14 March 2019

Launch of the College bursary scheme 2019

Today, the College is launching the 4th year of its bursary scheme which gives police officers and staff across England and Wales the opportunity to apply for financial support towards their higher education.

Officers and staff have until Monday 15 April 2019 to apply for funding for the academic years 2019/20 and 2020/21.

Over the last three years we have received nearly 450 applications and have awarded almost 150 bursaries, making the scheme very competitive. We have supported officers and staff to undertake undergraduate and postgraduate study across a range of subjects including criminology, policing, cybercrime, security, leadership and vulnerability.

We particularly welcome applications from frontline officers and staff. Almost two thirds of bursaries have been awarded to constables and sergeants, and a quarter to police staff. For many, bursary-supported study has been their first experience of higher education.

Bursary applicants can apply for up to £2,000 per year for up to two years of study: a maximum of £4,000. This criteria represents a change from previous schemes, allowing us to share the funding among a wider pool of recipients, as most applicants did not apply for the full amount available.  

Rachel Tuffin, Director at the College of Policing, said:

"We are delighted to announce the opening of our fourth bursary scheme which offers financial support for officers and staff who want an opportunity to develop and contribute to evidence-based policing. The scheme is open to everyone irrespective of rank, grade or existing qualifications. It has funded people working towards degrees who have not studied since school, as well as those working towards PhDs in topics ranging from control rooms to the recovery of bodies from water. 

We are committed to supporting professional development in policing, and look forward to supporting more officers and staff in their studies."

Previous bursary recipients have emphasised that potential applicants should not be put off by having been out of education for some time. 

DC Paul Cawsey felt unsure about the prospect of higher education study:

Paul used the College's Recognition of Prior Learning and Experience (RPL) credit estimator to identify how his learning and experience could be used to gain credits towards academic study. He provided a number of critical reflections on his practice which were assessed by the university to receive accreditation. Paul said that this removed his concerns about not meeting the entry criteria. 

Further details of RPL accreditation can found here.

Yakub Ismail emphasises the benefit to both the force and to recipients in focusing their research on the area in which they work: 

Holly Bluck applied for the bursary to fund a Batchelor of Science programme despite having been away from formal education since her GCSEs. 

She has been able to apply her knowledge and experience of investigating cases involving abuse and domestic murder to her academic studies on forensic psychology at the Open University. Holly's studies have already had a positive impact on her work:

Bursary recipient Jo Traynor, a control room supervisor from Essex Police, is also using her studies to help with her job back in force. She is using her PhD to investigate a problem she identified in her day to day role. Her research is seeking to understand how information changes as it flows from callers to call handlers to radio dispatchers and why these changes may be occurring in order to understand how improvements could be made to the process. 

If you choose to apply, the College provides a range of other support resources for police officers and staff carrying out academic study:

The Academic Support Network

​The Academic Support Network was launched in September 2016 as a POLKA community.  The aim behind the Network was to create a peer-support system for police officers and staff who were undertaking academic study and who needed advice and support from a wellbeing point of view. ​ ​

The Policing and Crime Reduction Research Map
The Research Map plots details of relevant ongoing policing related research at Masters level and above. It is intended to increase opportunities for collaboration, and to enable forces to engage directly with researchers working on topics of interest to them.

Research surgeries
Research Surgeries are an opportunity to get bespoke advice and guidance from specialist College staff on any research issue facing you or your force.

Officers and staff have until Monday 15 April 2019 to submit their applications for funding for academic years 2019/20 and 2020/21.

Further details of the bursary scheme including eligibility criteria and the application process can be found on the College Membership site.

If you are not already a College member, you can sign up here.

If you have any questions about the scheme please refer to the Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ). If this does not answer your questions, please email bursaryscheme@college.pnn.police.uk