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At the Army Foundation College (AFC), Harrogate we get 16 and 17 year olds ready for a career in the British Army. We can help you get the military skills, fitness, and education you need for a great start in whichever part of the Army suits you – while you earn a good wage and make friends for life.

Get in touch

0345 600 8080

Mates, skills, and a great future Get what you want out of life at the Army Foundation College, Harrogate

Learning at AFC Harrogate

Learning skills at Harrogate

Military skills

From outdoor survival to handling and firing weapons, at AFC Harrogate you’ll get the same training as everyone who joins the British Army – but you’ll spend longer on it, and by the time you graduate you’ll know it back to front.

Education at Harrogate


Whatever qualifications you’ve got, we’ll help you improve your English, Maths and computer skills to prepare you for specialised training later in your career. And what you learn will come in useful when you decide to return to civilian life, too.

Weight training at Harrogate

Sports & Fitness

You’ll build your strength and stamina by running, swimming, and tackling obstacle courses. Plus, you’ll get to take part in a huge range of sports and Adventurous Training. The standard we expect is realistic, and most people find the experience of getting fit really satisfying.

Supporting each other at Harrogate

Leadership & Initiative

You’ll be given extra responsibility, helping your fellow soldiers improve and the staff deliver training. You’ll develop the kind of leadership skills you’ll need to move up the ranks in whatever part of the Army you join.

What it’s like?

Bedroom at AFC Harrogate


You’ll be part of a twelve-person ‘section’ sharing a large room, divided up to give you your own spaces and some privacy. It’s not like living at home, but it is comfortable – and sharing helps you to make friends quickly. Men and women have separate accommodation.

Playing pool at Harrogate

Free time

Down time is important, and you’ll usually have space in the evenings and at weekends to relax. There’s a shop on site where you can buy snacks, and a club where you can get fast food, watch films, and use the internet. It’s also a chance to get to know the other Junior Soldiers.

Learning to Box at AFC Harrogate


Army fitness isn’t all about marching and running. As well as a large gym and a 25-metre swimming pool, AFC Harrogate offers an indoor climbing wall, pitches for football and rugby and basketball courts. Facilities are top-of-the-range, with professional coaching.

Junior Soldiers on parade


When you start you’ll get about £800 a month – but that’s yours to spend or save after your food and accommodation is paid for. When you’ve been with us for six months that will rise to around £1,000 after deductions.

How long is the course?

There are two courses, a long and short course. Which one you join depends on the job you’re hoping to do in the Army. If you're on the short course, you'll have 3 weeks off mid term, while those doing the long course will have 8 weeks.


Army Air Corps, Adjutant General's Corps(SPS), Royal Signals, Army Medical Corps, Royal Engineers, Royal Logistic Corps, Royal Electrical & Mechanical Engineers, Corps of Army Music

Infantry, Royal Armoured Corps, Royal Artillery, Household Cavalry, Royal Logistic Corps

What do you need to get in?

The qualifications you’ll need depend on the job you want to do in the Army. For some you don’t need any formal qualifications, and we’ll help you reach the standard you need when you get here. For others, usually the more technical roles, there are minimum GCSE requirements, which you will need to meet.

How to get in

  • You need to apply online for Harrogate.
  • You must be at least 15 years and 7 months old to apply for the Army
  • You must be between 16 and 17 years and 5 months old when you start at Harrogate
  • There are two start dates every year, March and September

What happens next?

Once your application has been checked, and you're eligible to join, you'll be invited along to your nearest Army Career Centre to meet the team and find out about your options.

When you're ready, you'll be sent along to the Assessment Centre for two days, where your fitness, team skills and potential to be a soldier will be assessed.

Once you've passed, there are final checks to be made, then you're ready to start your training.

After Harrogate

When you've finished at AFC Harrogate, you’ll go on to complete your specialist training, before joining the regiment or corps you’ve chosen. If you’ve taken the long course, you will spend less time in specialist training – so everyone who goes to AFC Harrogate joins the field Army at about the same time.

Parents & Guardians

We have a programme of training and supervision designed to match the needs of young people who are away from home for the first time.

Welfare is our first priority throughout, and staff are always available to speak to Junior Soldiers or their families.

It’s a big step, but the staff are used to helping young people reach their goals and realise their potential.


0345 600 8080

If you're too old to become a junior soldier, you can join the regular Army from the age of 18

If you're thinking of joining as an officer in a technical trade, find out how the Army can help you

Contact us

Call us on 0345 600 8080

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