Doing degrees through the army

Discussion in 'Sappers' started by GC1988, Jul 31, 2008.

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  1. I am meant be starting my basic training in feb to become a royal engineer surveyor as a squaddie, but im having second thoughts on this because i have heard rumours form different people that you cant do a degree in surveying throught he army if you are a squaddie, you can only do it as a officer.
    Can someone enlighten me?
  2. chimera

    chimera LE Moderator

  3. cheggars will no doubt jump in on this but as a surveyor you will get, at first an HNC in Engineering Surveying, and then an HND at class 1 stage. So no not a degree but most likely more useful.
  4. Are you sure? HNC and HND are equivalent qualifications, the difference being the method of study (part-time or full-time). Or at least that's how it used to be.

    Perhaps an ONC first? Used to be roughly equivalent to an A level.
  5. First post in nearly a year as I've always thought if you've left you're not up to date with what is happening in the Corps. Going to break my own rules but I'll add a caveat that this information may all be out of date now.

    It all depends on what surveying you want to do. If you're joining the Corps as a soldier to be a Surveyor Engineering then you will study towards an HND in Engineering Surveying during your Class 2 course which you will complete on your Class 1, all studied at Chatham.

    If you join as a soldier and head towards the Geographic Technician side at the Royal School of Military Survey (that 99% of the Corps believe is where all surveyors are trained) then I believe you work towards a Foundation Degree.

    As a soldier with the Surveyor Engineering trade you could then go on to become a Clerk of Works. When I left they were awarded an HND at the end of their course but I believe there may be moves afoot to get this course accredited at degree level (if not Foundation Degree).

    As an officer there is scope to do an in-service degree after completing your training at Sandhurst. I met two such individuals at Newcastle University last year who were studying for a Geomatics (new name for surveying) first degree.

    Alternatively some officers switch to the Geographic branch of the Corps after reaching Captain by completing the Army Survey Course or whatever it is called now. I believe they also receive an MSc.

    In essence soldiers learn a trade - hence qualifications are on the whole vocational. Officers are deemed to be "professionals" (like doctors, lawyers etc) so are trained accordingly - hence have more opportunities to obtain degrees in service.

    That said many soldiers, like me, work towards degrees in their spare time through distance learning and receive a good deal of support from the MOD.

    My advice, for what it's worth, is that if you have the intelligence, ability and drive join as an officer.
  6. If that's the case, it's only been so in recent years. I received no support whatsoever in the 70/80s when I asked for it - they very clearly thought that there would be no return on the funding for such individual education. I was actually actively discouraged by more than one OC, who were probably reading from a script. Why has the official view changed?
  7. chimera

    chimera LE Moderator

    25 - 30 years ago FFS!!!

    Yes things have changed. Far more opportunity for personal/professional development, and almost an obsession with gaining civilian equivalent qualifications.

    And we don't wear putties any more.
  8. linky

    not in as yet but soon i am led to believe.
  9. Yes, it's been a long time...

    ...and if there's "almost an obsession with gaining civilian equivalent qualifications" that can only be good. A fully developed 'GI Bill' is what I'd like to see.

    "Puttees". Sprog.
  10. Who are you calling a Sprog? :x
  11. it goes HNC
    then HND
    then Degree

  12. Never, ever you. :worship: I bet yours are the knee-length variety... :D
  13. animal-skin perhaps ????
  14. Must have changed over the years, then.

    The progression used to be:

    GCE "O" level or CSE - "O" level having greater status, but essentially of equal validity.

    GCE "A" level or ONC or OND - ONC and OND being what would nowadays be termed vocational qualifications. OND was full-time study, ONC was part-time (day/block release). ONC took a year longer, though participation in evening classes and summer schools could reduce this. OND and ONC were generally considered to be weak in Maths compared to "A" level, but gave a better practical knowledge.

    HND or HNC - HND was full-time study, HNC was part-time (day/block release). The same subject matter was covered to the same level but HNC took a year longer.

    Degree - entry was via "A" level, OND or ONC achievement. "A" level was preferred, substantially because the curriculum had traditionally been based on academic rather than vocational pre-qualifications. If an HND or HNC was held in an appropriate subject, an upgrade to Degree could be done in one year.

    You wouldn't progress from HNC to HND for the simple reason that the course contents were the same.
  15. chimera

    chimera LE Moderator