Are you a degree-holder and critical thinker who pays attention to detail and enjoys problem-solving? If so, you might be a potential candidate for our Detective Pathway Programme, a streamlined route to the role of Detective Constable.

The Detective Pathway is an intensive two-and-a-half-year programme of learning approached from an investigative lens. It is designed to equip you with all the skills and training necessary to ensure that on completion of the programme, not only will you be a qualified police officer, you will also be a trained and competent Detective Constable. 

What does the programme involve?

The first 15 months of the programme you will spend in uniform, learning the ropes as a Police Officer, rotating across a range of different policing departments and specialisms. Supported by experienced police officers, you will learn all about law and procedure and how to deal wide variety of policing topics. At the end of this period, all successful recruits will be signed off as an operationally competent police officer.

Having completed this uniformed training, you will then spend the following year developing your knowledge and skills specifically as a detective, learning how to manage and investigate a range of serious criminal offences that fall under the investigation strand. This can include working in multitude of areas such as safeguarding, intelligence and Child Protection, all whilst being under the support and direction of a competent and trained detective mentor.

After just two years of training, all successful recruits will be confirmed in rank as a police officer, whilst also being rewarded with a graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice. Once the full training programme and detective specific training has been completed, you will qualify as Detective Constable (PIP 2) Investigator.

What does a detective do?

The role of a detective constable is not too dissimilar to the role of police constable; both are of the same rank but have different operational roles. As a detective you will deal with more serious and complex cases from fraud and domestic abuse to county lines and serious assaults, plus many more. Once qualified and accredited, there are also opportunities to specialise in a significant number of areas such as, counter terrorism, serious and organised crime and intelligence.

Do you have what it takes?

A career is suited to career-driven, decision-makers with excellent customer service skills and a high moral compass.

It’s not for the faint-hearted, you will often be dealing with distressing situations, however working on serious and often complex criminal investigations is both challenging and rewarding.

We're looking for individuals who have that curiosity and drive to follow every lead and ultimately discover the truth behind situations and get results.

Hear from Chief Superintendent Mark Kameen

Method of Study

This course will be delivered by Subject Matter Experts and experienced practitioners with a wealth of professional and subject expertise supported by a network of relevant subject specialists to prepare you with key transferable skills required for the role of Police Constable. 

Your learning will be a mixture of face to face, remote and digital learning inputs with access to both Merseyside Police and Liverpool John Moores University learning platforms. Such inputs will be delivered via a mixture of attendance at Academy premises at Mather Avenue, in the workplace at your designated operational police station or upon occasion by studying from home.

In choosing to partner with LJMU on this important work, Merseyside Police will be drawing on the expertise of the Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies (LCAPS), established by LJMU in 2015. This centre has prospered since its inception and is now one of the largest policing centres in the UK. LCAPS contains a wealth of professional, practical and academic experience, situated in the heart of the city. LCAPS uses this experience to conduct research, for example, staff just completed an evaluation of fast track detective recruitment schemes on behalf of the National Police Chiefs’ Council ongoing review of detective recruitment and retention. The centre also has a number of experienced and high profile former senior police officers from Merseyside Police, Cheshire Constabulary and Lancashire Constabulary who assist with training clients such as the International Cricket Council and the Royal Military Police.

  • To apply you must, already have a degree in any subject of any grade.
  • Have not had a Police Officer application rejected by ourselves, or another Force in the last 3 months
  • Not be a member of an extreme political organisation such as BNP, Nation Front or Combat 18
  • Not have any tattoos (irrespective of what they are) on the hands, face or neck that are visible above the collar line or below the cuff line
  • Not have any tattoos that may be deemed inappropriate, offensive, or lewd in nature irrespective of placement on the body
  • Not have any charge or summons currently outstanding against you
  • Have not been sentenced to a custodial sentence
  • Not been registered as a sex offender
  • Not be currently registered as bankrupt

  • We are proud to offer a competitive starting salary of £24,780 which will rise to £41,130 after a period of 7 years
  • Annual leave entitlement is 22 days per year rising to 30 days depending on length of service
  • Range of Sports Clubs
  • On site gym facilities
  • Wellbeing and mindfulness sessions
  • Blue Light Card Discount
  • Member of the police pension scheme
  • Continuing Professional Development
  • Career Progression

To help make Merseyside Police representative of the communities we serve, we have a dedicated Inclusion team who provide support and guidance throughout the recruitment application process to candidates from underrepresented groups. You can learn more about the support available here.

To join Merseyside Police you will go through the following stages:

  1. Check Eligibility
  2. Application Form
  3. Candidates then go through to an online assessment which has
  • Situational Judgement Test
  • Competency-based video interview
  • Written exercise and briefing exercise
  1. Successful candidates will be invited to interview
  2. Pre employment checks are then completed which consist of:
  • Sickness absence
  • Fitness
  • Medical
  • Vetting
  • Biometric
  1. Final reference checks for any successful candidates once offers are made

Hear from our detectives

Frequently asked questions

The Degree Holder Entry Programme is a two-year programme of learning which equips the student officer to successfully operate as a uniformed Police Officer – with the majority of initial training spent responding to a range of policing calls and emergencies. The Detective-DHEP is a more intensive two-year programme of learning approached from an investigative lens. 

The Detective Pathway Programme requires student officers to complete all elements of the Graduate Diploma in Professional Policing Practice plus the National Investigators Exam (NIE) and all the required additional learning to gain their PIP2 accreditation preparing the student officer for an investigative career as a detective. Support and guidance will be provided in relation to all of these phases of learning and assessment, including a dedicated tutor and assessor.

There is no difference in pay, all student officers irrespective of entry route start at pay point one or £24,780.

No, however you will be given one opportunity to re-sit the exam. Student officers are given support whilst preparing for the NIE; including study leave, revision books, and a blended eLearning package.

Yes. Once you pass your probation and become a qualified Police Constable, you will have the opportunity to pursue other specialisms if you wish, including taking your National Investigators Exam (NIE) which is required for a detective career.


Our application lines for the Detective Pathway Programme has now closed.