College bursary scheme

The College bursary scheme is closed for applications until next year.



Since 2016, the College has run a bursary scheme to support police officers and staff undertaking higher education academic study. The scheme promotes a policing culture which values continuing learning, and where our members are equipped with the appropriate skills and knowledge to make decisions based on the best available evidence. We hope to run a similar scheme in 2020 subject to funding. We cannot confirm the timings of any future scheme or guarantee at this early stage that the eligibility criteria will remain the same in future years. We will announce further details next Spring.

Under previous schemes, subject to meeting eligibility criteria, police officers and staff in forces in England and Wales have been able to apply for grants to contribute to the cost of tuition fees, for up to two years of study. The scheme supports study at undergraduate and postgraduate level at an academic institution in the UK. The study programme must include a research component, for example, a module on social research methods, and applicants need to explain how their selected programme of study is relevant to their current role or future professional development.

Just under 150 police officers and staff from 36 forces have been offered bursary funding across the three schemes run to date (2016, 2017 and 2018). Qualifications being undertaken include both undergraduate and postgraduate level across a range of disciplines including policing, criminology, cyber-security, leadership and psychology. Recipients are undertaking courses at approximately 45 higher education institutions.  Six out of ten of those awarded funding were constables and sergeants and just under a quarter were police staff. This is the first experience of higher education study for around a third of all those supported.

You can refer to the Frequently Asked Questions from the 2019 scheme to give you a better idea re eligibility criteria and the application process. Please note however that these are subject to change and you should check details of any future scheme once these are released.

If you have any questions about the scheme or need further information, you can contact us at bursaryscheme@college.pnn.police.uk.

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  bursaryscheme@college.pnn.police.uk.

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