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Australian Defence Force Academy

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The Undergraduate Program

Academic and Military Education and Training Program

The three year Academic and Military Education and Training Program at ADFA is designed to provide officer cadets and midshipmen with the fundamental knowledge, skills and attitudes required by junior Officers in the Australian Defence Force.

To graduate from ADFA, officer cadets and midshipmen (collectively known as trainee officers) must complete all four components of the training program.

Academy Military Education and Training and Single Service Training is undertaken in blocks at the beginning and end of each year, during some session breaks, and for about eight hours each week during the academic session. In their first year at ADFA trainee officers also participate in five weeks initial military training, which helps them make the transition from civilian to military life.

Leadership and communication studies form a large part of the common military training program at ADFA and trainee officers are given opportunities to develop and practice these skills both in practical exercises and throughout day-to-day life at the Academy. They will also study defence issues in local, regional and global contexts, as well as military law and the laws of armed conflict. They will learn how to handle weapons, carry out first aid, and live in the field as part of a group. They will also maintain a high level of physical fitness through compulsory physical training and optional sporting activities.

While trainee officers complete the majority of their studies, training and recreation with peers from all three Services, they wear the uniform of their chosen Service, and complete some of their training in a single Service environment. For example, midshipmen will spend time at sea on Navy ships, while Army officer cadets will learn weapons and field craft tactics and Air Force officer cadets will perform workplace training on Air Force bases. Each Service also conducts further training and development after Graduation.

Undergraduate studies, often referred to as academic studies, include lectures, tutorials, exams and other activities that comprise an undergraduate degree at UNSW Canberra. UNSW Canberra offers a range of three and four year undergraduate degree programs in Arts, Business, Engineering, Science and Information Technology. To graduate from ADFA, trainee officers must complete a three year undergraduate degree, or three years of a four year undergraduate degree program.

The military education and training combined with a balanced and liberal university education equips officer cadets and midshipmen to meet the many interesting and varied challenges of their future careers as leaders in the Australian Defence Force.

Students in lecture

Climbing Wall

Cadet at work

Physical training