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UNIVERSITY
AIR SQUADRONS
Experience life in the RAF whilst you study - challenge yourself and push beyond what you dreamt possible.
BE PART OF THE RAF
AND STUDY TOO

 

Step out of the lecture hall and onto one of the most advanced aircrafts in the world. Become a part of the UK’s Air and Space Power, contributing to national and global defence.

Membership of UAS doesn’t carry any obligation on the part of the RAF or the individual for subsequent service in the RAF.

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No ordinary summer
Earn, learn, and make your summer count as part of our University Air Squadrons.
GRADUATE
TO THE SKY

You won’t be a passenger, we’ll teach you to fly. We’ll give you the skills and confidence to fly solo, along with ground training opportunities. As a member of a University Air Squadron you’ll receive world-class training, setting you up with life-long transferable skills.

 

Working in teams you’ll develop how you communicate, making you an effective leader. Confidence will grow and you’ll learn many new things about yourself by stepping out of your comfort zone to face mental and physical challenges, all whilst getting paid.

You’ll have the opportunity to explore 21 commissioned branches and the wealth of career options available in the RAF. It’s not all work and study, you will also take part in numerous sports and adventure training such as rock climbing, skiing and sailing – both in the UK and abroad.

 

By joining the University Air Squadron you’re signing up to a university experience far beyond what you’ve imagined with no commitment to join after.

FIND YOUR
NEAREST SQUADRON

Please select your University to see which University Air Squadron is associated with it.

