In some forces it is looking like you may need a Foundation Degree in Policing in order to have the best chance of being allowed to apply....the bottom line is that graduates from this course have already paid for a good proportion of their training, so the force doesn't have to.
Yeah Cumbria do this now where the students pay £7k! And voulenteer as a special for two years then if they get in they don't have to do basic training (well only about 3 weeks of it)
Only thing is, for the last 3 years it's been run, no one has got a job out of it and have all been told they can stay on as specials. You still have to do the same application progress of the papersift and assessment centre and don't think you can just keep applying if you don't pass the first time, I know one person who was given two goes and has now been told they have to apply like anyone else and will have to undergo basic training.
Seems like a no starter to me! Why waste thousands of pounds and a couple of years of your life when you could be out there earning a wage until they open recruitment.