Lady Venom
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A lot of people seem to be thinking of joining up so here's a basic FAQ:

What universities are represnted by UASs?
Pretty much every Unversity is represented by a UAS with the exception of the University of Sussex. There are 14 UASs:
EMUAS (East Midlands - Nottingham, Nottingham Trent, Lincoln, Loughborough, Leicester)
ULAS (London - All London and Kent unis (Surrey?))
OUAS (Oxford - Oxford, Oxford Brookes, Reading, Thames Valley(?))
CUAS (Cambridge - Cambridge, East Anglia, Anglia Ruskin, Essex)
SUAS (Southampton - Southampton, Solent, Portsmouth, Bournmouth)
BUAS (Bristol - Bristol, Exeter, Plymouth, Bath, UWE)
UWAS (Wales - Cardiff, Swansea, Lampeter, Glamorgan, Bangor and Aberwryswyth)
UBAS (Birmimgham - Warwick, Birmingham, Coventry, Stafford, Stoke, Wolverhampton, UCE, Keele)
MASUAS (Manchester and Salford - Manchester, Salford, UMIST, Manchester Metropolitan)
LUAS (Liverpool - Liverpool, John Moores, Lancaster, Central University of Lancaster)
YUAS (York - York, Leeds, Bradford, Leeds Met, Sheffield Hallam, York St. John, Huddersfield, Hull)
NUAS (Northumbria - Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria at Newcastle, Sunderland, Teeside)
ESUAS (East of Scotland - Edinburgh, Napier, Queen Margaret College and Herriot Watt, Universities of Aberdeen, Dundee, Abertay, Dundee and St Andrews, Robert Gordon)
UGSAS (Glasgow and Strathclyde - Glasgow, Strathclyde, Paisley, Stirling, Glasgow School of Art, Glasgow Caledonian)

When and where do they recruit?
Give them a call before hand to check and register interest, but each UAS recruits via your Freshers Fair at the Universities. Bearing in mind, that if you are at a an 'Institute' such as Portsmouth, Southampton, UWIC, rather than the 'University' they are unlikely to be present at the fair so make sure you call up before, or attend the Univeristy Freshers Fair.

Does it cost to join?
No. The UAS pays you to be a member. You get a maximum of 35 days per year pay (Pay is about £35/day) and a training bounty on top of that (£120 -> £150 depending on year of membership). If you wish to apply for a bursary in your chosen branch, you get 'extra' pay from the Royal Air Force - pilots pay is currently £1000/year, other branches get up to £4000/year for example - ontop of your UAS pay. If you are a medic, you get a substantial bursary if successful with your application and you can also apply for a Cadetship: You are given the rank of Plt Off and get pay of around £14k/year paid on a monthly basis. You no longer get UAS pay.
Travel is also free - either in the form of a railway warrant and MT or through fuel claims.

What is the difference between a VR and a UB?
If you are not sponsored by the RAF (I.e. you haven't been awarded a bursary), you will be an Officer Cadet and wear the big white tabs and just get UAS pay with no obligation to join. On paperwork, you are a VR.

If you are sponsored (I.e. you have been awarded a bursary, including 1st/2nd year med students) you are also an Officer Cadet but admin class you as a UB for paperwork purposes. You also get your yearly bursary from the RAF as well as UAS pay. You have to join at the end of your degree or pay back ALL your bursary money (unless it's a medical reason).

In your 2nd year of being a medical bursar, you may apply for a cadetship. If you are awarded a cadetship, you get a salary from the RAF and given the rank of Plt Off.

What commitments do I have?
Each UAS conducts 1x Ground Training night per week. This is where you get talks/presentations from guest speakers - from the Air Ambulance, the RAF or even the civvy police. Some nights may be more relaxed and take the form of 'hangar exercises' or 'group planning' in preparation for OASC. You get paid for attendance.
You must also commit to 1x 2 week block of camp (nomally in the summer holidays). Here you get to fly, do adventurous training, sport, debtaing etc. The list goes on! You spend a fortnight staying at the airfield that hosts your UAS staying in the Officers Mess. Food is also free.
As a first year student on the UAS, you must also commit 1 week to an SVA (Summer Vacation Attachment). You spend a week being hosted by a Sqn in the RAF. SVAs are normally geared towards your chosen branch choice. There are SVAs set aside for bursars who are garunteed an SVA for their branch. VR studes generally get the branch of their choice but not necessily the RAF station or Sqn.

