British Armed Forces, Photo: Cpl Kellie Williams, RLC/MOD
via Wikimedia Commons
The Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) was formed in 1947, bringing together the Royal Military Academy (RMA) and the Royal Military College (RMC) to train the regular officers of the British Army. Its then two-year course included both military and academic subjects, while national service and short service officers were trained at officer cadet schools (OCS) (Sale, 1972). One of those schools, the Mons Barracks in Aldershot continued to train short service cadets, graduate entrants and territorials after the abolishment of conscription in 1960, but in 1972 the responsibilities of Mons were entirely assigned to RMAS (MoD, 2015). As one of the major milestones in British officer training, this reformed the commissioning programme substantially. Academic studies were condensed and only offered to future regular officers, while all officer cadets undertook a six-month military course. Since then, a range of reform efforts has been carried out, which has led to the current system (Interview 2, 2015).
The history of the Sandhurst Commissioning Course (CC) has seen much debate on the appropriate percentage of academic education as part of the overall course and these debates have generated a variety of adaptations to the programme. The reasons behind these changes have been triggered by strategic and budgetary reasons alike. Arguably, the interface between the desire to improve the image and intellectual capability of the British Officer on the one hand, and financial restraints on the other, has historically resulted in compromised decisions on the matter (Downes, 1992). An increasing percentage of Sandhurst officer cadets arrive at Sandhurst with some form of academic degree (currently up to 85 percent), and the Academy has also enhanced the significance of academic education. This trend does not, however, reflect a historical desire in the British Ministry of Defence (MoD) to make the completion of undergraduate studies a requirement for the British regular officer (Speech, Hackett). Instead, it reflects the desire to prevent a deepening intellectual deficit of British army officers.
The regular CC currently is a yearlong course where military training and academic education are integrated into an experience of blended learning, accommodating officer cadets from a wide variety of backgrounds. The uniqueness of the Sandhurst approach of blended learning through integrating academic education and military training, in a particularly demanding physical and intellectual course, will be pertinent throughout this article. It will address the nature of this system, with a specific focus on teaching international relations (IR).
The next pages will shed light on the blended learning approach at Sandhurst, elaborate on the current academic programme in the field of international relations (IR) and assess the apparent trend towards an enhanced appreciation and emphasis on the academic aspect of officer education. It will start by providing an overview of academic courses at the RMAS to put teaching IR in a broader context. These paragraphs will clarify not only the diversity of the academic subjects, but also demonstrate how they are integrated into military training. The article subsequently discusses the latest and indeed very recent academic milestone at RMAS of providing the opportunity to complete a postgraduate certificate (one third of a postgraduate degree) for those officer cadets that are eligible and have the right amount of ambition to undertake that level of education. Offering an undergraduate strand of the regular CC as well as a parallel-running postgraduate strand has only become a reality at Sandhurst in January 2015 and is therefore an interesting work in progress. The article subsequently addresses officers’ continuous professional development in the IR sphere and a range of short courses that are offered. The final section will conclude with a range of key challenges and opportunities for teaching IR at Sandhurst.
Sandhurst Academic Courses
The Sandhurst officer cadets arrive at the academy with a wide variety of backgrounds. Around 85 percent are university graduates, but others enter Sandhurst with General Certificate of Education Advanced Levels (‘GCE A-levels’) or equivalents, while yet another group are serving soldiers who have been selected for officer training. About ten per cent of every intake are non-British overseas cadets, who have been chosen by their own national army to train at Sandhurst. This indicates that while a large group comes with a university degree, it is not a requirement to Sandhurst entry. As will be explained later, the programme in the very least provides them with a foundation to further pursue an undergraduate degree.
The Regular Commissioning Course (CC) takes just under a year; 48 weeks, including recess periods. There are three intakes a year, with courses starting in January, May and September. Officer cadets are assigned to a platoon and one of (usually) two companies. They face three terms of about 14 weeks each, labelling them as juniors, intermediates, and seniors respectively.
A number of shorter courses are also run at Sandhurst, such as the Army Reserve Commissioning Course, the Late Entry Officers Course (LEOC), and the training course for Professionally Qualified Officers (PQOs) holding professional qualifications such as medicine and law. All the courses offered at Sandhurst cover military and academic subjects and it is the latter that we direct our attention to.
