11 March 2021

College bursary 2021

On 8 March, we launched our sixth annual bursary scheme.  The application window is now closed.

​Our scheme, which is now closed, supports those studying at undergraduate and postgraduate levels across a wide range of subjects and disciplines. Since 2016, we have provided funding for 270 bursaries to recipients from varied ranks and roles: six out of ten of those awarded funding have been constable and sergeant rank and around a quarter were members of police staff.  We are committed to supporting the continuing professional development of police officers and staff and our scheme supports those who have not studied since school, through to those undertaking PhDs.

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Sergeant Kelly Reed, from Thames Valley Police was awarded a bursary under last year's scheme. The first lockdown gave her the opportunity to reconsider higher education studies and she started her Crime and Justice Master's at The Open University in April 2020.  

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Since embarking on her Master's programme Kelly has developed a routine of studying before work and planning ahead for completing her assignments. Open University tutorials have all been virtual, and Kelly has enjoyed interaction between tutors and students, meeting people from all over the world without traveling anywhere! Kelly has completed her first three assignments and looks forward to the next academic year when she will be completing a dissertation.

Combining studying with work and family life can be challenging, requiring good organisational skills, but many bursary students tell us it is also rewarding. Sergeant Jagwant Singh received bursary funding last year when he was already midway through a Master's programme. Jagwant is currently completing the dissertation which is an evaluation of the College's Managed Learning Environment. He will be interviewing fellow officers in Leicestershire Police and has made contacts with College staff responsible for the system. Jagwant's year has been dominated by the additional policing demands caused by the pandemic but he has managed to keep his studies on track and looks forward to more face to face contact with his lecturers later this year. Busy operational commitments have meant that Jagwant has honed his organisational skills to complete assignments in segments, and says that being interested in what you are studying is the key to success.

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For many, bursary-supported study is the recipient's first experience of higher education and the bursary application process can be a bit daunting. Previous recipients have some tips for others thinking of getting their applications in by the deadline on 29 March 21.  
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If you are wondering what qualifications you may need to apply for a higher education programme, it can be helpful to use the Recognition of Prior Experience and Learning (RPL) Scheme, to see if your prior experience and learning may give you academic credits towards a recognised academic or professional qualification. Academic credits may reduce the length of the academic programme, for example from three years to two, which will also reduce your tuition fees. You can use our Credit Estimator to find out more.

Universities sometimes require candidates to write about their learning from previous courses (including police training) and policing experience as part of their application for RPL. Acting Detective Inspector Dan McCarthy, from Sussex Police used RPL to reduce his undergraduate degree in Applied Investigation from a three year programme to just one year. He discussed his previous experience as an investigator, plus the courses he'd completed in policing roles with course leaders at the University of Sunderland. Dan went on to carry out research on the impact of silence in 'no comment' or completely silent interviews and explored the psychological impact on the interviewers. He has shared his research findings as a long read article in the second issue of Going equipped which will be published in April 21.

Enquiries should be sent to bursaryscheme@college.pnn.police.uk 

If you are already studying or thinking of studying, we also provide a number of services to support you:

The Academic Support Network
​The Academic Support Network offers a peer-support system for police officers and staff who are undertaking academic study.​

​'How to' research guides
The College has produced a series of 'how to' guides which include a guide to conducting focus groups as well as hints and tips on designing and carrying out surveys.

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.



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