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    Hello all,

    I started a Bachelor's degree in engineering in January of this year, 2016, but I'm now thinking of joining the RAF as an aircraft tech (mechanical).
    Firstly does this differ from the apprenticeship as an aircraft tech?

    Secondly has anyone done both hand in hand, working in the RAF and doing an open university degree? The next course i have to take requires me to go to residential school for four days at the university of Bath, is this going to interfere with training / am I going to be able to leave base for this?

    Or is it a better option to complete the NVQ with the RAF then transfer credit to the degree at open university then finish it with them?

    I'm unsure what to do, and any insight would be extremely useful.
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    The military is pretty encouraging of people doing in-service degrees.


    However, whilst you're in training you will not have time for a degree. It will be best to take a year or so's break from your degree and focus on your military career and then go back to doing your degree once you're settled in and you get a bit more free time. The workload of training + a degree will be almost impossible.
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    (Original post by Emoore0818)
    ....................
    As above, whilst the Services make all the noises about encouraging further study, in practice there is no chance for the first couple of years of service. it's difficult to maintain on operational deployments, and you need a series of understanding bosses and colleagues if the course requires you to attend specific events at specific times.

    I did a very expensive, fully sponsored degree as a senior officer, and I still had great difficulty being allowed the time to do the work under certain bosses (as as they were sponsoring, it was duty!).

    I'd say it is a reasonable option for the second half of a career, but not the first half where you need to focus on your primary duties.
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    I appreciate both of your inputs. Hope to figure this out soon!
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    Another option would depend on your age and position but you might want to finish your degree and then join as an engineering officer?

    As the others have said, it would be impossible during basic training, and then very unlikely during trade training.

    Once on a squadron or especially if you're in a bay, it is definitely possible. Worse case scenario is that you'd have to have leave in for the residential school and have to have done something terrible for them to refuse to let you go. Best case, they pat you on the back for furthering yourself and the RAF and let you have the time off without taking leave.

    It's been a long time since I knew about how techies join, last I heard you'll be an AMM. Lighting fires and kicking tires for a shift and then begging for scraps for experience on the trade desk rather than doing an apprenticeship per se (not that it was any different in my day).
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    I think you've got a good blend of ideas there. Your best bet would be to join up as an AMM and get some military and engineering experience. You can then finish off your degree while in service so that you could commission at some stage in the future. I think that'd be better than going for your whole degree then applying later. Why not both? There's a shortage of AMMs also so you'll be snapped up if you've got all the necessary quals and maths skills. The OU degree alongside genuine engineering experience (think how many other engineering students have little or no experience!) would be very beneficial for you and will allow you to decide whether going for officer is appropriate for you. You might not want to - officers don't really go near the aircraft compared to an SAC.

    You'd never be able to do your degree in basic training, there's just no time. In trade training you might have a chance if you're good and you're only doing a small module of 15/30 credits or so.

    Let us know how you get on.

    I'm in the RAF and doing the OU engineering degree also.
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    (Original post by Paulxo)
    I think you've got a good blend of ideas there. Your best bet would be to join up as an AMM and get some military and engineering experience. You can then finish off your degree while in service so that you could commission at some stage in the future. I think that'd be better than going for your whole degree then applying later. Why not both? There's a shortage of AMMs also so you'll be snapped up if you've got all the necessary quals and maths skills. The OU degree alongside genuine engineering experience (think how many other engineering students have little or no experience!) would be very beneficial for you and will allow you to decide whether going for officer is appropriate for you. You might not want to - officers don't really go near the aircraft compared to an SAC.

    You'd never be able to do your degree in basic training, there's just no time. In trade training you might have a chance if you're good and you're only doing a small module of 15/30 credits or so.

    Let us know how you get on.

    I'm in the RAF and doing the OU engineering degree also.
    How do you find doing both? I'm a stacker with a desk job (Yawn!) And starting my sports fitness and coaching degree this fall. A little nervous about the time commitments if i'm honest. Garanteed i'll finally get pinged to go Penguin hunting soon haha!
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    (Original post by PurpleLogic)
    How do you find doing both? I'm a stacker with a desk job (Yawn!) And starting my sports fitness and coaching degree this fall. A little nervous about the time commitments if i'm honest.
    Hi mate, sorry for the delay. Hard. You have to be well organised (not my strong point) or a deadline looms very quickly. I've asked advice from someone I know who did the same thing and she said get the assignments done straight away, even before the course begins!

    That's advice I'm going to follow. Keep us updated mate.
 
 
 
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