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Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP)

Recruiting under this scheme is open!

Salary: £24,780

Overview: A two-year Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice (PPPD).

Is this route for you: This route is for anyone who already holds a degree in any subject area and would like to work as an operational police officer for Cumbria Constabulary whilst obtaining a diploma.

Before you start: To be accepted onto the DHEP, candidates have to meet the Constabulary's DHEP eligibility criteria and successfully pass the stages of the Constabulary's police officer recruitment process.

What's involved: The PPPD involves a two-year academic programme with academic modules, course work and exams, with a total academic credit value of 120 credits at Level 6. This coincides with serving as a student training police officer, with active frontline duties within Cumbria Constabulary. The normal working hours of a Police Officer are 40 hours per week.

As per Police Regulations an officer can apply for part time working and the request wil lbe considered following the initial delivery phase and the officer is confirmed as independent in post.

Should an officer move to part time working during their probationary period, the length of the probationary period will be extended on a pro rata basis.

Provider: The academic learning for the DHEP is provided by our *Higher Education Provider Partner the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan).

Support: Student officers working towards a diploma will receive support from a UCLan tutor for academic studies, and officers and staff from Cumbria Constabulary will support with the operational role.

Officers will receive one-on-one support from their UCLan tutor.

How to apply: Please complete this application form and email to

If you have any questions regarding the interviews/SEARCH assessment centre or would like to visit one of the stations, please contact our SPOCS to arrange

North SPOC Carlisle station - Sergeant Paula Dixon

South SPOC Barrow station - Sergeant Caroline Milligan

West SPOC Workington station - Sergeant Jenny Mossop

Degree Holder Entry Programme FAQs

How long is the DHEP?

The DHEP is two years long to allow for conversion of your degree to a graduate diploma in Professional Policing Practice. These two years will be your probation as a student officer as well. After the two years you will graduate from both the diploma and your probation.

Will I be a serving officer as well as training?

Yes, for the majority of your time you will be in force on frontline duties.

How much time will I spend studying in a class room?

An officer of the DHEP programme will receive protected learning time in order to achieve the Occupational Competence Portfolio and Level 6 Diploma in Professional Policing Practice. This will include off the job learning, such as in lessons and also include work-related projects, which would be agreed by you and the Constabulary, which could help tackle local policing issues.

Will I have someone to support me with my learning?

Yes, each recruit will be allocated a tutor. They will provide you with support via email and face-to-face meetings at the Constabulary's HQ in Penrith.

What will I be assessed on?

Recruits will be assessed on their practical work, assessments, course work and exams.

What is the recruitment process before I start the DHEP?

Before new recruits join the DHEP, you will be required to attend an interview at a designated Cumbria Constabulary police station and, successfully pass the SEARCH Assessment Centre to test for initial abilities including common sense approaches and reading and writing skills. There are also vetting and fitness tests that need to be passed before being enrolled onto the DHEP programme (note places are limited in each DHEP intake, enrolment onto the DHEP is subject to availability and, should the programme be popular, candidates may experience a waiting period before being offered a place).

What age do I have to be to apply?


To apply to the police service you must be at least 17 years old. You must be 18 at the time of appointment.

I don't want to study towards a diploma, can I join under the old scheme?

Unfortunately not, the old scheme is closed to new applicants, and has been replaced by the DHEP.

Which Higher Education Institute will provide the diploma?

The diploma is provided by the Constabulary's HEI partner, UCLan.

Do I have to attend a university for lectures?

No, UCLan lecturers will hold lessons at a Cumbria Constabulary site, this will usually be the Carleton Hall site in Penrith. 

Do I have to pay for the diploma?

No, your diploma will be funded as part of the programme.

Will I have a graduation ceremony?

Yes, this will be organised by UCLan and will be held at Preston with graduates from other UCLan higher education courses.

Visit the police officer FAQs page for general FAQs on becoming a police officer.

DHEP Eligibility

  • You must be at least 17 years old to apply. You must be 18 at the time of appointment.
  • Applicants should be British Citizens, or passport holders from a full EU Member State. You can also apply if you're a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national who is resident in the UK with indefinite leave to remain.
  • You must have lived in the UK for three continuous years, immediately prior to application. 
  • Have previously achieved an Undergraduate or Bachelor's Degree Level 6 with the following classifications-Honours Level Degree (either First Class honours, Upper Second Class Honours, Lower Second Class Honours and Third Class Honours) or an Ordinary Degree (not in Professional Policing Practice). A Master's Degree at Level 7 is also acceptable.
  • Not be a member of the British National Party (BNP) plus other organisations such as Combat 18 or The National Front.
  • If you have a criminal record, this doesn't mean you're automatically ineligible; it depends on the nature of your conviction. Please declare any caution or conviction on your application form, failure to do so will result in failing vetting due to integrity issues.
  • You must not be registered bankrupt with outstanding debts, have outstanding County Court Judgements against you, or be subject to a current Individual Voluntary Agreement (IVA).
  • Tattoos which are offensive, garish, prominent or numerous are not acceptable. Please supply photos and measurements of any tattoos along with your application, as per application guidance.
  • You must hold a full manual driving licence prior to commencing with Cumbria Constabulary.
  • You may apply to more than one police force at a time.