After a short trial, he joined Carlisle United, initially with the club taking over his Wigan scholarship, signing on a permanent basis in July 2006. He made his league debut for Carlisle as a 85th-minute substitute against Cheltenham Town on 3 September 2006. His first League goal for the Brunton Park club came in the 5–0 victory against Gillingham. Despite impressing for Carlisle, former manager John Ward had been reluctant to play Joyce. To play regular football, Joyce joined Barrow on loan in November 2008 and made his debut for the club in the shock FA Cup second round defeat of Brentford. He remained with the club for five weeks, leaving after their FA Cup elimination by Middlesbrough in January 2009. In March 2009, he joined Northwich Victoria on a one-month loan.