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Pre-join Degree

PLEASE NOTE: recruitment for candidates who already hold a degree in Professional Policing Practice is currently not available

If you are interested in this entry route and have yet to gain a degree in Professional Policing Practice, please -

  • contact a higher education institution who offer this degree, please see a list of providers - click here

  • complete the following expression of interest form - click here

Salary: £24,780

Overview: For university graduates with a degree in Professional Policing Practice.

Is this the route for you: This route is for those who want to join as a police officer, who have already achieved a degree in Professional Policing Practice, at a university of their choice, independent of a police force.

Before you start: Graduates have to meet the Constabulary's Pre-join Degree eligibility criteria and successfully pass the stages of the Constabulary's police officer recruitment process before progressing into the role of a police officer.

Pre-join Degree FAQs

How long is my probation period?

The average probation period is two years.

How do I contact Cumbria Constabulary about my application?

All the answers that you need to know about your stage of the recruitment process are contained within the recruitment page of the website. If you still have questions then you can email us at and we will try and respond to you within 48 hours.

I have previously applied and failed, can I apply again?

If you failed at the application form stage of the process, you can reapply.  If you attended a SEARCH assessment centre and failed then you will need to wait 6 months from the date of your failure to reapply.

Can I transfer my SEARCH pass mark?

If you have achieved at least 50% at SEARCH within the last 12 months and you have not been rejected by any other Police Force within the last 6 months, you can transfer your SEARCH pass mark. You will need to provide a copy of your application form and your SEARCH feedback report.

Can I transfer from Civil Nuclear Police (CNC)?

CNC Police Officers are not eligible to transfer to Cumbria Constabulary. Individuals who are currently officers within CNC would need to follow The Pre-Join Degree (PJD) route, Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP) or Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) to apply to become a police officers, depending on if you are a degree holder.

How fit do I have to be to become a Police Officer?

You must be physically fit and healthy to perform policing duties safely and effectively. You will need to pass a physical fitness test and a full medical examination as part of the recruitment process.

I have been travelling / living abroad for more than six months. Will this affect my application?

Applicants must have resided in the UK for a minimum of three years prior to applying. However, British citizens who have been out of the country for more than six months must obtain a letter of good conduct from the country or countries they have resided in.

I already have a holiday booked in the coming months, will this be an issue?

Leave will not be granted during the initial training and tutorship phase unless in extenuating circumstances. Please consider this if you are thinking of booking a holiday.

I am not a British Citizen. Can I still apply to join Cumbria Constabulary as a Police Officer?

You need to be a British citizen or a citizen of a country that is a member of the European Economic Area or Switzerland, or a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national who is resident in the UK and free from restrictions.

I have tattoos. Will this stop me becoming a Police Officer?

Not necessarily. Tattoos are not acceptable if they are particularly prominent, garish, offensive or undermine the dignity and authority of the role of a Police Officer.
If you have tattoos that are visible on your arms, neck, face and hands, you will need to make a declaration that you have a tattoo within the eligibility section of the application form. We will ask you to send in two photographs of each tattoo (one distance photograph clearly showing where on the above body area the tattoo is located and a second close up photograph that we can use to assess this against our standards). Each application will be considered on a case by case basis.

Do I need a driving licence?

You must have a current full UK manual driving licence (not a provisional license) to be eligible to apply to become a Police Officer in Cumbria.

I have a motoring offence(s). Can I still apply to become a Police Officer?

Cumbria Constabulary will need to assess the motoring offence. However, if you have more than 6 penalty points on your driving licence you will not be eligible to apply to join Cumbria Constabulary as a student officer.

Can I apply if I have financial issues or previous cautions or convictions?

Any financial issues / problems must be declared and will be judged on an individual basis. All previous cautions, convictions or any involvement with the police must be declared and the circumstances of the offence will be carefully considered.

Do I have to notify changes to my personal circumstances?

Any significant changes in personal circumstances during your application, such as permanent partner, new residents at your home, change of address, arrests, cautions or convictions or association with criminals should be notified to the Employee Services, Central Services HR Department.

If vetting clearance is refused can I appeal?

If vetting clearance is refused you will be advised, although specific reasons will not normally be given to protect the confidentiality of others and the security of Cumbria Constabulary. However, you can request a review, which is carried out by a person independent of the vetting decision marker.

