Applying to join as a police constable is still very much about on-the-job training, but with the added benefit of gaining a BSc (Hons) in Professional Policing. A work based degree that you complete whilst working for Essex Police as a student officer.

You will earn a competitive salary, enjoy an excellent range of employee benefits and support networks and make a difference to Essex communities. You’ll be a police officer from the day you join - embarking on an exciting career in policing where no two days are the same.

PCDA at a glance

  • suitable for those who do not have a degree (you must meet the entry requirements)
  • Essex Police will cover all qualification fees - there is no cost to you as a student police officer
  • three-year degree apprenticeship in partnership with Anglia Ruskin University including our comprehensive student officer training at Essex Police College
  • you study whilst serving as a full-time or part-time officer
  • the programme will count as your probationary period as a student officer and after the three-years you will graduate from both the degree and your probation

To join the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA), you will need to meet the eligibility criteria for becoming a police officer and pass the online assessment. See the College of Policing website for more information. You must also:-

  • have a GCSE in Maths and English Grade C or level 4 or above and
  • achieved two level 3 qualifications minimum grade C or above (two A-levels or equivalent to UCAS points of 64+). Use the register of regulated qualifications website to check your qualification is recognised as being 'level 3'

If you do not hold these required qualifications, you can still apply if you possess one of the following qualifications and/or have the required experience. In this instance, you will be required to undergo additional assessments as part of our recruitment procedure. View further information about the support available in study skills assessment and education support.

Entry requirements PCDA

  • 32-63 UCAS points from 2 A-Levels or equivalent
  • GCSE Grade C or level 4 in Maths and English and under 32 UCAS points or no evidence of a level 3 qualification

Relevant Experience

  • you are a member of police staff, a PCSO or special constable who have passed their probationary period
  • you have a minimum of 4 years’ service with the armed forces and have achieved an exemplary reference on discharge.
  • no evidence of Maths and English at GCSE and under 32 UCAS points or no evidence of a level 3 qualification and you have a minimum of four years’ service with the armed forces

All qualifications will have to be evidenced before a formal offer is issued.

You will start your training at the Essex Police training college in Chelmsford with some classroom-based learning. You will also join an operational policing team who you will work alongside in operational day-to-day policing.

The programme will cover a wide range of policing topics including:

  • policing, police law and police powers
  • protection, vulnerability and public protection
  • policing communities, response policing and investigating crime
  • police leadership, coaching and mentoring
  • officer safety training
  • emergency life support
  • safeguarding
  • crime investigation and operational policing skills

You will undertake both operational and academic written assessments (including exams, essays and presentations) throughout the programme to demonstrate your ability to carry out your policing responsibilities. You will also be required to complete an Operational Competence Portfolio with evidence of your achievements and pass operational assessments against a range of critical policing skills.

You will also be required to produce a 10,000 word dissertation based on research into a policing topic.

You will be fully supported in applying new skills and knowledge as part of your operational duties. This will let you put into practice what you are learning and help you to develop the skills and experience you need for this challenging but rewarding role.

You will need to successfully complete both operational and academic assessments before being awarded the degree.

If you are interested in joining our policing family and undertaking the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA), please apply to join us.

We will be in contact with you and work with Anglia Ruskin University (ARU) to enrol you as a student.