Guidance on applying for a Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship

Written by South Yorkshire Police

Role: Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA)

Salary: £19,164 – £24,780

Hours: 40 per week

Be the future of South Yorkshire Police

Being a police constable is not just a job. It’s a career.

South Yorkshire Police is recruiting for the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) with projected start dates from January 2023 onwards.

Becoming a police constable is a career like no other.  Not only will you be taking on challenges that will change your life, but you’ll be working to protect the people and communities of South Yorkshire.  This is a career where you’ll travel between urban cities and rural towns, meeting people from all walks of life.

Whether you’re a sixth form, or college leaver, a supermarket worker or ex-military, we know that you’ll have plenty of transferable skills which you can bring to a career with the police.  Things like following process, social and emotional intelligence, conversation skills and the ability to diffuse a situation are all skills we search for in our candidates.  If you have the relevant experience and strengths, all you have to do is apply.

Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA)

South Yorkshire Police is offering a three-year apprenticeship in partnership with Sheffield Hallam University.  The apprenticeship will combine the opportunity to work and learn the role of a front-line officer whilst gaining a Degree in Professional Policing Practice.

To be eligible for this apprenticeship you must meet at least one of the following entry qualification criteria:

  • Have achieved a standard of education equivalent to a Level 3 qualification which equates to 80 UCAS points (or a full level 4 or 5 qualification) – these points could be from your A Levels or Level 3 Diplomas. Please check your UCAS points here;  
  • Are currently studying towards A Levels or a Level 3 qualification which equates to 80 UCAS points and are due to complete your studies by August 2022.
  • Have achieved an academic or vocational qualification gained outside England and Wales, which is considered by the UK National Recognition Information Centre (NARIC) to be a Level 3 qualification which equates to 80 UCAS points.
  • Have experience as a PCSO, Special Constable, Call Handler (within a Police Force) or Investigation Officer within the last 3 years or
  • Have served in the military, armed forces and have successfully completed the minimum term of service (usually 4 years) and have achieved an exemplary reference on discharge. You will be asked to complete a 500-word academic assessment exercise during the recruitment process.

Applicants who don’t hold 80 UCAS points would not usually be accepted onto the course.  However, there may be times when other equivalent qualifications may be considered and extensive relevant work experience may be considered, such applications are assessed individually and will be required to undertake a 500-word academic assessment.

Relevant work experience could come from a wide variety of professions both public and private sector and could include transferable experience and skills for example: where you have to demonstrate an ability to solve problems or make informed decisions, research, retain and convey complex information, managed a varied workload or projects, worked under pressure or to tight time scales.

You will need to provide proof of your UCAS points or your predicted grades with your initial application to South Yorkshire Police.  Your application will not be assessed by Sheffield Hallam University without them.

Maths and English

As you are joining an apprenticeship you will be required to provide proof of Level 2 Maths and English by the end of your apprenticeship.  

The acceptable qualifications are:

  • GCSE or iGCSE at grade C/level 4 or above
  • Functional Skills Level 2
  • Key Skills Level 2

Please be aware that if you cannot provide proof of your qualification within the first 12 weeks of your course you will be enrolled onto functional skills to complete further study.

If you hold a degree or are currently studying for one you will need to apply for our Degree Holder Entry Programme.  Please visit the SYP website to find out more about this entry route.

Eligibility criteria

On application all applicants:

  • Must be 17 or above at the time of application, however you will need to be 18 before appointment.
  • Have resided in the UK for three continuous years immediately prior to application.
  • Must be either a British citizen, a citizen of the EU or other states in the EEA, or a Commonwealth citizen or foreign national with indefinite leave to remain in the UK.
  • Ideally, hold a full manual driving licence, applications will be accepted if you don’t have a full manual driving licence, however you will be expected to have taken and passed your test before appointment.
  • Must not have tattoos on your head, face neck or hands.
  • Cannot be a member of the BNP, National Front or Combat 18.

Please download the full eligibility criteria below:

Joining the police force is a life choice. There will be a lot expected of you, especially when it comes to working nights and unsociable hours, but no day is the same. This is a career that will keep you on your toes; it is a challenge, but the reward is immense.

If you are interested in joining the Police force but do not have any UCAS points, look into the Call Handler and Dispatch Officer role available.


  • Starting salary of either £19,164 or £24,780 depending on qualifications/accreditation/experience
  • Adjustment grant for applicants who can demonstrate a reduction in salary on starting with the force
  • Annual leave of 22 days increasing with length of service plus bank holidays
  • Access to a generous pension scheme
  • Training and development opportunities
  • Employee assistance service (accessible 24/7) covering a wide range of health, wellbeing and lifestyle issues
  • Support and advice from our Occupational Health Unit
  • Access to established staff support groups.

Frequently asked questions

Please download the file below to view South Yorkshire Police’s guidance and advice in response to frequently asked questions:


Closing date: 2 May 2022

For further information about the role or for any queries, please contact the Talent Acquisition Team on  

Diversity & Inclusion:

We are an organisation that welcome, support and value those from underrepresented communities.  From difference comes invaluable life experiences, ideas and ways of thinking – and by encouraging individuality we are working towards serving our communities and understanding our public better.  Please visit our diversity and inclusion page to find out more:

Positive Action – Join SYP – SYP (

Apply for this role on the South Yorkshire Police website.