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Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme

Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme Introduction

  • The Defence Technical Undergraduate Scheme (DTUS) is for those who wish to join the Royal Navy as an Engineer Officer.
  • Students are sponsored to read DTUS approved engineering degrees at
    one of 6 DTUS universities; Southampton, Newcastle & Northumbria, Loughborough, Birmingham and Aston.
  • The bursary awarded to students is currently £4,000 per year with an additional attendance based payment equivalent to approximately £1,600 per year.  In return you must undertake approximately 45 training days each year, including weekly term-time training nights, military exercises, summer attachments, adventurous training and personnel development exercises.
  • Upon graduation you will be expected to join the Royal Navy and serve for at least three years as an officer.

The Role of the Engineer Officer

  • Modern warships are packed with state-of-the-art technologies such as phased array radar, complex communications suites, nuclear and diesel-electric propulsion plants and sophisticated avionics equipment.
  • The key role of the Engineer Officer is as the team leader for the specialist technicians who maintain the ship and aircraft systems, focusing on the system and engineering management issues.
  • Engineer Officers build up a detailed knowledge of how all ship systems (material and human) interact to produce an effective fighting unit.


  • The DTUS was established:
    'To educate and develop selected individuals in order to prepare them for further training and careers as engineer or technical officers in the Armed Forces or graduate entry into the MOD Civil Service'
  • Sponsorship is primarily for BEng(Hons) degrees although undergraduate MEng and degrees may also be supported.  All degrees are accredited by the appropriate institution.
  • Candidates join the DTUS as prospective Engineers. At the end of the second year at university they are streamed into one of the three Engineering specialisations within the Royal Navy:
    • Marine Engineering - Surface Ships and Submarines.
    • Weapon Engineering - Surface Ships and Submarines.
    • Air Engineering.
  • Selection for specific branches will take into account the needs of the Navy, personal preferences and academic results.

The Role of the Support Unit

  • 'To monitor, assist progression and help the student establish an understanding of the particular Service to be joined, its traditions and the many benefits that a career in the Armed Services and MOD Civil Service can provide.'
  • Academic support:
    • Mentoring and performance monitoring.
    • Academic advice with a Service perspective.
    • Supplementary Service courses if required.
  • Administrative support:
    • Long-term loan for course textbooks.
    • Free internet, fax, photocopying, laminating and binding.
    • Vehicles and travel expenses for official duty.
  • Financial support:
    • Officer's uniform (Honorary Midshipmen Royal Naval Reserve)
    • Bursary: £4,000 per annum.
    • Training pay: approximately £1,600 per annum.
    • Bounty: £200 per annum.
    • Guaranteed commission on entering the Royal Navy, in the rank of Sub Lieutenant with a salary of approx £15,000 per annum (April 2007), rising to £35,000 after two years with promotion to Lieutenant.

The Application Process

  • Make an appointment to speak to a Careers Liaison Officer by telephone 08456 07 55 55, visit your nearest Armed Forces Careers Office or contact us through this website.
  • Apply to a DTUS university via UCAS.
  • Indicate on the UCAS form that you are seeking a place on the DTUS.
  • Attend and pass the Admiralty Interview Board:
    • 2 days of aptitude tests and interviews.
    • Medical examination.

Our Expectations of You

  • At the university:
    • Full integration into university life.
    • Keep up with degree studies.
  • With the Support Unit:
    •  Attend around 45 training days per year: attend one night per week and occasional weekend exercises during term-time (plus social events).  Optional activities include overseas battlefield tour, and Adventurous Training.
    • Military attachments and exercises during the Easter and summer semester breaks.
    • Pass a military Fitness Test per annum.
  • With the Royal Navy:
    • To accept a commission in the Royal Navy on graduation
    • To return a minimum of three years' service after completing professional Royal Navy training.