What degree?

Bulldog

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If I wanted to go to Uni in order to become an officer what degree would be best? Thanks ?
 

Chelonian

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If I wanted to go to Uni in order to become an officer what degree would be best?
Unsure if a university degree is mandatory. Choose a subject which actually interests you. As far as I am aware the Army isn't bothered whether a degree is in Theology, Music or Defence Studies. The subject is of little consequence. Perhaps what matters more are the portable skills picked up during a two or three year degree course.

Arguably the biggest single benefit from the Army's perspective is that university graduates have lived independently (well, kind of) and developed a broader outlook compared to, say, a school leaver. Key traits sought by the Army and most other employers are judgment and maturity.
 

Admin

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You don’t necessarily need a degree to apply for Officer entry. You require 35 ALIS points from 7 subjects, at least grade C in English Language, Maths and either Science or a foreign language plus 72 UCAS points. So it is entirely possible to gain this from completing A Levels. The bigger advantage is arguably the three years of independent living that you can get from Uni.
Hopefully someone better qualified than I can comment.
Tagging @Unofficial CSM

Edit to add - Beaten to it by @Chelonian
 

Redders

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I’ve had bosses with law degrees and photography degrees! If you are good enough to get to Sandhurst the Para board care more about you as a bloke than qualifications. It’s very competitive though
 

The CSM

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Hi @Bulldog,

If you head over to the Army job role finder it has all available roles for officers and the entry requirements for them.
Generally speaking, unless you want to do one of the professionally qualified officer roles (Dentist, Doctor, Physio, Pharmacist, Lawyer etc..) then you won't need a specific degree. If you do not have a degree this doesn’t stop you applying. You can start training to become an officer when you leave school at 18. If you want to apply to join as an Officer you will need

If you've taken GCSEs:
35 ALIS points from 7 subjects, at least grade C/4 in English Language, Maths and either Science or a foreign language

If you've taken SNQs:
34 ALIS points from 7 subjects, at least grade C/2 in English Language, Maths and either Science or a foreign language

AND

72 UCAS Tariff points from a maximum of 3 subjects (4 for Scottish Highers and excluding General Studies) with a minimum of 2 at National Level 3 (excluding AS Levels) or National or International equivalent.

Applicants who have not followed a mainstream academic route, but believe that their academic qualifications merit consideration, should contact us on 0345 600 8080.
How to work out ALIS score
Add up the value of your top 7 results from the following:
  • 8 points for: GCSE A*/9, BTEC (level 2) Distinction*
  • 7.5 points for: GCSE Low A* - High A/8
  • 7 points for: GCSE A/7, SNQ (level 5) A, BTEC (level 2) Distinction
  • 6 points for: GCSE B/6, SNQ (level 5) B, BTEC (level 2) Merit
  • 5 points for: GCSE C/4&5, SNQ (level 5) C, BTEC (level 2) Pass
  • 4 points for: GCSE D/3, SNQ (level 5) D, SNQ (level 4)
If you want to commission from the ranks (Soldier to Officer) you will need recommendations from your Chain of Command and pass relevant interviews. You will need GCSE passes or equivalent in 5 subjects, including English Language and Mathematics at Grade C/4 (or above) or the nationally recognised equivalent. If you do not meet this criteria you will undergo an assessment at the Army School of Education, Worthy Down, before being recommended for the selection process.

Best of luck with your application.
 

Bobby_Bert

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Just to flesh the process out some more for you with some of the nitty-gritty. Whilst at Sandhurst you will be asked to choose three Regiments/Corps that you would like to join and then you will have the opportunity visit each one.
While at that Regiment/Corp, you will have interview's and essentially be given an insight. The final selection phase is the Regimental selection boards, and if successful you will be offered a place with your chosen regiment.

After leaving Sandhurst you’ll complete a Young Officers’ Course, which for the infantry is the Platoon Commanders Battle Course. The PCBC is a 10-week tactics-based course. Think of this as your phase two training. During this phase you will progress from a week of fundamentals (battle-drill, weapons capabilities, and handling), to a week of section-based tactics. The next four weeks are offensive operations, followed by urban operations, then defensive operations, and urban-based company operations. It is a tough course. You will spend a lot of time in the field and will be under considerable stress. Note that only the top thirty percent of Sandhurst students are qualified to become infantry officers, of which an even smaller percentage being selected for Para Reg.
After PCBC you will attend P Company, and if successful, then a basic para course to gain your wings.
It’s a very long process but that is what makes it so prestigious! Para Reg officers are among the best infantry officers in the military.
 

Scott R

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I studied Classical Civilisation and Literature o_O

As mentioned above the actual topic of my degree didn’t matter for AOSB/main board. It is much more what sets you apart from the 10,000 other graduates each year. The fact one has completed a degree shows the ability to study, absorb information and produce prepared pieces of work on information. The subject isn’t that important.
 

The CSM

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Research shows almost 86% of graduate job vacancies are open to graduates of any subject* The Army is no different and on the whole values the personal qualities over degree subject. With the exception being for PQ roles such as medical or legal etc.
A degree hones skills and attributes, including:
‒ adaptability
‒ critical thinking
‒ analysis and problem solving.

*Institute of Student Employers, 2020.
 

