Veterans and service leavers
If you have ever served as a Regular or Reservist in the UK Armed Forces, or remain a Reservist, you may find there are unique challenges involved in applying to university or college. However, there’s a broad range of support to assist you with making your application, and during your studies, regardless of whether you are still undergoing resettlement, or it has been several years since you made the transition to civilian life.
There are a number of schemes available through the Ministry of Defence (MOD) to help service leavers with ongoing training and education, such as the Enhanced Learning Credit (ELC) and Publicly Funded Further Education and Higher Education (PF FE/HE) schemes – find out more on the ELCAS website.
When applying to higher education, it can be difficult to understand how the training and qualifications gained in the UK Armed Forces compare to ‘traditional’ routes and qualifications, and whether they are recognised by different course providers. Many universities and colleges recognise or accredit prior learning (RPL/APL) to give accreditation for relevant knowledge, skills, and experience already gained, and some will match your rank and qualifications to existing civilian qualifications. This can vary between providers, so it’s important to contact them directly to discuss your options.
Remember to use the UCAS personal statement to highlight how your experience and prior training has helped you develop unique skills and strengths you can transfer to your studies.
A number of higher education providers have signed the UK Armed Forces Covenant – and details can be found on their websites.
Read more about the Covenant and what it means for you on the UK Armed Forces Covenant website.
Where can I get more information?
Speak to the university or college to find out more about how they recognise/accredit prior learning (RPL/APL), and if they have an Armed Forces champion.
Find out how the UK Armed Forces Covenant can help you when applying to higher education.
The MOD’s Service Leaver’s Guide and Career Transition Partnership (CTP) gives information about educational support, and the schemes available to help you access higher education.
Find out more about the Enhanced Learning Credits Scheme on the ELCAS website.
QUEST is an independent website offering information on education and careers for serving personnel and veterans.
For those affected by mental or physical injury through conflict or training, Walking With the Wounded’s (WWTW) First Steps programme helps with access to education and training.
The College for Military Veterans and Emergency Services (CMVES) at the University of Central Lancashire helps service leavers and veterans make life and career choices for civilian life – wherever they choose to settle in the UK.
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