Can anyone fly?
Yes. Everyone has to pass a basic medical and fitness test, and once you have passed this you are free to fly! You may either:
Fly the syllabus
Undertake flying training with the aim of going solo then continuing to learn basic instrument flying and navigation culminating in a solo navigation sortie. Most can undertake this sort of flying - even if you wear glasses, are too short or have some other problem that prevents you from being a pilot in the RAF. This flying contributes to the award of an NPPL or PPL.
Bearing in mind there are some medical ailments/medication that will prevent you from being sent solo
Non-Instructional Flying
This is essentially air experience flying. No pressure to perform or learn how to fly. You may have a hectic degree which prevents you from commiting time to do the syllabus, you may just want to go and see what it's all about, or you're not bothered about learning to fly but want to have a go at some aerobatics. This is flying with either a UAS QFI or AEF pilot who will take you flying. You can do what you want - you may even get to fly in the lead for a formation trip.

What Nationalities are eligible for UAS membership?
PLEASE CHECK WITH YOUR UAS. This is just guidance and the rules may have changed.
You need to be:
To be eligible for membership of a UAS, you must be a full-time registered student studying for a first degree at a university or college and you must meet the following conditions:

• You must have at least 3 academic terms left in the eligible course of study from the date of your putative entry to the UAS.
• You must normally be at least 17 1⁄2 years of age when joining the UAS (parental consent is required for candidates under the age of 18).

Nationality. You must be able to satisfy the RAF that:
• At all times since birth you have you have been a British or Commonwealth citizen or a Republic of Ireland national.
• You were born in the UK or in what is, or then was, a Commonwealth country; or in the Republic of Ireland.
Note that to join the RAF in a Flying Branch you must be a British National or a British/Dual National.

Residence Requirements

Whether or not you are of UK origin, you should normally have resided in the UK for a minimum of 5 years immediately preceding your application [to the RAF]. In certain circumstances, particularly if you are of UK origin, a shorter period of residence may be accepted and a waiver of part of the residence requirement may be granted provided satisfactory enquiries can be made in your country of residence.
[If you have been resident for 2 years, add the 3 years of your degree course and you will be able to satisfy the 5-year requirement to apply to the RAF.]

Ineligibility
The following persons are ineligible for membership of the UAS:

• Commonwealth students who are prohibited from entering a UAS by the terms of any Service commitment they may have in their own country.
• Persons who would be ineligible for entry to the RAFVR (UAS) in general.

Extracted from PAM(Air)198, 22nd Edition, September 2004

NB Some nationalities are eligble for ground branches only. I'm not sure how this effects the UAS system now so it's worth giving them a call before Freshers Fair - as they may need to call Cranwell.

I'm not in my first year of uni, can I still join?
You may join in your second year of uni providing it is a 3 year degree. Masters and post-grad studes are generally not allowed. You will have to check though as I'm not sure.

What is the age limit?
Minimum age 18. Maximum age - I think it's 30... (Anonystude?!?)

I don't want to be an Officer but I would like to join the other ranks - can I still join?
Yes, but be realistic... as a university student studying engineering, why are you wanting to join as a techie for example. They may/will question you motivation! Trades which do not have officer entry such as WSOp, firefighter are acceptable.

What does selection involve?
Selection varies for each UAS but the standard procedure is based on:
An initial interview at Freshers Fair. A short interview to gauge your motivatation, RAF and UAS knowledge, whether you are interested in an RAF career, why you want to join. You will fill in a 3 page form about yourself which includes: The standard details plus academic achievements, positions of responsibilty, flying experience, interests, acitivites, hobbies etc.

If you are successful at the initial interview, you will sometimes be invited to attend a Sqn Open Day - a chance to meet the studes, find out anything you were too scared to ask the staff and more than likely watch some presentations about the UAS and what they get upto.
You may then have your next interview on this day or later on.

The seconf interview is more like an OASC interview - be prepared to all about yourself and your family. What have you achieved, your motivation to join. Also include compulsory section on attitude to the RAF, taking orders involving the loss of life be it civillian or enemy. Also your attitude towards drugs.
The second section is on the RAF, current affairs - if you know what you want to join up as, research it and be prepared to answer questions on the training and posting for your branch choice. If you don't know - research what interests you. You will then be asked about what has cuaght your eye in the newspapers for example. Know current affairs - not just from home but abroad too. If you are wanting to join the UAS badly enough you will prep. for this like it's OASC. Some UAS's have their senior students carry out part or all of an interview as the staff want the students to have a say in who they want on the Sqn. The staff also have a say and take part in the interview. The majority of UASs have 2 QFIs or holding officers carry out the interview.

Some UASs require you to pass the fitness test as part of the selection scheme, others don't. Be prepared anyway - be able to run the bleep test to the minimum of level 7.1 (Girls) and 9.10 (Boys). Also situps and pressups. Both with minimum pass levels. Girls do pressups with arms on a bench. There is also the aircrew swim test - which involves swimming around 3 lengths of a large pool and then trading water for 2mins the exiting the pool unaided. This is done in a flying coverall/suit.

