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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.

Thinking of joining us?

The City of Edinburgh University Officers’ Training Corps (CEUOTC) is one the largest Officer Training Corps in the country and serves the four main Edinburgh universities; Edinburgh, Heriot-Watt, Queen Margaret and Napier. We are situated near Colinton in the south of Edinburgh and are easily accessible by bus.  As an official university society we are present during the main fresher’s fairs at all four Edinburgh universities and open our doors to new members in September and January annually. Outside of these opportunities feel free to get in touch with as and register your interest.

You can join in three simple steps.

Step 1 - Find us at a Freshers'Fair

We have stands at Freshers' events at all four universities manned by current members of the CEUOTC:

  • University of Edinburgh Welcome Fair 14 & 15 September 16 Teviot and Potterrow
  • Heriot-Watt University Freshers' Fair 7 September 16 Campus
  • Edinburgh Napier University Freshers' Fair 8 September 16 Corn Exchange
  • Queen Margaret University Freshers' Fair 12 September 16 Campus
Step 2 - Attend an Open Night

Come to the unit for a familiarisation visit at Duke Edinburgh House, we are located at 301 Colinton Rd and only a few moments from the No 10 bus route. There will be a series of stands showcasing the sort of things we get up to here. You'll also get a free meal and a drink whilst you chat to current members.

  • Open Night 1 Wed 21 September 16, 1900-2100hrs
  • Open Night 2 Wed 14 September 16, 1900-2100hrs
Step 3 - Selection Day

Each year, we have far more people wanting to join than spaces, so applicants are invited to attend an induction weekend to see if they like what they see and if they have what it takes. We do have some basic entry requirements and during the day we'll check that you are eligible and medically fit. 

However, the best criterion for selection is that you really want to join. On enlistment, members become volunteer Officer Cadets (OCdts) of the Army Reserve.

  • Selection Day 1 Sat 24 September 16, 0800-1700hrs
  • Selection Day 2 Sun 25 September 16, 080011700hrs
If you cannot make it for any reason and still want to join, get in touch at 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