If you can't find what you're looking for about ADFA here, please call 13 19 01 or visit your nearest Defence Force Recruiting Centre.

2016 Key Dates

  • Undergraduate arrival date: officer cadets (Army and Air Force) Late January to commence
    Year One Familiarisation Training
  • Undergraduate arrival date: midshipmen (Navy) Early February
  • Semester 1 29 February – 17 June
  • Mid semester break 2 - 13 May
  • Examinations 20 June - 1 July
  • Mid year leave 4 - 15 July
  • Semester 2 18 July - 28 October
  • Mid semester break 19 September - 28 October
  • Examinations 31 October - 11 November
  • UNSW Degree Conferral Ceremony 7 December
  • Graduation Day 8 December

There are no formal dress requirements, however, smart casual attire is recommended.

Any documentation or information required to be brought with you will be detailed by an ADF Careers Counsellor. Generally you will need to bring all of your educational results, a resume, written references and birth certificate.

Written references need to be submitted with the application form, and you will need to bring copies along when you undergo aptitude testing.

An application will be assessed against the selection criteria (age, education, etc.) and subject to you being found suitable; you will be called in for a 'test day'.

Contact an ADF Careers Counsellor for advice. Some documentation is needed to establish your eligibility to be brought in for testing; others can be provided on assessment day.

Each application for credit is taken on an individual basis. If an applicant is currently studying or has previously studied a relevant degree with courses that are also offered at UNSW Canberra at ADFA, they are likely to be given credit for these subjects. However, this is only considered and confirmed after applicants have arrived at ADFA.

Applicants need to be aware of and consider the military training requirements of ADFA called the Academy Military Education and Training (AMET) which is a three-year program. The AMET program cannot be condensed, so academic credit will not result in an early completion at ADFA. If applicants receive academic credit and have the capacity to complete their degree early, they will be given the option to undertake a 4th year Honours program (if eligible) or commence postgraduate study. This decision is made in consultation with ADFA and the relevant UNSW Canberra at ADFA School.

There are a number of activities and events run throughout the year, which aim to provide you with a first-hand experience of ADFA and its facilities. ADFA regularly conducts tours. The tours run for approximately two hours and take in the main areas of the campus and a number of small presentations. Large and small groups are catered for. If you are interested you should contact the ADFA Visits Liaison Officer on (02) 6268 8541.

ADFA graduates are required to serve for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS). This is to ensure the ADF get an acceptable return for investing in their training. Essentially it is a period of time ADF members are required to serve until they can voluntarily resign. The length of IMPS varies between jobs but generally speaking, ADFA members join for between five to 14.5 years depending on the job. At ADFA, Air Force and Army officer cadets can resign at any time within the first two years and Navy midshipmen can resign at any time within the first year without having to meet an IMPS.

For officer entry, personnel can resign at any stage by giving three months notice provided you do not have an IMPS. While at ADFA, Air Force and Army officer cadets can resign at any time within their first two years and Navy midshipmen can resign at any time within their first year without having an IMPS.

The opportunity to request a transfer between jobs and/or Services does exist. However, this option is only available subject to Service requirements.

Yes. The ADF encourages its members to further their education by providing financial and leave support and offering postgraduate opportunities, subject to Service requirements.

Yes, depending on your circumstances. There are options to change or transfer to a different degree, however, this depends on the job which you have been offered, places available in the course and is subject to Service requirements.

Yes, academic credit will be assessed by UNSW Canberra academic staff after arrival at ADFA. Credit will be awarded depending on how closely courses completed relate to the courses offered at UNSW Canberra.

Students who fail a subject are required to repeat the subject or complete another subject, depending on the degree rules.

ADFA's military training program prepares midshipmen and officer cadets for their military careers. While challenging at times, the training is designed to be achievable and we'll provide all the support you need to achieve your goals. Learn more about ADFA's military training here or watch our interactive video: Discover ADFADiscover ADFA to see what it's like to study and train at ADFA.

You must be an Australian citizen or have permanent residency status and be eligible for citizenship.

An ADF Careers Counsellor can rely on other documents that support your identification such as a passport or certificate of Australian citizenship.