Aberystwyth University

South Wales CF62 4WA

01446 798790

Anglia Ruskin University

Cambridgeshire PE8 6HB

01223 356942

Aston University

West Midlands WV7 3EX

01902 377603

Bangor University

Lancashire L37 7AD

01704 872287

Birkbeck, University of London

London WC1N 1NP

0208 833 8658

Birmingham City University

West Midlands WV7 3EX

01902 377603

Bournemouth University

Wiltshire SP4 0JF

01980 663261

BPP University

London WC1N 1NP

0208 833 8658

Brunel University

London WC1N 1NP

0208 833 8658

Bucks New University

Oxfordshire OX10 6AA

01491 837766 x 5227

Canterbury College

London WC1N 1NP

0208 833 8658

Cardiff Metropolitan University

South Wales CF5 2YB

Cardiff University

South Wales CF62 4WA

01446 798790

City University

London WC1N 1NP

0208 833 8658

Courtauld Institute of Art

London WC1N 1NP

0208 833 8658

Coventry University

West Midlands WV7 3EX

01902 377603

De Montfort University

Nottingham NG9 2FW

01159 229845

Durham University

Northumbria DL7 9NJ

01677 457428

Glasgow Caledonian University

Glasgow G3 6AX

0141 332 2548

Glasgow School of Art

Glasgow G3 6AX

0141 332 2548

Harper Adams University

West Midlands WV7 3EX

01902 377603

Heriot-Watt University

Fife KY16 0JX

01334 857718

Imperial College

London WC1N 1NP

0208 833 8658

Keele University

West Midlands WV7 3EX

01902 377603

King's College London

London WC1N 1NP

0208 833 8658

Kingston University

London WC1N 1NP

0208 833 8658

Lancaster University

Lancashire L37 7AD

01704 872287

Leeds Metropolitan University

Yorkshire YO30 2AJ

01347 847619

Liverpool John Moores University

Lancashire L37 7AD

01704 872287

London School of Economics

London WC1N 1NP

0208 833 8658

Loughborough University

Nottingham NG9 2FW

01159 229845

Manchester Metropolitan University

Lancashire L37 7AD

01704 872287

Middlesex University

London WC1N 1NP

0208 833 8658

Napier University

Fife KY16 0JX

01334 857718

Newcastle University

Northumbria DL7 9NJ

01677 457428

Nottingham Trent University

Nottingham NG9 2FW

01159 229845

Oxford Brookes University

Oxfordshire OX10 6AA

01491 837766 x 5227

Queen Margaret University College

Fife KY16 0JX

01334 857718

Queen Mary, University of London

London WC1N 1NP

0208 833 8658

Queens' University Belfast

Co Antrim BT29 4AX

02894 455242

Robert Gordon University

Fife KY16 0JX

01334 857718

Royal Academy of Music

London WC1N 1NP

0208 833 8658

Royal College of Music

London WC1N 1NP

0208 833 8658

Royal Holloway, University of London

London WC1N 1NP

0208 833 8658

Royal Veterinary College

London WC1N 1NP

0208 833 8658

Sheffield Hallam University

Yorkshire YO30 2AJ

01347 847619

SOAS, University of London

London WC1N 1NP

0208 833 8658

Southampton Solent University

Wiltshire SP4 0JF

01980 663261

St George's University

London WC1N 1NP

0208 833 8658

Staffordshire University

West Midlands WV7 3EX

01902 377603

Swansea Metropolitan University

South Wales CF62 4WA

01446 798790

Swansea University

South Wales CF62 4WA

01446 798790

The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama

London WC1N 1NP

0208 833 8658

Ulster University

Co Antrim BT29 4AX

02894 455242

University College London

London WC1N 1NP

0208 833 8658

University of Aberdeen

Fife KY16 0JX

01334 857718

University of Abertay Dundee

Fife KY16 0JX

01334 857718

University of Arts London

London WC1N 1NP

0208 833 8658

University of Bath

Wiltshire SN14 8QY

University of Birmingham

West Midlands WV7 3EX

01902 377603

University of Bradford

Yorkshire YO30 2AJ

01347 847619

University of Brighton

Wiltshire SP4 0JF

01980 663261

University of Bristol

Wiltshire SN14 8QY

01225 745307

University of Cambridge

Cambridgeshire PE8 6HB

01223 356942

University of Central Lancashire

Lancashire L37 7AD

01704 872287

University of Chichester

Wiltshire SP4 0JF

01980 663261

University of Dundee

Fife KY16 0JX

01334 857718

University of East Anglia

Cambridgeshire PE8 6HB

01223 356942

University of Edinburgh

Fife KY16 0JX

01334 857718

University of Essex

Cambridgeshire PE8 6HB

01223 356942

University of Exeter

Wiltshire SN14 8QY

University of Glasgow

Glasgow G3 6AX

0141 332 2548

University of Greenwich

London WC1N 1NP

0208 833 8658

University of Hertfordshire

London WC1N 1NP

0208 833 8658

University of Huddersfield

Yorkshire YO30 2AJ

01347 847619

University of Hull

Yorkshire YO30 2AJ

01347 847619

University of Kent

London WC1N 1NP

0208 833 8658

University of Leeds

Yorkshire YO30 2AJ

01347 847619

University of Leicester

Nottingham NG9 2FW

01159 229845

University of Lincoln

Nottingham NG9 2FW

01159 229845

University of Lincoln (Hull campus)

Yorkshire YO30 2AJ

01347 847619

University of Liverpool

Lancashire L37 7AD

01704 872287

University of London Goldsmiths

London WC1N 1NP

0208 833 8658

University of Manchester

Lancashire L37 7AD

01704 872287

University Of Northampton‎

Cambridgeshire PE8 6HB

01223 356942

University of Northumbria

Northumbria DL7 9NJ

01677 457428

University of Nottingham

Nottingham NG9 2FW

01159 229845

University of Oxford

Oxfordshire OX10 6AA

01491 837766 x 5227

University of Plymouth

Wiltshire SN14 8QY

01225 745307

University of Portsmouth

Wiltshire SP4 0JF

01980 663261

University of Reading

Oxfordshire OX10 6AA

01491 837766 x 5227

University of Roehampton

London WC1N 1NP

0208 833 8658

University of Salford, Manchester

Lancashire L37 7AD

01704 872287

University of Sheffield

Yorkshire YO30 2AJ

01347 847619

University of South Wales

South Wales CF62 4WA

01446 798790

University of Southampton

Wiltshire SP4 0JF

01980 663261

University of St Andrews

Fife KY16 0JX

01334 857718

University of Stirling

Glasgow G3 6AX

0141 332 2548

University of Strathclyde

Glasgow G3 6AX

0141 332 2548

University of Sunderland

Northumbria DL7 9NJ

01677 457428

University of Surrey

London WC1N 1NP

0208 833 8658

University of Sussex

Wiltshire SP4 0JF

01980 663261

University of Teesside

Northumbria DL7 9NJ

01677 457428

University of the Highlands and Islands

Fife KY16 0JX

01334 857718

University of the West of England

Wiltshire SN14 8QY

01225 745307

University of the West of Scotland

Glasgow G3 6AX

0141 332 2548

University of Wales

South Wales CF62 4WA

01446 798790

University of Warwick

West Midlands WV7 3EX

01902 377603

University of Westminster

London WC1N 1NP

0208 833 8658

University of Winchester

Wiltshire SP4 0JF

01980 663261

University of Wolverhampton

West Midlands WV7 3EX

01902 377603

University of Worcester

West Midlands WV7 3EX

01902 377603

University of York

Yorkshire YO30 2AJ

01347 847619

WHY JOIN A
UNIVERSITY AIR SQUADRON?
Benefits icon for Leadership
Leadership
Benefits icon for Training
Training
Benefits icon for Flying
Flying
Benefits icon for Pay
Pay
Benefits icon for World travel
World travel
APPLY
NOW

