Pre-join degree in Professional Policing: Information for prospective students

The new Pre-join degree in Professional Policing is one of the three initial entry routes into the police service at the rank of police constable.

Tell me about the pre-join degree

The new pre-join degree is an academic knowledge-based degree, based upon the national curriculum for the police constable role. It will provide you with an entry route into policing if you wish to study before you apply to join a police force.

Your education will continue in force if you become a probationary police constable (see below). If you wish to use a pre-join degree as your entry route to the police service, you must apply to join a police force within five years of your graduation.

The pre-join degree may also be of interest or benefit to those considering a career in other roles within policing, for those seeking to understand how society is policed, for those who have an interest in law enforcement or for those want to enter the wider justice sector.

Please note: successful achievement of the pre-join degree does not provide any guarantee of recruitment as a probationary police constable. Each police force sets out its own recruitment process and selection policy; the entry requirements vary from force to force. Prospective students are strongly advised to check the specific requirements of their chosen force before undertaking study.

How do I apply to become a police constable?

Once you have graduated with a pre-join degree, you will need to apply to join your chosen police force as a probationary police constable. To do this, you must:

  • Apply within five years of your graduation date

  • Meet all of the recruitment criteria for the particular force.

Once you have successfully joined a force as a probationer, you must then:

  • Undertake further practice-based learning and assessment in your force

  • Demonstrate competence in the police constable role

  • Complete the two-year probationary period, in line with police regulations.

Where can I study for the Pre-join degree in Professional Policing?

The new pre-join degree can be only offered by universities that are licensed by the College of Policing. We maintain a list of universities that are licenced by us and which intend to offer pre-join degree courses, starting in the academic year 2019/20 onwards. If a university is not on our list, they are not licenced to provide the pre-join degree. We are unable to recommend or endorse any particular university.

Please see the full list of licensed universities planning to offer the new pre-join degree, at the bottom of this webpage. This list will be updated regularly by the College.

Further information

The degree is self-funded, it is at your own expense, like any other university degree.

If studied full-time, it is a three-year degree programme, although some universities may offer a part-time study route, of up to six years in duration.

The universities on our current list (see below) are all planning to offer pre-join degree courses starting in the academic year 2019/20, or 2020/2021.

For the full specific details of any course, including the availability of courses or places, fees and funding, term dates, modules and assessments and the course entry requirements, etc., please contact your chosen university directly or refer to their website.

List of universities licensed to offer the Pre-join Degree in Professional Policing from the academic year 2019/20:

  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • Bangor University
  • Birmingham City University
  • Buckinghamshire New University
  • Canterbury Christ Church University
  • Coventry University
  • De Montfort University
  • Edge Hill University
  • Liverpool John Moores University
  • Nottingham Trent University
  • Sheffield Hallam University
  • Staffordshire University
  • Teesside University
  • University of Central Lancashire
  • University of Chester
  • University of Cumbria
  • University of Derby
  • University of East London
  • University of Gloucestershire
  • University of Law
  • University of Northumbria at Newcastle
  • University of South Wales
  • University of Wales Trinity St David
  • University of Winchester
  • University of Wolverhampton
  • Wrexham Glyndwr University
  • York St. John University

List of universities licensed to offer the Pre-join Degree in Professional Policing from the academic year 2020/21:

  • Newcastle College University Centre
  • University College London
  • University of Northampton
  • University of Suffolk

All the above universities are listed subject to meeting all of the College of Policing's QSA standards.

This list was updated on Friday 6 September 2019.

Any further questions?

For more information on the other police constable entry routes, please see our other webpages:

If you have any further questions about the pre-join degree, please contact us by emailing

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