New Entry Routes into Policing

Police Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF)

Police in the street

Police forces in England and Wales are undergoing transformative change in terms of education and training, and are moving towards the new Police Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF).

From 2020, nationally, entry requirements into the role of police officer will change and all new officers will need a degree-level qualification upon entry or achieve one through an apprenticeship route with a Constabulary.

At UCLan, we hold a longstanding reputation for the delivery of policing courses developed and run in partnership with The College of Policing and The Police Service, and have been working closely with these bodies to support this change process.

“We are pleased to announce our partnership with the University of Central Lancashire on our PCDA and DHEP programmes. They are an exceptional University who we are excited to work with. They will provide a fantastic academic programme to our new officers.”

Michelle Skeer, Chief Constable Cumbria Constabulary

“It’s fantastic to have been selected to deliver degree apprenticeships as part of the Police Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF), a significant industry development which we are proud to be a part of. We’re looking forward to working in partnership with Constabularies and delivering high quality teaching combined with practical experience for the candidates embarking upon these valuable opportunities."

Professor Ian Allison, Executive Dean, Faculty of Science and Technology at UCLan

"This new process acknowledges the ever-increasing complexities in crime, such as cyber or terrorist threats, and recognises the all-round high levels of skill and professionalism a police officer needs to attain.”

Stephen Kirkpatrick, Director of Corporate Support Cumbria Constabulary

“The PEQF is a significant aspect of the professionalisation of the service in striving towards the 2025 Policing Vision. With a strong foundation and innovative approach over many years within Policing at UCLan we are ere delighted to be working with the constabularies to deliver such critical programmes within the framework.”

Clive Tattum, Principal Lecturer PEQF/Policing Business Lead UCLan

“We are pleased to announce our partnership with the University of Central Lancashire to deliver our PCDA and DHEP programmes. These are challenging times for policing at the moment and the new process acknowledges the ever-increasing complexities in crime today.”

Andy Rhodes, Chief Constable Lancashire Constabulary


At UCLan, we now support all three of the new national entry routes into the policing profession at the rank of police constable:

Pre-join Degree Route

Our College of Policing approved pre-join degree, offered at both Preston and Burnley campuses, covers the national curriculum for the police constable role.

Graduates can then apply to a police force.

Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA)

A three-year degree apprenticeship, providing an exciting opportunity for successful applicants to achieve a degree in professional policing practice with UCLan whilst serving as a police officer.

UCLan is now working with Cumbria Constabulary and Lancashire Constabulary to deliver their degree apprenticeship programmes. To find out more including vacancies, entry requirements and applications click the logos below:

Cumbria Constabulary logo

Lancashire Constabulary

Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP)

Those with an existing degree can apply direct to regional constabularies to be a police constable. This work-based route is supported by academic study towards a Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice, normally lasting two years.

UCLan is now working with Cumbria Constabulary and Lancashire Constabulary to deliver their DHEP. Find out more by clicking the logos:

Cumbria Constabulary logo

Lancashire Constabulary

For those who don’t currently have a degree, you can study on any degree, search our range of courses below.

Alternately, if you have a wider interest in Policing and associated investigative and law enforcement professions you can study on our well established PCI degree with a proven track record of employment in law enforcement careers, as well as a wide variety of professions:

Upon graduation, those who do then wish to apply to be a police constable, can join via the DHEP route following a work-based programme, supported by off-the-job learning normally lasting two years.

For more information

UCLan Policing

Students in the Hydra Minera Suite at UCLan

Find out more about UCLan Policing.

Schools and Colleges

Teacher in classroom

To discuss these changes in more detail or arrange for a talk or visit with our Policing department, please contact: Ian Palmer, 01772 893816

Prospective Students

Student working

To discuss your options further please get in touch or visit us by attending our next Open Day.