TA too much at University?

Hi everyone and thanks in advance for any advice.

I am in my second year of Uni and have recently decided that I want to join the Army after I have graduated. I have been in touch with my local AFCO and asked about joining the UOTC however, because I already midway through my 2nd year I am too late to join.
The officer I spoke to suggested joining the TA instead but said she thought it might be too much with my 3rd year, dissertation and my part-time job. I wouldn't want my degree to suffer.
Has anyone been in a similar situation and did they find it too much to take on all at once? I am basically just looking for any advice around this topic...

Thank you

I'm a 2nd year student at university, I joined the TA in my second year of college. I have managed to keep my commitments high with the TA and that's despite my workload and my other part time job. The basic training can be a bit of a pain to complete as it takes up a lot of time, it can also be problematic with your part time job if you work weekends. However I dont think it will be too much of a problem.
Bex if you are planning on joining the Army your OTC will still allow you to join. I assume you are studying in England and on a 3 year course?
I don't see that it should be too much for you too handle. Whilst in my final year I had 2 jobs and played for 2 rugby teams. It was tough to juggle work, training and studying but it is do-able.
It's only 1 night a week and a weekend a month after all.
Bex, this gets covered alot (search function and even the "similar threads" bit beneath the posts are a good help, but my 2 penneth worth:

1) why do you want to join the OTC or TA? is it for insight, experience or what?
2) TA is not based around Uni curriculum.
3) OTC is (but if they say you can't join in your final year, then that's out).
4) How arduous is your degree - mine was 30+ hrs a week, plus OTC, plus work. I got a 2:1 (Hons). Depends on you.

I knew people who tried TA and said you couldn't fully commit to the TA if doing a degree - one guy did a gap year of sorts, so he could deploy with the TA, then had to leave them to focus on his final year.

I don't know, but with cut backs, I don't think TA can just be viewed as 1 night a week and 1 weekend a month. I presume you make a commitment to be deployable and if you want to get anything out of the TA you may wish to commit more.

I assume you are looking to go the Officer route, so will be doing AOSB etc from now until finishing degree, with a view to RMAS thereafter. The TA will teach you how command structure works and basic drill, not to be an officer candidate. I would imagine that the TA Officer slots are oversubscribed and hard to win, esp if you are looking at giving them 18 months service. further, this requires you to do TA RMAS and then Reg RMAS later.

If it is to confirm your career choice (do you know what you want to do in the Army?) then you may just have to accept that you go into it "blind", relying on any attachements to units you can organise through your UCO/Careers Office - I am pretty sure that over half my platoon had no military experience - it can help by not giving you preconceptions. Of course, experience can make it seem less daunting and make the little things easier to swallow, allowing you to concentrate on the big stuff.

Good luck
Bex if you are planning on joining the Army your OTC will still allow you to join. I assume you are studying in England and on a 3 year course?
Hey deejay, Yes I am in England on a 3 year course.

I looked it all up online and it didn't look likely that I could join so I rang my local AFCO and spoke in detail with the lady who deals with University students wanting to join up. She looked into it and got back to me saying that as I was midway through my second year I was too late to join my OTC.

I am not doubting what you are saying, just telling you what I have been told. How is it possible to join - I couldn't find any details to contact them directly.....just a lot of information on the British Army website!


Hi django.

Thanks for all the information you have given me. It's a great help. The reason that I want to join the OTC or TA is so I am not going in blind after University. Both insight and experience yes. I am pretty sure I know what I want to do in the Army...that is what I am doing at the moment, getting in contact with a lot of people and weighing up options/looking at different careers within the Army.

At the moment my degree is only about 12 hours a week. The OTC would be fine, I am just wondering if the TA would be too much as I would want to commit to the TA fully but I have to work a lot to fund myself through Uni and I find myself struggling for time already despite being a very hard worker. Going on what deejay said, I will look further into the OTC because he seems to think I can still join if I state that I intend to join the Army after Uni.

I think the main thing I would like from a little military experience is simply so that, as you say, it is not so daunting and I know what to expect a little more. Although I know it is not compulsory nor always necessary.

Just a quick question, you asked if I would be doing AOSB between now and finishing my degree. Should I start the procedure whilst still at Uni? I assumed (possibly naively) that I would have to finish before I could start applying etc and when I spoke to the AFCO they said nothing about me starting to apply. I am however in the process of applying for a bursary which in order to get I have to commit to joining the Army when I finish Uni so perhaps in doing this I will begin the application process?

Thanks (and sorry for the overload, I am trying to figure as much out as possible)

I joined the TA whilst doing my degree, was an arduous course and took up a lot of my time. Ta probably helped me, gave me a break and is flexible to an extent. I am now doing a post-grad course which is even more time consuming and I still enjoy my time in the TA.

I would definitely go down to the TA unit your interested in and give them a shout, see how they feel about it (they will want you).
Step smartly down to the OTC and get the info first hand rather than relying on AFCO - who frankly have F-all idea about either the TA or the OTC.

I would bet a significant proportion of my Pension on the OTC falling over themselves to take you - very keen indeed on students who actually want to join up and likely to bend policy in order to take you. The TA are also likely to mess you about, particularly if your home town is not the same as your Uni so you dissappear all summer, over Easter etc. The OTC, on the other hand, is built around the Uni year.

Deejay. Congrats on producing the Queens Medal winner at RMAS this year. He tells me he learnt all he needs to know from you.... :nod:

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