Advanced Command and Staff Course (Reserves) - ACSC-R

Joint Services Command and Staff College
29 days over 12 weeks - part residential

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About this course

ACSC(R) is an annual residential (2+15 day) and distance learning (6-week) course run at the Joint Services Command and Staff College (JSCSC) Shrivenham for reserve military personnel at the senior staff level.   ACSC(R) residential phases will occur on 27-28 Mar 21 and 17-31 Jul 21 (inclusive), and there will be a non-residential Self-Study phase running from 29 Mar – 20 Jun 2021.  ACSC(R) is established for 84 students. Whilst it is normal to offer places to international students, the current force protection measures mean that ACSC(R)12 is restricted to UK personnel.  

The course is set at the joint operational level, with educational delivery aimed at the post graduate, masters level.  Emphasis is placed on understanding operational art, and the strategic purpose of operations to better prepare students to handle the ambiguity and complexity which typifies the contemporary operational environment. 

Having successfully completed the course, the student will be better equipped with the analytical and communications skills, professional knowledge and understanding needed to fill reserve OF4 staff and command appointments.

UK personnel are nominated and loaded by single Service Manning Authorities; no individual applications will be accepted. International military expressions of interest for ACSC(R)13 and beyond should be made through their local UK Defence Section.

What you will learn

The aim of the course is to prepare students for high grade command and staff assignments by developing their effective intellect, analytical decision making and communication skills. In addition, the course content will broaden their professional knowledge and outlook through:
  • a deeper appreciation of single service, joint, combined and multi-agency operations;
  • a better understanding of the higher management of defence;
  • a grasp of strategy, security and defence in political, international and financial context
The student will achieve the course aims through a combination of online lectures, panel discussions, syndicate discussions, self-directed learning and practical exercises.


How will this course help my career?

ACSC (R) is a unique opportunity for OF4 and senior OF3 reservist personnel to study leadership, critical thinking skills, strategy, higher management of defence and campaign planning in a joint service and multi-national environment, and be graded against a wide peer group. The course is supported by numerous guest speakers, up to 2* level.

Successful completion of the course is evidence of professional interest at the higher level of UK Defence command and staff. The course report is often used by promotion and employment boards to support consideration for employment in unit command and in demanding staff appointments.

Security and restrictions

  • The course is designed and resourced to take 84 UK military reservist personnel only.
  • ACSC(R) is delivered at Official level only
  • No international, civil service or PAG places are available for 2021

Before you attend

General. It will be necessary for you to conduct research and undertake essential reading outside the scheduled daily programme. You also have to complete assignments between the induction weekend and the main residential phase. Accordingly, you are advised to plan on being present at the College for the entire period once you start the main residential phase.
Self-Study Phase.  In view of the level and intensity of the course it is essential that students are fully prepared. The College uses a virtual learning environment to assist both the residential and non-residential phases. The VLE will host the necessary resources and instructions to complete the work assignments. 

Can I attend this course?

This course is suitable for the following type(s) of applicant.
  • Military

How will I learn?

Classroom, E-Learning, Blended Learning, Online

How will you be assessed?

The course is summatively assessed using quantitative marking of course work and qualitative marking of student’s general character and intellect.  Quantitative marking includes:
  • two short critical thinking essays;
  • one written point brief and loose minute;
  • verbal briefing exercises.
A leadership reflection portfolio and general conduct throughout the course will contribute to the formative assessment of each student against the ACSC course attributes of:
  • Humility (open-mindedness, and the capacity to consider new perspectives on familiar themes)
  • Empathy (collegiate behaviour and an inclusive mindset)
  • Creativity (the ability to step outside of personal comfort zones and take intellectual risk)
All UK personnel receive a NSAR course report.

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