Wanting to apply to be a reserve but no A levels. Other qualifications though!

Afternoon everyone!

I’m wanting to apply for a position in the reserves (engineering platoon officer) but I don’t have A levels.

I graduate next year with a BA (Hons) in Leadership and Management so I currently hold a HND in Leadership and Management.

I also have an NVQ Level 3, IMI Level 3, BTEC level 3 extended diploma and an advanced apprenticeship with Jaguar Land Rover all in engineering subjects.

I’m wondering if anyone’s been successful with similar qualifications?

I got onto my degree without UCAS points and A Levels due to professional experience with working for JLR for 8 years combined with my other level 3 qualifications.
 
"Applicants who have not followed a mainstream academic route, but believe that their academic qualifications merit consideration, should contact us on 0345 600 8080."

From the official website.
 

chrisg46

LE
Book Reviewer
Or start the joining process now as a soldier, then apply for a commission once graduated?
 
Either of what they both said.

Personally, if you start off as a soldier, even for a year or so and if you then successfully become an officer it will make you a much better officer. You will actually understand what is going to happen out of your sight when you delegate tasks and give orders, and you will have a better understanding of the blokes who are working for you.

Worst officers are those with unrealistic expectations coming out of not knowing what it takes to get a job done and also have no connection to their men.

Other opinions are available.
 

WALT

War Hero
Personally, if you start off as a soldier, even for a year or so and if you then successfully become an officer it will make you a much better officer.
What he said. My experiences go back many years, but if they are still relevant, and you show officer potential as a member of the other ranks you will be steered in the right direction. Unless of course you happen to be a complete ********.......try it out and see how it goes. Best of luck.

ETA- curses! I didn't think a.r.s.e hole was that strong.
 

Daxx

MIA
Book Reviewer
Telephone Army recruitment and ask them. The Army isn't exactly bursting at the seams with personnel at present. My only observation is your degree may not work for the Engineers.
 
Stop dithering. Just crack on, join the ranks and see where you get.
What he said!
You may find you dont suit the army or the army doesn't suit you. Plus any medical issues that may appear. Apply and see what happens.
Also, sometimes starting as a private and working up is not a bad thing. Officers have lot of responsibility - if you are reserves it is sometimes good to be in the background learning and enjoying your tasks rather than up front being watched from above and below.
 
Thank you all for the replies!

I called the number and they point blank said if you don’t have A levels we’re not interested!

Will be going the reserve soldier route. Either way I would like to see what military reserve life is like regardless of where I start.
 

halloumikid

Old-Salt
Thank you all for the replies!

I called the number and they point blank said if you don’t have A levels we’re not interested!

Will be going the reserve soldier route. Either way I would like to see what military reserve life is like regardless of where I start.

A reserve soldier only needs 5 x GCSEs, including maths and English. Plus, of course a recommendation from their CoC. No UCAS points required.

The first response from Crapita, sorry Capita, is also a poor one. Ask them if you can submit an Educational Waiver to the Senior Education Adviser at AOSB. He makes the call, not Capita!

Halloumikid
 

Serpico

Old-Salt
If you've managed to almost get a degree and, more importantly, gained entry to the degree course without A levels, you are obviously a smart cookie; I'd suspect less than 0.1% of uni students don't have A levels or equivalent. My advice would be to contact the unit directly, arrange a wee interview with coffee with an adult, and see if they can't also see what your uni saw?

Worst case scenario you can join (as an officer) in a year, and the unit will already know who you are and what you are about. Good luck
 
Last edited:
Hi all,

Just thought i'd give you an update. I applied as an officer in the end. I have 160 UCAS points rather than the 180 they ask for so i've filled out an educational waiver and sent that with a supporting statement. Sent it on Monday so fingers crossed!
 
Hi all,

Just thought i'd give you an update. I applied as an officer in the end. I have 160 UCAS points rather than the 180 they ask for so i've filled out an educational waiver and sent that with a supporting statement. Sent it on Monday so fingers crossed!
Thanks for letting us know. Please keep in touch and good luck with the application.
 

foxs_marine

War Hero
Hi all,

Just thought i'd give you an update. I applied as an officer in the end. I have 160 UCAS points rather than the 180 they ask for so i've filled out an educational waiver and sent that with a supporting statement. Sent it on Monday so fingers crossed!
Good luck, hope you are successful.
 
Heard back after 14 days!

“I am pleased to let you know that your education waiver has now been granted and your application has been passed on to a Candidate Support Manager who will take you through the rest of the process. They should be in touch soon to discuss the next steps.”

So pleased!
 

Daxx

MIA
Book Reviewer
Congratulations. They need you more than you need them :)
 
REME the way to go, more so with the experience you have with JLR.
However if you want "Hands on Experience" go Reserve Soldier.

Any reason why you do not want to go Regular Officer?
 
REME the way to go, more so with the experience you have with JLR.
However if you want "Hands on Experience" go Reserve Soldier.

Any reason why you do not want to go Regular Officer?
Hi crustyrusty!

I’m an engine fitter/tester at JLR so have 8 years of hands on experience. My degree however is management and leadership so wanted to go in as an engineering platoon officer to combine my job skills and degree knowledge.

I love my job at JLR so that’s why I’m going in a reserve officer!
 
Have you read up on what they do etc?

I wouldn't get too wrapped around the officer thing. You are likely to spend more time doing paperwork than perhaps engineering.

You should go to your local unit, with an open mind, and see which role may suit you better. There will also be more spaces for soldier than officer. By joining as a soldier you can always commission later. There is no way back from officer, if you later choose it's not for you then you would almost certainly have to leave the unit and join another...
 

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