Two police officers in busy street

Training for new police officers

Delivering high-quality teaching and learning to new police officers, in conjunction with police trainers

Part of our School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, our Police Education Team (PET) aims to deliver high-quality contextualised teaching and learning to new police officers at levels 4-6, in conjunction with police trainers.

The PET is part of a Police Education Consortium with other higher education institutions - Middlesex University, Canterbury Christ Church University and the University of Cumbria. Together, our Police Education Team and the others in the Consortium have created online degree apprenticeship and graduate diploma (for students who already hold a degree) courses for our partner police force student officers.

The partnership teaching model enables police officers to achieve academic qualifications relevant to their role and supports the professionalisation agenda of the College of Policing (CoP) - the professional body for policing. 

Course content is based on the high-level programme learning outcomes set by the College of Policing, and is delivered through our virtual learning environment (VLE).

We believe that police training is vital to the ability of the police to be innovative, prepared for the future and to embrace change. The professionalisation agenda has a key role in supporting how the police service evolves to meet forthcoming challenges.

Gaining higher level qualifications enables police officers to develop critical thinking, writing and ethical decision-making skills, all of which are strongly linked to public trust and confidence in policing. 

Police Education Consortium Logo
(For use on  new page in the Community partnerships section about the Police Education Team)

Our objectives

The Police Education Team aims to:

  • Equip student officers with the knowledge, skills and behaviours to deliver excellent public service through ethical decision-making and leadership throughout their professional careers
  • Develop student-centred focus on applying evidence-based policing in an operational environment, using the best available evidence to inform and challenge policing policies, practices and decisions
  • Build confidence in challenging inappropriate behaviour

Our courses

Alongside the other higher education institutions in the Police Education Consortium, our Police Education Team provides online and on-the-job degree apprenticeship and graduate diploma qualifications for new police officers across three Home Office police forces.

Our flexible and blended courses include online and face-to-face learning, and have already proved successful for Surrey and Sussex Police Forces and Hampshire Constabulary. Courses include:

  • face-to-face teaching including masterclasses, and specialist workshops such as initial law and procedure training (recorded where possible to allow for students to rewatch)
  • structured learning activities in our virtual learning environment (VLE) and 24/7 access to learning materials online
  • collaborative learning with peers
  • work-integrated learning supported by work-based tutors - recognising the workplace as the primary site of learning and maximising opportunities for student officers to reflect on their learning together

Our courses are suitable for student officers who have no formal educational qualifications, to those who hold a level 7 qualification. All students are required to have functional English and mathematics. 

Learning facilities

Our students can access a wide range of the University's physical facilities linked to their learning journey as a police officer, as well as Consortium libraries and learning support facilities (both physical and virtual).

Student in law courts

Replica court room

We are one of only a few UK universities with a realistic copy of a Crown Court to enable students to gain practical experience in a safe space.

Three students sat laughing and smiling holding notebooks and pens

Hydra Immersive Learning Suite

Students can engage in simulated incident scenarios that replicate operational policing challenges, developing problem solving, decision making and critical thinking skills.

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Crime scene simulation spaces

Our simulated crime scene spaces include a ‘crime scene house’ with nine different crime scenes including a mock hydroponics drugs factory.


Computer screen and audio equipment monitoring an interview

Collaboration of Forensic Interviewing

Our researchers enable training in a forensic interview suite with interviewing facilities for victims and suspects.

Other facilities

  • Extensive forensic laboratories and state-of-the-art scientific equipment
  • Child sudden death immersive co-location with a local hospital and scenarios delivered with local partners
  • A full forensic suite co-located with local force (Hampshire)
  • Virtual Reality (VR) equipment and scenarios to enhance immersive learning
  • A range of problem-based learning scenarios using film-clips to create realistic operational situations for discussion and exercise in safe-space environments
  • A fully simulated cyber-laboratory and clinic
  • Access to Portsmouth Royal Navy Dockyard, working in partnership with Ministry of Defence Police in the creation of multi-agency exercises and firearms teaching support
  • Access to teaching and exercise facilities the Defence School of Policing and Guarding at Southwick Park (formerly HMS Dryad)
  • Access to Portsmouth Football Club facilities, including in support of public order learning

Recent publications

Our members

Members of our Police Education Team are authors of Blackstone's Police Manuals, endorsed by the College of Policing, as well as active in our Policing Research Group.

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Dr Rich John

Subject Area Lead for Policing

School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

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Stephen Woliter Portrait

Steve Woliter

Senior Teaching Fellow

School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

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Barbara Wendy Hillier Portrait

Ms Barb Hillier

Teaching Fellow

School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

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Claire Elizabeth Smith Portrait

Mrs Claire Smith

Teaching Fellow

School of Criminology and Criminal Justice

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