College bursary scheme

Our College bursary scheme application window is now closed.

If you would like to be kept informed about future bursary schemes, please email and ask to be added to the College What Works mailing list


About the College bursary scheme

We are keen to promote a culture in policing which values continuing learning and where officers and staff are equipped with the appropriate skills and knowledge to make decisions based on the best available evidence.

If you want to study at higher education level (BSc/BA, Masters, PhD) you can apply to the College bursary scheme for a contribution towards two years of your course fees. Due to the high level of interest and competitive nature of the assessment process, we recommend that you also explore other funding options for your studies in the event that your application is not successful (see 'the small print' below).

Qualifications undertaken at undergraduate and postgraduate level by current bursary recipients cover a range of disciplines including policing, criminology, cyber-security, leadership and psychology.

To apply for a bursary you must be currently serving as a police officer or member of staff in a police force in England and Wales, or a National Crime Agency employee.

Your course needs to:

As part of the application process, you will have to explain how your studies will be relevant to your current role or future professional development.

Further Information
Over 270 police officers and staff from 44 forces have been offered bursary funding since the scheme began in 2016. Six out of ten of those awarded funding were constable and sergeant rank and around a quarter were to police staff, with the remaining bursaries going to inspector rank or above. Around a third of bursaries went to officers and staff who had not studied at higher education level before.  Follow the links on the page to read about people's experience of the College bursary scheme.

You may also be able to get recognition of your prior learning and experience to count towards a qualification. Check out the College's Recognition of Prior Learning pages. 

For further information, please read our bursary scheme Frequently Asked Questions.

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The Academic Support Network on Knowledge Hub may be helpful for accessing peer-to-peer support if you are undertaking, or considering undertaking academic study. (If you do not have a Knowledge Hub account, you will need to set one up here. It's free and open to anyone with a pnn email account).

If you have any questions about the scheme or need further information, you can contact us at  

The small print

  • You can apply for a bursary to contribute towards tuition fees for a maximum of two years.

  • This year's scheme will cover study undertaken in the period September 2021 to August 2023, that begins by 31 March 2022.

  • You can apply for up to £2,000 of funding per year, a maximum of £4,000 in total.

  • The bursary fund is limited and the College will assess each application on its merits. It is not guaranteed that we will award bursaries to all applications that meet the eligibility criteria. See here for other potential funding options.


See what several recipients from previous bursary schemes have to say by reading their case studies.

Detective Constable Holly Bluck, West Midlands Police
BSc in Forensic Psychology, Open University
Holly has worked for West Midlands Police for over 10 years and had been out of education since taking her GCSEs. Holly received a College bursary in 2018 and also received an award from the Honourable Society of Knights of the Round Table.  Read more here.

Acting Inspector Yakub Ismail, Leicestershire Police
MSc in Police Leadership, Strategy and Organisation, University of Derby

Yakub started his MSc in 2017 having served with Leicestershire Police for over 20 years. Yakub received a College bursary in 2018. His advice to potential applicants is to think about how research can contribute to your area of work and bring benefits back into policing.  Read more here.

Detective Constable Paul Cawsey, Greater Manchester Police
BA in Policing, Liverpool John Moores University

Paul used the College of Policing’s Recognition of Prior Experience and Learning process to turn the skills and knowledge he had gained during his 10-year policing career into academic credits.  Read more here.

You can find links to additional case studies of previous bursary recipients at the top right of this page.

We would like to hear from organisations who may be interested in part funding bursaries for police officers and staff in future years. If you are interested in discussing this and finding out what the potential benefits could be for your organisation please do contact us at

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