You are here

The Defence Engineering and Science Group (DESG) (National)

The DESG Graduate Scheme

The DESG Graduate Scheme is widely recognised as one of the best graduate development scheme for engineers and scientists in the UK

The Defence Engineering and Science Group (DESG) is the community of thousands of professional engineers and scientists working within the Defence Equipment and Support (DE&S) area of the Ministry of Defence (MOD) Civil Service, to equip and support the UK armed forces with state of the art technology.

Our armed forces increasingly depend on scientific and technological advances to maintain their ability to operate effectively. This means the provision of advanced technologies that deliver a decisive operational edge.

Countering new types of threats as they emerge will be a key challenge to UK forces in the future. We therefore place a premium on the ability to generate and identify innovative technologies, adopt them for military use and integrate them rapidly into platforms, weapon systems and force structures.

DESG Graduate Scheme

The DESG Graduate Scheme is widely recognised as one of the best graduate development scheme for engineers and scientists in the UK.

Our prestigious graduate scheme is fully accredited by the leading engineering institutions including: IET, IMechE, RINA, IoP, RAeS, ICE and IMarEST and has been an industry leader for almost thirty years, launching many hundreds of graduates into satisfying careers in engineering and science.

With the DESG Graduate Scheme, over and above your salary, we will invest considerably in support of your personal professional training and development. This will give you the chance to gain tremendous engineering or science experience, whilst broadening and deepening your professional knowledge. Working at the cutting edge of technology, and with the support of a professional mentor, the DESG Graduate Scheme will also provide the opportunities for you to make it possible to gain Chartered status in your profession after just four years.

To apply to the DESG Graduate Scheme, which is now open, please see 2014 recruitment campaign section.

How the scheme works

The DESG Graduate Scheme is tailored to individual development needs to ensure that you have the best possible preparation for your first professional post and subsequent career in the MOD.

The DESG Graduate Scheme lasts for 2 years (reduced for graduates with previous experience) and includes an exciting range of in house work placements, industry secondments and formal training courses.

There is no age limit for entry to the graduate scheme, but, it is designed for those with little or no work experience in engineering and science and may not benefit those with significant previous experience.

Graduates are based at many locations across the UK; and demand is mainly in the areas of Bristol, London, Corsham, Manchester or Barrow-in-Furness. Work placements during the graduate scheme, however, can be located anywhere in the UK (and sometimes overseas).

At the end of the graduate scheme, most graduates take up permanent appointments in the named above areas.

Eligibility for the scheme

We require people of good character and with the right credentials to work in the business of safeguarding the UK and its interests:

Do you possess strong problem solving skills? Do you enjoy the thought of working at the cutting edge of technology? Do you have the potential to lead people and work effectively in teams? Do you have a genuine interest in developing yourself to your full personal and professional potential?

If your answer to these questions is ‘yes’ then the MOD could be for you.

To apply to the graduate scheme you must:

  • be British or have dual-nationality of which one is British
  • have completed or be in your final year of an approved engineering or science degree (or others listed below)
  • have obtained, or expect to obtain a minimum 2:1 bachelors degree or a masters degree at any grade in one of the disciplines below

At the moment we will consider degrees in the following:

  • electrical/electronic engineering
  • mechanical engineering
  • general engineering/engineering science
  • naval architecture/ship science
  • marine engineering
  • systems engineering
  • automotive engineering
  • avionics
  • aeronautical/aerospace engineering
  • computer systems engineering
  • telecommunications engineering
  • information technology/information systems
  • computer science
  • control systems engineering
  • mechatronics
  • mathamatics
  • physics

See website for an up to date list.

We may also consider accredited degrees in similar subjects.

All degrees must be accredited by a professional institution licensed by the UK Engineering or Science councils or RICS. Contact us if you are not sure if your degree is being sought this season.

DESG offers you many benefits including:

  • Probably the very best graduate development scheme for engineers and scientists available in the UK.
  • Considerable investment in you. Over and above your salary, we support your personal professional development.
  • An accelerated path to Chartered status in your Engineering or Science profession.
  • Development opportunities that are not available in private industry.
  • A truly rewarding career. MoD projects are fascinating, valuable, unique and sometimes highly classified.
  • As well as all of the above, the DESG also offers the following: a competitive starting salary of £24,130 (rising considerably after completion of the graduate scheme), flexible working arrangements, the chance for international travel, 26.5 days annual leave, plus 9 days bank, public and privilege holidays, excellent pension scheme, performance based bonus scheme (on graduate scheme completion), sports and social opportunities and much more!
  • If you require clarification regarding your eligibility for this scheme, or would like more information, please contact our graduate training team using the details below.


Chartered engineers and scientists are an important asset to the MOD and as a result the scheme has developed in accordance with the needs of the leading professional institutions. This has allowed for formal development plans to be applied to the scheme with the aim of our graduates achieving Charted status.

The scheme is currently accredited by the following institutes:

  • Institution of Engineering & Technology
  • Institution of Mechanical Engineers
  • The Royal Institution of Naval Architects
  • Institute of Physics
  • Royal Aeronautical Society
  • Institution of Civil Engineers
  • Institute of Marine Engineering, Science and Technology

For further advice regarding the DESG Graduate Scheme please contact us and we’ll be pleased to help.



  • Graduate Engineers

  • Contract: Full-Time
  • Salary: £24k

  • Location: throughout the UK, including London, Bristol, Manchester, Corsham and Barrow-in-Furness.
  • Education: 2:1 bachelors degree or a masters degree

Career Guides

  • Engineering