Chelonian

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Anyone completing, say, a three year degree has demonstrated that they have 'stickability': the determination to stick at something (anything) from start to finish.
Arguably this is more important than the degree subject itself for roles not requiring specific qualifications.
 

Collieryboy

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I will weigh in here as its something I have a fair bit of experience with this, both with myself and recently family members. Its always a bit of a contentious issue. When it comes to sandhurst or the forces, others know better than me and have commented. Outside of the forces I will argue that degree subject does make a difference. Although many grad schemes accept any degree they usually prefer STEM grads. I left being a team leader of welders in industry to go to university as a mature student. I spent a long time researching this. Ill find some links and can recommend a brilliant book. Its just an objective fact that some degrees offer a much better return on investment than others. As the amount of people attending university has increased by 400% having a degree isn't enough anymore. In the time that 8x as many people are studying psychology,physics has actually reduced. Some degrees are just harder than others. Physics has an average of 32 hours contact time while archaeology at my uni had 7. The world is constantly moving towards data and software. The "hard" very numerate courses set the grads up well for this and are in demand. As automation takes away more jobs,many won't have the skills to retrain. Despite what some say everyone couldn't learn to code, or become a robot technician. You don't have to take my word for it go to any universities grad destinations page and view the median salary 6 months after graduating, hard STEM subjects are always higher. The hard subjects develop analytic skills, problem solving, abstract thinking and a high level of maths. They are hard and are the "SF" of the academic world. In an interview you can honestly say you've done something difficult which will stretch you.
I could rant all day but I'll stop there as nice already probably put someone to sleep.
 

Chelonian

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They are hard and are the "SF" of the academic world.
I've heard the same said about history from someone who recruited grads for a big pharma corporation. The analytical and critical thinking skills gained are very portable and marketable. Although his comment was in the context of an environment where graduate employees engaged in science for perhaps only three years before moving on to managing multiple projects.
 

Scott R

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Great points well made. Another, often underestimated, point is to bare in mind is that the Army is largely representative of the society that they defend. Over the last few generations years that society has changed a lot. I would suggest that many of today’s recruits are likely to have degrees. Many also see the Army as a stepping stone to another job or career. I’d hazard a guess that many NCOs today are probably academically qualified for Officer
 

Collieryboy

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I've heard the same said about history from someone who recruited grads for a big pharma corporation. The analytical and critical thinking skills gained are very portable and marketable. Although his comment was in the context of an environment where graduate employees engaged in science for perhaps only three years before moving on to managing multiple projects.
I have heard the similar about history a few times but ive never seen it particularly. I can imagine that for people facing roles it would possibly be better, add to that the stereotype of science students tending to be more introverted and less interested in those type of roles is common. Hence technical grads with excellent communication skills are even more sought after. Often to bridge the gap between the technical departments and management. As the world progresses more towards automation the more numerate and technical you are the better you will placed. The benefit of doing a hard subject is that it will probably be the most intellectually difficult thing you will ever do. Everything else is relatively easy in comparison. Employers know that if you can do these subjects you can do anything, within reason and whatever they ask you to do will be fine. Obviously some very specialised roles require PhDs. In general its much easier to teach a stem grad how to analyse large data sets and statistics, or how to use a technical tool like coding, or understand the intricacies of engineering a product for example, than it would be an arts graduate, some just won't have the ability.
 

Blisters

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Agree with above. My son is currently serving as a coy 2IC within Para Reg. He graduated with a 2:1 in Bachelor of Laws (Honours)(LLB). I don’t think they even discussed his degree at his main board and if they did it certainly wasn’t extensively. As @Chelonian says they were more interested in the fact it demonstrated he was dedicated and committed – personal qualities that are valued ahead of RMAS.
The transferable skills that you’ll develop through higher study can be highly prized by employers and will apply to almost any area of work. They include critical thinking, highly-developed analytical skills, as well as excellent verbal and written communication skills. All very relevant skills for service as a commissioned officer.
 

Scott R

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Another motivation for me is that although I am yet to commence training, I don’t want to come out into an increasingly competitive world not having at least done some homework to ease the transition into civilian life. My degree will hopefully add to employability after military service, no matter how long I serve.
Saying that I am one day away from arriving at Sandhurst hugging my ironing board, so I hope I don’t need to fall back onto my degree too soon!
 

LLB

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Even non STEM degrees are going to draw out transferable skills for Army Officer. Sounds cliché but I think grads will have a competitive advantage when it comes to academic problem-solving, critical thinking, logical reasoning, communication and attention to detail. All of which will be useful as a Parachute Regiment Officer I’d assume?
 

Snows

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If I wanted to go to Uni in order to become an officer what degree would be best? Thanks ?
In this order:

1. Do what you enjoy.
2. Do what you are good at.
3. Do STEM.

The world does not need more plausible humanities graduates who sound convincing but have no real skills. STEM degrees are more likely to teach you critical thinking skills that will do you well anywhere, including the Army, and are increasingly recognised as teaching more valuable practical skills that organisations want and need.

But the most important thing, for you, is to do well. So prioritise something that preferably, you enjoy (because you will be more engaged and therefore do better), or failing that, something that you are good at (because you are good at it and therefore will do better).
 

Snows

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Saying that I am one day away from arriving at Sandhurst hugging my ironing board, so I hope I don’t need to fall back onto my degree too soon!
1. Congratulations!
2. Commiserations!

I'd get off here and get your head down.
 
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