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Detective Degree Holder Entry Programme Postgraduate: Graduate Diploma Degree Holder Entry Programme Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice

In partnership with Bedfordshire Police, Cambridgeshire Constabulary and Hertfordshire Constabulary

Become a Detective Constable

The Detective Degree Holder Entry Programme combines on the job learning with working towards a fully funded Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice, all while earning a competitive salary and making a difference to East of England communities.

You will be a Police Officer from the day you join, and a Trainee Detective Constable following completion of your first year. You will be embarking on an exciting career in policing and on successful completion of the programme, you will have completed all the mandatory training required to be confirmed as a Detective Constable.

Two people in smart suits, one checking off something on a clipboard

Programme highlights

  • Become a police officer with your chosen force working towards becoming a Detective Constable
  • A real job with hands-on experience, combining practical on-the-job training with academic learning
  • Study while you work, with no tuition fees
  • Provides the foundation for an exciting and varied policing career

Upon successful completion of the recruitment process, frequent start dates are available. Most of your training will take place on the job with Bedfordshire Police, Cambridgeshire Constabulary or Hertfordshire Constabulary.

You’ll work alongside experienced police officers with work-based study and attendance at regional police training centres. Begin your career in policing today.

Detective Chief Inspector Sam Khanna Watch Detective Chief Inspector Sam Khanna speak about his detective career with Bedfordshire Police

Make your difference

Joining the police is life-changing. Not just for you, it will also change the lives of everyone you help. It's a challenging, varied and intensely rewarding career and you will be joining an amazing team, working together to reduce crime and keep people safe.

Key facts


Joining the police offers a wealth of exciting and rewarding experiences and career opportunities. Supporting local communities, tackling crime and safeguarding the most vulnerable people in society – no two days are the same.

The DHEP Detective provides an entry into policing with a focus on criminal investigation. The PIP Level 2 requirements are fully integrated into the design of the course, giving students the opportunity to graduate the programme as Detective Constables, subject to successfully passing the National Investigator Exam.

You’ll start your training with an initial period of classroom-based learning at a study centre in your region and join an operational policing team in which you will be working.

Your learning will cover a wide range of policing topics including officer safety training, emergency life support, safeguarding, crime investigation and operational policing skills (based on the National Policing Curriculum).

Throughout your training you’ll undertake work-based learning, where you’ll be fully supported in applying new skills and knowledge as part of your operational duties. You’ll be immersed in day-to-day policing. This will let you contextualise what you are learning and enable you to develop the skills and experience you need for this challenging role, while actively contributing to policing priorities in your area as a fully employed police officer from day one.


You’ll need to successfully complete both operational and academic assessments before being awarded the Graduate Diploma and becoming a substantive Police Constable. All assessments have been specifically designed to test the skills, knowledge and qualities required to be an officer. Academic assessments include written reflective reports and essays, in-class tests, presentations (both group and individual) and unfolding problem scenarios. You will also be required to sit the National Investigators Exam (NIE).

Alongside academic assessments, you will also need to compile an Operational Competence Portfolio over the duration of the programme and pass a number of operational assessments against a range of critical policing skills, including; providing effective initial response to a critical incident, engaging proactively with communities, conducting effective evaluation of intelligence, and providing support to vulnerable people, victims and witnesses. You’ll also be required to compile a portfolio as part of the Professionalising Investigations Programme (PIP) Level 2.

Entry requirements

To join the Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP), you will need an Honours degree from a recognised higher education institution.

Applicants will have to meet the eligibility for becoming a police officer and pass the Police SIFT® (situational judgement test and behavioural style questionnaire) followed by the Online Assessment Centre.

See the College of Policing website for more information. For the complete entry requirements including age and residency requirements, please refer to the local force web pages for latest details.

How to apply

Apply now

Applications are made directly to your chosen police force.

How to apply
Bedfordshire Police
Cambridgeshire Constabulary
Hertfordshire Constabulary