You don’t need a degree to become a Police Constable.
On this page, we’ll walk you through the entry routes and what you need to do if you don’t have a degree.
We work in partnership with Bangor University to deliver the policing qualifications and we recruit and pay people to study for a degree or a graduate diploma, while also training to be a police officer.
We recognise that people join us from all backgrounds with lots of different variety of previous experiences and educational qualifications, and we want to continue to embrace that so anybody who has the passion to serve the public can have a long and fulfilling career as a police officer.
Since September 2019 there is also the option for people to study for a Pre-Join Degree in Professional Policing Practice through the traditional way of attending University to complete the degree before applying to be a police officer. People who graduate with this degree from 2022, who choose to join North Wales Police as a police officer, will also undertake academic and practice-based training to develop specific skills.
If you would like to find out more about the qualifications please visit the College of Policing website.
There are three routes into policing:
- Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) - Probation period is three years
Join as a constable and follow an apprenticeship in professional policing practice – you earn as you're learning.
This route normally takes three years with both on and off the job learning. On successfully finishing the programme, you’ll complete your probation and achieve a degree.
To be eligible you must have already achieved a Level 3 qualification (A level or equivalent) or have successfully completed the online competency based assessment as part of your application for the role of police constable.
- Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP) – Probation period is two years
If you have a degree in any subject, you can join and follow a work-based programme, support by off the job learning. This route normally takes two years, and the learning you have undergone is recognised in a graduate diploma in professional policing practice when you complete your probation.
- Pre Join Degree - Probation period is two years
If you want to study first, you can do a three-year degree in professional policing at your own expense and then apply to a force and follow a shorter on the job training programme. Being a special constable can be included in this route.
Police officers make difficult decisions which impact the public every day. They face complex problems, often in dangerous situations, with growing demands from digital investigation and vulnerable people.
The existing recruit training programme for officers at the start of their career wasn't designed with these demands in mind.
The new programme recognises constables operate at a level where they take personal responsibility for decisions in complex, unpredictable environments.
Serving officers operating at that level have learned on the job and done additional training, but have not received any formal recognition for the level of expertise they've reached.
We have worked with all the main organisations in policing to develop the new recruit training programmes. These will give probationary officers the best chance of reaching the level of expertise found in serving officers.
The empathy, compassion and common sense needed in policing will be supported, not replaced by the new programmes, and will allow officers to get recognition for the complexity of their job.
The current training undertaken by new police officers was reviewed by the College of Policing and found to be at level 6 standard (degree level). However, probationers currently only receive a level 3 qualification for completing this high level of work.
As you will have been successful through our recruitment process this means you have the potential to successfully complete the academic work involved with the training and gain the qualification in addition to qualifying as a police officer.
Will I be called an apprentice?
Regardless of whichever qualification you are studying for, you will be a probationer police officer.
Yes. As well as being a warranted North Wales Police officer, you will be a student of Bangor University and will have a student card.