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Join as an officer

Being an Army officer is about leading from the front and caring for your soldiers. You will lead a life of challenge, adventure, achievement and service. Whether it's commanding a platoon of soldiers on operations or helping to build critical infrastructure and rebuild lives after a natural disaster, you will lead a life that is far from routine.

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When we look for our future leaders, we look for people with the qualities to push themselves to achieve more, in challenging environments at home and abroad.

Who can become an officer?

It's qualities, not qualifications that make a great Army officer. You can start your officer training straight from school at the age of 18, however you do need to have:
  • 180 UCAS points (72 for those taking A levels from 2017)
    • Points must come from up to 3 subjects (or 4 Scottish Highers)
    • 2 subjects must be at National level 3 - not including AS levels or General Studies
  • 35 ALIS points
    • Points must come from your 7 best GCSE subjects
    • Or 34 ALIS points from your 7 best SNQ subjects Be between 18 and 30
  • Be between 18 and 30
  • Pass the medical and fitness tests
You'll work towards a degree as part of your job as an officer, while earning a great salary at the same time.
Officers lined up on parade

Your career as an officer

Your career as an Army officer brings a range of benefits. You will receive the best leadership and management training in the world, at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. Throughout your career you will be encouraged to take part in a number of training courses and study for a wide range of civilian-recognised qualifications. To keep your body as fit as your mind, you'll also have access to gym and sports facilities, with world-class fitness and nutritional advice.

Officers at Sandhurst

Lead and Learn

No fees and get paid a starting salary of over £25,000. Earn a BSc in Leadership and Strategic Studies or a Masters degree in Leadership and Strategic Studies, developed in partnership with Reading University and Henley Business School, as an Army officer. Starting while you're at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst, and continue as you serve as a young officer. 

Group shot of officers

Army Reserve officers

Joining as a Reserve officer makes it possible to gain many of the advantages of Army life and combine them with your civilian responsibilities and career. Initial officer training can be completed at weekends or in your spare time with training undertaken at one of the Officer Training Units, which are found around the country.



Scholarships, bursaries, professionally qualified financial incentives... If you have your heart set on becoming an officer, but are still at school or university, the good news is that the Army offers many financial support options to help you further your education.


As an officer cadet, you’ll spend 44 weeks at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst.

Feel like part of the action in our 360 degree pictures of training at Sandhurst.


Professionally qualified?

The Army needs doctors, dentists, nurses, lawyers, pharmacists, physiotherapists, veterinary surgeons, environmental health officers, operating department practitioners and chaplains with the relevant degrees and experience. Professionally Qualified Officers (PQOs) can expect to be commissioned in a higher rank, and at a correspondingly higher pay grade. They will need to go on a ten weeks course.

Call us if you're interested in developing your skills with the Army on 0345 600 8080

FAQs - Officers

What happens at officer selection?

You will be invited to attend a two day Army Officer Selection Board briefing, where your leadership and teamwork skills will be tested. This will help you prepare for the Selection Board, which is a three-day assessment of both your physical and mental suitability for the role.

More advice on preparing for the Army Officer Selection Board (AOSB)

How long is officer training?

The course takes place at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and lasts 44 weeks for Regular officers, or three weeks for Reservists. People with certain experience or qualifications may be eligible for the fast-track Professionally Qualified Officers’ (PQO) course, which lasts ten weeks.

 After this initial training, you will go on a second course to learn specific skills related to your first appointment. The length of this course varies depending on the type of role you will be doing.

Training to be a Reservist Officer

Initial officer training is a series of modules to develop your military leadership and skills. Module 1 is 6 weekends at an Officer Training Regiment, followed by Module 2 which is delivered either over 10 weekends or a 2-week consolidated course. Module 3 brings these new skills together, culminating in a concentrated 9-day field exercise which prepares you for officer training at Sandhurst.

How much will I earn as an officer?

You’ll earn a salary of £25,984 while you train. This rises to £31,232 when you are commissioned as a Second Lieutenant. If you’re still serving in the Army after five years you could be earning at least £40,025 as a Captain.

Can I get financial help while I study?

The Army offers a tiered scheme of undergraduate bursaries for those studying or planning to study both technical and non-technical degrees. Awards range from £6,000 to the enhanced bursary at £24,000. As an Army Bursar you will be expected to join the Officer Training Corps (OTC) whilst at university and complete a minimum of 3 years commissioned service following Sandhurst.

If you’re studying for a medical qualification, you can apply for our Undergraduate Cadetship, which gives future doctors, nurses and dentists who pass officer selection the chance to earn money while studying for a degree.


How can I get involved with the Army while I’m at university?

University Officer Training Corps (UOTCs) introduce students to the Army and develop life skills – such as leadership and teamwork – through exercises, adventurous training and community projects. It’s about having fun, making friends and discovering just what you are capable of. You get paid for the days you train, and there is no requirement to join the Army when you graduate.

You can serve with the Army Reserve while you are at university – you’ll train in the evenings and at the weekends, and get paid for the time you spend with them.

How do I apply to Welbeck?

If you’re hoping to study for you’re A-Levels at Welbeck, you will need to apply by December in order to start by the next September. Your application will be processed and if you’re successful, you’ll be invited to Army Officer Selection Board before you’re given your place. You also need to meet the Welbeck fitness standards. More information can be found on the Welbeck site.

How many soldiers will I be in charge of?

For the first couple of years as a junior officer you will be in charge of around 30 soldiers. On rising to Captain, you could find yourself helping to command a unit of around 120 soldiers. Alternatively, you could move on to command fewer soldiers in a more specialised team.

What is the Army Officer Scholarship Scheme?

The Army offers a Sixth Form Scholarship (AOSS) to talented students who have good Regular Army officer potential. Only 100 scholarships are awarded each year across the whole country so competition is tough. Scholarships are given on merit, irrespective of your background or schooling.

Contact us

Call us on 0345 600 8080

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