Joining Sandhurst at 18

#1
Hi, I'm currently starting year 13 and currently deciding what to do after this school year. I was looking at becoming an infantry platoon officer and was wondering what are the chances of making it to Sandhurst without a degree? (P.S My fitness is to a good standard and I will meet the standard educational requirements 180 UCAS points etc.) Thanks in advance
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
#2
Hi, I'm currently starting year 13 and currently deciding what to do after this school year. I was looking at becoming an infantry platoon officer and was wondering what are the chances of making it to Sandhurst without a degree? (P.S My fitness is to a good standard and I will meet the standard educational requirements 180 UCAS points etc.) Thanks in advance

If you meet the educational and medical requirements and pass at AOSB you'll be in. About 80% of OCdts these days are graduates and the average age is about 23 so you'll be quite a bit younger but that's nothing too dramatic.

Should you find AOSB a little tricky in competition with older graduates there's a Leadership Development Course being run for candidates who don't quite meet the grade at AOSB. Rather than sending them away for a year to get a bit of experience (and thereby losing them) this 4 week course at RMAS aims to train candidates to have a better attempt at AOSB.
 
#4
I'm in the same boat as you, aged 18 and got my combined Briefing and Main Board on 11-14th September.

This far, not having a degree has not impaired my ability to join at all.
 
#5
I'm in the same boat as you, aged 18 and got my combined Briefing and Main Board on 11-14th September.

This far, not having a degree has not impaired my ability to join at all.
 

Glad_its_all_over

ADC
Book Reviewer
#6
Of course, you young balls of fire will find that downstream a couple of years, you're going to be somewhat disadvantaged if you're not graduates, Her Majesty's Trusty and Well-Beloved Friends are overwhelmingly grad nowadays and promotion past a certain point is going to be sticky without a postgrad qualification. Consider alternative approaches which will get you a place at Sandhurst *and* a degree, would be my suggestion - plus you'd be a 21- or 22-year-old subaltern in your first unit, which might be easier, it takes immense strength of character to stand in front of 30-odd young men and women and command them as an 18-year-old.

Total nonsense, of course and pretty much irrelevant to how you perform as a platoon/troop commander, but very much relevant to the Holy Army Officers' Career Structure, for which the British Army is the bearer ecology.
 
#7
I'm not sure if it's still the case that graduates are paid more at Sandhurst... if it is, you'll be on ~£17k as a non-grad and ~26k as a grad OCdt.

If you're considering the military as a serious, life-long career I would absolutely stress that you go to uni. The student lifestyle will give you time to get used to being away from home and living in shared accommodation, which is a major part of army life.

Additionally, as pointed out above, a degree will allow for quicker / further career progression. If you've got aspirations of climbing high up the officer food chain, then you will likely need a good degree (good in the academic sense (so not Sports Science....))

University is a great life experience and, if you're smart enough, you can piss your way through a good degree like I did and enjoy your life for 3 (or 4 now that HM Gov is funding masters' degrees!) years before having to have proper adult responsibilities without a safety net.

Go to uni; I wish I could go back four years and do it all over again.
 

Brotherton Lad

LE
Kit Reviewer
#9
I'm not sure if it's still the case that graduates are paid more at Sandhurst... if it is, you'll be on ~£17k as a non-grad and ~26k as a grad OCdt.

If you're considering the military as a serious, life-long career I would absolutely stress that you go to uni. The student lifestyle will give you time to get used to being away from home and living in shared accommodation, which is a major part of army life.

Additionally, as pointed out above, a degree will allow for quicker / further career progression. If you've got aspirations of climbing high up the officer food chain, then you will likely need a good degree (good in the academic sense (so not Sports Science....))

University is a great life experience and, if you're smart enough, you can piss your way through a good degree like I did and enjoy your life for 3 (or 4 now that HM Gov is funding masters' degrees!) years before having to have proper adult responsibilities without a safety net.

Go to uni; I wish I could go back four years and do it all over again.

Things have moved on in recent years so pay is equal. There is currently a move to increase applications by non-graduates.
 
#12
there's nothing more character building than living off of pesto pasta and oddly translucent chicken because you've spent your months' food budget at pound-a-pint night I'll have you know
Mind you, as well as honing my drinking skills my student diet set me up well for daily tea and toast.
 
#13
In all seriousness OP, do something else with your life whilst you're young before diving into RMAS and signing your life away for a minimum of 4 years... take a gap yah if you can afford it, at least.

A good degree will set you in better stead if you leave the military before you retire (you could always be forced out too, remember!) Sure, being an ex-officer looks great on your CV, but being an ex-officer with a decent degree will open up a lot more doors... lots of officers walk out of the army and into well-paying City jobs.

It's something for you to consider; A-levels aren't much of a safety net.
 

skid2

LE
Book Reviewer
#14
I had to go to England to discover how to exist on pate and white bread . (Toast if I wanted a hot meal) I would recommend the uni route if at all possible. You get to meet interesting women and they can't take it off you.
 

Wordsmith

LE
Book Reviewer
#15
In all seriousness OP, do something else with your life whilst you're young before diving into RMAS and signing your life away for a minimum of 4 years... take a gap yah if you can afford it, at least.

A good degree will set you in better stead if you leave the military before you retire (you could always be forced out too, remember!) Sure, being an ex-officer looks great on your CV, but being an ex-officer with a decent degree will open up a lot more doors... lots of officers walk out of the army and into well-paying City jobs.
To the OP: seconded. I'm a career civilian, so won't make any comment about army life, but because of the large number of people going to Uni, many jobs now ask for degree qualifications as a basic requirement. Should you go into the army and exit without a degree, you will be severely disadvantaged in the civilian job market.

If you don't want to get a degree before going to Sandhurst, there are two possibilities.
  1. Get an HNC - you can do that with one year's study. That will at least show some academic capability and with another year's study, you could upgrade it to an HND.
  2. Consider study in the Army. There's the OU - and the army may also pay for you to study for a degree*.
The other thing I would take into consideration is that "Jack Burke's" personality is still in the process of forming. As a 21 year old, your character will be different - and obviously a little more mature - than the 18 year old version. I would consider carefully whether a slightly more mature you has a better chance of graduating from Sandhurst.

Good luck,

Wordsmith

* For a definitive answer on that, you need an answer from the serving or served on this site: I won't pretend to know.
 
#16
I'm in the same boat as you, aged 18 and got my combined Briefing and Main Board on 11-14th September.

This far, not having a degree has not impaired my ability to join at all.
To both you and the OP: not having a degree may not be an obstacle to joining. It is however a hindrance to promotion and a disadvantage on leaving. I was a non-grad...I took my degrees after leaving the regulars.

Go to university. Join the OTC. Then commit. If you're still interested. Or else get another job and maybe join the STABs (or whatever they're called now)


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