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The City of Edinburgh University Officers’ Training Corps is the oldest volunteer Army unit in Scotland and offers excellent opportunities to students of The University of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt University, Edinburgh Napier University and Queen Margaret University.

Who are we and what do we do?

The City of Edinburgh Universities Officers’ Training Corps (CEUOTC) is one of the largest Officers’ Training Corps and serves the four main Edinburgh Universities of Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt, Queen Margaret and Napier. Situated at Duke of Edinburgh House in Colinton, the experienced and dedicated staff provide and insight into Army Officer life through the delivery of modular and consolidated training. We structure our programme to fit around the busy academic schedule of our Universities to include Military Training, Pipes and Drums, Adventure Training and Sport, oh and Social!

We spend a great deal of focus on the development of the individual to develop life skills in a challenging, safe and friendly atmosphere. Whether you choose to join us in Year 1 or Year 5 of your studies, we are here to support and develop you all the way.

We are present at all the Universities Freshers’ Fairs and our main intake is in September of each year.

If you would like further information on joining the City of Edinburgh Universities Officers’ Training Corps and living “a student life less ordinary” please get in contact via RMAS-Gp-OTCEdinburgh-Admissions@mod.uk

Applications for this year’s intake are unfortunately closed but we often have a small second intake in Jan/Feb of each year. If you would like to be informed of any information relating to this intake please send us a quick email to RMAS-Gp-OTCEdinburgh-Admissions@mod.uk and we’ll add you to our mailing list. 

If you already have been accepted entry into the British Army or are currently serving and have had an initial medical in the past 12 months there is a chance we can take you immediately.

What we do

CEUOTC provides its members with the opportunity to develop as an individual, whether that is improving your fitness, refining your teamwork skills, or learning how to read a map. We also focus on the development of leadership skills and man-management techniques, improving confidence, problem-solving ability and time management.

By the end of your training you will have gained valuable experience which will look great on any CV, giving you a considerable advantage over fellow students in a competitive job market. All members of CEUOTC have the opportunity to gain a Level 5 award in Management and Leadership through the Chartered Management Institute.

As if that wasn’t enough the CEUOTC will also pay you to train!

Our alumni include royalty, members of parliament and senior Army officers.

How we do it

Once you join the CEUOTC your career is built around a three year course of training running Sep-Jun (although you are welcome to stay for all four):

Year 1. In your first year you are taught the basics of soldiering alongside a leadership development programme provided by Royal Military Academy Sandhurst. You can also take part in Adventurous Training and other opportunities offered by with the British Army.

Year 2. In your second year you hone the skills taught throughout the first year as well as learning and practicing how to give orders to and command a platoon. You will get the chance to command your peers on during training and this is where you start to see what you are made of.

Years 3 & 4. In years three and four you have the opportunity to be in permanent command of Officer Cadets in years one and two, assist with training and take on other standalone roles and tasks. It is during this time that you will be particularly encouraged to participate in opportunities offered by the wider British Army as years three and four afford both flexibility for and opportunity to shape you CEUOTC experience and future Army career,


The CEUOTC has a sports society for almost any sport conceivable. If there is a particular sport you wish to pursue, the Army is happy to facilitate you participating. The CEUOTC regularly arranges competitive matches against other university societies, UOTC’s, Regular and Reserve Units.

Currently there are CEUOTC teams for the following sports:

Cross Country
Adventure Races (e.g. Tough Mudder)

As with all time spent conducting military training, you will be paid for their time representing the CEUOTC in sports.

There is also a free, fully equipped gym on site; Army-qualified Physical Training Instructors (often Officer Cadets who have been trained during their time at the CEUOTC) are available to offer help and advice.

Pipes and drums

The Pipes and Drums are one of CEUOTC's finest assets and their talent and skills mean they are invited to play all over the world. Any new member can join the Pipes and Drums, whether they are seasoned piper, drummer or bugler, or a complete novice.

They play a crucial part in CEUOTC functions and parades throughout the year and add a unique dimension to all occasions. The highlight of the year is arguably the Edinburgh Military Tattoo, which sees them take part with hundreds of other musicians on the esplanade of Edinburgh Castle.

Pipes and drums

The Pipes and Drums also play a central role in the Remembrance Sunday parade in the Old College quadrangle of Edinburgh University, providing the beat as CEUOTC, East of Scotland University Air Squadron and HMS Scotia march off the parade square.

Due to the interest in bagpipes across the globe, the Pipes and Drums are often invited to perform in worldwide parades and occasions and in recent years, they have played in front of crowds in New York, Cyprus and Moscow.

It is important to emphasise that any individual can join the Pipes and Drums as long as they are committed and enthusiastic. Pipers must arrive with a rudimentary ability, but drummers can be taught from scratch. Moreover, they will not have to sacrifice military training within the UOTC and will train concurrently with other first year recruits in their Module A qualification.

Adventurous training

Adventurous training, or AT, develops leadership, teamwork, physical fitness, and moral and physical courage, as well as enabling you to try enjoyable activities they may not have done before. You are able to participate in AT expeditions, which gives you the opportunity to experience any number of challenging outdoor activities. All expeditions are heavily subsidised by the Army on top of the pay you will receive.

In addition to an excellent climbing wall on-site, there are also frequent opportunities to take part in outdoor climbing, canoeing, sailing, kayaking, mountain biking, fell running, and summer and winter mountaineering, just to name a few. Recent expeditions have taken Officer Cadets paddling in Scotland, scuba diving in Cyprus and skiing in the Alps, all organised by Officer Cadets. 

There are also Army-organised AT courses including gliding, hang gliding, skiing, parachuting and many more. The majority of courses run by the CEUOTC will give you civilian recognised qualifications, and the option of progressing to instructor level and beyond.

Duke of Edinburgh Award

Many of your UOTC activities can count towards the Duke of Edinburgh Award. Local community work is encouraged alongside the more adventurous activities and many of the instructing staff are qualified to sign off your training for all three award levels.

Other opportunities

Throughout the year there are dozens of opportunities to meet, socialise with, and work alongside other areas of the British Army, and be paid to do so. These range from interest lectures and familiarisation visits, through to participating in exercises with other Regiments - spanning anything from one night to several weeks both home and abroad.

For those possibly considering a life in the military, these visits allows you to broaden your understanding of the Armed Forces, as well as gaining an insight into the day-to-day running of different Regiments.

The networking opportunities at these and other events - such as Regimental dinners, formal balls, cocktail parties and weekly socials in the unit’s mess bar - will prove invaluable to those pursuing civilian and military careers alike.

Contact us

Telephone: 0131 310 5443

Email: UOTCEdinburgh-MAILBOX@mod.uk

City of Edinburgh University Officers’ Training Corps
Duke of Edinburgh House
301 Colinton Road,

EH13 0LA


Contact us

Telephone: 0131 310 5443/5468

Email: RMAS-Gp-OTCEdinburgh-MAILBOX@mod.uk

City of Edinburgh University Officer Training Corps
Duke of Edinburgh House
301 Colinton Road, Edinburgh
EH13 0LA