New Lancashire police officers now need a degree before they can walk the beat.
The announcement came on Thursday, ahead of a new cohort of officers who will begin degree-level training at UCLan this summer.
The change is part of Lancashire Constabulary's move to the "Police Education Qualifications Framework".
Lancashire's force made the change in advance of nationwide reforms to police training in 2020, which authorities hope will help "reflect the high level of service required from an officer".
Currently, entry requirements for new police officers varies between different forces.
The "Police Education Qualifications Framework" will standardise the training level needed for recruits across the country.
Ch Con Andy Rhodes said: “We are pleased to announce our partnership with the University of Central Lancashire to deliver our PCDA and DHEP programmes.
"These are challenging times for policing at the moment and the new process acknowledges the ever-increasing complexities in crime today.”
The three new "routes of entry" for police officers are:
- The Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA), a three-year professional policing qualification in Professional Policing Practice with UCLan.
- The Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP), a two-year academic qualification in Professional Policing Practice with UCLan - for applicants who already have a degree.
- The Pre-Join Degree Route, for candidates who already hold a degree in Professional Policing. After being awarded the degree, any graduate could apply to join Lancashire Constabulary as an officer and be trained in operational duties.
The Constabulary say the salary for all entry routes will be £23,586, and have confirmed that funding for the PCDA and DHEP will be provided.
But any students undertaking the Pre-Join Degree would have to fund their studies themselves.
Rachel Cragg, Pro Vice-Chancellor at UCLan, added: “This builds on our existing relationship with the Constabulary where we are successfully delivering the Lancashire Forensic Science Academy (LFSA).
“UCLan is an experienced provider of Degree Apprenticeships across a range of disciplines to enable public service and private sector employers to develop their workforce."