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Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship | Durham Constabulary
3 Years Full-Time | Professional Policing Practice BSc (Hons)

This Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) is an academic and professional programme jointly delivered by officers from Durham Constabulary and academic staff from across Northumbria University.  This programme is for officers of Durham Constabulary only.  

The programme has been designed and developed to meet the requirements of the College of Policing (CoP), the professional body for all those working in the Police Service, for the professional education of new entrants into policing via a newly-established police constable apprenticeship entry route. 

The core curriculum has been designed by the CoP to be professionally transformative and to reflect the contemporary areas of knowledge, skills, behaviours, and professional practice essential to the 21st century police constable role.  These include (but are not limited to):

  • evidence-based policing
  • decision making and discretion
  • criminology and crime prevention
  • pro-active approaches to vulnerability
  • risk and public protection
  • modern policing trends such as digital policing 

Successful completion of all three years of the programme, including completion of the integrated End Point Assessment, will result in your achievement of full competency to operate safely and lawfully as a Police Constable in the workplace (public arena) and achieving a Degree in Professional Policing Practice.

Course Information

Level of Study

Mode of Study
3 Years Full Time

Social Sciences

Coach Lane Campus, Northumbria University


August 2021

Fee Information

All modules throughout the three-year PCDA adhere to CoP learning outcomes and content. Student Officers will receive an in-depth weekly timetable once enrolled on the programme. 

During the programme, student officers will undertake a number of supported and specialist deployments in order to achieve Independent Patrol Status and Full Operational Competence. On the programme, they will address critical questions that span a range of areas, to explore problems from multiple perspectives relating to the role, function, and delivery of 21st century policing, including expertise in:

  • Criminology;
  • Law;
  • Applied Science;
  • Computer and Information Services (CIS);
  • Business.

At the end of the programme, student officers will undertake an individual project based around evidence-based policing and the specialist area they have undertaken in year three.  Students will also develop transferable key skills throughout the apprenticeship, including:

  • enhanced research skills enabling students to progress, if desired, to postgraduate study, or a research orientated career;
  • communicating ideas in written and oral forms;
  • the use of appropriate IT tools;
  • personal time management;
  • project management;
  • problem solving abilities;
  • independent learning skills enabling students to take responsibility for their own continued and sustainable professional development.



Northumbria University has developed considerable expertise working with police forces regionally, nationally, and internationally.  This sustained excellence in police research, is a unique strength and advantage as our work supports the design, development and delivery of this programme.

Our work is characterised as informing policy and practice, providing wide-ranging, cutting-edge science and applied research, which is developed in partnership with the Police and agencies regionally, nationally, within European networks and internationally.

During the three-year apprenticeship, student officers will have a minimum of 20% of contracted hours of off the job training over the course of the programme for university study. They will be taught and supported by a diverse range of highly experienced Durham Constabulary and Northumbria University personnel. This includes law trainers and tutors who will provide practitioner specific curriculum input in relation to law and procedures; operational tutors who will provide support, guidance and encouragement during periods of work-based learning. 

The programme will be taught on multiple sites across the three years to offer student officers the best facilities for their on the job and off the job learning.

At Coach Lane Campus officers have access to an unprecedented range of facilities including:

Additionally students will have access to unrivalled facilities at City Campus including:

  • Specially designed courtroom equipped with DVD recording;
  • The brand new dedicated Computer Network Technology and Digital Security labs;
  • Open access computing areas;
  • The comprehensive media centre with television and radio studios;
  • City Campus University Library which is open 24/7 during term time.

Immersive Interactive™ suite

This is a flexible learning space where images and videos are projected onto three walls to enhance realism and give a fully immersive, multi-sensory and interactive learning environment. The space incorporates a control room and observational area and as a fully interactive teaching facility is one of the biggest and best in the country. Providing realistic safe learning environments for you to practice your skills, it will play a pivotal role in educating and training officers, through simulated learning, an invaluable experience of “real life” policing situations, for example public order, custody suites, road traffic collisions.