Yes. For entry to the ADF there is a minimum height requirement of 152cm, without shoes. Pilot and Aircrew candidates are also required to meet specific anthropometric measurements.

You will be given a medical questionnaire to take home and complete. Questions with an asterisk require further clarification when you go in for testing.

Colour blindness will restrict the employment categories that are available to you. An ADF Careers Counsellor will be able to tell you about those jobs for which you will be eligible.

All applicants must undergo a police check. The ADF does take into consideration your criminal history when assessing your suitability. This is done on a case-by-case basis.

To ensure an operational capability, ADF personnel are required to maintain a high level of physical fitness at all times. We encourage this by promoting physical training activities like sports, exercise, military training. Air Force and Navy personnel must also complete an annual fitness test, while Army personnel must pass a fitness test twice yearly.

Yes. Physical training plays a very big role in your initial training, so it pays to be as fit as you possibly can, visit for helpful information on ADF fitness.

Midshipmen and officer cadets live in accommodation blocks on base while they are attending ADFA. Everyone lives on base during the first six weeks, however, if you are married or in a recognised de facto relationship you may be entitled to rental assistance or a Service residence in a nearby suburb after completing your initial six-week induction period.

As the nation's capital, Canberra offers all the facilities you would expect in a capital city. There are numerous sporting pursuits that you can take part in, along with a range of museums, galleries, cinemas, restaurants and bars. What's more, it's only a two-hour drive to the ski fields or the coast.

Leave is not normally granted during the first six weeks at ADFA. Once the academic year commences, you may take local leave in the Canberra area on approved days if you are not required for duty, including sporting or military training commitments. There is no local leave on week days for Year One midshipmen and officer cadets during first session. However, the big plus about training at ADFA is if you wish to go home to visit family and friends, ADFA will pay for your travel expenses twice every year.

The meals provided in the Academy Cadets' Mess are of a high standard. Generally, you are offered three cooked meals a day in the Mess, with several dishes being offered for each meal. Vegetarian, cultural and low fat options are also available.

Yes, with approval of your specific Service. However, while at ADFA, you will be on a good salary and your days will be so full that you will have little time for extra commitments.

When training permits you may be allowed a brief period each evening in order to access your mobile phone. You should ensure that you have sufficient credit or prepaid cards to cover a four week period. Access from outside ADFA is available via the switchboard on (02) 6268 8111. Ensure your families have the ADFA telephone number for contact in case of an emergency.

The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is committed to promoting an environment free of harassment and discrimination, both in the workplace and at our training institutions. Everyone at ADFA, including new midshipmen and officer cadets, are given regular training on appropriate behaviour and the correct procedures for resolving conflict.

In the case of conflict, the ADF’s Equity Adviser Network has a team of qualified advisers who can be reached through a dedicated hotline. Anyone experiencing conflict is encouraged to speak to an Equity Adviser or their Divisional Officer.

The ADF has a special mail delivery service that you can access at any Australia Post outlet. Click here to find out more.

ADFA supports our students in many ways, including programs to help develop their academic language and learning capabilities, online learning resources, individual consultations, courses and workshops. Plus, with the best university teacher-to-student ratio in the country, students can easily seek advice from their lecturers or Service Instructor.

ADFA provides midshipmen and officer cadets with all the support services they need, from academic support programs and counselling teams, to military chaplains catering to most faiths. There’s immediate support from their Divisional Officer and others in the chain of command, plus access to the Defence Community Organisation which provides comprehensive support services, if required.

Midshipmen and officer cadets can visit home during study leave and leave on weekends. In fact, the ADF will pay for midshipmen and officer cadets to visit their nominated home address, twice each year. ADFA's leave breaks are in May, July, September and December, depending on the training program - this will differ for the first, second and third year. Additional leave may be requested for special circumstances.

Yes, however there are restrictions. During the normal academic session, midshipmen and officer cadets are granted weeknight and weekend leave in the Canberra area and can arrange to meet up with family during these times. At other times, midshipmen and officer cadets may be employed away from ADFA for military training and may not be able to have visitors. As ADFA is a military establishment, no accommodation is provided for visitors. Midshipmen and officer cadets are not allowed to have visitors stay in their rooms.

