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Contact us/FAQs

Contacting us by post

Army Foundation College Harrogate
Uniacke Barracks
Penny Pot Lane

Junior Soldiers receive their post on a daily basis. If you are sending something to a Junior Soldier, make sure you include their number, full name and platoon above the address.

Contacting us via the website

If you have a question, you can send it to us electronically via our website. But before doing so, please check the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) below to see if it has already been answered.

  • FAQs
  • Prospectus
  • Applying to join
  • Training dates
  • Application process
  • Qualifications needed
  • Age requirements
  • Will I do the long or short course?
  • Nationality requirements
  • Pay
  • Open days
  • What if it’s not for me?

Applying to join

AFC Harrogate offers Army Phase 1 training and you become a member of the Army from your arrival at the college. There isn’t an option to do the course and decide to ‘join the Army later’ – it is not a traditional further education college.

To apply:

Training dates

The dates for intake arrival and leave periods are shown on our year planner document on the Pre-arrival information page of this site.

Application process

The application/selection process has many stages which can take several months to complete, so you should apply about nine months in advance if possible.

Qualifications needed

The qualifications you’ll need to train at AFC Harrogate depend on the job role you want to train for – each job has different requirements.

Roles in the infantry require no qualifications, while more technical jobs – such as those in the Royal Electrical and Mechanical Engineers (REME) – need passes in various subjects. This website's Role Finder gives details of the requirements for all available jobs.

You must have completed Year 11 at school before you can join the Army.

Age requirements

To apply to join the Army you must be aged at least 15 years and 7 months. Before that age you can go to an Army Careers Information Office with a parent to make enquiries. The earliest you can be enlisted is in the September at age 16, after GCSE exams.

Those training at AFC Harrogate must be aged between 16 years and 17 years and 5 months when they start training. This means they will be at least 17 and a half by the end of their Phase 2 training, and can join in all their Regiment’s activities (except operational deployment).

Will I do the long or short course?

You will do the 49-week long course if you are joining the infantry, the Royal Armoured Corps, the Household Cavalry, the Royal Artillery or as a Royal Logistic Corps driver. These jobs have a shorter Phase 2 course after the AFC.

You will do the 23-week short course if you are doing any other job or joining any other regiment. You will then spend longer on the Phase 2 course.

Nationality requirements

The nationality requirements for AFC Harrogate are the same as those for the wider British Army. They can be found here.


After deductions for food, accommodation and some other things, a typical Junior Soldier receives about £800 a month after tax. After six months service this rises to about £1,000 a month.

There are no up-front costs (other than the items on the kit list) nor any tuition-style fees to pay to train at AFC Harrogate. However, we will make a couple of extra deductions from your first salary payment as shown in the joining instructions document.

Open days

Prospective Junior Soldiers and their parents/guardians are invited, via the Careers Offices, to an open day at AFC Harrogate about six to eight weeks before the start of their course. Open days are for Junior Soldiers who have already have been offered a place at AFC Harrogate or are likely to be offered a place very soon.

What if it's not for me?

Junior Soldiers can leave the Army during their training at AFC Harrogate if that is what they want. However, when a soldier becomes 18, the usual sign up period is for four years, and any time served while they were under the age of 18 does not count towards the four years.


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