Freshers’ Week 2021 – University Officer Training Corps (UOTC)


University Officer Training Corps (UOTC) 

The UOTC is an Army Reserve unit which offers a unique experience to university students looking to challenge and develop themselves, to make life-long friends and to get paid.

You will receive internationally recognised military and leadership training along with the opportunity to immerse yourself in a variety of sports and adventurous training activities. The training is designed to fit around your academic commitments, and you are under no obligation to join the Regular Army or Army Reserves.

Why did you join the UOTC? 

‘The big draw for me was adventurous training but once I got involved in October 2020 I found the weekend exercises great fun, all the while getting paid for it!’

What do you enjoy most about being part of the UOTC?

‘The amount of opportunities provided by the UOTC is immense. I’ve been lucky enough to complete the Basic Army Reserve Physical Training Instructors Course which allows me to conduct PT (Personal Training) sessions at the unit. I also got to work at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival with Army at The Fringe, engaging with both the public and performers alike, a fantastic time which I will remember fondly.’

What would you say to someone interested in joining the UOTC?

‘Go for it! Once you’re in, you make friendships that last and experiences that will help you beyond university both in the civilian world and in the Army should you choose to join. You’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain!’

More information and contact details

A group of mountain bikers

Why did you join UOTC?

‘Due to the pandemic, I have not yet experienced the UOTC in its full glory but everything I have participated in so far has been so enjoyable that I cannot recommend it enough. As a result of the pandemic, I wasn’t on campus for anything related to my course this year and so I haven’t properly met or made friends with anyone on my course. Therefore, the UOTC has been a godsend.  I have met so many new people and made so many close friends. Without the UOTC I wouldn’t have enjoyed my first year of university. But instead, I have had the most incredible year making so many amazing memories with people I probably wouldn’t have met otherwise. The UOTC has been my whole university experience and it did not disappoint. 

At the Freshers’ Fair the UOTC appeared to offer almost everything that the other stands offered, just rolled into one. I didn’t need to join a hockey club and a ski team etc. as I am able to do all of these through the UOTC.’

What do you enjoy most about being part of the UOTC?

‘Summer camp was an amazing experience which taught me a lot about myself. During the two weeks I had a large confidence boost as I was pushed out of my comfort zone by participating in leadership activities and improved my teamwork and public speaking skills. 

I also took part in mountain biking and a day of water sports. At first, I had been reluctant to try the mountain biking as I had thought it was too dangerous and the whole idea of it didn’t appeal as I wasn’t even that keen on riding a normal bike. I couldn’t have been more wrong. Mountain biking was amazing and even after only doing it for one day I was hooked on the adrenaline rush it gave me. 

I have loved all these experiences but what has made them so great is the people. One of the things I am most looking forward to in the coming year is the social events, ranging from black tie dinners to fancy dress nights.’

What would you say to someone interested in joining the UOTC? 

‘I have thoroughly enjoyed my first year in the UOTC and cannot wait for my second one to begin. I have loved the whole experience which I could not recommend highly enough to anyone considering it. Even if you are worried about a certain aspect of it, whether it’s the military side or the adventure training, the leaders and other Cadets (that’s what UOTC members are called) are very supportive and keen to help with anything you need.  The opportunities offered are unmatched by any other university society, not only activity wise but also due to personal development and confidence. I would recommend the UOTC to anyone as everyone can achieve something different from it as well as a student life less ordinary.’

More information and contact details


Meet Officer Cadet Abbie McKelvie of East of Scotland Universities Air Squadron


Meet Officer Cadet Anthony Anderson of Glasgow and Strathclyde University Royal Naval Unit 

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