Before joining Merseyside Police, university never appealed to me – neither did the student lifestyle. But when I heard that I could gain a degree in an area that was directly relevant to my career as part of the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA), I realised that I could get that degree without being a full-time student.
In fact, studying alongside the role suits me very well. The research and analysis I do as part of the university degree really helps in my role. Having a theoretical understanding of the practical work I do means I can identify any underlying issues at play in each situation and better prepare myself to reach effective solutions.
“My university studies help me to better understand the situations I face in my role.”
As well as the academic side of the role, the support I receive from colleagues is crucial to my success. Even small things, like having consistent tutors throughout the apprenticeship, mean that I feel I can speak up if I have any questions or worries. And our guest lecturers ensure that we always cover new and interesting topics in class. So, whether it’s advice from my university tutors, conversations with my colleagues or feedback from my superiors, the friendly yet professional atmosphere allows me to develop my skills as a Police Officer.
There have been challenges along the way – the main one being my return to education. Before the PCDA, I hadn’t studied in a while, so the research, analysis and write-ups didn’t come naturally to me. But with the help of my tutors, I was able to reflect and gain the confidence I needed to learn new skills.
Before applying, I would really recommend researching the role and thinking about your ambitions. There are loads of different opportunities in Merseyside Police, as well as the possibility to build a long-term career. Personally, the PCDA has allowed me to earn a wage whilst I learn the skills I need to thrive in a unique and enjoyable role.