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Medical Cadetship

If you are currently studying at medical school, or are applying for a place at a medical school, the Royal Air Force could sponsor your Medical training, in the form of a bursary or a cadetship, leading ultimately to a career as a Royal Air Force Medical Officer. Medical Officer Sponsorship is available from year 3 of Medical School. The Royal Air Force spans the world.  We support troops on the front line, fly in humanitarian aid for the sick and starving, police the skies and defend the UK airspace.  Regular Medical Officers play a vital part in keeping personnel fit for role in the UK and on deployed Operations overseas.  We are seeking to recruit Medical Students who are looking for new challenges. Your role is pivotal in maintaining the effectiveness of the RAF in delivering Air Power by maximising the fitness of personnel for their tasks.

On top of a competitive salary, consistent support and exceptional training, we offer a structured and progressive career path designed to encourage and reward excellence. The RAF is a strong advocate of continuous professional development.

Medical Officer Cadetships are normally awarded following an upgrade from a bursary. However, new applicants can apply for a cadetship to cover their penultimate and/or final year at medical school.  The cadetship salary is from £17,759 in addition to tuition and registration fees.

Medical Officer Cadetships are normally awarded following an upgrade from a bursary.  However, new applicants can apply for a cadetship to cover their penultimate and/or final year of medical study at university /medical school.

Commitment: The Cadet must join the University Air Squadron affiliated to their university and subsequently enter the Royal Air Force on an Intermediate Commission after full registration with the General Medical Council.

Postings and Career

All postings are coordinated by the Royal Air Force with input by the Cadet.  Cadets will undertake their Foundation Years training through the Defence Foundation Programme.  Following FY and officer training, General Duties Medical Officers (GDMOs) are posted to a RAF station GP Training Practice until their professional training begins.  During this time, GDMOs will experience life on a working RAF station at first hand. 


In addition to payment of Tuition Fees and Registration Fees, the indicative Cadetship pay (based on the April 2019 pay review) rates are as follows:

On Appointment

Penultimate year at medical school


After 1 Year in Rank

Final year at medical school


Year 3


Foundation Year 1

Full Registration with GMC

£44,903 (Flying Officer)

Year 4

Foundation Year 2


(A/Flight Lieutenant)

Year 5

Military Induction Training1


General Duties time on station

Secondary Health Care

Primary Health Care


Year 6-8

Core Training

GP Specialist Training

From £62,678 

Year 9+

Higher Training

Consolidate as a GP

Typical starting salary on completion of specialist training:

Accredited GP £106,000, Accredited first year consultant £95,000

1 Training Courses during Year 5

  • 12 weeks Specialist Officers Initial Training Course (SOITC) (RAFC Cranwell)
  • 1 week Initial Medical, Dental and Nursing Officers Course
  • 2 weeks Initial Medical Officer (Aviation Medicine) Course (Priority to Flying Stations)

How to Apply

Applications must be submitted to an Armed Forces Careers Office (AFCO) or online by 31 October prior to the academic year in which you hope to be sponsored.  Successful applicants will be awarded sponsorship from the start of the following September term.How to Apply


Age  21 - 47*

*Candidates can be accepted up to age 47   as you require professional training.


Sponsorship is available for the final three years of study in a UK Based Medical School.


You should have resided in the UK for the 5 years immediately preceding your application.  In certain circumstances, if your period of residency has been broken, we will still be able to consider your application.


You must be a citizen of the United Kingdom or the Republic of Ireland, holder of dual UK/other nationality or have been a Commonwealth citizen since birth.

A Modern Force:  

The RAF recognises the value of a person’s ability no matter their ethnicity, social background, religion or belief, gender identity, sexual orientation or marital status/civil partnership.

Cadetship Upgrade Selection:   

An upgrade from a bursary to a cadetship is competitive and dependent upon passing an upgrade selection interview. This is assessed by a panel of senior Medical Officers, the MDRT and members of the RAF sponsorship team. You will also be assessed for evidence of satisfactory academic performance, service knowledge, continuing good character and maintaining a satisfactory level of physical fitness whilst a bursar.

Important Considerations

Sponsorship may be terminated at the discretion of the Ministry of Defence if it becomes evident that the scholar is failing to make satisfactory progress at university. The availability and number of specialist training places will be subject to the needs of the Service, resulting in some individuals not being able to pursue their primary choice of medical career; Paediatric, Geriatrics and Obstetrics & Gynaecology are permanently excluded.


Medical Cadetship

United Kingdom
Alternative Courses/Degrees, Employment & Training, Jobs

Published on 2 Jun 2020