Ministry of Defence Undergraduates to Study Science and Engineering at Birmingham

Posted on Friday 15th August 2008

The University of Birmingham announces today that it will be accepting students on the Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme (DTUS), a sponsorship scheme for students who will join either the Armed Forces or the MOD Civil Service’s Defence Engineering and Scientific Group upon graduation.

The University is one of only 6 partner institutions, where potential officers and Ministry of Defence scientists will be studying for a science or engineering degree before undergoing their initial officer training at Dartmouth, Sandhurst or Cranwell. The DTUS students, which could number up to 50 eventually, will arrive at Birmingham having spent 2 years studying at Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College near Loughborough.

The students will have the opportunity to study a wide range of courses within the University’s College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, including courses based in Mechanical Engineering, Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering, Civil Engineering, Mathematics, Chemistry, Chemical Engineering, Computer Science and Physics. They will go on to careers in the Royal Navy or Royal Air Force as Engineering Officers, or in the British Army as technical, engineering or logistic officers.  

The modern military utilises state of the art technologies and needs to employ officers with the technical expertise to deploy, maintain and manage this technology.  Students who complete the scheme are the ideal candidates to fulfil these vital roles and start their career as an officer in the increasingly complex Services. 

Professor Nigel Weatherill, Head of the University’s College of Engineering and Physical Sciences, says ‘We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Welbeck Defence Sixth Form College and making a contribution to the education of the future leaders in the Armed Forces and the MOD.  Whilst studying at the University the students will not only be exposed to new developments in science and engineering, but will be challenged to develop their skills of leadership and innovative thinking that are essential in their demanding working environment.’

Lieutenant Colonel Brian Jones, the Commanding Officer of Taurus Squadron, the locally based DTUS support unit, says,  ‘The University’s enquiry based approach to learning which encourages students to become independent and self-motivated learners, communicate clearly, understand and solve complex problems, take the initiative as well as working effectively as part of a team, are all qualities that the Ministry of Defence values in its technical and engineering officers.  The excellent reputation of the University of Birmingham together with its broad range of engineering and scientific undergraduate courses make the University a first choice for an increasing number of DTUS students.”

The University is expected to receive 16 students in September 2008 with increasing numbers in subsequent years. Students on the scheme will be awarded a MOD bursary of £4,000 per academic year and will receive an additional amount if they complete up to 35 days of training with their support unit. The training includes activities such as military exercises, leadership development, adventurous and physical training, as well as community work and gaining first aid qualifications.  They will also undertake attachments to units during the summer holidays with the service of their choice.  In return they are expected to obtain a good degree, fully integrate into university life, remain physically fit (which includes passing an annual fitness test) and serve for a minimum of 3 years as a commissioned officer. 

Students wishing to join the Royal Navy, Royal Air Force or the engineering branch of the MOD Civil Service can also join DTUS directly. The Army is soon expected to allow students who wish to become a technical or engineering officer in one of the 4 main Army technical corps to also join DTUS directly.

A memorandum will be signed by Mr Jonathan Lyle, Commandant of the Defence College of Management and Technology and Professor Michael Sterling, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Birmingham, to signify this agreement between the University of Birmingham and the Ministry of Defence on 14 August 2008.

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Notes to Editors

For further information

Kate Chapple, Press Officer, University of Birmingham, tel 0121 414 2772 or 07789 921164.