Selection also includes a basic medical carried out via the medium of paperwork!

As I said, it varies from UAS to UAS but BE PREPARED!

How many new Freshers do they select?
Varies from UAS to UAS. Larger UASs such as ULAS will take more in a first year than somewhere like SUAS who are smaller. On average, it is around 20-30 new members per year. It does depends on how many students are already on the Sqn. For example, if the second year has become depleted through students leaving or being 'chopped' the first year intake may be larger than normal. Don't worry about the numbers though... they won't tell you how many they are going to recruit as they may over recruit initially then kill off others, or they may recruit less 'very good' students rather than 20 of a mixed bag.

Ok, so I've been selected, what now?
Most UASs conduct a Freshers Week. A chance to issue uniform, have presentations, do fitness tests, meet the Sqn, get flying and most importantly to socialise and have fun. Most Sqns carry this out in Decemeber or January over the Christmas Hols.

IF YOU HAVE ANYMORE Q's post a reply and I will edit the FAQ. Anonystude if you come up with anything please add BH can this be sticky?
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armyboy
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Couple of bits to clarify about pay and bursaries.

Bursars get paid ther normal daily rate of pay (about £35 up to 35 days a year) for being VR officer cadets. They also get a bursary paid each year. A bursary is not pay, it is a bursary.

If you decide not to join the RAF for whatever reason, you have to pay back a bursary. You do not have to pay back pay, as it is pay for days work that you have done.

It is the same for medical cadetship people. They get commisioned into the RAF (after they have completed the first two years of med school - basically in the last 3 years of a normal med course) and are therefore full time RAF officers on RAF pay 365 days a year- not normal students. The RAF pays them an annual salary and pays all their fees etc.

If a medic cadetship officer decides not to join you have to pay back fees etc, but they cannot make you pay back pay as again it is pay for doing a days work.
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Wng Cdr Pez
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Will attending the UAS in University enhance your prospects of becoming a pilot in the RAF??

Dave
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Lady Venom
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Will attending the UAS in University enhance your prospects of becoming a pilot in the RAF?

Unless you are already a good candiate (it's difficult to judge), the UAS will of course help you become part of the RAF.
Firstly, it will help you if you want to go to OASC by preparing you. The officers on the Sqn have experience themselves as they interview potential recruits. They are able to help you through setting up practise interviews for you if you so wish. Often on ground training nights, OASC prep. is the subject for the night - either through discussion exercises, team planning exercises, confidence building techniques (e.g. 5 minute on-the-spot unprepared talks). OASC often tour each UAS every year to give a 'heads up' on selection.
The other way the UAS can help you be successful at OASC is through encouraging you to keep up your fitness and harness the love of current affairs - such as 'In The News' part of MetBrief, which often leads to a discussion on the topic. Team building and leadership tasks are also done in the hangar on camps or outside on specific camps aimed at developing leadership - such as the massive exercise that ESUAS organise in Scotland dubbed as a 'Pre-IOT' exercise.
The other way the UAS can help is through giving you the chance to show YOUR POTENTIAL. Your QFI and boss will write a report on your to send to OASC (the AFCO is not used for applications from a UAS). To get a good report you need to take part, organise and lead. This is where YOU must use YOUR initiative to aim for that good report. You can get brownie points through excelling in your first year (get stuck in, trust me, it works) to enable yourself to be considered for senior roles within the UAS such as the OC i/c Adventurous Trg. To get something good out of it, you must put in the effort.

To be more branch specific - the flying will help your aptitude and introduce you to flying the RAF way through a 'light' EFT course which introduces you to various aspects that you will learn throughout EFT. Having RAF instruction prior to joining up is certainly a big help as you are already used to the style of instruction and what is expected of you flying wise (such as the reading and learning you need to do before each sortie, learning checks etc.).

You will get a lot of help prior to OASC as many over studes will be going through or will have been through so can help you out. Being on a UAS will have introduced you to the lifestyle and what is expected of a JO.

It is easier to write a good report on someone who is well known of the UAS and has a good list of things they have taken part in and organised.
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Scimitar_vc
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Just an update for you guys:

You need to be older that 17.5 years on joining and younger than 23.5 years on graduation. (That's for York)

18-30 appears to be the UOTC age requirements.
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Lady Venom
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The upper limit depends on the situation... we have an older medical bursar and also an older VR student.
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Scimitar_vc
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So all is not lost for me then? I'm 24 when I graduate... Just :confused:
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Lady Venom
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Nope. As long as you are keen you should be able to dodge the age thing. We have a lad who'll be 29 or something when he graduates.
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armyboy
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Ref Age limits.

Although it is obvious some UASs are able to be flexible on the age limits you should bear in mind the age limits for actually joining the RAF in your chosen branch.

