• The University of Law Logo

How to Become a Police Officer in England and Wales

Learn about the routes you can take into policing and the values and attributes developed by successful police officers.

1,151 enrolled on this course

How to Become a Police Officer in England and Wales

1,151 enrolled on this course

  • 3 weeks

  • 2 hours per week

  • Digital certificate when eligible

  • Open level

Find out more about how to join this course

  • Duration

    3 weeks
  • Weekly study

    2 hours
  • 100% online

    How it works
  • Unlimited subscription

    $244.99 for one whole yearLearn more

Develop your understanding of policing in the UK

Currently, policing is unrepresentative of the society it represents. To correct that, it’s vital that underrepresented and disadvantaged groups can learn about policing and consider their options for entering a career in policing.

On this three-week course, educators from The University of Law will guide you through the principles and style of UK policing, particularly the role of diversity and inclusion, and the different policing models.

Discover the different routes to becoming a police officer

This course will take you through the numerous practical ways you can become a police officer. Without experience, the new Policing Education Qualification Framework (PEQF) routes into policing can be complicated so this course will give you a clearer roadmap.

You’ll also look at the various types of incidents that police deal with to help you evaluate whether a career in policing is right for you and, if so, which of the PEQF routes into policing is best for you.

You’ll investigate the qualities a police officer needs to have, as well as the Code of Ethics, and the evidence-based policing model to get a well-rounded view of what you need for a policing career.

Then, you’ll delve into the rank structure and the different specialist units within policing. This can help you develop your aspirations and discover the areas of policing you’d like to work towards joining.

Learn from the experts at The University of Law

ULaw wants policing to be accessible for people from all backgrounds and demographics to help make it more representative while bringing it into the 21st century.

Licensed by the College of Policing, this course is recognised as part of one of the new PEQF entry routes for the role of police constable.


  • Week 1


    • Introduction and Welcome

      Introduction to the course

    • Policing as a career

      The police service can offer a challenging and rewarding career and we will consider why you may want to become a police officer, and whether it may be a suitable career for you.

    • Code of Ethics

      The police service is striving to be considered as a 'profession' and as part of this process it has introduced a Code of Ethics.

    • Principles of Policing

      Policing by consent is the foundation of British policing philosophy and they date back to 1829 when the 'Peelian Principles' were issued to every new police officer who joined the Metropolitan Police in London.

    • Conclusion Week 1

      Conclusion of Week 1

  • Week 2

    Understanding the Police Service

    • The Police Service in England and Wales

      This video provides a short introduction to week 2 and provides an overview of the police service in England and Wales

    • Evidence Based Policing

      What is evidence-based policing?

    • Types of incidents police deal with

      Police have to deal with a variety of incidents and we will examine some of the incidents response teams get called to.

    • How do police officers make decisions?

      What models do police officers use to assist them to make decisions?

    • Conclusion Week 2

      Conclusion Week 2 - How to become a police officer

  • Week 3

    How do I become a police officer in England and Wales

    • Routes into policing overview

      Introduction into the routes into policing

    • Routes into policing

      We will examine the three routes into policing and also spend time looking at the degree course offered by the University of Law.

    • BSc Professional Policing

      What does the BSc in Professional Policing consist of?

    • Conclusion

      Conclusion - How do I become a police officer in England and Wales

When would you like to start?

Start straight away and join a global classroom of learners. If the course hasn’t started yet you’ll see the future date listed below.

  • Available now

Learning on this course

On every step of the course you can meet other learners, share your ideas and join in with active discussions in the comments.

What will you achieve?

By the end of the course, you‘ll be able to...

  • Explore the different entry routes into policing under the Policing Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF)
  • Identify which route into policing would suit you best
  • Explore the different police ranks and careers within specialist policing units
  • Explore the Peelian principles, policing code of ethics and the national decision making model
  • Reflect on the importance of diversity and inclusion within policing
  • Explore the key policing concepts such as policing by consent and evidence based policing

Who is the course for?

This course is designed for anyone considering a career in policing or anyone interested in policing, investigation, or related areas.

Who will you learn with?

Mark is a former chief officer in the Metropolitan Police Service . He is a visiting lecturer at the University of Law involved in the delivery of the policing degree course.

Who developed the course?

The University of Law

The University of Law is one of the UK’s longest established specialist providers of legal education, believing that students should learn in a realistic, professional and contemporary context.

Ways to learn

Buy this course

Subscribe & save

Limited access

Choose the best way to learn for you!

$109/one-off payment

$244.99 for one whole year

Automatically renews


Fulfill your current learning needDevelop skills to further your careerSample the course materials
Access to this courseticktick

Access expires 11 Jun 2024

Access to 1,000+ coursescrosstickcross
Learn at your own paceticktickcross
Discuss your learning in commentstickticktick
Certificate when you're eligiblePrinted and digitalDigital onlycross
Continue & Upgrade

Cancel for free anytime

Ways to learn

Choose the best way to learn for you!

Subscribe & save

$244.99 for one whole year

Automatically renews

Develop skills to further your career

  • Access to this course
  • Access to 1,000+ courses
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Digital certificate when you're eligible

Cancel for free anytime

Buy this course

$109/one-off payment

Fulfill your current learning need

  • Access to this course
  • Learn at your own pace
  • Discuss your learning in comments
  • Printed and digital certificate when you’re eligible

Limited access


Sample the course materials

  • Access expires 11 Jun 2024

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 3 June 2024 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Find out more about certificates, Unlimited or buying a course (Upgrades)

Sale price available until 3 June 2024 at 23:59 (UTC). T&Cs apply.

Learning on FutureLearn

Your learning, your rules

  • Courses are split into weeks, activities, and steps to help you keep track of your learning
  • Learn through a mix of bite-sized videos, long- and short-form articles, audio, and practical activities
  • Stay motivated by using the Progress page to keep track of your step completion and assessment scores

Join a global classroom

  • Experience the power of social learning, and get inspired by an international network of learners
  • Share ideas with your peers and course educators on every step of the course
  • Join the conversation by reading, @ing, liking, bookmarking, and replying to comments from others

Map your progress

  • As you work through the course, use notifications and the Progress page to guide your learning
  • Whenever you’re ready, mark each step as complete, you’re in control
  • Complete 90% of course steps and all of the assessments to earn your certificate

Want to know more about learning on FutureLearn? Using FutureLearn

Learner reviews

Learner reviews cannot be loaded due to your cookie settings. Please and refresh the page to view this content.

Get a taste of this course

Find out what this course is like by previewing some of the course steps before you join:

Do you know someone who'd love this course? Tell them about it...