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Police and psychology

’m hoping to do police work after school such as becoming a detective rather than as a police officer. Is it possible to become one without joining the police force first as I’ve seen some differing answers online. I would like to get a degree first in psychology and whilst doing so be a police constable for experience. Is it possible to become a detective without being a police officer and if so which degree would be best just psychology or psychology and forensic science for example.
Original post by Yumi901
’m hoping to do police work after school such as becoming a detective rather than as a police officer. Is it possible to become one without joining the police force first as I’ve seen some differing answers online. I would like to get a degree first in psychology and whilst doing so be a police constable for experience. Is it possible to become a detective without being a police officer and if so which degree would be best just psychology or psychology and forensic science for example.

Yes you can - check detective constable pathways for degree holders. Here's the link to the overview of this programme at the London Metropolitan Police force: https://www.met.police.uk/car/careers/met/police-officer-roles/detective-constable/overview/ Most police forces in the country will have a very similar pathway.

It doesn't matter what type of psychology degree you do, although if you're pretty convinced you want to go down this route, I'd imagine you probably will find psychology with forensic science a tad more interesting. If you end up studying psychology (or psychology with anything else), make sure the degree is BPS accredited, just in case you change your mind or this doesn't work out - the BPS accreditation will open a whole lot more doors for you!
Reply 2
Original post by Yumi901
’m hoping to do police work after school such as becoming a detective rather than as a police officer. Is it possible to become one without joining the police force first as I’ve seen some differing answers online. I would like to get a degree first in psychology and whilst doing so be a police constable for experience. Is it possible to become a detective without being a police officer and if so which degree would be best just psychology or psychology and forensic science for example.


A detective is a police officer, same rank.

As mentioned above, there are now entry routes whereby you join as a detective. There are routes whereby you can gain a degree from the job, or join with a degree and you’ll have a shorter probation period.

In all honesty, those degrees won’t really help you when you’re in the job. It would be better for you to join as a PC, and then apply to become a DC, that would be more beneficial.

Just my opinion.

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