Our Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship route is a three year programme for those who would like to work in the role of an operational police officer, whilst studying for a degree. The academic aspect coincides with serving as a student police officer, with active frontline duties for Cumbria Constabulary.

Hear from one of our police trainers, Angela Bell, to tell you more about the programme!

What are the benefits of gaining a degree through the PCDA programme for officers?

This route into policing enables you to receive practical, on-the-job learning alongside academic theory and knowledge while earning a wage without any student debt. You will be a police officer from your first day on the job. The academic side will teach you how to become a critical thinker and how to reflect on your decision making as well as assist you with your report writing for the criminal justice system. Your degree may also assist you in the future to further your career in other departments within the police. Policing is the process and use of legislation whilst the academic side gives you the understanding and the wider ramifications around decision making.

What are some key personal skills candidates need to be successful on the programme?

I think if you can be open to change, have the ability to listen, and be organised with your workload it will stand you in good stead for the role of a PC. Confidence with your decision making will take time, but the course offers you that whilst learning. Communication is the biggest tool on your belt and throughout your training, especially the dynamic roleplays, it will be assessed. Teamwork is important as you will be encouraged to critically think as a team and deliver presentations as a team. Once out in area you will work as a team on a shift with the expectation of supporting your colleagues in all aspects of policing.

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What would you say is the toughest part of the course?

Before training begins, police trainers put together the timetable alongside UCLan, and we aim to get the balance right with lesson inputs, guest speakers, and study time. When a student finishes their 22 weeks and goes into area it is down to them to manage their time, whilst doing the role of a police officer, during this time they will also return to training to complete several blocks.  Speaking with students upon their return, I get the impression this is the toughest part for them and so it’s about getting the balance right and managing their time. However, there is plenty of support not only from the training department but the Professional Development Sergeant (PDU) in their area.

Would you encourage people to join via this route?

Absolutely! The initial 22 week course is packed full of knowledge and developing all the time. It is hard work at the beginning, but it’s a fantastic achievement demonstrating your skills and showing you can prioritise your workload - a skill which you will require when doing the role of a police constable.


For more information on the PCDA route and to apply visit: Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship - Cumbria Constabulary

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