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Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice

Use your degree

Transition into a policing career, regardless of which undergraduate degree you have.

Protect, Learn, Serve

Make a world of difference in your community whilst earning and learning.

Fast-track your career

Become a qualified Police Constable in just two years.

Start your policing career with Staffordshire University's policing partnerships

The fully funded graduate diploma programme allows you to earn while you learn through a combination of work and study, preparing you to launch your life-changing career with the police.

Few careers can be more rewarding than that of a police officer and from 2020, all new police officers will be required to have a degree-level qualification. Our Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice gives graduates of any degree subject area the opportunity to complete this qualification while they’re helping to fight crime and protecting people from harm as a Student Officer.

As Student Officers, the Programme allows graduates to develop their knowledge of and interests in a range of operational policing roles, allowing for potential future career advancement and discipline specialisation within the police.

Staffordshire University has partnered with four of our regional forces, Staffordshire, Warwickshire, West Mercia and West Midlands, to provide you with expert teaching and support you throughout your policing career. During the two years of your course, you will be on probation with your chosen police force.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing and Practice.

Key course information

  • 2 years

  • Full time split between study and practical police work time.

  • Multiple start dates throughout the year

Course content

Our two-year ­work-based learning programme will see you earning and learning whilst studying towards a Staffordshire University Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice. You'll have a student card and have access to all of our University facilities, as well as the support of a virtual community.

The Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice programme has been designed to ensure that our student officers meet the national standards set by the College of Policing (CoP), the professional body for all those working in the Police Service.


In year 1, you will complete the following modules:

  • Understanding Policing
  • Evidence Based Policing
  • Vulnerability and Public Protection

In year 2, you will complete the following modules:

  • Advanced Knowledge and Concepts
  • Delivering Professional Policing

Entry requirements

To complete the Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing, you will need to hold a Bachelor’s degree in any subject.

Qualifications listed in your application must be evidenced with a certificate.

What if I don't meet the requirements?

If you have not yet completed a degree, you can either:

To find out more about the police recruitment process, including the assessment centres and interviews, entry requirements or eligibility checks, please visit your chosen force's website.

Delivery and assessment


We are committed to supporting you to learn while you earn and have developed a blended learning approach to support this.

During your time as a Student Officer you will complete taught modules and be deployed operationally with your chosen police force.

Your learning will be delivered by a combination of Staffordshire University academics and police colleagues. You won’t need to travel to our Stoke-on-Trent campus for lectures, we’ll deliver academic excellence in locations across the region.

In your first eight weeks, you will spend four weeks learning in the classroom and four weeks completing your police induction where you’ll be given your uniform and welcomed into your new Student Officer role.


There are a number of elements that make up the assessment, including diploma assessment i.e. formal assessment of the diploma modules and ‘on-programme’ assessment of operational competence.


Examination feedback may take a variety of formats. However, as a minimum, generic feedback will be made available to all students who take written examinations.

Student support

Learning support

In addition to the excellent support you will receive from your course teaching team, our central Academic Skills team provides group and one-to-one help to support your learning in a number of areas. These include study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills); written English (including punctuation and grammatical accuracy); academic writing (including how to reference); research skills; critical thinking and understanding arguments; and revision, assessment and examination skills (including time management).

Additional support

Our AccessAbility Services support students with additional needs such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties. You will also have full access to our support services such as Student Guidance.


This course is paid for by your employer. You just have to choose your police force and apply for the role.


You will be supported with professional development throughout your career by both your Police Force and the University. A career in policing offers a wealth of opportunities including promotions through the ranks or lateral moves into specialist teams such as Counter-Terrorism, Firearms, and Dog Unit.

Ready to start your policing career?

Use your degree to make a real difference in your community - you can apply for the Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing directly through one of our regional partners.