Unlike many other military academies, Sandhurst is not a university, it favours a highly integrated approach where academic subjects are taught alongside military training. The blended learning approach Sandhurst favours means students can have military tactics training followed by two hours of academic education, followed by another two hours of physical training. The days are long and the programme is famous for being extremely intense while demanding the utmost effort from officer cadets. With a mixed student population of university graduates from different disciplines, A-level graduates and selected serving soldiers, streamlining the academic part of the Sandhurst programme is a well-acknowledged challenge that transcends academic departments. At the same time, however, this mixture is also among the key strengths in terms of diversity. The mixture of a Sandhurst intake will not only enhance their collective learning experience by sharing experiences, but the Sandhurst rationale is that this will also make young officers more fit for a variety of purposes early on in their career.
The academic subjects are taught across three departments, including the Department of Defence and International Affairs (DIA), the Department of War Studies (WS), and the Department of Communications and Behavioural Science (CABS). While the latter two will inevitably touch upon current affairs and international security issues, teaching IR is really the core business of DIA. However, both WS and CABS offer complementary and vital branches of social science-related academic education for the officer cadets.
The Department of War Studies is responsible for the study of war and modern military history, covering five key areas: theories of war, manoeuvre of warfare, expeditionary operations, insurgency and counter-insurgency, and ‘officership’. A highlight of the War Studies course is Exercise Normandy Scholar, during which all officer cadets spend two full days in Normandy examining real tactical-level scenarios from the 1944 campaign. Demonstrating the integrated Sandhurst approach, this exercise helps the students develop an understanding of command, decision-making and leadership (MoD, 2015).
The Communication and Applied Behavioural Science course at RMAS provides another branch of social sciences and is designed to acquire insight in what motivates people, group dynamics, and decision-making. The key themes covered are motivating, communicating and influencing, problem-solving, creative thinking and negotiation skills for the young officer. The CABS flagship exercise is Exercise Agile Influence, a company-sized simulation where officer cadets are faced with the need to develop flexibility of thought and response (MoD, 2015).
Across academic departments, pitching the education of Officer Cadets at the appropriate level has been a challenge throughout the history of Sandhurst. In that sense, Sandhurst has recently entered a new era and is currently experiencing what no doubt will be a milestone in its academic record. While up until recently the academic education for all British cadets at Sandhurst was taught at undergraduate level, for which the Open University offers accreditation of a first-year BA course, in January 2015, Sandhurst started the first ever term where the academic courses are offered in two separate but parallel-running strands; on undergraduate and postgraduate level respectively. The creation of a postgraduate level course leading to a certificate (PG Cert) demonstrates not only the acknowledgement of students’ extremely varying backgrounds but also the increasing importance given to academic officer education. Those with the relevant ambition and eligibility can opt for postgraduate classes and if successful, will be offered a PG Cert accredited by the University of Cranfield. Before elaborating on the newly developed postgraduate course, this essay turns to how IR is taught in the regular CC at undergraduate level.
International Relations in the Regular Commissioning Course
The 14 lecturers that make up DIA deliver classes on a wide selection of topics within the realm of international security and defence issues, and cover a variety of teaching requirements. Apart from the undergraduate and postgraduate teaching, which will be the main focus of this essay, DIA teaching requirements also include the Overseas Cadets CC, the Law of Armed Conflict (with a link to Exercise Broadsword), the Late Entry Officers Course, the Professionally Qualified Officers, the Military Analysis Course for Captains, and the Defence Diplomacy courses (delivered overseas).
The overall aim of DIA courses at the undergraduate level is in fact threefold. Firstly, it endeavours to make the officer cadets capable of identifying, analysing and evaluating a range of fundamental contemporary international security challenges. This includes identifying sources of conflict, strategic drivers and international trends that jointly shape the contemporary operational context. Secondly, DIA courses strive to enable the student to evaluate the means by which states, institutions and policy-makers respond to international security challenges, with continuous attention for the efficiency of military force and the British international role. The third aim of DIA courses cuts across various subjects and revolves around ensuring the Officer Cadet develops the academic skills necessary to evaluate a variety of sources, and communicate their analysis convincingly verbally and in writing. These are considered transferable skills, vital to their continuous professional development. It demonstrates that the intended learning outcomes of IR-related teaching put as much emphasis on intellectual transferable skills as on acquiring the knowledge and understanding of the international security context. While the first two aims are covered throughout 29 DIA classes, the transferable skills are measured in the assessment (Defence Gateway, 2015).
