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The degree holder entry programme to the Police is for graduates with a degree in any subject. At the end of the two year Degree Holder or Detective Degree Holder programme you will have gained a graduate diploma in professional policing and the opportunity to follow specialist pathways in neighbourhood policing and investigation. Each of the UK’s 45 regional police forces may recruit graduates within this framework so its best to check yourself for the region in which you may wish to be located as either a police officer or detective eg here’s the one for Cambridgeshire called Police Futures. Here’s a map of the regional forces.

Alternatively Police Now, a charitable organisation, offers an independent route for the two year graduate leadership programme to enter the Police and works in collaboration with the majority of regional forces not hosting their own schemes. They offer the National Detective or Police Officer programme known as the National Graduate Leadership Programme. The Metropolitan Police programme is one of those offered via Police Now. Hear from Miriam, a recent Oxford alum, who completed the National Graduate Leadership Programme and who is now based in the Met Police. She shares her experiences of the programme and her aims to bring about positive change from within the police. 


How to know if you are suited to this sector

The Join the Police website has an insightful ten point list of the key qualities required to succeed and a Quiz you can take to assess your suitability for yourself. However providing leadership in terms of crisis, keeping a calm and balanced approach and high levels of emotional resilience are basic requirements of such a front line role. For a list or conditions, benefits and graduate case studies use the Prospects job profile web pages.

Relevant experience

Citizens in Policing provides advice on becoming a Special Constable or Police Support Volunteer for those interested.

Further Study

Further study is not required although some graduates may undertake an MPhil in Criminology to broaden their subject knowledge and interest. Here’s details of the Cambridge MPhil as an example. Other courses are listed on the Prospects website.

Employers/Training courses

No training course is expected in advance of joining a graduate scheme although those interested may find relevant material on and You can see at a glance which of the 43 Police forces are recruiting at any time here.

You can see a combined list of all police jobs being advertised on the AllPoliceJobs website, for example here for Police Constables.

Succeeding in the application process

The application process is described on the Police Now website. The website publishes a range of paid for in depth guides to the application progress, preparing application material and handling interviews all of which may be helpful. Here’s their guide to Police Officer core competencies.

Other things to know

Once you have progressed successfully from the entry level programme you can apply to work in one of the many specialist units such as cyber crime, fire arms, fraud squad, traffic and more. Career progression within the ranks of the Police is managed within the guidelines set down in the promotion process framework.

The BlueLineJobs website has a useful breakdown of different roles in the Police.

What to do next

Now you have looked at this page, think about your next steps. Everyone's journey is different. There are many ways to move forward. Here are some actions you could take now: