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Centre of Professional Policing (CoPP)

The CoPP is UEL's Centre of Excellence for Professional Policing. We collaborate with the police, the College of Policing, government, the policing sector, public agencies and charities to meet the needs of policing today and for the future in relation to learning and research.


Welcome to the CoPP

The Centre of Professional Policing (CoPP) recognises that policing is changing, adapting and evolving to meet the needs and requirements of today's and tomorrow's society. CoPP works collaboratively with police forces (including the Metropolitan Police Service) the College of Policing and other sectors in order to react and be pro-active to the changing policing landscape. CoPP adopts an innovative approach to developing policing programmes centred around teaching and development, knowledge exchange and research, and works closely with the College of Policing to implement various programmes.

CoPP is situated within the Royal Docks School of Business and Law in Stratford, London. The School sits under the College of Professional Services.

Online Harms and Cyber Crime Unit

CoPP applies a cross-disciplinary knowledge transfer ethos and works closely with UEL's fellow research institute - the Online Harms and Cyber Crime Unit (OHCC) to ensure topical and timely research.

The Police Engagement Group

We have also developed a Police Engagement Group (PEG) which provides for coordination across policing, higher education and the local community. The group feeds into our policing programmes ensuring that they are inclusive and fit for purpose with realistic assessments. This work means we can enhance existing programmes and develop new degrees and programmes that meet skills gaps and society’s needs.

What we are doing at UEL

Recognising policing as a profession

In 2011, it was recognised that policing needs to move from acting professionally to becoming a ‘profession.’

This was echoed in the Policing Vision 2025 document which identified the ‘ambition to make transformative change across the whole of policing.’ It was identified that ‘improving policing [for the public was] at the heart of the vision.’

The blueprint document for the future of policing, also acknowledged that,

‘The communities [served] are increasingly diverse and complex, necessitating a more sophisticated response to the challenges we face now and in the future. Whether it be child sexual exploitation, domestic abuse, cybercrime or new threats from serious and organised crime like human trafficking or terrorism, the leaders of the service - police and crime commissioners and chief constables – acknowledge that if we are to meet our communities’ needs, the service must continue to adapt to the modern policing environment.’ (Policing Vision 2025)

As from 2020 ‘ALL’ entrants into policing must have a degree (or be undertaking a degree which is part of the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship - PCDA).

This move will:

• Align the police to other service professions with degree entry

• Recognise the skills required to fulfil the role of policing in the 21st Century

There will be three entry routes into policing:

- A Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA)

- A degree holder entry pathway (a conversion diploma)

- A recognised policing Pre-Join degree


At UEL we are developing an innovative suite of qualifications, recognising these needs for policing, for those wishing to join or already in policing. Please see the options below.

THE PRE-JOIN ROUTE: for those aspiring to be police officers or wish to work in a similar role. For example:

  • The National Crime Agency
  • The intelligence sector
  • The security sector
  • Cybercrime, fraud, loss reduction and risk sector
  • Border Force
  • Investigatory positions - and Ombudsmen’s roles
  • The Civil Service
  • Central/Local Government (Ministries)
  • Armed Services
  • NGOs
  • Probation service
  • Prison service
  • Victim support agencies
  • Working with young offenders
  • Community and charity sectors 

The University of East London, through the College of Policing (CoPP) offers a specific pre-join entry degree into policing.* The University of East London is licensed by the College of Policing to offer this Pre-join Degree in Professional Policing.

The BSc (Hons) Professional Policing degree is a 3-year full-time degree (with a part-time option) being offered at UEL and is designed to meet the role and challenges for policing. It is for those wishing to join the police* or enter into a similar career.

*NOTE: This degree does not guarantee entry into the police service. Students will need to apply to the respective police service/force and meet the selection criteria and requirements for entry. (This degree has a currency of 5-years after completion for this purpose.)

If you wish to enter the police service via this route, you should achieve a pre-join degree before you apply to join the police service.

This pre-join programme leads to the BSc (Hons) Professional Policing degree.

Existing police officers’ opportunities: As part of this suite of qualifications, through the Centre of Professional Policing (CoPP), existing police officers with over three years of service (and out of their probation) or recently retired, are invited to apply for a top-up final year of this degree, which recognises officers’ training, knowledge, skills abilities and practice. This will lead to the BSc(Hons) Policing Studies degree.

COMING SOON: As part of our forward-thinking approach at UEL we are also developing innovative Master's degrees for experienced officers, staff and practitioners in policing (or aligned roles outside of policing).

Contact Us

Please contact Dr Sarah Jane Fox (the Policing Development Officer at UEL) for further information and opportunities relating to our exciting and innovative suite of qualifications that will shortly become available - at