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Detective Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP)


Become a police officer in London’s Metropolitan Police Service, and embark on an exciting and rewarding career like no other.

Joining us on our Detective Career Pathway provides you with a direct route in to a career as a Detective Constable, without first undertaking a role in uniform policing.

At times it can be a challenging role, but also incredibly rewarding – you'll help make London safer, serve our local communities, and strive to achieve the right outcome for victims and their families.

We want to bring the role and the training opportunities to life for you. Over the following pages you will find information about our course.

COVID-19 Update

The Met, like many organisations across all sectors, continues to manage through the impacts of the coronavirus pandemic. This has had a direct impact on our recruitment of new officers and the recruitment process.

We have taken steps to ensure the safety of our staff, candidates and new joiners at each stage of our selection process and will provide detailed guidance ahead of each phase of recruitment and selection.

What does a Detective Constable do?

Detective Constables and Police Constables have the same rank and whilst there are a number of similarities, they have different operational roles. Detective Constables ultimately deal with serious and complex investigations, uncovering the truth and analysing evidence on cases. This could range from working to safeguard a child or vulnerable adult, pushing a case through the courts to get the right outcome for the victim and their family, all whilst making the communities we serve safer.

You'll work closely with your uniform colleagues and like them, will also need to police London 24/7. As a Detective you could be out making arrests, undertaking search warrants and also responding directly to certain crimes. It's not an office-based role and it's not always what it is portrayed to be in popular media. It’s an interesting and varied career in which you may have to deal with some very tough situations, you will ultimately be making positive changes to the lives of Londoners.

Being a Trainee Detective Constable

As a new recruit on the two-year Detective Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP) you will spend the majority of your time on the frontline, learning alongside experienced officers.

Unlike more traditional qualifications, the DHEP is a vocational course that focuses on practical learning and is specifically tailored for a career in policing ultimately leading to a graduate diploma in Professional Policing Practice. All learning and operational deployments on the Detective pathway are contextualised and relevant to an investigative context.

You will learn how things work in theory so that when you encounter them in real life you will be confident to deal with the situation.

 The DHEP Detective programme is delivered in partnership with four London universities:

  • Brunel University London
  • University of West London
  • Anglia Ruskin University
  • University of East London

You will be assigned a place at one of our partner universities based on which Basic Command Unit you are assigned during the onboarding phase; and according to Met operational requirements.

Throughout your programme , you’ll have continual, positive support from both the Met and your university in achieving the skills and knowledge required to be an effective detective and your graduate diploma in Professional Policing Practice. The support you receive will include progression development coaches, academic personal tutor, detective tutor constables, investigative coaches, operational policing support and much more. 

Your Learning Experience

After successfully completing the recruitment process and joining the two-year Detective Constable, Degree Holder Entry Programme (DHEP), you'll start your learning to demonstrate the skills, knowledge and competencies required to be an effective detective, whilst working  towards achieving a graduate diploma in Professional Policing Practice. All learning and operational deployments on the Detective pathway are contextualised and applied to an investigative context.

Detective Degree Holder Entry Programme

Unlike more traditional qualifications, the DHEP Detective entry route is a vocational course that focuses on practical learning and is specifically tailored for a career in policing. You’ll learn how policing works in theory, so that when you encounter practical situations in real life, you’ll be prepared and know what to do.

And because you’ll spend the majority of your time actually on the frontline, you’ll be putting that theory into practice throughout your training. Your learning experience is essentially your probation: you’ll be  supported in gaining the skills and knowledge and competencies needed to be an effective officer and investigator, while you work towards gaining your diploma.


You’ll start your learner journey to becoming a Detective Constable with a 3 day induction at the Met and a further two days at your appointed university.

Initial Learning at University 

From your second week, you’ll undergo 16 weeks of initial police foundation learning at your university. During this time you’ll spend a week at your allocated Basic Command Unit (BCU) where you’ll have an opportunity to meet your colleagues and familiarise yourself with the area you’ll be working. You’ll learn more about frontline policing and undertake some operational training to help put your new skills in practice and contextualise your initial learning.

Street Duties

You’ll then do 8 weeks of Street Duties on your BCU, where you’ll learn alongside experienced police officers putting your theory into practice with the support of dedicated detective tutor constable through coached patrols. You' will obtain Independent Patrol status (IPS) on successful completion of your Street Duties course.