As the Sandhurst commissioning course starts with five extremely demanding weeks of military training, the first contact with the DIA lecturer takes place partway through the junior term. The ten DIA seminars taught during this term provide an overview of the key issues in international relations and security studies, covering the changing nature of the security system, principles of power, US power and rising and emerging powers, democracy and human rights, peace and stability, the UN system and jus ad bellum.
The intermediate term then moves on to look at various security risks and threats, as well as potential security responses. Over the course of 10 DIA seminars, it explores terrorism, various unconventional security threats, fragile states and looks at stabilisation and peace operations in general and in Afghanistan and the Middle East more specifically.
The senior and final term then has two sessions on European security issues (security landscape and responses) and a remaining five sessions on Britain’s foreign, security and defence policies. In addition, the senior officer cadets attend six sessions on the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC), covering the key principles, responsibilities, issues related to captured persons (CPERS), and rules of engagement in Jus in Bello. The LOAC training is integrated within the penultimate exercise, Exercise Broadsword, where the practical application of Jus in Bello is tested (Defence Gateway 2015).
While the bulk of DIA teaching is conducted in seminars where students are expected to actively contribute to class discussions and debates and continuously assessed on their behaviour and cooperation during the sessions, other classes are taught at platoon-level (LOAC) or even in general lectures where an entire intake is gathered.
Across academic departments, an integrated approach is favoured which is reflected in the involvement of academic staff in military exercises. For DIA this not only means jointly writing Exercise Broadsword (Ex BS) with military counterparts, but also providing political input and legal expertise on the exercise. This ranges from ensuring that the civilian population understands the roles they are playing at every stage of the two week long exercise, to functioning as a Political Advisor or journalist to test officer cadets in their interaction with civilian experts. The presence of academic personnel on Ex BS is to enhance the learning experience of the officer cadets and maximise their learning potential.
The final session of DIA, at the end of the cadets’ senior term, is referred to as ‘contemporary developments’, which could be described as a miniature conference, where students are encouraged to ask a panel of DIA staff questions on current affairs, often related to their potential future deployments.
Mixed teaching methods require mixed methods of assessment. Thirty per cent of the students’ assessments for the DIA grade of the CC at undergraduate level relate to their behaviour in class. The continuous assessment element reflects the importance given to ensuring that officer cadets convey analytically balanced and evidence-based arguments at all times, as well as the ability to actively listen constructively and contribute to class debates. To emphasise the importance of both research and oral communication skills, twenty per cent is dedicated to a presentation in the intermediate term, where students are given a research question with high relevance to the contemporary international security landscape. After independently researching the topic, they present their findings in class and subsequently take the lead in a class debate on the topic. It is at the end of the second term that students start complementing their verbal skills with written ones and are expected to demonstrate the incorporation of their learning outcomes in writing. Hence, forty per cent of the DIA assessment at undergraduate level is awarded to what is termed ‘The Commandant’s Research Paper’, a 2500 word essay on a DIA-related topic. At the end of the Commissioning Course, there is a prize for the best DIA Commandant’s Research Paper. The remaining ten per cent covers a LOAC test where students demonstrate their understanding of the key legal principles, responsibilities and rules of engagement when at war.
A New Academic Era
Following experiences of the British Army in Iraq and Afghanistan, the realisation grew that future deployment was moving into an area of uncertainty. There was a growing recognition of the importance of the intellectual agility of officers, and an enhanced desire to not only reenergise intellectual education in the army, but to train and educate more creative and bespoke problem-solvers (Melvin, 2012). The realisation triggered a general trend in army education with a focus on enhanced adult learning, where the student is given more responsibility for his or her own learning process. This led to the development of a Higher Education Policy to cultivate intellectual training (Chatham House, 2011).
As a consequence of the Higher Education Policy, the academic courses at Sandhurst are currently going through an intensive phase of reform, introducing postgraduate level academic courses for those officer cadets that have the ambition and the eligibility[i] to undertake the first stage of postgraduate education (PG Cert). This not only reflects a desire to maximise the students’ learning potential while at Sandhurst, but also reinforces an ongoing trend of enhanced importance being given to continuous intellectual development once they commission from Sandhurst and leave the academy. As PG Cert is accredited by Cranfield University, it gives students the opportunity to further build upon the credits acquired and pursue a full Master’s Degree. Just like the undergraduate strand, the PG Cert is taught across the three academic departments.