Forensic Suite

An entire property converted into a crime scene house to enable you to examine simulated crime scenes.  You will also be able to access Return to Scene software that provides a 360-degree interactive scan of a crime scene allowing you to perform analysis in detail.  The rooms in the crime scene house are also fitted with recording software which can be played live to another room or recorded later for analysis.

Purpose-built interview rooms

A number of purpose-built interview rooms which are installed with recording equipment suitable for simulating interview skills which can be recorded and reviewed, as well as live streamed to another venue.  The interview rooms are set up in both a traditional manner and also for cases where more vulnerable witnesses/victim may need a less formal environment.



This is a three-year Degree Apprenticeship during the course of which you will be employed by Durham Constabulary and contracted to work 40 hours per week, with provision for off the job learning which will constitute a minimum of 20% of contracted hours over the course of the programme.

Student Officers will be deployed on a supported tutor phase in order to achieve Independent Patrol Status (IPS) by the end of year one. You will then continue to develop your personal Occupational Competency Portfolio (OCP) during years 2 and 3 on specialist and general attachments to prepare you for your End Point Assessment at the end of year 3. This will include a work-based project, presentation and discussion around your personal OCP.

Key members of wider police teams will provide support and assistance as you apply in practice the knowledge, skills, and abilities necessary to deal competently, lawfully and safely with work related duties in a range of situations relevant to the role of the police constable. Tutors, mentors, coaches and line managers will support individuals as well as having a role in the tripartite meetings with employer, University and student officer.

In addition, at Durham Constabulary’s training facility in Meadowfield, you will have access to Hydra Suite, purpose built digital bungalow and be involved in community based practical scenarios. You will also be exposed to the technology and equipment needed to carry out your role as a Police Officer, including access to Durham Constabulary’s purpose built operational policing system Red Sigma as well as other relevant software programmes. You will be trained in the use of personal radios and body worn video devices, giving you the ability to become accustomed to this vital technology. Also you will be individually issued all the relevant uniform and personal protection equipment at the start of your course.



Durham Constabulary will cover all tuition fees for the student officers, however, as they are in full-time employment, they are therefore not entitled to apply for student finance.  



Learn More about the Apprenticeship Levy

The first PCDA with Durham Constabulary starts in August 2020.

For further information on application and recruitment for this course, please visit Durham Constabulary. Please note all applications are made directly through Durham Constabulary. 



Entry Requirements 2020/21

Standard Entry

Admission onto a higher or degree apprenticeship can only take place if applicants are currently employed and their employer has a training agreement in place with Northumbria University.

 Applicants must be employed in a relevant role, with the opportunity to apply theoretical concepts directly to their personal and professional work experience.

Potential apprentices will need:

120 UCAS Tariff points

From a combination of acceptable Level 3 qualifications which may include: A-levels, BTEC Diplomas/Extended Diplomas, Scottish and Irish Highers, Access to HE Diplomas or the International Baccalaureate.


We may also consider applicants who have successfully completed a related Level 3 Advanced Apprenticeship, or those with non-standard qualifications, or a significant amount of relevant work-based or professional experience.

Find out how many points your qualifications are worth using the UCAS Tariff calculator:  

English Language Requirements:

International applicants should have a minimum overall IELTS (Academic) score of 6.0 with 5.5 in each component (or an approved equivalent*).


*The university accepts a large number of UK and International Qualifications in place of IELTS. You can find details of acceptable tests and the required grades in our English Language section:

GCSE Requirements:

It is a condition that you have GCSE grades C/4 or above in English Language and Maths, or Functional Skills English or Maths at level 2 by the End Point Assessment period of your Appren

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Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship | Durham Constabulary


Any Questions?

Our admissions team will be happy to help. They can be contacted on 0191 406 0901.

Contact Details for Applicants:

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