As of 2020 there will be three entry routes into policing, you won’t need a degree to get in but will have achieved one at the end of your training period:

  • Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship – work as a police constable and study at the same time. Earn while you learn.
  • Pre-join degree – if you want to study first, complete your Degree in Professional Policing at your own expense and then apply to become an officer.
  • Degree-holder entry – if you already have a degree in another subject (not necessarily related to policing), you will follow a 2 year work based graduate programme.

The police constable curriculum has been updated, developed and expanded.

It now reflects the knowledge, skills and behaviours required to face the complex issues that police constables must deal with every day, whilst equipping them with the resilience they will need to adapt to the ever changing role of a police officer.

Cheshire Constabulary are working on their Pre-Join and Degree Holder Entry Programme routes ready to launch in 2020.

What is the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship?

This is a brand new, exciting opportunity open to all individuals with the passion, drive and enthusiasm to succeed in making Cheshire a safe place for all of our communities.

It is a three-year programme and you will be employed as a police officer from day one, gaining valuable experience of the role alongside studying towards your degree.

Essentially, you will have day-to-day responsibilities as well as on-the-job, practical training and academic work all at the same time.


Recruitment and selection process

We are looking for the very best and so we have a lengthy recruitment and selection process. As an apprentice, you will have gone through and passed this before starting your degree. Those taking other routes will study and then still be required to pass recruitment before they can start work as an officer.

Earn while you learn

You will be a paid police officer from day one of your training, gaining on-the-job experience and studying your degree. Earn while you learn.

Forget the idea that apprentices are paid less than their colleagues, we offer a competitive starting salary of £24,177. This is the same as the other entry routes, so you won’t earn less because you are an apprentice

If you’re wondering what you might earn in other sectors the national average for degree apprenticeships is £18,000.

High quality training paid for by us

Cheshire Constabulary will pay your tuition fees. You’ll be earning a salary too so no need for student loans.

No tuition fees + no student loans = no debt!

Unlike traditional University courses, the PCDA has been designed by the police, for the police.

We have worked closely with the University of Chester to develop a programme that will give you the knowledge, skills and behaviours required in modern policing and to provide you with on-the-job learning and experiences that cannot be taught in a classroom.

We will ensure that your training provides you with transferable and future proof skills and enables you to develop personally and professionally.

Not just for school leavers

If you think that apprenticeships are for school leavers only, think again. This is a great opportunity for those looking for a career change, to improve their career prospects or for a route back into work. Yes, you will need to retrain but you will be paid a competitive salary and have your tuition fees covered by us.

Development opportunities

Once you have passed the probationary period you will have the opportunity to progress through the ranks and/or specialise in an area of policing that interests you most, dependent on the vacancies available in the force.

Benefits of working for Cheshire Constabulary

Pension, leave, discounts, access to staff networks, occupational health and wellbeing initiatives are available to all police officers, please see the PC area of the website for more information.

Application window

The recruitment window will re-open on 9th March 2020

Eligibility requirements

You will be required to study for a degree, therefore the minimum eligibility requirement to apply to be a Police Constable with Cheshire Constabulary is for applicants to hold a level 3 qualification (A Level grade A-C) or equivalent experience at the time of applying.

As part of the degree programme you will be required to complete level 2 functional skills (GCSE grades A*- C/ 9 - 4 or equivalent) in Maths and English, before you are able to complete your apprenticeship programme.

We strongly recommend that you address this requirement before commencing this apprenticeship programme if you do not already hold GCSE grades A* - C/ 9 – 4 in English and Maths at the time of applying. Please contact your local college or email our partners at the University of Chester who will be able to assist with this.

Ultimately we are looking for people with the right skills, experiences and a genuine commitment to Cheshire Constabulary and the communities we serve.

If you believe that you have current experience equivalent to a level 3 qualification and feel that you could take on the challenge of degree level study alongside working as a police officer then we will assess this during the shortlisting stage of your application.

Probationary period

The probationary period for the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship is three years. This is to give you time to complete your degree.

Place and method of study

You will be studying for a BSc Professional Policing Practice.

Your learning won’t just be based in a lecture theatre; it will be a blend of classroom learning, seminars, coaching and mentoring sessions, practical training and the most valuable learning tool of all… actually doing the job!

When you are at university it will be on a block release basis, so you will be away from the front line for a number of weeks dedicating your time to study.

The Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship will be delivered in partnership with the Institute of Policing at University of Chester. The course will be primarily delivered at its Warrington Campus with some components at Police Headquarters in Winsford.

In year one, you will commence the initial phase of training will last for 25 weeks and will include inductions at the Constabulary and University, Personal Safety Training , classroom based learning and practical role plays. This will be followed by a period in company with a Tutor Constable before commencing operational patrol, when you pass the Independent Patrol Status module.

In the second year, you will continue with your operational duties, in addition to attending the University for your protected learning time, along with spending three periods of secondments to other units, which will develop your knowledge and skills.

The third year comprises of continued operational duties and attending the University for your protected learning time, which culminate in completion of the End Point Assessment module. This consists of a research project related to your chosen area of policing specialism and completion of the Occupational Competence Portfolio, which comprises the assessed elements of a professional discussion and presentation.

Further information on the programme is available on the College of Policing website.

Obligation after finishing degree

You won't be tied into a contract after finishing your degree. We really hope that you will stay with us but you are under no obligation to do so.

Recruitment process

You will be required to go through the same process as the other routes:

  • Application form
  • SEARCH assessment centre
  • Interview
  • Pre-employment checks

For further information on each stage please see the PC page.