Degree holder entry Programme

According to the College of Policing (2018), modern policing is undergoing significant transformation and highly competent Police Constables (PCs) are vital to the delivery of an enhanced service to the public.

Being a PC is a physically and intellectually demanding occupation, requiring high levels of emotional intelligence, strong behavioural interpretation skills and an ability to analyse and resolve rapidly evolving events. PCs have a unique employment status, as every PC is a warranted officer, making autonomous lawful decisions including taking away an individual’s liberty, if required.

PCs exercise wide-ranging powers to maintain the peace and uphold the law across complex and diverse communities. They must justify and personally account for their actions through differing legal frameworks including courts, while also under the close scrutiny of the public.

Competent PCs work safely and lawfully, intelligently applying a wide range and depth of skills, knowledge and behaviours to many different and increasingly complex policing contexts, for example the management of a sensitive investigation into the sharing of sexual imagery involving vulnerable victims and witnesses, or the protection of vulnerable people, including those with mental health problems.

A high level of knowledge is required to confidently respond to these complex scenarios. Increasingly PCs are individually responsible for determining, applying and evaluating practice based on the best available evidence, known as evidence-based policing.

The College of Policing (CoP), as the Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) for the police service, has worked with all key stakeholder groups including staff associations, police force representatives, as well as higher education partners, to develop the Policing Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF).

Entry routes into policing

Entry routes into the policing profession at the rank of police constable (and associated awards for validation) are:

Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA)

The Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) route into policing enables entrants to receive practical on-the-job learning alongside academic theory and knowledge while earning a wage. The award associated with the PCDA is the BSc (Hons) Professional Policing Practice (PPP).  Entrants will be aged between 18 and 55.  Entrants recruited onto the programme will be police officers from their first day on the job. The PCDA will typically take three years to complete.

Degree Holder Entry

Recruits into the Police Force who already hold a degree can complete the Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice.

The Graduate diploma covers the  basic policing practice that officers will need to achieve in order to have independent patrol status within their first year of employment and  consist of work-based learning modules that are supported by off-the-job learning

Pre-Join Degree entry

There is a third possible route into the Police Force, a knowledge-based degree in professional policing which must be achieved prior to formal recruitment to the police service, i.e. not associated with the Apprenticeship.

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About the Programmes

The programmes cover a breadth, depth and range of professional education for the police constable not present in any previous constable training programme. This is a professional practice degree/graduate diploma founded on effective professional performance with academic achievement. The police constable apprenticeship standard has been developed along with a police constable assessment plan, which sets out the occupational profile for the role of police constable and provides further details such as knowledge, skills and behaviours. 

The BSc and Graduate Diploma will cover areas that are critical to effective policing in the 21st century, such as evidence-based policing, supporting vulnerable people, and dealing with cyber-crime and crime prevention.

The programmes include taught policing practice knowledge and research and professional practice assessed via work-based learning portfolios and independent studies.

How to Apply

The Police Apprenticeship and the Degree Holder entry Route are recruited by the individual police forces.

You can find more information about eligibility and recruitment on the police forces websites for example:

Find Out More

Please contact Sarah Jones to find out more: