Step Up to Policing


Step Up to Policing is a flexible distance learning course for those who want to pursue a policing career but don’t yet meet the entry requirements of the Police Constable Apprenticeship programme. This course will help you to develop key academic skills and has been specifically designed for pre-degree learners who wish to progress onto a policing degree programme here at Staffordshire University.

All new police officers are now required to have, or be working towards, a relevant degree-level qualification. If you do not hold the required qualifications to get on to a university course, Step Up to Policing is a Level 3 qualification that will equip you with the skills required to succeed at degree-level study, along with a basic subject-specific knowledge of contemporary policing. You will be supported by expert academics and ex-police professionals who will help you develop the skills and confidence required for modern-day policing. This course is delivered online with live interactive sessions and recorded content which you can access in your own time, enabling you to complete the qualification around your current commitments. (Please note that it is recommended that you attend the live lectures at the scheduled times to get the most out of the course.)

The course has been designed to be as flexible as possible for learners. With all materials available online, there is no need to physically attend the campus. Compared with other access courses, this course has been designed specifically for applicants who would like to pursue a career in policing. It provides subject-specific knowledge and examples, enabling learners to apply the academic skills in context.

The duration of the course is shorter than most access courses, allowing learners to pursue their career goals within a reasonable timeframe. The course is also more affordable than other access courses, with bursaries available to candidates who meet the relevant criteria.

Course aims

The aims of the module are to enable the learner to:

  • Develop and evidence self-reflection skills, identifying areas for personal development, using feedback to inform future learning plans
  • Develop academic skills and recognise how to apply these to enable independent learning
  • Critically analyse key issues in relation to policing topics, recognise complexity and make informed judgements on the merits of particular arguments

The module topics include: Preparation for Higher Education, Study Skills, Note-Taking, Time Management, Academic Reading, Academic Writing, Essay Structure, Critical Thinking, Self-Reflection, Researching Policing Careers, Wellbeing and Resilience, Introduction to Contemporary Policing.


There are two assessments:

  1. Presentation – a 15 minute pre-recorded PowerPoint presentation designed to assess students’ critical self-reflection skills in professional and academic context (Learning Outcomes 1 and 2)
    Identify three skills that you would like to develop and explain how they will help you to be successful in both higher education and professional policing.
  2. Essay – a 1000 word essay designed to assess academic skills including research, referencing, evaluation and construction of a structured argument (Learning Outcomes 2 and 3):


Completion of the course provides students the opportunity to apply for undergraduate courses in policing, or the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship. The policing-specific content is designed to give students an awareness of the role of a police officer and critically reflect on their own skills necessary for that job role.

Student Testimonials

Sumra Noman was a member of our first cohort and currently works in a police staff role at West Mercia Police.

Sumra said: “This course has really helped with boosting my confidence. I didn't think I could study at a higher education level however this course has changed the way I see myself. Thank you to Phil, he was a great tutor and also the academic skills support team which have really helped with my assignments. It's been great.”

Contact us

If you have any questions about this course, please email

Delivery method
Distance learning
One full day online contact time each week (not available part-time)

10 weeks

Start date

September, January, April

University Foundation Certificate

Entry requirements

Grade C/4 Maths and English are required

International: Equivalent to GCSE Maths and English Grade C/4 or above (NARIC statement of comparability required)

Applicants must be at least 18 years old at the time of application and have attempted to complete their Level 3 qualifications. This course is not offered as an alternative to attending a Further Education institution (College or Sixth Form). All 16-19 year olds have government funding available to them to complete Level 3 qualifications and we recommend that this route is taken in the first instance. 



Your fees cover access to Microsoft Office programs, course materials, Staffordshire University support services, tuition and tutor support.


Sally Challoner

Work Based Education Officer

Sally's profile

Philip Wagg


Phil is a lecturer in the Institute of Policing and Course Leader for the Step Up to Policing programme at Staffordshire University.

Philip's profile

How to apply

Apply via our online application system. You will be given the opportunity to select your desired start date whilst completing the application form. 

Apply online 

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