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Officer, but no degree?

#1
Hi,

I just finished my first year of college, and hoping to get ABB next year for my A level results... however I don't want to go to University.

Will this impact badly on my application to be an officer? I know that you only need 180 UCAS points but at selection they seem to like the "life experience" that goes with living away from home during Uni and the associated stuff that goes with it.

Also, is there anything I can do that will help my application? I'm going to do a silver Duke of Edinburgh award this year, but apart from that?

Thanks
 
#2
I commissioned without going to university, but I was 23 when I started - so I had that life experience they look for. You might have enough of the world about you, and many have and done well.

However, if you are just starting something like Silver DofE, you might want to look at what you do outside the classroom and see whether that is giving you 'life experience'.

What do you want to do as an Officer? Is it something you have wanted to do for a while, or just don't want to go to uni? Why not uni?

Just a few questions they will ask you at an AFCO.
 
#3
One thing that is affected by you not having a degree - pay.
Officer Cadets going through Sandhurst are on different pay scales with those who have a degree getting paid more. If this isn't something that will bother you then go for it.
 
#4
Doesn't make too much difference one way or the other. I was not a graduate when I entered and I've just interviewed 2 Potential Officers who have passed RCB, neither with a degree and both are good candidates. Experiences are a factor but University doesn't necessarily tick the right boxes. Get out and do as much as you can but there are distinct advantages in joining early, especially if you are technically minded. Don't rule out the Defence Technology Undergraduate Scheme (DTUS), your AFCO can advise you and it may combine the best of both worlds. Good luck.
 
#5
The pay definitely makes absolutely no difference to me :)

It's the job I want to do and that wouldnt change if it paid 10k a year or 100k

I want to be a pilot in the AAC, so presumeably that would be a good thing if I went in young as they'd have a trained pilot for longer?

Thanks
 
#6
Go for it anyway, what´s the worst that can happen? Give you a hint, they can´t make you pregnant :D

If you do get in, after a few years (on the DTUS scheme) you get to go to one of four Unis (can´t remember them all now but the sqns are Taurus, Thunderer, Typhoon and Typhus (? :twisted: ). You get to go to school on wedges of wonga.
 
#7
Grads! Pah! I shi t 'em!!

Lighthouses in deserts - that's what they are: Bright but fcuking useless!!

Three cheers for the Simple Minds Course!! Get a degree in the university of life, my friend!
 
#8
Queensman said:
Grads! Pah! I shi t 'em!!

Lighthouses in deserts - that's what they are: Bright but fcuking useless!!

Three cheers for the Simple Minds Course!! Get a degree in the university of life, my friend!
:D

Just seems that 3 years is a long time when I could be doing something worthwhile, in those 3 years could have fully finished flying training and be off to Afghanistan or Iraq, instead of just entering into Sandhurst.

I don't see why people automatically assume that people to go to Uni are smarter though... wasn't there lots of stories about Uni's stopping people from failing to make themselves look better?

Not to mention you can get into some Unis with 80 UCAS points, equivalent to one C at A level or two Es.
 
#9
There are unis and there are unis. Don't for a moment assume that all degree courses and institutions carry the same weight. Although, that being said, all of them will count towards giving you extra pay.
 
#11
"I don't see why people automatically assume that people to go to Uni are smarter though"

Graduate or not, you'll still be subject to the "fcuk me sir, an officer with a map!" banter. The balance at Sandhurst is a majority of graduates which will have no impact at all on your entry form. If you are not joining for the money, then good luck amd enjoy. Just be prepared for the fact that you will not promoted as quickly as your peers and that you will see graduates who commissioned after you pick up their captaincy earlier. If you are a decent, hard working individual who wants to get stuck in and take pride in your work, you'll do fine. The only other bit of advice I would give is that you get on lots of visits pre-RMAS so that you know which Regiment or Corps you want to join. Sandhurst is busy, so go prepared as the visits are very quick. Best of luck - if you want any other thoughts PM me.
 
#12
A friend of mine has just had this problem. Went to join up, got told after interviews and BARB that he should live away form home for a year, and come back after that. It's alright, if you don't mind waiting another year.
 
#13
Your worldly experience is probably limited as a non-grad - that is one thing uni can give you - a further 3 years with new and interesting people, probably away from home.

Yes, it also gives you a degree, arguably useful for personal development, but not essential.

