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DE&S Engineering Graduate Scheme

The force behind the armed forces, DE&S is a highly specialised, arms-length body of the Ministry of Defence, operating with a budget of £178 billion over the next 10 years. From the procurement of fighter jets and aircraft carriers to the provision of food and clothes, we ensure the armed forces have the equipment and support they need to carry out their operations at home and abroad. We employ over 11,000 talented Civil Servants and military personnel (supported by contractors from the private sector) across more than 150 locations around the world.

Our Engineering function enables the delivery of our equipment and support by providing specialist expertise in domain-related disciplines such as: mechanical, electrical and power distribution; software, sensors and electronic systems; acquisition safety and environmental protection; quality assurance; ordnance munitions & explosives; nuclear engineering, as well as systems engineering and integration. 

We are currently looking for Graduates to join our Engineering Graduate scheme, a scheme which is fully accredited by many of the major Engineering Institutions and is one of the best schemes in the UK for Engineers and Scientists. 

Successful applicants will receive: 

  • Support throughout the Scheme from the DE&S Engineering Graduate Management Team; a dedicated experienced Mentor; Technical Advisers; and Placement Delivery Managers. 
  • Investment in their personal and technical training and development, giving them excellent opportunities to gain specific technical experience, whilst broadening and deepening the key skills and behaviours specific to working in our large and successful government department. 
  • IDepending on business need you may also be given the opportunity to study for a Masters degree to gain further specialist experience applicable to the professional role you will occupy at the end of your training. 

The permanent base for most of our graduates is Bristol, but we also have up to two posts available at the Air Warfare Centre at Lincoln. Whilst you are on the Scheme, you will undertake four six-month placements at a variety of locations across the UK, and potentially overseas. These placements will enable you to build a portfolio of evidence towards professional registration at IEng or CEng and to gain knowledge in a variety of areas within your allocated Technical

Discipline, leading to you taking up a professional engineering post within DE&S. You will be entitled to claim expenses in line with MOD policy whilst you are on placement.

After successful completion of the Scheme you will be moved into a middle management professional role within your sponsoring business domain and will continue to be supported towards Incorporated and Chartered Engineer status.

Start dates will be from September 2019 to January 2020, subject to successful completion of all pre-employment checks.

The following is a list of degrees disciplines that we accept, but this list is not exhaustive and other similar degrees may also be considered: 

  • Aeronautical 
  • Aerospace Engineering 
  • Automotive Engineering 
  • Chemistry (limited) 
  • Communication Systems / Telecomms Engineering 
  • Computer Systems /Software Engineering 
  • Control Systems Engineering 
  • Electrical/Electronic Engineering 
  • General Engineering / Engineering Science 
  • Information - Technology / Systems / Security 
  • Marine Engineering 
  • Mechanical Engineering 
  • Mechatronics 
  • Micro-Electronics Engineering 
  • Naval Architecture /Ship Science 
  • Nuclear / Nuclear Engineering 
  • Physics 
  • Systems Engineering 

With the exception of Nuclear degrees, your degree must be accredited by one of the Engineering or Science Council members (for example IMechE, IET, IMarEST, RINA, RAeS, IOP, IMA or BCS (BCS accreditation for CEng not CITP)). Please check the accreditation status of your degree and ensure that you include this in your application. You can find current accredited degrees from the websites below. (Please note: We are aware that many Nuclear degrees are not yet accredited and we will therefore consider degrees in the Nuclear field that are not accredited. This is only applicable to Nuclear related degrees; no other degrees will be considered unless they are accredited).


We have created an environment where you can look forward to coming to work and are empowered to be at your best. We offer flexibility in how you work that helps you do your job in a way that suits you, alongside opportunities to help you grow and progress throughout your career - and a choice of benefits to suit your lifestyle.

There are good restaurant facilities and an on-site gym at Abbey Wood.

Civil Service pension schemes may be available for successful candidates.


The post does not offer any assistance with relocation expenses

Things you need to know


Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check.


Successful candidates will be expected to have a medical.

Selection process details

Suitable applicants who perform well in the application process but who, following the Assessment Centre, fall just short of the required standard for the Scheme may be offered the opportunity of an Engineering post at Level 1 within the Department, subject to availability and degree type.

Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.

Nationality requirements

Open to UK nationals only.


Candidates in their probationary period are eligible to apply for vacancies within this department.

Grade entry qualifications

Candidates must have, or be studying for a degree in an accredited subject (see above for details, and also note exception for Nuclear degrees) and be on track to achieve a minimum 2:2 Bachelor degree or above by August 2019. There may be restrictions on discipline choice for graduates achieving a 2:2.

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