Engineering Graduate Scheme2023-09-23T16:56:14+01:00

Engineering Graduate Scheme

If you are a graduate engineer looking for a career in defence our Engineering Graduate Scheme will be of interest to you. We offer you an exciting and varied experience across defence to develop your skills with opportunities no other scheme can provide. We can work together to help you become one of our engineers of the future.

DE&S Engineering

DE&S engineers work around the UK and abroad alongside equipment suppliers developing and managing equipment for our customer, the UK Armed Forces. As one of our graduates you will work within teams alongside Project Managers, Risk Managers, Safety Experts and Military personnel providing technical advice and problem-solving to ensure the equipment provided is safe and fit for purpose.  You will work with people across the range of levels from administrative assistants to Domain Directors, both civilian and military

Read more about the Enginering function

About the scheme

The DE&S Engineering Graduate Scheme is a two-year programme focussed on developing engineering knowledge and skills in a defence environment.

Following a comprehensive induction into DE&S you will rotate through 4 or 5 engineering placements within DE&S Delivery Teams in your chosen Domain (Air, Land or Sea) and our Industry Defence Partners and our Armed Forces customers to experience every aspect of the project lifecycle.  You will have the opportunity to exploit cutting-edge technology; solve engineering problems through the in-service life of the equipment and develop upgrades to ensure it continues to provide the battle-winning edge our customers need; and deliver engineering products and services against agreed objectives.  You will develop knowledge and experience which will add value to the teams you work with and the wider business.  In addition to engineering, we will give you the opportunity to gain project management knowledge and experience, working in pan-domain teams of your fellow graduates, taking different roles to manage a project.

This Initial Professional Development is accredited by several Engineering Institutions as a foundation towards Incorporated or Chartered status.

End of scheme

At the end of your two years, you will go through a “regrade” process.  This consists of an interview during which you describe your achievements whilst on the scheme and a presentation of your portfolio of supporting evidence.  You will then take up a role on promotion within a DE&S delivery team.

Qualification requirements

To apply you’ll need:

  • A specific Engineering BEng/MEng (Hons) degree minimum 2:2
  • A degree at a grade of 2:1 or higher would be desirable.

Please see advert for list of accepted degrees

Help and support

Whilst on the scheme you’ll receive plenty of help and support from:

  • A manager who’ll be responsible for co-ordinating your professional training and development throughout the scheme
  • An Engineering Function Mentor who will oversee your personal and professional development throughout your time on the scheme.
  • A Placement Supervisor who will delegate work to you within your placement team and help you develop your skills.
  • Other grads whom you’ll meet in person and on our Engineering Scheme Team Site.

Other opportunities

There are plenty of development opportunities you can choose to take advantage of whilst on the scheme, which will give you valuable experience and a chance to work more closely with other grads and defence engineers.  This year some of our grads took part in a week-long cyber security exercise competing against teams from the armed forces.  Some of our grads met ministers in Downing Street at the Cabinet Office Youth Day.


The initial placement location for our graduates is Bristol and whilst you’re on the scheme you may undertake further placements in a variety of locations across the UK. Depending on the Delivery Team you are allocated to, hybrid working through Smarter Working may be available but there is an expectation that employees will be in the office on a regular basis.

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.

This scheme is due to open in late 2023.

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.

colourful icons representing DE&S employee benefits

Meet our people

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

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 Disability Confident Committed.

More about Defence Equipment & Support

A helicopter lands and kicks up a huge cloud of dust

Who we are

Part of the Ministry of Defence, we’re a mix of 12,500 talented civil servants and military personnel located across the UK and abroad.

Learn more
A grey fighter jet takes off from a runway

What we do

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.

Learn more
Three Civil Servants speak outside DE&S offices

Work for us

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

Learn more
Go to Top