Defence Civilian Undergraduate Sponsorship

The Defence Civilian Undergraduate Sponsorship (DCUS) is currently on pause-and applications are not being accepted. Please consider the Defence STEM Cadetship as an alternate entry level pathway to an exciting career with Defence.


DCUS is open to aspiring university students who wish to pursue a degree through the University of New South Wales (UNSW) Canberra campus at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA).

This is a sponsorship for civilian students who may be interested in a civilian career in Defence. There are no military service obligations or requirements to join.

Civilian students will learn alongside military cadets who are training to join the Australian Defence Force.

Defence will determine the undergraduate degree disciplines that will be offered under DCUS.


To be eligible for the DCUS you must:

  • be an Australian citizen
  • have not previously enrolled in a university degree
  • achieve the required minimum ATAR for your degree
  • meet the UNSW admission requirements for your degree.

Program benefits

Sponsorship recipients will receive:

  • the opportunity to study at UNSW Canberra - ADFA campus, one of Australia’s most respected universities with one of the best student-to-teacher ratio in the country
  • full tuition costs for the Bachelor degree – this means no Higher Education Loan Program (HELP) fees
  • a generous allowance of $2000 per annum to put towards the cost of text books and other study expenses
  • an opportunity for practical work placements, which in some cases will form part of the professional requirements of the degree
  • the benefit of Defence experience when applying for the Defence Graduate Program in the final year of the undergraduate degree
  • exposure to a unique and diverse organisation with great career opportunities
  • an opportunity to work on projects with leading edge technology.

Work Placements

Work experience placements will be organised for you during the summer holidays over the course of the degree.

Depending on the discipline, placements will be for a period of six to twelve weeks, to enable you to obtain a good understanding of the work area’s key deliverables and how areas work cohesively to deliver a product or service.

During work placements, there may be the opportunity to work with other sponsorship recipients under the guidance of an experienced Defence Australian Public Service professional.

Work placement locations are determined by the sponsoring areas with Defence, who will cover your travel and accommodation costs associated with your work placement if the project is outside Canberra.