Rotations and Ongoing Learning

Having achieved your IPS the remainder of your probation will primarily be spent on the frontline, doing a number of different operational deployments where you will be supported by investigative coaches. You’ll start with 8 weeks within the investigations team, developing your investigative skills whilst working towards achieving your Professionalising Investigation Programme (PIP) level 1 and National Investigations Exam (NIE). You’ll then return to university for 6 weeks of detective focused training. For the rest of their first year, and during your second year, you will work in both local investigations and a safeguarding role within your BCU – developing the skills required to achieve PIP level 2 and Full Operational Competence by the end of your programme.  You’ll return to university for two short blocks of learning during your second year.

End of Probation Assessment

You will compile an operational competency portfolio, including written and online assessments, throughout your probation to demonstrate you’ve got the skills and knowledge required to be confirmed in rank as an officer (having confirmed full operational competence), by the end of your probation period. You must also have successfully completed the National Investigators Exam and achieved PIP2 accreditation to be deployed as a detective constable.

mps student police officer pathways

Benefits & Support

Being a Detective Constable in London is a rewarding experience in itself, not just for the satisfaction you'll get from helping make the capital safer for everybody, but for the pay and benefits you'll receive too.


 As a new full-time Detective Constable in the Met, your total starting salary will be c.£31,000 per annum. This is made up of a basic salary plus London weighting and allowances and will increase annually to a maximum of c.£46,000 (including London weighting and allowances). As a new Detective Constable, you’ll start receiving your salary after you’ve been attested on the first day of your Degree Holder Entry Programme.

Annual Leave

 You'll have 22 days of paid annual holiday, rising to 30 days a year depending on your length of service. This is on top of public holidays and an average of two rest days each week.

Throughout your initial foundation learning experience, opportunities to take any annual leave will be limited and only granted in exceptional circumstances for a very short period. This is an intense course, and it's vital to your future development that you don't miss any aspect of the training with the Met or your allocated university. Once you've completed your initial learning, there is more flexibility around when you can take annual leave.

We make provision for a number of other forms of leave, including:

  • Maternity, paternity and adoption leave
  • Special leave with and without pay
  • Carers leave
  • Parental leave
  • Career breaks of up to five years


 Whether you're on or off duty, you'll enjoy free travel on London Underground and buses, seven days a week, from the time you have completed your initial police training courses. You can also join our rail travel scheme for heavily discounted rail travel up to 70 miles from central London.

Flexible Working

 We'll always try to take your individual, religious and cultural needs into account so you can fit your work around your personal commitments. But we're an emergency service with a 24/7 responsibility to the people of London, so this may not always be possible.

In order to meet the needs of the public, there is an expectation that all officers can be called upon to work weekends, bank holidays and across all shift patterns.


 When you start as a new detective, you'll automatically become a member of the New Police Pension Scheme 2015. This is a CARE (Career Average Revalued Earnings) pension scheme which offers a guaranteed pension with an optional lump sum, based on the earnings you receive during your career.

Both you and the Met will contribute and you will receive tax relief on the contributions you make. If you already have a pension it may be possible to transfer this into the police scheme.

Financial Services and Discounts

 Metfriendly offers a number of financial services for Met employees, including:

  • Savings products
  • Investment products
  • Protection products


 We offer a contributory health scheme to our officers, along with other benefits such as free eye tests and spectacles for those who are regular computer users.

Personal Support and Advice

 We pride ourselves on being a caring employer, and provide a range of support initiatives to help with both your personal welfare and that of your family:

  • Support for employees with caring responsibilities, such as flexible working arrangements

  • Occupational health and welfare counselling, ranging from psychotherapy to financial guidance

  • Resettlement and outplacement support and services

  • A subsidised convalescence home

  • Holiday play schemes to help with childcare

  • A range of development and mentoring schemes

  • Membership of the Police Federation and Staff Associations to support and represent your needs

Sports and Social

We offer our employees, as well as their family and friends, a range of subsidised leisure and sporting activities / opportunities.


Apply Now

Start your application and journey to becoming a Detective Constable in London’s Met. Applications for this role are open for a limited time only, start your application today.

Click here to apply


Contact Us

If you're not sure of any aspects of our recruitment process for new Detective Constables, or just want to ask a question about eligibility or process, please contact our recruitment team:

The recruitment team is currently experiencing a high call volume due to Covid-19 enquiries. We encourage you to direct your questions via live chat in the first instance.

Live chat with recruitment team (Monday to Friday, 8:30am to 8:00pm)

Telephone: 01633 632500

Email: enquiries.policejobs@sscl.gse.gov.uk

Being a full-time officer isn't for everyone. But you can still make a valuable contribution to London by volunteering as a Special Constable