During the first six weeks and during military training periods there are no visitors allowed at ADFA as midshipmen and officer cadets need to focus on the military training required to transition from a civilian into military life.

You can contact your son or daughter using personal methods like their mobile phone or email, etc. Alternatively, you can call their accommodation building directly or contact their Divisional Officer. After hours, ADFA Duty Officers can be contacted on 0417 477 858 or 0418 413 035 in emergencies.

The ADF provides the highest level of medical care for our people. If midshipmen or officer cadets become sick or injured they are treated by qualified medical staff at Duntroon Health Centre or, for more serious conditions, are transferred to Canberra Hospital. All medical costs are paid for by the ADF.

Yes, you can learn more about ADFA’s military training here or watch our interactive video: Discover ADFA to see what it’s like to study and train at ADFA.

Yes, all personnel are covered under the Military Compensation Scheme (MCS).

In your first year you will receive a salary package of $41,108 (excluding superannuation) which increases with each year of study. You will then be paid a salary package of more than $80,000 per year after you graduate and complete your specific employment training.

No, you will not be posted or deployed overseas when studying at ADFA. You may have the opportunity to conduct an exchange (approx. 12 days) to a foreign country; however this is voluntary and based on availability.

If your Next-Of-Kin becomes seriously ill, the ADF may provide you with emergency leave and free travel back to your home location.

All Navy personnel are required to serve at sea as required by their job classification.

You are given the opportunity to express a preference for the facilities, bases, ships or units to which you would like to be posted. While the ADF will try to fulfil your posting preferences you may be posted to any locality if there is a Service requirement.

Yes, please contact your nearest DFR Career Promotion Team about school visits.

New South Wales / Australian Capital Territory



South Australia

Southern Queensland

Northern Territory

Northern Queensland

Western Australia

DFR recruiters will advise candidates on what they'll need for their application, so it's important for them to pay attention and read all the materials provided. To help your students prepare, get them to apply through Defence Force Recruiting 13-14 months in advance. Once they have been recommended at the Officer Selection Board ensure that they list UNSW Canberra as their first preference through UAC. For more information, email our Student Recruitment Officer at Students can also prepare by doing their research on Learn more about our recruitment process here.

Ensure your students are informed about the roles they’re applying for, by doing research on the Defence Jobs website. If they are nervous about the aptitude test, get them to practice “psychometric testing” before their YOU session.

Download the ADFA Study Guide and Parents Guide brochures or contact your local DFR recruitment centre for more resources. Alternatively, you can visit the Defence Jobs website and the ADFA website for more information.

Yes, for group tour enquiries please contact the Visits Liaison Officer on (02) 6268 8541 or email

UNSW Canberra offers bonus point programs that recognise excellence in academia and sport, as well as schemes that assist disadvantaged students. These include HSC Plus (automatically calculated by UAC), Elite Athletes program and the ACCESS scheme for disadvantaged students.

Please note: UNSW will award a maximum of 10 bonus points overall.

ADFA graduates start their career as an Officer in the Navy, Army or Air Force and can work in a range of areas, including aviation, security, logistics, healthcare and engineering. From there, they’ll often move onto other exciting leadership roles within the military and the civilian sector—in virtually every industry.

ADFA graduates are required to serve for an Initial Minimum Period of Service (IMPS). This is to ensure the ADF get an acceptable return for investing in their training. Essentially it is a period of time ADF members are required to serve until they can voluntarily resign. The length of IMPS varies between jobs but generally speaking, ADFA members join for between five to 14.5 years depending on your job. At ADFA, Air Force and Army officer cadets can resign at any time within the first two years and Navy midshipmen can resign at any time within the first year without having to meet an IMPS.

Yes, after serving their Initial Minimum Period of Service, ADFA graduates can pursue any civilian career. ADFA graduates live and work within Australia and around the world, and have gone on to pursue successful military and civilian careers in virtually every industry. Find out more about ADFA Alumni

Transition Seminars are conducted regularly across Australia and are designed to help ADF members prepare for life and a career in the civilian world. ADF members and their families are encouraged to attend ADF Transition Seminars at any stage throughout their career, particularly when they are planning to leave the ADF.