The aim of the postgraduate DIA course currently reads as follows:
“To critically evaluate a range of fundamental 21st [century] international security challenges – including long-term strategic drivers, enduring sources of conflict and international trends – shaping the contemporary operational environment and the means by which institutions and policy-makers respond to these challenges, with a particular focus on the efficiency of military force” (Defence Gateway, 2015).
While this may not sound fundamentally different from the abovementioned aim of the undergraduate strand of the Commissioning Course, the academic departments of Sandhurst, in cooperation with the University of Cranfield as the accrediting institution, have put some significant differences in place to distinguish the PG Cert from the undergraduate course, and ensure postgraduate level teaching. Firstly, the course is organised in two separate modules, running over three terms of officer cadet training. As a consequence, there is less room to introduce key concepts of international relations and security studies than in the undergraduate strand, and the first module instead focuses on the nature and challenges of the contemporary international security environment. The second module assesses a variety of potential security responses from a British and wider international context. While the learning outcomes are not overly different from undergraduate teaching at first sight, much more emphasis is put on critical evaluation, and creative analysis.
This is also reflected in the enhanced level of pre-seminar reading the officer cadets are required to complete, the aim of which is to result in not only current, but also conceptual and theoretical class discussions. Finally, the assessment criteria for the undergraduate and postgraduate DIA courses inevitably differ as well. While there is still substantial emphasis on continuous assessment and essay-writing skills, and while the requirements for LOAC and Exercise Broadsword remain the same, the students also have to pass an essay-based 2-hour written exam.
It is important to note that at the time of writing the running of the postgraduate academic strand is still very much a work in progress and therefore still faces some inevitable teething problems. Administratively, as well as academically, the intake of January 2015 have been the guinea pigs of the new academic era. As the first intake has not yet completed a full commissioning course, it is impossible at this stage to evaluate the postgraduate course as a whole. As is common during the initial phases of a new programme, there is flexibility for students to transfer from postgraduate to undergraduate throughout the course if this would be desirable or advisable.
What we can say at this point, however, is that Sandhurst, where intensive military, command, and leadership training are high on the agenda, has seen a trend of maximising the future academic and intellectual potential of its officer cadets.
Continuous Professional Development (CPD)
While Sandhurst aims to provide young officers with a solid military and academic basis for their future careers, the diversity of those careers is also taken into account. While some commissioned officers will have a life-long career in the British army and progress to Brigadier level and above, others will favour a shorter time in the military and will make the shift to a civilian profession much earlier on. To cater for all those different career options is not the ambition of the Sandhurst programme. Rather, for providing a workable academic and military starting point for career development and further continuous professional development, post-commissioning is key to the Sandhurst mission. The relative brevity of the overall CC compared to officer training in other NATO countries, the diverse backgrounds of the officer cadets upon their arrival at the academy, as well as the range of ambitions they have, means the Commissioning Course is perceived by many in the British Army as a starting point rather than an end result.
Since the two-year commissioning course was reduced to one year in the 1980s, the attention given to Continuous Professional Development (CPD) has increased substantially (Melvin 2012). Intensive CPD packages are offered to provide the link between stage one of the officer career (post-Sandhurst) and the intermediate command and staff course taught at the Defence Academy in Shrivenham (Interview 1, 2015). Continuous professional development is offered throughout their career by means of a variety of short(er) courses.
One such example of a short course is the Military Analysis course that is offered to all Captains and forms part of their CPD, which is required prior to attendance at the Intermediate Command and Staff Course (ICSC) (Land), which is accredited for 20 credits by Kings College London. The aim of the Military Analysis course is to develop the ability to challenge and critically test hypotheses in order to produce the flexibility of thought and attitude required by Captains, using the medium of contemporary defence studies (MA Course Book, 2015). It comprises modules taught jointly by an RMAS DIA academic and a military Officer Tutor at one of the Army Education Centres. The design and development of these modules is done by RMAS academics and falls under the DIA (and WAS) teaching requirements. The continuous updating and redesigning of the Military Analysis course to fit the Captains of today is a testimony that the Sandhurst academic curriculum is a starting point, perhaps a means to an end, but by no means the end as such.