The fact that you will be on less money WILL get on your tits - every non-grad I have known schimfs about less pay and slower promotion - because they see the blokes they joined with overtaking them and doing more fun stuff as they have more money.

You don't NEED a degree though - if you are bright, level headed and chosen by AOSB as having the potential then go for it wil A-levels only - many do.

If you intend to join and stay in for some time then the relevancy of a degree and the slower promotion/less money thing will become less of an issue the longer you stay in. If however, you intend to be in for 5 years or so, then no degree may hamper your post-military employability (and pay in civvi street).

all worth thinking about - but good luck in your education and hopefully in the Army!
 
#15
chocolate_frog said:
Go for it anyway, what´s the worst that can happen? Give you a hint, they can´t make you pregnant :D

If you do get in, after a few years (on the DTUS scheme) you get to go to one of four Unis (can´t remember them all now but the sqns are Taurus, Thunderer, Typhoon and Typhus (? :twisted: ). You get to go to school on wedges of wonga.
There are 7 unis now (Birmingham was added last year). southampton, Loughborough, Aston, Birmingham, Northumbria, Newcastle and Oxbridge.
 
#16
django_strikes said:
Your worldly experience is probably limited as a non-grad -
WHAT? Are you implying that Grads are more worldly wise? Erm... that's not how I remember things! A load of juvenile overgrown schoolboys with little or no exposure to the outside world, would have been a better description. In those days Sandhurst recognised their potential/abilities so they did most of their training with the Splitarrses from the WRAC block in Bagshot(?) - and both lots were shite at drill.
 
#17
I joined RMAS as a non-grad at 19 and had the privilege of doing Rowallan Company (RIP). After having my character readjusted I went on to commission at 20 years old. I didn't have the same life experience as a grad but in all honesty they don't have a great amount that is relevant to what you will need through your career.

At RMAS you will be paid as an Officer Cadet (not a lot) whilst the grads will get paid as a 2Lt (comparative pop star wages to what you will be on). But remember you will be 3-4 years younger. On commissioning you will get paid as a 2Lt whilst the grads will get Lt pay.

You will generally do 2 years as a 2Lt and 3 as a Lt before promoting to Captain. Whilst grads will generally do 2 years before getting their Captain.

Although you will see the people you commission with promote earlier and get paid more you will get 2 Tp Comd tours which are the best of your commissioned life. Your time as a Tp Comd will be more productive as you will be able to fit in all of the YO's education and courses and still have time to command a tp; something your grad peers will not have the luxury of doing.

A degree will count towards nothing in your commissioned life unless you actually use the subject you took one in. The REME for example only take grads with engineering based degrees. The life experience you will gain from those extra 3 years as a Tp comd will give you a greater understanding of the things you will need to understand rather than the 3 years of non-focussed life experience from university.

I would possibly say that going to DTUS almost negates being a non-grad. You will do your first Tp Comd appt and then spend 3 years effectively as a civvy before coming back into the system as a Captain. I have seen some people do this and they would have been better off with the extra 3 years getting time in as a Tp Comd.

Although there is nothing wrong with a degree I personally relished the opportunities open to me that were only available because I didn't have one. I think the whole system of differing between grads and non-grads is a farce. If a grad is better because they have a degree then let the system decide and let everyone compete for promotion. That way the good non-grad will promote faster than a bad grad and vice versa. The system doesn't take into account those people who spend time getting real life experience in a proper job who then choose to go to RMAS later yet receive no seniority for it. The best way to look at it is not those people you commission with but the stage that someone of the same age as you would be at; basically you would have a 3 year head start on a grad in your military career and when they commission they will get seniority to bring them to the same point as you are at.

Anyway those were the rambling thoughts of a thicky non-grad who was commissioned, completed an op tour, a 2 month exercise in Norway and was getting paid more than someone at university who was probably only just completing their final year.
 
#18
Wow thanks for all the replys :)

I think I would prefer to do the extra time as a 2Lt or Lt because I'd love to do the ops side of things, and extra time doing that would be great. The pay side really isnt a big deal as I'm not that into loads of things, no need for a massive tv if your not going to have much time to watch it :)

I guess all I have to do is make sure I'm physically OK and then I should be alright for selection :D hopefully for september 2009 or january 2010... although that sounds AGES away.

Thanks for the help :) and im sure I'm bound to ask some mong questions at some point, so watch out for them ;)
 

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