First cohort of professional policing students graduate from Sheffield Hallam

21st November 2022

The first cohort of Sheffield Hallam’s professional policing students graduated from the University last week. The two-year course is run in collaboration with South Yorkshire Police (SYP)

The graduate diploma in professional policing practice is for trainee police officers who hold a degree in a subject other than policing. The course provides the skills required to gain work effectively as a fully operational police officer.

It is open to existing degree holders and designed to equip new officers to ‘make the right decisions for the right reasons’ when in a practical policing environment. 

The students are employed as police officers by South Yorkshire Police from day one of the course and complete academic studies as part of a tutor-led occupational phase, in which they apply learning in the workplace to become a fully operational police officer. 

The collaboration with South Yorkshire Police aligns with Sheffield Hallam’s Civic University commitment to develop a highly skilled public sector workforce by cultivating its strong partnerships with local organisations to provide an educational and training offer that meets the needs of the region. 

After completing the course, the graduates are confirmed in appointment as a constable and can apply to specialise in one of many departments and sit exams for promotion to sergeant, alongside other opportunities. 

Natalie Nield, a Sheffield Hallam professional policing practice graduate, said: “Having always wanted to join SYP I was thrilled to have made it through the lengthy recruitment process and joined the force as a student officer in 2020. SYP has put me through a diploma in professional policing which, although difficult and extremely challenging, I already feel will make me a better police officer with the knowledge and understanding they have delivered through Sheffield Hallam University.  

“Although difficult to juggle around family life, learning a brand-new career and training throughout COVID-19, the theory delivered through Sheffield Hallam has given me valuable insight into the history of policing, current policies and practices and an experience I will always remember. The staff at Hallam were supportive and always available to help, I cannot thank them enough for being there and coaching me through a difficult transition. I hope that every other student experiences what I have and values the aim and message the training hopes to deliver, improving policing in the modern age with the ever-changing climate.” 

Ed Pollock, senior lecturer in criminology at Sheffield Hallam, said: "We are delighted to see our first cohort of students graduating and a just reward for their hard work over the past two years. We wish them well in their future exciting career in policing."    

The academic course provides theoretical learning on subjects such as policing law (crime, road traffic, communities), decision making, problem solving, dealing effectively with victims and witnesses, counter terrorism, digital policing, crime causation and crime prevention. Students are supported in the workplace by police tutors (one-to-one) and practice educators in addition to academic support from course leaders, module leaders, cohort leaders and academic advisers.  

The curriculum for the course is set by the licensing body, the College of Policing, and is delivered collaboratively by Sheffield Hallam University academic staff and police trainers. 

To find out more about the course, visit the course summary.

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