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Oxford University Officers’ Training Corps recruits from seven different universities, and students at any of these are encouraged to join: Oxford University, Oxford Brookes University, University of Reading, The University of Gloucestershire, The Royal Agricultural University Cirencester, The University of Buckingham and Cranfield University.

Adventure, leadership and teamwork since 1642

A member of Oxford UOTC during a military training exercise.Oxford University Officers’ Training Corps is one of the oldest units in the British Army; formed by students of Oxford University in 1642 as an armed bodyguard for King Charles I during the English Civil War.

Today it remains a proud part of the university and a society where students (from all affiliated universities) can develop as leaders under the prestigious Sandhurst Group training syllabus, while getting paid.

Our leadership development program is based on the world renowned Royal Military Academy Sandhurst military training and supplemented by unparalleled adventurous expeditions, often overseas. Whilst some students do go on to join the Army after university, it is not mandatory and the majority take their honed leadership skills into other careers knowing the high calibre of the Army and the people in it.

Oxford UOTC has approximately 250 students spread across three year groups; Sir John Moore Company (1st year), Alanbrooke Company (2nd year), and Chavasse Platoon (3rd and 4th years serving in command appointments).

Located in Falklands House, less than a five minute walk from Oxford train station, training nights are held on Tuesday evenings (6.30 to 8.30 pm) with roughly five weekend exercises and social events throughout the academic year.

What else do we offer?

Adventurous training

Members of Oxford UOTC take part in Competitive Sailing.During your time with Oxford UOTC you will have plenty of opportunities to get involved in sports or adventurous training expeditions.

Adventurous Training

Adventurous Training is designed to take people out of their comfort zones. Whether ice climbing in the Pyrenees, diving on an Egyptian wreck or taking on a black ski run in the Alps, expeditions expose people to fear and risk management and build up individual and teamwork skills. With Oxford UOTC there are plenty of opportunities to do Adventurous Training. In fact, costly qualifications are not just free with the OUOTC – you get paid to do them! Common annual expeditions are:

  • Skiing in the Alps (Alpine, Nordic and Ski Touring) 
  • Competitive Sailing in the Baltic and RYA training in the Solent 
  • Hiking and trekking in places such as Romania, Corsica, Italy, France and even the USA. 
  • Climbing and Mountaineering 
  • Scuba Diving and Surfing

In short, if you or your fellow members conceive it, and the army can support it, there are tremendous opportunities for Adventurous Training.


Members of Exeter UOTC take part in tug-of-war.Sport is a key part of the British Army’s ethos. It builds both team skills and personal fitness. Oxford UOTC has active teams in:

  • Rugby
  • Football
  • Netball
  • Tug-of-War
  • Hockey
  • Cross-Country
  • Equestrian


OUOTC social event.‘Work hard, play hard’ is a battle cry of all students, and those within Oxford University Officer Training Corps are no different. Whether it's relaxing with friends after a training night in the Mess (our private bar and the cheapest bar in Oxford) or joining in with the games at one of our legendary fancy dress parties, there are always plenty of opportunities to enjoy yourself.

In highest military tradition we also host formal dinners throughout the year, including the famous Annual Dinner held at the Oxford Union, the Bodleian Library and an Oxford College, which attracts the most prestigious of guests.

Previous guests of honour have included Members of Parliament, top Generals and war heroes. The OUOTC May Ball, running through the night to celebrate the traditional Oxford May Day, has seen Falklands House transformed into Circus Tent, Blitz Air Raid Shelter and Prohibition time Speak Easy to name a few.


Noel Chavasse, one of only three men to be awarded the Victoria Cross twice.A (very) short history

OUOTC was first formed in 1642 as The Oxford University Volunteers – a bodyguard for King Charles I, during the Civil War. Whilst the force was disbanded after the war, its brief existence gives Oxford UOTC a claim to be one of the oldest military units in the country.

In 1685 a company was raised by fellows at All Souls & Merton colleges to defend the city against the Duke of Monmouth’s rebellion. During the Napoleonic Wars the Oxford University Volunteers were called upon again but it wasn’t until the French Invasion Scare of 1859 that the Oxford University Rifle Volunteer Corps was formed with the Prince of Wales as the Honorary Colonel.

During the Second Boer War the Corps sent around 100 Officer Cadets and Staff to South Africa in 1900 making us one of the very few Officer Training Corps to have seen active service. The Officer Cadets and Staff were later presented their South Africa War Medals at two dinner nights by Lieutenant Colonel Maul, a previous Adjutant, and Lieutenant General Sir John French KCB.

Lord Haldane’s reforms of 1905 saw the formation of the Oxford University Officers’ Training Corps as it stands today, with the primary aim of training young Officers for both the regular and reserve forces. The reforms included some new requirements such as the provision of Regular Army permanent staff.
Pictured is Oxford graduate Noel Chavasse, one of only three men to be awarded the Victoria Cross twice.

The Blue Contemptibles

The Blue Contemptibles is Oxford UOTC’s Regimental Association. It is open to anyone who has been a member of OUOTC and it allows old members to keep in touch with each other and provides an excellent networking opportunity for those seeking future employment.

Members can attend the annual Blue Contemptibles Dinner and other events. The Membership Secretary, Captain Felstead MBE, can be reached at bluecontemptibles@gmail.com
The Blue Contemptibles

Contact us

Telephone: 01865 255341

Email: UOTCOxford-GroupMailbox@mod.uk

The Senior Under Officer, Oxford UOTC
Falklands House
Oxpens Road
Oxford, OX1 1RX

Getting here

Oxford UOTC location

Those travelling independently to Oxford for training will be able to claim travel expenses back from the OUOTC.

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Oxford Railway Station

Those travelling independently to Oxford for training will be able to claim travel expenses back from the OUOTC.

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Swanbrook Bus Stop

Those travelling independently to Oxford for training will be able to claim travel expenses back from the OUOTC.

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