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Armed Forces Education and Returning to Civilian Life: The Guide

13th January 2023

Returning to civvy street is a transition that requires patience, not only from yourself, but from your loved ones too,  but change can be an incredibly positive thing. So with a little determination, and some forward planning, your military resettlement can become a rewarding new adventure. 

Planning ahead will help to keep you focused for your return to civvy street. Think about where you’re going to be living, what you’ll be doing for work, and start investigating the support available for veterans.

Try not to put off your planning for a later date, the more you contemplate life after the military, the easier your transition will become.

One of the best ways to achieve a smooth transition, is to have a career to build on after finishing your service with the armed forces. Many careers require higher education, but with distance learning, you don’t need to choose between a degree and military service. We offer a wide range of military courses online, that allow you to study while you’re in the armed forces. 

Regardless of how soon you’ll be transitioning to civilian life, here is your guide on returning to civvy street! 

Why Military Courses Online Will Suit You

The ability to study during your time in the military is one of the best features of our degree programmes. Flexibility is essential, you need to be able to complete your armed forces education on a schedule that suits the rigorous commitments of military life. 

To make your study as easy as possible, you’ll access your learning materials, submit your assignments, and interact with your tutors and peers through our online learning management system Canvas. You can access our Learning Management System from anywhere in the world, provided that you have an internet connection. This means that you’ll have full control over your study schedule to ensure that your army degree suits your needs as a student.

At ARU, we take into account both your previous qualifications, and military experience and rank, in the application process for our  degree programmes. Your previous experience may mean that you’re eligible for advanced entry to our military courses. Our APL (Accredited Prior Learning) scheme means that with your existing experience, whether academic or military, you can reduce both the time and cost of your armed forces education.    

How an Armed Forces Education Helps You Return to Civilian Life

Completing a military course online will allow you to develop the skills and knowledge you need for your current in-service promotion and which will help to prepare for a career after your service. This means that you’ll be better prepared to enter a new career once you return to civvy street. 

The combination of the experiences you have gained in the armed forces along with a qualification from Anglia Ruskin University will make you an ideal candidate for employers in a wide range of exciting industries. When you have a career lined up,  it can ease the transition that is necessary for successful military resettlement. 

What is the VFI and is their research helping with Military Resettlement?

ARU is committed to supporting veterans and their families; the dedicated VFI (Veterans & Families Institute for Military Social Research) seeks to improve the lives of veterans and their loved ones through research that informs policy and practice. The research is both domestic and international, including contributions to NATO research, panels on transition from the military to civilian life as well as to understand the difficult issues of sexual harrassment and violence in NATO militaries. 

Support and VFI

The work of the VFI has a direct impact on government policy and the provision of services for service personnel and veterans alike.  They advise Government and military charities on the range of issues relating to the support received by service leaders. This includes service personnel who have been medically discharged and the support available for service families. In August 2022 the VFI launched the UK’s first Centre for Military Women’s Research (CMWR)

Understanding the challenges that are faced by service personnel as they transition back to civilian life is essential when ensuring that they receive the support that they need. The VFI are world-leading contributors to research and practice change in this key area.

How Completing an Army Degree has Helped Our Students

Every year, military personnel in all branches of the armed forces enrol in our wide range of armed forces degrees, gaining the skills that they need to launch the careers of their dreams.

Sean (MBA Armed Forces)

Sean completed an MBA (Armed Forces) with us in 2022, and benefited from the accreditation of military service. Despite the perception that undertaking further education while undertaking military service, Sean found that the flexibility, study plans, and contact with peers and tutors was designed to make study for active members of the armed forces as straightforward as possible. 

Sean spent most of his education deployed overseas,  however, due to the flexible nature of distance learning, he was able to easily navigate the Learning management system and access his course materials. 

Read Sean’s Story

Cat (Healthcare Management MSc Armed Forces)

Cat studied a Healthcare Management MSc (Armed Forces) in order to enhance her military career and improve her transition into civilian life when her time with the armed forces comes to an end. 

Cat found that not only did she gain valuable skills in healthcare management, but she also improved her critical thinking and writing skills, as well as improving her confidence. 

Read Cat’s Story

Final Thoughts on Armed Forces Education

By completing military courses online while serving in the armed forces, you’ll help to smooth your transition to civvy street. It’s never too soon to start planning ahead, and the more resources you gather and opportunities you seek out, the easier it will be for you to manage your military resettlement.

For more information on completing distance learning while serving in the military, contact us today! 


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