Royal Military College of Science

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Royal Military College of Science
Royal Military College of Science Shield.jpeg
Active 1772–2015
Country  United Kingdom
Branch  British Army
Type Training
Role Teaching of military science
Garrison/HQ Shrivenham
Motto(s) Rerum cognoscere causas (Know the causes of things)

The Royal Military College of Science (RMCS) was a British postgraduate school, research institution and training provider with origins dating back to 1772.


The college traced its history to a school founded in Woolwich in 1772 to provide technical training for the military. In 1840 the Royal Artillery Institution was founded to train artillery officers "for the study of science and languages". It was established as a response to the technological advances brought on by the Industrial Revolution. During the 1880s, the institution expanded and a commandant was appointed; it moved into Red Barracks, Woolwich becoming the Ordnance College (renamed the Artillery College in 1918). In 1927 it became the Military College of Science.[1]

At the start of the Second World War the college was moved from Woolwich, which was vulnerable to aerial bombing. It moved, initially to the artillery ranges at Lydd in Kent, then scattering to various locations until after the war, when the college was reconstituted and reopened at Beckett Hall in Shrivenham. In 1953, the college was granted its "Royal" title and became the Royal Military College of Science ('RMCS').[1]

In 1984 Cranfield University became the main academic provider of the college.[2] A contract entered into in November 2005 extended the Cranfield relationship to 2028.[2]


The new Defence Academy building in Shrivenham.

In 2004 the Defence College of Management and Technology ('DCMT') was established bringing together RMCS and the Defence Leadership Centre. Then in 2009 DCMT itself became part of the Defence Academy of the United Kingdom, and was therefore renamed the Defence Academy - College of Management and Technology (DA-CMT).[3]

The college was based, like the majority of Defence Academy institutions, at MOD (Ministry of Defence) Shrivenham, located between the villages of Shrivenham and Watchfield in the south-west corner of Oxfordshire (Vale of White Horse), and had training centres around the country. DA-CMT facilities at Shrivenham were run by Serco Defence. The departments included: Centre for Defence Acquisition and Technology, Centre for Defence Leadership and Management, Defence Centre for Languages and Culture (formerly The Defence School of Languages),[4] Nuclear Department and the Defence Technical Officer and Engineer Entry Scheme (DTOEES).[5]

Since 2015 the College has ceased to exist as a distinct unit within the Defence Academy; its work is continued in several of the constituent units of the Academy, including the Technical School, Nuclear Department, Shrivenham Leadership Centre, Business Skills College and DTOEES.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b "A Short History of the Royal Military College of Science, 1864–1964" (PDF). Retrieved 2014-08-14. 
  2. ^ a b "Cranfield University - Academic Provider to the Defence College of Management and Technology". Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  3. ^ "A student's guide to Shrivenham" (PDF). Retrieved 14 October 2014. 
  4. ^ "The Defence Centre for Languages and Culture (DCLC)". Defence Academy of the United Kingdom. British Ministry of Defence. Retrieved 17 November 2014. 
  5. ^ "Defence Sixth Form and Undergraduate Training Scheme". Defence Academy. Retrieved 4 December 2016. 
  6. ^ "About us". Defence Academy. MOD. Retrieved 15 September 2016. 

External links[edit]

Coordinates: 51°36′11″N 1°38′25″W / 51.6030°N 1.6404°W / 51.6030; -1.6404