To apply to join a University Air Squadron, please download and complete the application form and medical screening leaflet. Once complete, please email the application to the appropriate contact for that University Air Squadron (see table at bottom of application form) and medical screening leaflet to the email address within the form. We will contact you once processed.

UAS SELECTION
PROCESS
These are the steps you will go through to join a University Air Squadron
1
Application Submission
2
Interview
3
Medical Screening
4
Face to Face Medical
5
Fitness Test
6
Training
1
Application Submission
Stage 1 of 6

You’ll submit an application form and medical screening leaflet via email.

 

Your suitability to join the University Air Squadron (UAS) as an RAF Volunteer Reserve (UAS) will then be assessed on the following topics:

  • Reasons for wanting to join the UAS and your motivation to do so
  • Personal achievements and ambitions
  • Teamwork attributes
  • Volunteering and Charity Work
  • Sports and Fitness
  • Employment


If you have a previously applied to the UAS, and were unsuccessful, you will also be assessed on your personal development since your last application.

2
Interview
Stage 2 of 6

Your interview will assess your potential to join the UAS.
The interview may be held face to face or via Microsoft Teams.

 

Your potential will be assessed by questions on your Motivation, Military Awareness, Knowledge of the RAF and UAS, and Knowledge of current affairs.

3
Medical Screening
Stage 3 of 6

If successful at interview, you will receive the Adoption & Family Origin Questionnaire that will assess you on your risk for Exertional Collapse Associated with Sickle Cell Trait (ECAST). You may be required to attend a blood test at a Nuffield Health Clinic local to you.


You can still join the RAF with a positive blood test. However, you will be subject to a structured and progressive conditioning period before conducting the RAF Fitness test.

 

Additionally, you will require a medical risk assessment by an RAF Doctor before enrolling into any activity with high exertion, extreme environmental weather or high altitude.

4
Face to Face Medical
Stage 4 of 6

A medical assessment is required to assess your ability to cope with the rigors of military training.

 

All applicants are legally required to meet certain medical standards, and must pass an occupational health assessment to show they’re fit for military duty.

 

As part of this assessment we’ll check your overall health, focusing on areas like your hearing, eyesight and Body Mass Index. We’ll also investigate any past illnesses and screen for health issues that may prevent you from carrying out your role.

5
Fitness Test
Stage 5 of 6

If your application is successful, you will complete a fitness test, conducted locally to your unit, by an RAF Physical Training Instructor. This will comprise of a Multi-Stage Fitness Test (MSFT), press-ups and sit-ups.

 

The pass marks for all aspects of the fitness tests are in the FAQ's below.

6
Training
Stage 6 of 6

Once you've joined, before you commence flying training you will be assigned a Joint Medical Employment Standard (JMES). This ensures you meet the minimum standards to receive flying tuition.

 

More details can be found below.

UNIVERSITY AIR
SQUADRON FAQS
Education Requirements

Applicants should be a full-time registered student at an affiliated university, studying for a full first degree and have at least 5 academic terms remaining to complete their studies.

You are also required to have a minimum of GCSE at grade C/4 or Scottish National 5 at grade C (or equivalent) in English Language and Maths.

FITNESS REQUIREMENTS

You must be physically fit to join the University air squadron.

UAS Fitness tests are conducted locally by an RAF Physical Training Instructor, either pre or post attestation. This comprises of the following:

  • Multi-Stage Fitness Test (MSFT)
  • Achieve the required number of press-ups - within 60 seconds
  • Achieve the required number of sit-ups - within 60 seconds

How fit you need to be to pass these tests can vary depending on age and gender. The requirements are listed on the charts below (Male and Female).