As has been shown, the wide range of topics covered under international relations, security studies and foreign and defence policy feature as key academic subjects throughout the 48 weeks commissioning course and beyond. But the importance Sandhurst allocates to understanding the international security landscape and developing the desirable analytical academic skills is also reflected in a range of short courses taught at the Academy. While these courses offer very similar subjects, and focus on developing similar skill sets, their delivery is heavily condensed and adjusted to the limited time available.
The DIA component of the Late Entry Commissioning Course (LEOC), for example, is an intensive module delivered over two and a half days. It is a foundation course designed to help Late Entry Officers develop better conceptual and analytical skills and a more nuanced understanding of the strategic, legal and political context of conflict. The course begins by examining the wider strategic environment within which the United Kingdom operates and then proceeds to link these strands vis-à-vis British foreign and defence policy (DIA Component of LEOC, 2015).
It provides a strong foundation for Late Entry Captains, who will proceed to take the abovementioned Military Analysis course. The skills developed during LEOC will be further developed, and the topics discussed will be studied in greater depth during the Military Analysis course. Although the DIA component of LEOC is a demanding and intellectually rewarding course in its own right, this means that it not only gives the students more confidence for continuous professional development, but it will also demonstrate what students can expect from their future Military Analysis courses.
Another short course that requires DIA involvement is the Professionally Qualified Officers course. This course runs twice a year and is loaded with 40-60 commissioned officers of the British Army and, occasionally, students from overseas armed forces. Students are typically qualified professionally in an area of Law, Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Physiotherapy, Veterinary Science, or Theology. The DIA component of the Regular Professionally Qualified Officers Course (Regular PQO) is currently delivered in 6 double periods – spread over three to four weeks. The sessions are followed by a Final Debate exercise, which is run jointly by the DIA and War Studies departments. The aim of the DIA component is to enhance the intellectual development of PQO officers by developing knowledge and understanding of the strategic and legal context in which the United Kingdom operates in the contemporary international security environment, as well as to help with further intellectual development, specifically contextual, conceptual and analytical skills (PQO Course, 2015).
In addition, the DIA lecturers are involved in delivering academic courses in the context of international security for a variety of other groups, such as the reserve CC, the reserve soldiers’ CC, and the reserve PQOs’ course. Add to this the DIA teaching requirement for the overseas cadets, and it highlights the complexity of schedules and involvement. However, having the same department responsible for teaching defence and international affairs subjects in a wide variety of courses and across different levels allows for continuity and coherence of courses and learning.
Running parallel with the undergraduate and postgraduate commissioning course is the Language and Culture Fair, or the DIA component taught to overseas cadets. While some overseas cadets with a high level of English and/or the appropriate undergraduate degree are allowed to take part in the regular undergraduate or postgraduate courses respectively, the majority follow a specially designed course to meet their requirements. While the aims and objectives, the themes and subjects discussed, and the learning outcomes envisaged are not overly different to what has been discussed for the regular CC, there are some appropriate differences. Firstly, the specific focus on Britain’s foreign, security and defence policies and Britain’s place in the role is substituted with a more global approach to the subjects and there is an added focus on their own countries of origin. The handbook offered and reading suggested, as well as class debates, has taken into account that many overseas cadets are non-native speakers, and the overall assessment criteria are also different, as there are no undergraduate or postgraduate credits to be gathered.
Conclusion: Key Challenges and Opportunities
This article has provided a concise insight on how IR-related academic subjects are taught at Sandhurst. With an emphasis on the uniqueness of the Sandhurst CC, it has highlighted a range of choices that have led to the current academic education. While learning is a dynamic matter, a few key challenges and opportunities for academic education at Sandhurst can be identified at this stage.
Firstly, in a constantly changing world and international security system, with a wide diversity of threats at home and abroad, it is vital to keep the topics taught up to speed with the international context the officer cadets will potentially operate in on their first deployments. It has been demonstrated that the Sandhurst IR curriculum is not rooted in conceptual thinking but in current affairs, and endeavours to be more about IR as such than about IR theories. This also means it has to be amenable to the rapidly changing world and the core security issues therein. This requires not only adjusting the topics, case studies and reading material for seminars, student presentations and essay questions, but more importantly it requires the capability to detect trends and issues in the international security landscape that are or will potentially become of relevance to the British army. DIA takes the lead on the continuous updating of the Sandhurst IR curriculum, but can reach out to the wider Academy and MoD to ensure coherence. While the requirement to be observant about trends in the international security landscape is perhaps not different for any other military academy, the relative short duration of the Sandhurst course compared to other countries’ officer training means that time has to be spent wisely and valuably.
