London is one of the most exciting and diverse cities in the world. Policing it is no easy task, but being a Met police officer is one of the most rewarding careers you can have.
As a police officer or police constable (PC), you’ll have the opportunity to make a positive difference to the lives of Londoners every day. You'll build relationships with local communities, reduce crime, support victims, and keep people safe. No day is ever the same but every day you’ll have the satisfaction of knowing that what you do has made a real difference to the lives of Londoners.
It takes a huge number of people from all sorts of different backgrounds with a wide range of skills and experience to police London. Many people have the potential to be great police officers but don’t yet have the entry qualifications to apply to be a police constable (PC).
What is the Level 3 Access to HE Diploma (Policing)?
The Level 3 Access to Higher Education (HE) Diploma (Policing) is a nationally recognised qualification. It's for people who are considering a career as a police officer but who don't yet have the necessary entry qualifications, such as A levels or BTECs. It's also designed for people who want to apply to university or other higher education courses.
By undertaking the diploma, you can achieve the entry level qualifications you need to be eligible to apply for the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship (PCDA) and related HE Policing entry degree programmes.
The diploma has been developed in collaboration with experienced Met police officers and has been mapped to the College of Policing’s national programme specification for external programmes. It's regulated by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA).
Who is the diploma for?
The course is designed for a wide range of adults. It could be ideal for you if:
your social, educational or individual circumstances meant you were unable to participate in or benefit from initial education
you are from group(s) under represented in higher education and policing, and who can bring valuable knowledge and understanding to the role
you are seeking a change of direction and are looking for a rewarding career in policing, in which you have the opportunity to develop, diversify your skills and serve the public
What qualifications and skills do I need to apply?
There are no centrally specified formal requirements for qualifications on entry to the diploma. However, there is usually the expectation that you will have literacy, communication skills and numeracy at level 2 or above.
You are encouraged to check entry criteria with education providers.
If you wish to progress to a Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship, it is expected that you:
have level 2 English
will attain level 2 functional skills maths by the end of the first year of the degree apprenticeship
will achieve the equivalent of 64 UCAS points upon completion of the Access to HE diploma in Policing
What will I learn?
The diploma covers key topics within police such as:
evidence based policing
In addition, there is also a section focusing on the importance of community policing. There are also units available in criminology, law and sociology.
For participating colleges found under 'How to apply', you will also be offered opportunities to:
attend Met events
meet serving officers
provide inspiring insight presentations
How do I achieve the diploma?
In order to gain the Access to HE Diploma (Policing), you must achieve a total of 60 credits. Of these 60 credits, 45 credits must be achieved at Level 3 from graded subject specific units. Graded units can be awarded at Pass, Merit or Distinction. The remaining 15 credits must be achieved at Level 2 or Level 3 from study skills units which are ungraded.
Students who complete the HE Diploma (Policing) and go on to successfully apply to join the Met via its Police Constable Degree Apprentice (PCDA) route may, in some cases, be eligible for reimbursement of a percentage of the diploma course costs.
How to apply
Choose from any of our currently approved colleges by clicking on the links below. More colleges may be added in due course.
Superintendent Tamsin Jones is Head of the Met’s Centre of Initial Recruit Training. She joined as a direct-entry superintendent just over five years ago. Speaking about the diploma, she said:
"London’s communities need more police officers who are as diverse as them, who understand them and who have a real desire to make everyone safer.
"Many people we speak to have a wealth of life experience and other skillsets that would make them fantastic police officers but they don’t yet have the educational qualifications needed to apply for a career in policing. This course is designed specifically for you. The new Diploma in Policing was jointly developed by experienced Met Police officers and education experts, to help people gain the qualifications and confidence they need to apply to join the Met.
"I truly believe that policing is one of the most fulfilling careers in the world. Each day is different, each shift is challenging and every moment is an opportunity for you to change someone’s life for the better."