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Police officer Degree Holder Entry Programme

If you already hold a degree and wish to join us as a police officer, you will need to complete our Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP).

What is the police officer Degree Holder Entry Programme?

The police officer DHEP route into policing is an exciting opportunity for talented individuals from all backgrounds to obtain a degree while working and earning a full salary.

The police officer DHEP will be delivered in partnership with the University of the West of England (UWE) and is a two-year programme where you will obtain a Level 6 Diploma in Professional Policing Practice.

The programme includes classroom delivery, practical application and tutorship and study is split between the UWE campuses and Police HQ 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.


You will be eligible to apply for our police officer DHEP if you either:

  • already hold a Bachelor’s degree in any subject, or international equivalent, at the time of application
  • are working towards a bachelor’s degree which is due to be completed September 2024

You are ineligible to apply for the DHEP route if you hold, or are working towards, the Degree in Professional Policing.

What is the role of a police officer?

As a police officer, 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.

Police officers in our Neighbourhood Policing Teams (NPTs) work to resolve our most important community issues, liaising with partners agencies, colleagues and our communities to problem solve and maintain public confidence.

As a police officer, you will:

  • respond to a variety of calls for assistance from the public
  • engage with individuals from all backgrounds
  • have problem-solving experience
  • be able to manage offenders
  • recognise any safeguarding signs or symptoms and act on any concerns
  • conduct investigations

You will have a perfect opportunity to test your creativity and initiative by having the option to create and host local events, such as community surgeries.

You will work on an end-to-end solution that benefits the local community. This joined-up way of working enables us to drive forward our plan to provide outstanding policing for everyone.

Pay scales

Candidates starting on the DHEP will commence on pay point one of the police constable pay scales:

  • Year 1 (pay point 1): £28,551
  • Year 2 (pay point 2): £29,751

This will increase annually on the anniversary of your joining date.

Programme hours

As a police officer, you will be contracted to work 40 hours a week. Both your classroom time and on the job training aligns to these working hours.

While studying, you are required to attend training at UWE and Police HQ from Monday to Friday, working either 08:00 to 16:00 or 09:00 to 17:00 as defined by your timetable upon joining.

The tutorship will be a uniformed role and you will work shifts on a four-week rota to provide 24/7 cover. Shift patterns include earlies, lates and nights.

Programme structure

To cover the policing curriculum’s key themes, you will complete the following four modules over a two-year period:

  1. Legislation, powers and policy
  2. Policing skills and procedures
  3. Developing policing practice
  4. Conducting effective investigations

In your first 14 weeks, you will undertake:

  • personal protection training
  • driver training
  • system training
  • knowledge-based learning at Police HQ and a higher education provider

You will then work with operational teams to put into practice your acquired skills and knowledge. During this time, you will work the same shift pattern as the Response teams.

Dress code

You are not required to wear uniform while attending 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.


At the end of the two-year PC DHEP, you will have gained the skills, knowledge and experience required to work as a PC and will continue to receive professional guidance and mentoring.

You will join a uniformed team, working to reduce and resolve issues affecting our communities and deliver best service to the public.

Recruitment process

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

Ready to join us?

Applications for the police officer DHEP have closed.

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

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