Secondly, the students arriving at Sandhurst come from a variety of backgrounds. While the recent creation of two parallel branches of undergraduate and postgraduate teaching has brought some solace in this respect, there is still substantial diversity within those two groups. The undergraduate branch is made up of selected serving soldiers, A-level graduates and students with a bachelor’s degree that were not entitled to join the postgraduate strand, or chose not to. While all officer cadets in the undergraduate strand have university degrees, the subjects they have previously studied vary widely and are as diverse as engineering, outdoor leadership, English literature and political science. Exceptionally, there might also be an eligible overseas cadet present in these classes. Catering for all these backgrounds while still delivering a postgraduate programme proves a challenging task. Again, Sandhurst differs from many military academies in other NATO countries, where students arrive when they are 18 years of age and are expected to complete a full academic curriculum by the time they become an officer. Sandhurst has no ambition of being a university or offering a full academic university degree. Rather, it sees opportunity in diversity, and strives to get the best of all worlds. The range of courses that Sandhurst offers is designed to maximise the learning potential of every officer cadet.
Thirdly and finally, the integrated approach favouring blended learning is challenging for personnel, scheduling, and time-related issues. It requires a constant exchange between civilian and military personnel at all levels; from Director of Studies and Commandant level to academic lecturers and military instructors. While this is challenging in terms of fitting all the relevant elements together to create the best learning environment possible, it also comes with opportunities. As civilian and military personnel constantly interact with each other to maximise the learning potential of the officer cadets, they will have a better understanding of and respect for each other’s worlds than might be the case in military academies where this interaction is kept at a minimum. This in turn allows for a clearer link in the learning process between the strategic and the operational, something that is highly valued by hybrid institutions like Sandhurst.
Chatham House (2011), ‘Land Forces Fit for the 21st Century’, International Security Programme Chatham House, in conjunction with Lt Gen Paul Newton and HQ Land Forces.
Defence Gateway (2015), Academic Faculty, available (restricted) online at https://vle.rmasandhurst.mod.uk/moodle/, retrieved at 28 May 2015.
DIA Component of LEOC (2015), designed by Aelius Parchami and available online (restricted) at https://vle.rmasandhurst.mod.uk/moodle/pluginfile.php/24296/mod_resource/content/1/2014%20-%20DIA%20Component%20of%20LEOC%20%28July%29.pdf, retrieved 29 May 2015.
Downes, C. (1992), ‘Special Trust and Confidence. The Making of An Officer’, Frank Cass and Company Limited.
Interview 1, Senior Civil Servant Ministry of Defence, 15 June 2015
Interview 2, Senior Civil Servant Ministry of Defence, 25 June 2015
Melvin, M. (2012), Educating and Training the Army for an Uncertain World, The British Army Journal 2012, available at http://army.newsdeskmedia.com/british-army-2012/educating-and-training-the-army-for-an-uncertain-world?p=2, retrieved on 25 June 2015
Military Analysis Course Handbook (2015), ‘Britain’s Role in the International Security Environment’, designed by Aelius Parchami and available online at (restricted): https://vle.rmasandhurst.mod.uk/moodle/, retrieved at 28 May 2015
Ministry of Defence (2015), ‘Royal Military Academy of Sandhurst, History’, available at http://www.army.mod.uk/training_education/24487.aspx, retrieved on 08 June 2015
Professionally Qualified Officers’ Course, Department of Defence and International Affairs, designed by Aelius Parchami and available online at (restricted): https://vle.rmasandhurst.mod.uk/moodle/pluginfile.php/24300/mod_resource/content/1/2015%20-%20PQO%20Regular.pdf, retrieved at 28 May 2015
Sale, G. S. (1972), Educating Potential Officers, Royal United Services Institute (RUSI) Journal 117 (4)
[i] Students with a lower second class honors postgraduate degree (2.2) and above are allowed to enter the postgraduate strand, and those with a third class honors degree (3rd) have to take an entrance exam. Given the early stages of the implementation of the postgraduate degree, the Academy, in cooperation with Cranfield University, might still decide to change this.