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Detective Degree Holder Entry Programme

If you wish to join us as a detective constable, you will need to complete our Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP).

What is the Degree Holder Entry Programme?

The Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP) route into policing is an exciting opportunity for talented individuals from all backgrounds to obtain a degree whilst working and earning a full salary.

You will be eligible to apply for our Degree Holder Entry Programme if you already hold or are nearing completion of a Bachelor’s degree (or international equivalent) in any subject.

The DHEP programme will be delivered in partnership with a local Higher Education Institute (HEI) and is a two year programme which culminates in the achievement of a Level 6 Diploma in Professional Policing Practice.

As this entry route currently leads to becoming a detective, entry into the National Investigator’s Exam is also a requirement during Year 2 of study. The programme includes classroom delivery, practical application and tutorship and study is split between the HEI campuses and Police Headquarters in Portishead.

You will be classed as a full-time student and so will be able to take advantage of student benefits.

The learning is fully funded but officers remain in probation for the two year duration of the programme.

What is the role of a detective constable?

As a detective constable you will be motivated by making a difference in your local community and you will play a critical role in supporting the most vulnerable victims of crime.

Detectives manage our complex and serious investigations and work as investigative experts in a number of different investigation types including theft, fraud, cybercrime, domestic abuse and sexual assault.

As a detective you will:

  • gather evidence, interview suspects and conduct victim and witness statements
  • prepare case files and attend court to present evidence
  • engage with a wide variety of people
  • communicate with care and compassion
  • demonstrate resilience and tenacity, whilst retaining a focus on delivering a positive result and adapting to new developments

Your role as a detective will allow you to challenge yourself and ultimately be rewarded, knowing that you have made a difference to the lives of those that you have supported.

Pay scales

Candidates starting on the Degree Holder Entry Programme will commence on pay point one of the police constable pay scales. This will increase annually on the anniversary of your joining date.

  • Year 1 (pay point 1): £24,177
  • Year 2 (pay point 2): £25,269
Programme hours

As a detective, you will be contracted to work 40 hours per week and both your classroom and on the job training aligns to these working hours.

Whilst studying, you are required to attend training at the HEI or Police Headquarters Monday to Friday working either 08:00-16:00 or 09:00-17:00 as defined by your timetable upon joining.

Whilst in tutorship and working as an operational detective you will work to a four week rotating shift pattern including early shifts (08:00 – 17:00), late shifts (14:00-23:00) and approximately 1 night shift per month.

Programme structure

As well as working with our investigative teams, you will complete 4 modules over a 2 year period, covering the key themes of the policing curriculum:

  1. Legislation, Powers and Policy.
  2. Policing Skills and Procedures.
  3. Developing Policing Practice.
  4. Conducting Effective Investigations.

In your first 14 weeks of learning, you will undertake personal protection training, driver training, system training as well as knowledge based learning at Police Headquarters and a Higher Education Provider. You will then work with operational teams to put into practice your acquired skills and knowledge.

You are not required to wear uniform whilst in lectures. There will be occasions when you will be required to wear either a uniform or smart business attire when working on police premises or on practical assessments; you will be notified in good time by your lecturer.

Where required the appropriate uniform will be provided upon appointment.

Recruitment process

To find out how to apply for a police officer role, view our detective constable recruitment process.


To make a recruitment related query, contact our Talent Acquisition team.

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