I have a medical condition but does that prevent me from joining Cumbria Constabulary?

It will depend upon the nature of the medical condition. We require that all our new officers undergo a medical assessment with our Occupational Health Unit. You will need to pass the medical assessment to be eligible to join Cumbria Constabulary.

Can I become a Police Officer if I wear glasses or contact lenses?

Click here to read our vision standards.

Can you become a Police Officer if you are colour blind?

Those with colour blindness are eligible to become Police Officers, but would be restricted from fulfilling certain posts, such as traffic officer or firearms officer. If your colour blindness is monochrome, you would be unable to apply.

If I have a disability can I apply to become a police officer?

Cumbria Constabulary welcomes applications from people with disabilities as defined by the Equality Act 2010.If you consider yourself to have a disability, please inform us of the type of reasonable adjustments you might need to assist you in participating in the recruitment and selection process. Cumbria Constabulary will try to make the reasonable adjustments required where practicable.

I have epilepsy. Can I still apply?

You can still apply to become a Police Officer. We will look at each case on its merits and take guidance from our Occupational Health Unit.

I have diabetes. Can I still apply?

You can still apply as long as your diabetes is under control. Your doctor will need to supply a medical report for clarification.

I suffer from dyslexia, can I still apply?

Yes, you can apply.  However, to allow reasonable adjustments to be made such as extra time or the use of a computer at SEARCH, you will need to provide us with a full comprehensive professional Dyslexia report.

I have a BMI greater than 30. Can I still apply?

Candidates who are successful following the assessment centre and final interview, and have a BMI of 30 or above will be contacted by Occupational Health and asked to provide evidence of their body fat composition; if this does not exceed 25% for male candidates and 35% for female candidates they will be permitted to progress to the medical stage. Those with a body fat percentage of >25% will be deferred until they reach the required level.

Is there a height restriction for police officers?

No. There is no minimum or maximum height restrictions.

I have failed the fitness test. Can I still become a police officer?

No. For you to progress to the next stage, you must pass all parts of the fitness test. If you do not pass the test at your first attempt you will be allowed to re-take the test after a period of training.

If you fail to pass the test after three attempts your application will fail and you will not be eligible to re-apply for six months.

Where will I be posted?

The Chief Constable reserves the right to post you anywhere within the Cumbria Constabulary area. On appointment you will be assigned to one of the three geographical areas: North, South or West. 

Your posting will be decided according to the operational need for Police Officers in each area at the time of your appointment. You will be posted to this area for a minimum of 2 years in order to provide continuity and to support consolidation of your skills and experience within your probationary period.

What hours will I work as a Police Officer?

Police officers work a 40 hour week. Depending on where you are posted, the shift pattern may vary. A shift pattern will consist of early shifts, late shifts and night shifts, bank holidays and weekend working. Operational demands may require your shift / rest day to be cancelled and re-scheduled at short notice.

How much annual leave will I get?

The annual leave entitlement is 176 hours (22 days) for less than two years' service, rising to 200 hours per year (25 days) for more than two years relevant service. After that the entitlements rise in five year increments.

Pre-Join Degree Eligibility

As a Police Constable you will be responsible for the protection of life and property, the prevention and detection of crime and the maintenance of public order through a range of sworn powers in line with organisational standards.

To be eligible to apply all applicants must:

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

• You need to be a British citizen or a citizen of a country that is a member of the European Economic Area or Switzerland, or a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national who is resident in the UK and free from restrictions.

• Must possess a Full UK Manual Driving Licence., with no more than 6 points

• Hold a degree in Professional Policing Practice. You can obtain this degree at a number of independent higher education institutes, please see a list of providers - click here   Alternatively, if you hold a degree in another subject you may apply to join the Constabulary's Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP). If you would like to obtain your Professional Policing Practice degree though our apprenticeship programme, you can apply to join the Constabulary's, Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA).
• Not have any tattoos which cause offence, are excessive or considered unprofessional.

•  Any previous criminal convictions or cautions (including those spent), fixed penalty notices, traffic offences or any involvement with the Police must but be declared.

• Not be registered bankrupt, subject to CCJs or IVAs.

• You must have lived in the UK for three continuous years, immediately prior to application. 

•  Not be a member of the British National Party (BNP) or plus other organisations such as Combat 18 or The National Front.