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Entry Requirements

The following information is adapted from Her Majesty’s Armed Forces Army Application Guidance Notes (Sept 2011) which you can download here.

Age Limitations

You must be at least 18 years old to attend AOSB Main Board except those applying for a Scholarship or DSFC Welbeck for which the minimum application age is 14 years. DSFC Welbeck entry ages are between 15 years and 17 years 6 months.

From May 2012 onwards, any potential officer, for a Regular Commission, entering RMAS must be in one of the following categories:

Academic Requirements

A minimum of 35 ALIS points for the best 7 subjects at GCSE or equivalent which must include English Language, Mathematics and either a Science subject or a Foreign Language at Grade C or better. Plus 180 UCAS Tariff points acquired in separate subjects at AS and A Level or equivalent to include a minimum of 2 passes at A Level at Grades A-E or equivalent. Note that the General Studies paper does not qualify for UCAS Tariff points.

Job or Regimental Aspirations

Most careers, jobs or trades within the Army are open to both males and females. However, jobs in the Household Cavalry, Royal Armoured Corps and Infantry are NOT open to females, although females from other cap badges may be attached to such units.

Your ACA will discuss your choice of job or career with you in detail as part of the application process, including the options of financial support in the Sixth Form, Further and Higher education. Don’t worry if at this stage you are unable to complete these questions fully. You do not have to choose a specific career, job or trade until much further on in the application process.

Criminal Convictions

First and foremost the Army is a defensive organisation and as such, security is of paramount importance. It is vital that the integrity of its personnel is maintained in order to ensure its operational effectiveness.  As an Army Officer you will have routine access to protectively marked and classified information. Before you are accepted for Officer Training at Sandhurst you will be required to pass a Security Check (SC). This provides a certain level of assurance at a point in time, as to an individual's suitability to have trusted access to sensitive information. For this reason, if you have a criminal record for certain offences you will not be able to pursue a career as an Officer in the Army.

Drug and Substance Misuse

The short, medium and long-term effects of the misuse of either illegal drugs or substances or legally obtained drugs or substances can have a damaging impact on mental and physical fitness and health. Drug or substance misuse is a direct threat to the operational effectiveness of the Army; the security and safety of Service personnel; and, potentially, the security and safety of the civilians whom they protect. Illegal misuse of drugs or substances by Army personnel also damages the reputation and standing of the Army.

For all of these reasons, the misuse of drugs or substances is not tolerated within the Armed Forces. The Armed Forces recognise, however, that drug or substance misuse is increasingly common in civilian life, particularly among the young, and that you may have misused drugs or substances yourself in the past. This will not necessarily prevent you from enlisting, as all applications are considered individually. Acceptance into the Army will depend on how often you use them and the class and type of drug or substance that has been misused.

Criminal convictions for trafficking or supply of any class of drug or substance will bar entry until the conviction is spent. Once you have joined the Army, you are required to stay clear of drugs or substances at all times and also to avoid association with drug or substance misusers and suppliers. Once you have been enlisted, you will be liable by law to random compulsory drug testing throughout your Army career. If these tests show that you have misused drugs or substances, it is Army policy that, with very few exceptions, you will be discharged and will be permanently barred from re-enlisting or re-joining.

Nationality and Residency

For entry into the Army you must meet the following requirements:

You must be a British, Commonwealth or British Protected Citizen or an Irish National or hold Dual Nationality as either a British National or as a Commonwealth Citizen. Dual Nationals may be required to provide written confirmation from the Government of the other nation to verify that they are not liable for National Service (Military or Government Service) or recall to military service with that nation.

You must normally have lived in the UK or Ireland for a period of 5 years immediately prior to making an application, though for certain jobs there is a 10 year rule. However, we may be able to seek a waiver to reduce this residency requirement depending on where you have lived and the length of time out of the UK. The ACA will be able to advise you on the detail. If relevant, please complete the periods out of UK or Ireland as accurately as possible.

Debt and Bankruptcy

You may be not be eligible to join the Army if you have financial commitments, debts or loans that you would have difficulty in repaying or lead to financial hardship if you entered the services. Look carefully at the appropriate rates of pay so that you are able to assess your particular situation; in other words: can you afford to join the Army? The ACA will ask you about this and will help you work through any queries.

A person who is declared bankrupt (and as a result does not have a working bank account) or is insolvent may be ineligible to join the Army. Your ACA will be able to assess your situation.


Any tattoos that are offensive, obscene or excessive in size or number may be a bar to entry or re-entry. Tattoos which are visible on the head, neck and hand may be a bar to entry depending on their size and nature. If you have tattoos you may be asked to complete a form describing them. The tattoos will be seen during your medical examination.

Body Piercings

Some body piercings will be a bar to entry or re-entry, particularly those which alter appearance significantly, e.g. flesh tunnels, or those which could affect the functions of the body, e.g. some genital piercings. For health and safety reasons, you will be asked to remove certain items of body piercing jewellery before undergoing physical activity as part of the application and selection process. You will not be allowed to attempt the physical activities if you do not remove the body piercing jewellery when requested. Once you have joined the Army, you will be advised by Service authorities of the rules for wearing body jewellery when on and off duty.

Medical Requirements

The conditions in the table below make a person permanently unsuitable, except where specifically time limited, for entry into the Army. The table is for general guidance only. Many conditions that are compatible with civilian employment and sport may not be compatible with military service. If you have a recurrent medical condition that is not mentioned below, or if you are unclear about the impact of your medical history, you should seek further advice through your ACA.

Medical conditions that preclude entry (this list is not exhaustive):