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Policing Vision 2030: Your Degree in Policing

The College of Policing, the Association of Police and Crime Commissioners (APCC) and the National Police Chiefs' Council (NPCC) have published Policing Vision 2030. This aims to build on the Policing Vision 2025 to make transformative change across the whole of policing. This new version focuses on the main priorities that will need to be delivered before the new decade.

By Editorial Team. Published 22 November 2019. Last updated 25 April 2024.

Policing is a challenging yet rewarding career that requires a high level of responsibility and ethics. The role of police officers has significantly shifted from what it was 30 years ago. This is due to many reasons, including changes in criminal behaviour and advances in technology. The modern-day police officer needs to be able to preserve life, reduce crime and respond to calls from the public in an extremely complex and fast-evolving world. The Policing Vision 2025 therefore took the important step of emphasising the reliance of the police service upon the quality of its people and on bringing policing into the 21st Century. Policing Vision 2030 aims to build on that work.

Samantha Kelley, one of our Policing Lecturers and former Superintendent of Humberside and latterly West Yorkshire Police with 30 years experience, said “The change to the way in which the police are recruiting future officers responds to a real shift in modern day crime and the type of skills that future officers will need to tackle these challenges. Globalisation, advancements in technology and changes in society have meant that crime has become far more sophisticated and complex and is no longer contained to identifiable geographies within the UK. Local communities have also changed, requiring much greater cultural awareness and sensitivity. The University’s degree offers a true blend of both theory and practical application that will provide our graduates with an exceptional foundation for a career in the police.”

The police service now requires officers to take a sophisticated and informed approach to problems of the 21st century and this requires a fundamental shift in the way that they are trained. This strategy will support officers and allow them to get recognition for the complexity of their job.

There are four entry paths to policing, and these are via:

Professional Policing Degree Holder (PPD) – This is where we come in. You can carry out a three-year degree, or two-year accelerated degree in professional policing and then apply to a force and follow a shorter on-the-job training programme. This lets you focus on achieving the best degree result you can, without having to work full-time as you learn. 

Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) – You can join as a constable and follow an apprenticeship in professional policing practice. This usually takes three years and when you successfully finish the programme, you will complete your probation and achieve a degree.

Degree-Holders Entry Programme (DHEP) – If you already have a degree (in any subject), you can join the force and follow a work-based programme, supported by off-the-job learning. This takes approximately two years, and you will receive a graduate diploma in professional policing after completing your probation.

Police Constable Entry Programme (PCEP) – This is a new two-year programme available from April 2024 which is delivered within the police force. There is no qualification following the probation period.

We have responded to these changes to policing by launching our BSc (Hons) Professional Policing degree, which has been licensed by the College of Policing and has been running now for four years.

The advantage of a degree in professional policing is that it allows students to do their studies first before applying to a police force. Whilst you’ll not be a police officer from day one. You’ll be able to fully dedicate yourself to studying first, removing the need to juggle the workload and demands of being a full-time police officer at the same time.

The degree in professional policing will ensure that students have the relevant knowledge before applying to a police force and upon their successful recruitment, they will then undergo further practical training.

Both the apprenticeship and degree in professional policing take the same amount of time at three years (unless of course students are on an accelerated degree in professional policing). The degree is designed for students who wish to become a police constable, or those who have an interest in policing but are unsure if they want to become police officers. The degree also provides a foundation for further postgraduate study in a relevant area like criminology, as well as careers in security and criminal justice. Our Employability Team will support students in exploring those options as well as relevant work experience and voluntary work.

Our degree programme is delivered by a multidisciplinary team, including former officers who have held senior rank within the police service and who represent a range of experience and expertise. The course is delivered in a very practical way and is designed to build decision-making and critical thinking skills from day one. The syllabus offers extensive coverage of different crime types and different areas of policing. We also allow students the ability to choose from a range of optional modules including criminal and forensic psychology, allowing students who are certain of their career path to specialise from an early stage of their studies.


Discover more about the BSc (Hons) Professional Policing at our Birmingham, Leeds, and London Bloomsbury campuses.