In-service degrees

Discussion in 'Officers' started by Animus, Feb 16, 2009.

Welcome to the Army Rumour Service, ARRSE

The UK's largest and busiest UNofficial military website.

The heart of the site is the forum area, including:

  1. Afternoon all,

    I've come across various biogs of senior officers and mentions in regimental sales-pitches ( ) about the possibility of in-service degrees at Oxbridge. I wondered if anyone could provide an overview of the situation before I ask a potential regiment? I'm assuming is tied in with Staff level appointments, one's personal circumstances (academic potential and whether the Army has a need for the expertise) and intended length of service.
  2. In service degrees are for reading your first degree and are for RLC, RE,RS and REME officers only.

    The Universities you can go to are limited to the DTUS list. the oxbridge route is possible, but you need to apply through the UCAS scheme the same as everyone else!

    Each Corps has a list of degrees you can take, which can be very limiting , and therefore restrict the oxbridge route.

    ISD are usually carried out after first tour as 2lt/Lt but can be done a bit later ( after training regiment job).

    You are required to serve a 3 year return of service for a 3 year degree. if you want to leave before then you need to pay back ALL public money spent (fees etc)

    There are only 10 places across the corps each year, so the competition is high.

    Each corps has different policies, and these change year to year, so be aware that if you have not done sandhurst yet, things may have changed a lot by the time you get this this position.
  3. Hello Animus

    This is a thorny issue, and I believe JOT is probably right. The non-grad Inf officers I know have not been able to study in-service degrees, and I thought it was a relic of the past.

    However, I recently met an RAC non-grad junior Captain who said that he'd been offered the chance ( untaken ) to study a humanities degree at the Army's expense at one of a short - but respectable - list of universities.

    I don't think he was pulling my leg, and he stressed that it isn't commonly done ( I can't think of any Adjt who would approve ) but perhaps some confusion had crept in.

    Worth exploring, though, although not banking on. Even if such opportunities to exist they will be heavily reliant upon luck, favour and circumstance.

    As you will find out, all kinds of different opportunities are technically open to serving officers ( loan service, the Army Language Scheme etc ) but not in practice commonly taken up. We are a thinly stretched war-fighting Army at the moment, and your regiment & MCM will be very keen to keep you where you are most immediately useful. There's a lot in it for you to have the Army fund your degree but - unless you are display unusual intelligence & potential as a technical officer - very little for them. Guess who wins? :wink:

  4. Thanks for the info gents.

    Hopeful thinking on my part really, in that I thought there were options for doing Masters in areas surrounding international relations etc.

    Essentially any cerebral jollies that I want to go on will be Open University ones :study:
  5. If you achieve the heady heights of a place on ACSC, you can additionally read for an MA in Defence Studies from KCL. The Modular Masters Programme is available to Pongos and Royal, which allows you to read for a variety of MA/MSc from Shriv, but as a Matelot, I'm not qualified to comment on the latter.
  6. Thanks Alfred, something to aim for definitely. Link for all others interested

    The OU MBA sounds like a good opportunity as does the KCL MA, even if it is the Strand Poly [spits].

    It's all academic at the moment anyway (chortle) as I've got my main board next month.
  7. I found this thread interesting re study opportunities in the forces, but I'm sorry - KCL a poly? It's often in the top 10 in the UK.

    I used to believe studying for an MSc/MA in the Army was quite possible and done often by officers but it seems a bit like a pamphlet gimmick than reality, or am I wrong?

    I'd love to do my time, SSC and comeout with a decent qualification that would set me up in civvy street but I can't see it being that easy.
  8. Do you want a specific 'in-service' qualification, or are you commissioned without a degree?

    If it's the latter, then the Open Uni is the best option in my opinion. I am in my last few months with the OU, and they have been very supportive of my studying whilst serving, and they have been with other soldiers I know. I am planning on undertaking a 2 year part time MSc in Human Resource Management (HRM) after I finish my BSc.

    If you're not yet commissioned, then upon completion of Sandhurst the OU will award you 120 points at level 1 and level 2 which you can put towards a degree, and Bournmouth Uni will give you 60% of the first certificate required for an MSc HRM.

    If this is of no help, then sorry for wasting your time.
  9. Assume you're direcint the post at me. Erm I graduated with a humanities degree and hope to join the RE, as I said in the Sapper forum, I was a little curious to know how I'd fare with the rest of the engineering graduates in the Corps who appear to have far more presigious opportunities (MSc GIS/ CEng, etc) than a non-Eng graduate, so wondered if doing an MSc whilst in is feasible, and what support is available.

    I'd be open to doing an MSc in HR is I was already half-way there due to RMAS as you suggest that sounds wise.
  10. I'd suggest as an Engineers Officer, you'll spend more time managing them, than actually Engineering.

    This was how it was put to me, when I was trying for the Royal Signals, with an IT degree
  11. I suspect Animus may have attended another college of the University of London and was using 'Strand Poly' in the same way that Oxford students/graduates employ 'Fenland Polytechnic' when referring to Cambridge...
  12. Many years ago,I attended ''Fenland Poly'' as our Oxford bretheren like to call it.It's a bit like saying ''Really,do they do science at Oxford?'' From what I hear nowadays,the vast majority of those who arrive at RMAS,already have a degree,in something,and can thus get straight on with their careers,without a three year gap,not long after commissioning.However,going to Uni,and getting all your fees paid,while drawing a salary,is not a bad way to go,IMHO!
  13. Well suspected. I did indeed go to UCL (The Godless scum of Gower Street) and have had a visceral hatred of the Kings drilled into me from the historic 'rivalry' between sports teams and what have you. As much as it pains me to say; the War Studies department there does have a good reputation.

  14. Never mind, we all make mistakes :D
  15. Absolutely. The mistaken belief of the founders of Kings that they could ever rival UC has turned out to be a particulary embarrasing one :mrgreen: