Ordnance Munitions and Explosives Degree Apprenticeship

Defence Science and Technology Laboratory


Ordnance Munitions and Explosives Degree Apprenticeship



Posted by on December 16, 2022.


  • Are you interested in how science and technology help support and protect the UK and partner nations?
  • Are you looking for a rewarding career working in Ordnance, Munitions and Explosives within defence science and technology?
  • Do you want to be a member of a diverse community of scientists and engineers where you will feel motivated by the opportunities to develop your own learning and drive your own career?
  • Are you looking for the opportunity to earn a wage and gain hands on experience while studying for an industry recognised degree?

    If so then an Ordnance, Munitions, and Explosives apprenticeship is for you. Now is an exciting time to join The Defence Science and Technology Laboratory (Dstl) as we look forward to shaping the future, by pushing the boundaries of technology advancements and new concepts. Driven by our core values, we consistently challenge the norms, embrace diversity and reward innovation.

    In this apprenticeship you will gain exposure to innovative technologies and seek to build an in-depth understanding of how Scientists and Engineers shape the future of defence and security.

    Dstl employs some of the world’s most innovative people, we’re always on the lookout for talented, creative, dedicated and collaborative individuals to join us.  Dstl and its work forms a vital function within the defence and security of the nation.

    We are currently recruiting for the Ordnance, Munitions and Explosives Degree Apprenticeship for September 2023.

    Dstl recognises the importance of diversity and inclusion as people from diverse backgrounds bring fresh ideas. We are committed to building an inclusive working environment in which each employee fulfils their potential and maximises their contribution.


    Job description

    What does the apprenticeship involve?

    During your apprenticeship you will be encouraged and supported to take ownership of your development through Independent Learning to realise your full potential. This Apprenticeship will consist of a mixture of academic learning through dedicated study blocks at The University of Wales Trinity Saint Davids in Swansea, and practical work at Dstl and industry partners.

    During the Apprenticeship program you will develop knowledge, skills and behaviors as an Ordnance, Munitions and Explosives Professional, as identified by industry leaders. You will be based within the Energetic Technologies Group at Porton Down, but you will work within a variety of different placements within Dstl. These placement could include:

    • Explosive Render Safe Team
    • Energetics Characterisation and Advice Team
    • Pyrotechnic Countermeasures Team
    • Working Animals Fundamental Science Team
    • Working Animals Applied Science Team
    • The Forensic Explosive Laboratory
    • Non-Destructive Evaluation Capability
    • Trials and Experimentation Capabilities

    There is also opportunities to work in other areas of Counter Terrorism and Security, you will also get opportunities to work in other divisions such as Platform Systems division and Chemical, Biological, Radiological division. 

    This apprenticeship offers you the challenge of:

    • Balancing a mix of work and academic priorities
    • Maintaining professional working standards such as time management, meeting deadline, and safety standards. 
    • Adapting and learning with emerging technologies and techniques.
    • Working within a physically and cognitively challenging environment in sometimes arduous conditions whilst maintaining a high standard of work (workplace adjustment can be investigated and provided to make sure this opportunity is open to everyone).
    • Adapting to varied work requirements and personalities and remaining flexible to changing priorities. 

    Person specification

    We are looking for someone who:

    • Has the ability to work effectively within a team.
    • Has the ability to prioritise tasks effectively.
    • Has the ability to communicate effectively to a broad audience.
    • Is comfortable working outside in all weathers (we will provide appropriate personal protective equipment)
    • Has basic knowledge of engineering and scientific principles
    • Is computer literate
    • Is adept at paying attention to detail.
    • Has the ability to learn and self-motivate.
    • Has the ability to take direction and work independently.
    • Has problem solving skills/ability to think outside the box and the will to development them further.
    • Is open to change
    • Has the able to work to processes and procedures
    • Looks for ways to improve safety and efficiency
    • Desire’s to undertake practical work

    Important Information

    You must be 18 to work for Dstl, this mean you must turn 18 before September 2023.
    Our work in defence, security and intelligence requires our employees to be UK Nationals who are able to gain a high level of security clearance to undertake the projects we are involved in to protect us from security threats.

    For this reason, only UK Nationals will be able to apply for this role. If you are an international or dual-national candidate, and you think you have the skills we need, please consider applying to any of our government, security or defence partners.

    This role will require full UK security clearance and you should have resided in the UK for the past 5 years. For some roles Developed Vetting will also be required, in this case you should have resided in the UK for the past 10 years.



    GCSE’s in English and Math’s – grade C/4 or above (or equivalent)
    A level in relevant Science, Mathematics or Engineering subjects (or equivalent)


    We’ll assess you against these behaviours during the selection process:

    • Working Together
    • Communicating and Influencing
    • Developing Self and Others

    Dstl’s full range of great benefits can be found in the information pack which includes:

    •    Financial: An excellent pension scheme starting from 26% employer contribution (find out more here). In Year Rewarding Achievement bonuses and thank you vouchers. Rental deposit scheme and cycle to work scheme.
    •    Flexible working: Working options include alternative working patterns, compressed hours, job shares and annualised hours
    •    Flexible working hours: Ability to bank hours in a 12 month reference period including the ability to accrue and use 3 days per calendar month. 
    •    Annual leave: A generous annual leave allowance starting at 25 days pro rata (rising to 30 after 5 years) plus 8 public holidays with the ability to buy/sell 5 additional days per annum.
    •    Family: Maternity, adoption or shared parental leave of up to 26 weeks with full pay, an additional 13 weeks statutory pay and a further 13 weeks unpaid
    •    Learning and Development: Encouragement and support on charterships, accreditations and access to fully funded apprenticeships up to level 7 (Masters Degree). Paid memberships with 2 relevant bodies/institutions. Employees have access to Civil Service Learning.
    •    Facilities: Onsite parking, EV Charging points, restaurants, cafés and gyms.
    The information pack can be found attached to the job specification on Civil Service Jobs. 

    We have a number of support networks to ensure all employees feel supported at work. These include the following:
    •    Sexual Orientation and Gender Identity Network
    •    Race, Faith and Culture Network
    •    Parents and Carer Support Network
    •    Alternative Working Network
    •    Gender Equality Network
    •    New Starters Network
    •    Enabled Network, for people with visible and non-visible disabilities.

    For further information about Dstl please check out our Website.


    Selection process details

    This vacancy is using Success Profiles, and will assess your Behaviours, Ability and Experience.

    Applications will be reviewed in batches, first week commencing 6th February with interview to be conduced week commencing 27th February and second batch week commencing 6th March with interviews commencing 27th March.  

    We want you to have your best chance of success in our recruitment process, so if at any stage of the application process you would like help or assistance please contact the Dstl Recruitment Team dstlrecruitment@dstl.gov.uk and we will do all we can to support you.

    Feedback will only be provided if you attend an interview or assessment.


    Successful candidates must pass a disclosure and barring security check.
    Successful candidates must meet the security requirements before they can be appointed. The level of security needed is security check.

    See our vetting charter.

    People working with government assets must complete basic personnel security standard checks.

    Nationality requirements

    Open to UK nationals only.

    This job is not open to candidates who hold a dual nationality.

    Working for the Civil Service

    The Civil Service Code sets out the standards of behaviour expected of civil servants.

    We recruit by merit on the basis of fair and open competition, as outlined in the Civil Service Commission’s recruitment principles.

    The Civil Service embraces diversity and promotes equal opportunities. As such, we run a Disability Confident Scheme (DCS) for candidates with disabilities who meet the minimum selection criteria.
    The Civil Service also offers a Redeployment Interview Scheme to civil servants who are at risk of redundancy, and who meet the minimum requirements for the advertised vacancy.
    Once this job has closed, the job advert will no longer be available. You may want to save a copy for your records.

    Contact point for applicants

    Job contact :

    • Name :dstlrecruitment@dstl.gov.uk
    • Email :dstlrecruitment@dstl.gov.uk

    Recruitment team :

    • Email :dstlrecruitment@dstl.gov.uk

    Further information

    Should you wish to raise a formal complaint about the Dstl recruitment process you should email dstlrecruitment@dstl.gov.uk stating the nature of the issue. We will respond within 5 working days.