further education. I don't understand why people have a problem with this. It's surely better than just trying to get out at the first opportunity -- I just want to become more qualified and more knowledgeable.

Thank you. This seems very feasible. I understand I would have to still get permission etc but I don't see why I wouldn't. If the army wants to keep me and not have to retrain/lose me when I am finished then it seems like the best option for them too tbh.
 
#19
Looks to me like he's thought quite a bit about what he wants to do, and what he wants to get out of it. Makes a nice change from some of the wannabe posts. Even his username suggests a bit of thought.
I appreciate that. I have thought long and hard about what I want and planning for my future.

Also, the username is something I have been waiting for somebody to pick up on. Thanks for mentioning that!
 
#20
That's what my recruiting officer told me. Maybe he didn't mean it as it came out. I used his exact words. Perhaps he meant most of them have Masters level qualifications.
Very possibly, young Occam. Some recruiters are pretty switched on there aren't too many who understand how things work at senior officer level.

I'm pretty sure that you can still apply to take a sabbatical in the army, but not sure if it's, say, 6 months or longer. Your career is basically suspended at that point and when you return it's basically back to work as normal. Does anyone (SPS types or maybe RCMOs) know if it's possible to take a full 2 yrs for academic purposes?
 

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