What's on offer?
The Army offers a number of non-specialist officer route bursaries to support students, including a Sixth Form scholarship and an Undergraduate bursary.
The details vary slightly between packages and where you're studying. Successful Sixth Form scholarship applicants receive a single payment of £3000 and a provisional award of an Undergraduate Bursary (more on that below), plus a guaranteed place at the commissioning course at the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) – which is the starting point for all officers.
The Undergraduate bursary means you'd receive £1000 each year at uni, plus a single payment of £3000 when you complete your RMAS training.
Getting on board
Alas, just looking splendid in uniform isn't going to bag you a bursary (although well done, all the same). To be eligible for financial support you'll need to meet all the academic requirements and pass some basic medical checks, and depending on which route you're applying for, you'll need to have good A Level grades or a place at university (although these can be provisional – see here for info on entry requirements).
You'll also need to attend the Army Officer Selection Board (AOSB), which is part interview, part team exercise and part ninja warrior (well, maybe not the last one, but there is an obstacle course). You'll be assessed on your mental, physical and leadership capabilities to see if you're officer material.
Am I in the army now?
Attending the AOSB doesn't mean you've committed to joining the Army. It's actually as much a chance for you to find out about the Army as it is for the Army to find out about you. There are lots of advantages to it: you'll see if you're suited to the officer route, potentially get on the path to securing some helpful funding, and you'll also find out a lot about yourself; which is never a bad thing, whether you go on to join the Army or not.
Extra curricular adventures
Once you've been selected and have signed up, you’ll quickly see there's more to these bursaries than just financial support, though. With the Army on your side you'll have a varied, exciting student experience, as once you get to university you'll join the University Officers Training Corps. You'll carry out military training alongside your studies, but also adventurous training, which could be anything from skiing to jungle trekking.
Better yet, you get paid to do it – in addition to your bursary – and you could find yourself flying off to different parts of the world to train. So you could go and look for those Bombay ducks yourself (don't forget the fishing tackle).
Preparing to advance
In fact, there are many ways the Army can help you get a good education, including Further Education bursaries and a Medical Services bursary (for those already studying medicine at uni) as well as the Sixth Form and Undergraduate options.
In return for funding your studies you'll be expected to commit to the Army for a fixed period of time – but hopefully you'll go on to have a long, satisfying career as an officer, commanding soldiers on operations, joining humanitarian missions or helping communities pick up the pieces after natural disasters. You'll be using all your training and all the qualities that make you unique to get the best out of the people you command and helping people all over the world, as well as here in the UK.
To find out more about what the Army can offer and to apply, head here. You might be surprised by what you can do.