How to Join

How to Join


The recruiting period for the academic year of 2013/14 will take place this September and October, during which we aim to recruit approximately 30-40 students. During this period we will be recruiting students at the following Fresher Fayres:

  • University of Birmingham - 23rd & 24th September
  • Coventry - 26th September
  • Keele - 30th September
  • Warwick - 30th September & 1st October
  • Birmingham City University - attend the University of Birmingham Freshers Fayre
  • Aston - attend the University of Birmingham Freshers Fayre
  • Stafford - attend the Keele Freshers Fayre
  • Wolverhampton - attend the Birmingham Freshers Fayre

You must be in full time attendance at one of the above universities to be eligible. Unfortunately we cannot accept applications from students at other universities.

Freshers Fayres

If you are interested in joining UBAS then please visit us at a Freshers Fayres at one of the universities listed above. At the recruitment stand you will be able to talk to current student members who will be able to answer any of your questions. If you’re still interested, we will ask you to complete an application form and then have an informal chat with a member of the UBAS Staff.


After this stage, your application will be considered along with all those who have applied to join. From the initial 100 or so who give us applications, we will interview around 50 students for approximately 40 places, the interview may also include a fitness test to measure against the standards expected of personnel in the Royal Air Force, which UBAS students are expected to adhere to. It may sound like long odds but it isn't. If you have the right character then you stand a very good chance of being selected, and the fitness test shouldn't trouble anyone who leads an active and healthy lifestyle. Should you be selected, you will be required to attend an Induction Camp during December.

For more information, see the FAQs.


Firstly, you must check that you fall within the following criteria:

  • Are you a British citizen, or a citizen of a Commonwealth country or the Republic of Ireland?
  • Have you lived in the UK for the last five years?
  • Are you on your first full-time degree course (not foundation year) and do you have at least 2 years of full-time study (not including placement years) remaining?
  • Are you over 17 1/2 years of age?

If you have answered no to any of those questions you may not be eligible for membership. Please contact us at if you have any questions of eligibility.

There are also various other medical requirements that applicants must satisfy - at the moment the required medical standard is that of a Group 2 (HGV) drivers' licence, please see the DVLA website for further information.


Whilst membership of a University Air Squadron does not commit you to joining the RAF, you do have to agree to commit some of your time. As a minimum, members are required to attend:

  • 15 Training Nights during term time (approximately one every week).
  • A one week training camp during both the Easter vacation, and a two week training camp during the summer vacation.
  • A one week Induction Camp in December for all first years.

In addition, sponsored students and first years are expected to complete a week's Summer Vacation Attachment, spent on an active RAF base shadowing an officer and getting a taste of active RAF life.

Although being in the Air Squadron can take up a lot of your time, your first priority whilst at university must be academic success. That said, most students find that they have the time to take part in activities even when on degree courses with large amounts of contact time.

Enlistment and Status

If selected, you will join the University of Birmingham Air Squadron with the rank of Officer Cadet. University Air Squadron membership carries no obligation for you to join the Royal Air Force, on the other hand the Royal Air Force does not have to offer you a commission.

As an RAF(VR) member you will be subject to Royal Air Force law and will be expected to behave in a way that will not bring the Royal Air Force into disrepute. Your university air squadron membership will be terminated if you fail to make satisfactory progress, or if you decide the University Air Squadron is not for you then you may resign at any time.

Joining the Royal Air Force and obtaining sponsorship

Many students are so attracted by the lifestyle that they decide to apply for sponsorship to help them through their degree, or apply for direct entry into the Royal Air Force upon graduation. This necessitates a visit to OASC (Officer and Aircrew Selection Centre) at RAF College Cranwell. Those successful in applying for sponsorship may be offered a Bursary in exchange for a commitment to take a short-service or permanent commission after leaving university.

For further enquiries on this matter please contact your local Armed Forces Careers Office or visit the RAF careers website using the link at the top of this page.

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