MEN - 100% pass rates:
AGE Multi-Stage Fitness Test Press-ups Sit-ups
  (Score) (No.) (No.)
15-16 9.03 20 35
17-29 9.10 20 35
30-34 9.04 19 32
35-39 8.09 18 29
40-44 8.03 17 26

 

WOMEN - 100% pass rates:
AGE Multi-Stage Fitness Test Press-ups Sit-ups
  (Score) (No.) (No.)
15-16 6.07 10 32
17-29 7.02 10 32
30-34 6.08 9 29
35-39 6.04 8 26
40-44 5.08 7 23

You can see the standards for Press Ups & Sit Ups here:

PJFT Protocols

You can download an MP3 file of the Multi-Stage Fitness Test (MSFT) below, listen to the introduction file first:

RAF MSFT: Intro

RAF MSFT: Bleep Test

A 12-week fitness plan with detailed information to help you get ready for the fitness test can be downloaded here.

DO I GET PAID?

Yes, the University Air Squadron pays you to be a member. UAS Officer Cadets get up to 35 days per year pay, starting at £44 per day. If you achieve a set criteria of training, you could receive a bounty of up to £150 on top of that. You will receive a pay rise the following year, which is currently £52 per day.

HOW ARE THE RAF APPROACHING DIVERSITY?

The RAF’s diversity and inclusion policy treats all personnel fairly, irrespective of race, ethnic origin, religion or faith, age, disability, gender identity/reassignment, sexual orientation, marriage/civil partnership, pregnancy or social background. The policy goes further than the mere elimination of unlawful discrimination. It recognises and values the fresh ideas, perceptions, skills and attributes that individuals from diverse backgrounds bring.

Nationality and Residency

Be a citizen of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, holder of dual UK/other nationality or have been a Commonwealth citizen since birth (with ‘right to work’ immigration status).

Whether or not you were born in the United Kingdom, you should have resided there for the 5 years immediately preceding your application. However, candidates with a minimum of 3 years may be considered.

Background Checks

Applicants are ineligible if they have any unspent convictions or ASBO still in effect.

Health Requirements

Candidates joining the RAF must be medically fully fit, both physically and psychologically, to meet the challenges of military service, during which they will be expected to deploy, potentially at short notice, to locations world-wide that are remote from established medical care. 

Certain medical conditions could preclude entry to the RAF. Further details can be found in this document. 

Before your application, please note that Body Mass Index Requirements are as follows: 

Age Male and female minimum Male and female maximum Male maximum with additional assessment Female maximum with additional assessment
18 + 18 30 32 32
16 to < 18 17 27 27 27

Calculate your BMI here 

 

Eyesight requirements vary for different roles. A requirement to wear glasses or contact lenses may be allowed for aircrew. 
 
If you are unsure about any health criteria, please continue your application and your eligibility will be assessed at the medical examination stage.  

 

Upon joining, before commencing flying training, you will be assigned a Joint Medical Employment Standard (JMES) to ensure you meet the minimum standards to receive flying training:

  • Fit as UAS flying member
  • Fit to fly with Corrective Flying Spectacles (CFS). In this case, the RAF 
  • Not fit as UAS flying member. Whilst you can’t receive flying training, you will have the opportunity to experience flights as a passenger, and can enjoy all other aspects of the UAS experience.
  • Not fit for UAS membership.

Your UAS Management team will support you through this process, and have an open door policy to discuss your situation, including appealing any decision, in complete confidence. 

Disqualifying Factors

YOU CAN'T APPLY FOR THE RAF IF YOU:

  • Have been or are a member of a group that stirs up racial hatred and violence
  • Are waiting to appear in court, or have unspent convictions. You may also have to declare spent convictions for certain roles
  • Misuse drugs, solvents and anabolic steroids. But each case is considered upon its own merits
  • Have tattoos, brands or bead implants that are obscene or offensive. 
    Any permanent or temporary tattoos, whether ordinarily visible or not, must not be obscene or offensive (eg, racist, anti-religion or belief, crude, overtly sexist, homophobic, drug related or of an extreme political nature). Tattoos may be worn on the side and back of the neck but tattoos on the back of the neck must not extend above the natural hairline (scalp tattoos are not permitted). In addition, tattoos must not be visible below the sleeve cuff while wearing uniform, although a single finger (not thumb) tattoo that could be covered by a ring may be permitted
  • Have body piercing which causes holes that do not close up
  • Declare yourself to be an 'undischarged' bankrupt

Beard Policy:

A revised facial hair policy has been agreed by the Air Force Board which will allow serving personnel to wear a smart, neatly-trimmed, full-set beard whilst maintaining high standards of appearance. The length of acceptable beards is between Grade 1 (2.5mm) and Grade 8 (25.5mm).