Engineering Degree Apprenticeship Scheme – Mechanical and Electrical/Electronics specialism2023-09-23T16:56:01+01:00

As an Engineering Degree Apprentice, you’ll be part of the organisation responsible for delivering and supporting the UK Services’ equipment programme. This includes but is not limited to:

  • armoured vehicles like the Challenger Main Battle Tank
  • specialised equipment like bridge layers, generators, water filtrations systems
  • complex weapon systems and the integration with its parent ship, plane or land vehicle
  • traditional weapons including small arms, ammunition, mortars
  • aircraft platforms and systems across all types of aircraft, fixed and rotary wing, combat and transport plus the support systems used to keep them operational
  • surface ships and small boats for both the Royal Navy and Fleet Auxiliary.

On the Engineering Degree Apprenticeship, with the Mechanical and Electrical/Electronics specialism, you’ll undertake practical and academic training that includes a degree in Mechanical or Electrical/Electronics Engineering.

You’ll also complete several work-based training placements and defence-specific related training at various locations within the UK. This is all while you’re completing the relevant vocational qualifications in preparation for employment in engineering roles within current and future defence programmes. Read more about the Engineering function


Year One

You’ll attend Weston University College to complete a National Vocational Qualification NVQ Level 2 in Performing Engineering Operations. This’ll include practical workshop experience including hand and machining skills, both mechanical and electrical.

During your first year you’ll also start a Bachelor’s degree in Engineering.

Years Two and Three

You’ll continue studying for your Bachelor’s degree, part-time, at university while undertaking work based placements across all areas of DE&S.

Your placements on the Degree Apprenticeship will provide you with much of the experience that you’ll need to take on a role within the business. You’ll also:

  • be working alongside experienced project managers and engineers in Bristol
  • working on real projects and experiencing the challenges faced by DE&S
  • be working with partners like BAE Systems, Babcock, General Dynamics, Airbus Defence, Thales and Leonardo
  • likely spend some time at military bases across the UK.

End of Year Three Assessment

At this point you’ll be qualified and experienced to a level that allows you to register with a Professional Engineering Institution as an Engineering Technician (EngTech).

For some, this will be the end of the apprenticeship and you’ll have the option to start work within the business. However, there’s also the option to prove your suitability to continue into years four and five.

Years Four and Five 

At this point, while there’ll be some flexibility, we expect you to be aligned to a more specific part of the business for example, land, sea or air. You’ll also continue to gain even more knowledge and experience to prepare yourself for registration as an Incorporated Engineer (I Eng).

With a further two years of study, you’ll complete a part-time degree in Engineering (BEng) at university.

After Qualifying

This is only the start of your career. Many of our apprentices gain promotions and continue with more specialised study such as a Master’s Degree (MSc).

Bespoke Training

Across years two to five you could be undertaking a range of defence specific courses that are expected to provide you with knowledge of technologies that, in many cases, are unique to the UK Armed Forces.

Entry requirements 

  • 5 GCSES at grade 4-9 (C to A*), including English, Maths and a Science, preferably Physics

And either: 

  • 3 A Levels including Maths and Science (preferably Physics) at a minimum of C,C,C


  • Candidates must already have or will achieve a national diploma in Engineering equivalent to a minimum 96 UCASPoints;


  • Candidates must already have or will achieve a minimum of 96 UCAS points in relevant STEM subject.

Help and Support

There are several ways that you’ll be supported. You’ll have: 

  • a dedicated manager throughout your apprenticeship
  • assistance from an independent training assessor
  • experienced and knowledgeable placement supervisors
  • in addition to the end point assessments, you’ll be assessed and reviewed every six to eight weeks to make sure you’re progressing as expected in both your academic and vocational studies.  

Selection process

When applying, you’ll complete an initial online application and be required to undertake an online numerical, verbal and Civil Service judgement test.

If you pass all tests, you’ll then complete a full application and upload your CV (please note the specific CV requirements on the job advert).

Finally, the top scoring candidates will be invited to an assessment centre in Bristol.

If successful at interview a place can be offered subject to you obtaining satisfactory grades, your references, security and health checks. Following completion of all pre-employment checks candidates can expect to start employment in September 2024.

This scheme is due to open in late 2023.

Back to DE&S Apprenticeship & Graduate Schemes

Benefits and discounts

We truly believe that DE&S is a great place to work, and we offer a unique experience for our graduates and apprentices.

We want to ensure that every single employee feels appreciated and fairly rewarded and being part of the Civil Service allows to offer a very unique and attractive benefits package including discounts on cinema tickets, sport and leisure and your weekly shop.

Discover all the ways we can help you make life easier.

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Meet our people

We have hundreds of amazing and inspiring apprentices and graduates across our organisation. Here are just some of their stories.

“You get the chance to work, gain qualifications and progress all at the same time. DE&S is very supportive, as there are lots of people with vast amounts of experience to learn from who are always happy to help.”

– Rachel, Project Professional Scheme

Turn your job into a career with DE&S. Find your place in our team today.

Meet Rachel

Frequently Asked Questions

Yes. Should you require support with the application process or require any technical assistance please contact the DBS team on 0800 345 7772.

A provisional offer informs you that you have been successful at interview subject to pre-employment checks.  At this stage we will initiate the necessary pre-employment checks, such as security clearance and medical questionnaires. If you are an external candidate, you are strongly advised not to give notice to your current employer until pre-employment checks have successfully been concluded.

Your provisional offer will inform you of the pre-employment checks.  The security checks, which are undertaken by National Security Vetting (NSV) Agency, usually take the longest to complete so you will be invited to commence this aspect once you have been informed that you have completed your interview, as this reduces delays. An invitation to begin the security clearance process is not a guarantee that you will be given an offer.

All candidates will be required to undertake security clearances to the level the role requires prior to commencing employment.  Assuming the candidate completes their security forms and references are returned in a timely fashion, and that no further checks or documents are required, we would expect the individual to be advised that we are in the position to make a formal offer of employment and start discussions to agree an appropriate starting date.

Explore our Frequently Asked Questions

The Disability Confident scheme aims to help employers make the most of the opportunities provided by employing disabled people. It is voluntary and has been developed by employers and disabled people’s representatives.

DE&S is proud to be a Disability Confident Leader.

More about Defence Equipment & Support

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Delivering a programme of work of over £13bn annually, we ensure the UK Armed Forces have all the equipment and support they need for their operations.

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Join us in specialisms from engineering to project management to commercial – take your first step to a more rewarding career with DE&S.

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