Getting a degree as a soldier

I'm thinking of enlisting rather than going to university and possibly attempting officer selection after it, because I'm bored of studying and I want to get out there now and just 'do stuff'... After I've completed my training (Infantry or Royal Armoured Corps, not too sure yet) would I, if I decide to, be able to study for say a degree in poltics or criminal justice whilst serving in the Army? I have just finished my A levels and I know I'll probably get decent grades as I studied hard. But I'm just thinking I want to join up now and be a career soldier. Any advice is greatly appreciated!

Also, does the Army pay for degree level study for soldiers?


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I believe there is a yearly education grant still available to all soldiers. I'm sure a wiser sage will correct me if I'm wrong. I used mine for OU Modules that i added to my trade quals, i never had time due to army work to completed my degree in a short time. It took me 6 years to finish.
There is nothing at all stopping you studying in your spare time, distance learning etc. There are many good schemes including enhanced learning credits that you could use. In addition there is a sceme run by City & Guilds that allow, dependant on rank attained, either Licentiateship (LCGI), Graduateship (GCGI) or Membership (MCGI) to the City and Guilds Institute and are comparable to a Foundation Degree, Honours Degree and Masters Degree respectively.

Good luck with whatever you choose.


... Licentiateship (LCGI), Graduateship (GCGI) or Membership (MCGI) to the City and Guilds Institute and are comparable to a Foundation Degree, Honours Degree and Masters Degree respectively.
Nothing personal here mate, but don't ever attempt to sell that line to an employer. A 'purchased' C&G qualification (and all the others that are foisted upon you whilst you are serving), does not compare in the remotest of senses to having studied for a degree, no matter what the C&G, the Resettlement people or your 'mate' who's currently a CEO on the back of a MCGI and who swears by it, tell you. It's bollox.
Phantom1. My advice is buckle down to studying NOW. Get your degree and then apply for officer selection. If being an army officer is your aim and dream doing it the other way round will be harder and slower. Join your local TA at the same time to get some basic experience. Learn now while you still have your freedom. Once you enlist your time is no longer your own. Agree completely with other responses re purchased CGLI 'equivalences and/or accreditation of prior learning. Nothing wrong with City and Guilds per se, it has its own merits but bears no resemblance to getting a degree and the total commitment needed to get through to the day you wear a gown and funny hat. Good luck anyway in whatever you chose to do.
You can study for a degree as a soldier and would be well advised to undertake this..... I would suggest that if you are happy to do it part time and via distance learning then joining up would be fine as you can do it as and when you pelase (to a degree, scuse pun).

If you want a good degree course from a decent Uni then do it full time BEFORE you join and go to OTC or TA in the mean time, as has been mentioned.

The Army will NOT pay for your degree, that said you have annual entitlements you can use to offset the costs. You have yearly educational allowances (only about £300) and the LC/ELC (Enhanced Learning Credits) which are worth up to £6000.

If you are going Inf or Armoured Corps then I dont think there is much by way of transferable skills to work towards a degree qualification whereas the R SIGNALS have a couple of trades that do, all Telecommunications related.

Needless to say there are a few capbadges which will have transitional quals, I only mention R SIGNALS because I know them.

Now for my personal opinion, take it or leave it.

Being a soldier is an honour, work hard play hard and you meet some great lads, the pace of life does not lend itself well to comprehensive, protracted studying, although it can be done. If I were you, and I say this having served 8 years as a soldier and 8 so far as an Officer. Go to Uni fulltime, graft, have fun and apply to Sandhurst or join as a 'Tom' when youre done. that way you can kick back and enjoy a bit more without essays and other work to do if you get in.
Just to clarify...

the Standard learning credit is only £175 a year.
The enhanced is only availlible at £6,000 after EIGHT YEARS service.

There is a limited trial scheme in place to fund Undergraduate Officers currently serving. The Army pays for an Open degree through the OU, which'll take about six years to complete. A utter waste of time and money in my opinion and will probably get binned by SDSR.

So if you want a degree, get it before you join. You'll be busy with proper work when you're commissioned anyway and you'll struggle to fit in the time needed in your first few years. And I agree with everyone here, the MCGI stuff is an utter waste of money.
GCGI and MCGI has its uses during resettlement as they class you as a Graduate, well they did in 2008 when I was leaving the mob,I suppose everyone has different experiences of it.
Whilst I remember it only cost £85,may have gone up know

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