The age limits detailed above are based on joining the RAF as a pilot so there not much point turning up to the UAS aged 25 saying you want to be an RAF pilot, when you are well over the maximum age limit for starting regular pilot training and still have three years of university to go.

However if you were 25 and interested in joining the RAF as an Engineeer officer or Doctor and doing an appropriate degree for example then it would make sense.

Have a check on the RAF recruiting web site for age limits for specific branches.
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Scimitar_vc
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(Original post by armyboy)
Ref Age limits.

Although it is obvious some UASs are able to be flexible on the age limits you should bear in mind the age limits for actually joining the RAF in your chosen branch.

The age limits detailed above are based on joining the RAF as a pilot so there not much point turning up to the UAS aged 25 saying you want to be an RAF pilot, when you are well over the maximum age limit for starting regular pilot training and still have three years of university to go.

However if you were 25 and interested in joining the RAF as an Engineeer officer or Doctor and doing an appropriate degree for example then it would make sense.

Have a check on the RAF recruiting web site for age limits for specific branches.
Thanks. I'm aware of all of this already. I'm interested in FC.
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Rashail
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hey I have a couple of questions about what you do once you've joined the uas...

what is there to do other than flying and adventure training, like is there things like shooting and drill similar to the ccf?

also the 2 week camp, is this solely a flying camp?

what help do the uas give you towards applying to the raf?

and finally what uniform are you issued with? just wondering as I will still have all my ccf stuff...

thanks
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winj96
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ccf stuff should probably go back to the ccf
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afrahams
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Rashail,
Basically, you are encouraged to organise as much as you can once on the uas, so if you should want to take part in shooting or drill (?!) then the opportunity is there and there is nothing to stop you. There is an annual inter-uas shooting competition held at Bisley which all uas's are involved in. The 2-week camp is no-longer a flying camp following the changes made to the uas system, although a lot of flying does still take place. An emphasis is now also placed on AT, station visits etc. or anything you feel you want to organise, such as shooting and drill. Finally, the uas is a massive help when applying, fast-tracking applications and holding commisioning clubs.
Hope this is helpful
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Rashail
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thanks that was a great help!! lol I don't actually like drill I was just trying to gage how close the uas was to ccf and ccf involves lots of drill. Camp sounds awesome but what is AT? oh wait is it adventure training?
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Rhoadissimus
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Hi, I recently got awarded an RAF sixth form scholarship in the RAF only to find out that I'm not eligible for selection due to a joint problem I didn't know I had. Could I still join the UAS if I wanted to or is it only for people who have a chance of getting into the RAF upon graduation? Thanks for any advice!
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Lady Venom
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(Original post by Rhoadissimus)
Hi, I recently got awarded an RAF sixth form scholarship in the RAF only to find out that I'm not eligible for selection due to a joint problem I didn't know I had. Could I still join the UAS if I wanted to or is it only for people who have a chance of getting into the RAF upon graduation? Thanks for any advice!
While the UAS is open to all and has the 'no commitment' clause - i.e. you don't have to join up, due to the fierce competition to join you will have to beat off 100 odd other applicants who are all desperate to join up so you need to have high motivation to join.

Having been found PMU for a joint problem, I'm not sure where you stand as you have to be able to pass a basic medical and fitness. The UAS will also ask why you didn't get through selection during your interview and will then discover you are PMU and therefore unable to be selected upon graduation and may on the basis of that iffer your place to someone else who could join. Harsh but fair I guess...

Best idea is to contact your UAS or just give it ago!
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Lady Venom
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(Original post by Rashail)
hey I have a couple of questions about what you do once you've joined the uas...

what is there to do other than flying and adventure training, like is there things like shooting and drill similar to the ccf?

also the 2 week camp, is this solely a flying camp?

what help do the uas give you towards applying to the raf?

and finally what uniform are you issued with? just wondering as I will still have all my ccf stuff...

thanks
Camp - each UAS is different, some do a sole flying camp followed by an AT camp others do a mixed flying and ground camp etc.

RAF - a lot of help, each UAS has an OASC liason officer. Your own staff and colleagues will also be of great help. The UAS also bypasses the AFCO.

Uniform - Give your CCF stuff back. It is most likely out dated and wrong and should also be returned. You will be issued flying kit and also a full set of blues and No. 1s.
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gurney999
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Hi guys and girls, i'm new to the forum so go easy. I'm applying for the East Midlands UAS at the beginning of uni and am just wandering whether any aptitude testing forms part of the entry process alongside the interviews and fitness testing. If so are they similar or the same as the tests conducted at OASC?
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Lady Venom
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Aptitude testing is no longer part of selection for the UAS.
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afrahams
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gurney999
Good effort in choosing the premiere uas!! What uni are you going to?
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