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Hannah is on track for a career with the police

04 March 2021  |  Jill Lundberg  |  Posted in: ,

Hannah Speakman, alumna, who has recently volunteered in school to help with Covid testing,  is in her second year of a BSC (Hons) in Professional Policing and was only too happy to speak to us about how her course is going, her plans for the future and also some advice for students who may be considering the Police as a career path. We hope you enjoy reading Hannah’s Q and A below.

What A-Levels/courses did I study at Richmond?

Double CTEC Sport (Distinction* and Distinction, equivalent of A* A) and CTEC Health and Social Care (Merit, equivalent of a B)

Where are you studying and what is the course you are reading?

My course is a BSC (Hons) in Professional Policing at Edge Hill University in Ormskirk

Why did you choose this particular course and university?

I chose the course as I struggle with exams and much prefer practical elements. This course was heavily coursework based and also had many practicals to replace exams which was good for me. It still requires some exams (I did two in my first year), however the exams and practicals are well balanced out. I have always enjoyed helping others and being hands on rather than at a desk. So, the Professional Policing course seemed perfect.

The first day I visited Edge Hill, I knew it was perfect for me. It had a friendly feel, a beautiful campus, and was close to two main cities, plus the lecturers and people who showed me around on my introduction day were amazing. Edge Hill also has a crime house for all Policing Students to do practical work and set up fake crime scenes, so this was a massive thing for me as I learn better doing things practically rather than out of a book.

When did you decide you wanted to pursue a career with the police?

I knew I wanted to be in the police, as a standard police officer before I decided to do the Professional Policing course. Since being at Edge Hill and talking to my lecturers, who are ex-police officers themselves, and learning from some of the modules that I have taken, I have chosen to pursue a career as a Family Liaison Officer.

How long is the course and what qualification does it give you?

The course is three years and, in the long run, it gives me the opportunity to apply to a police force and it gives me a secure place after the degree has finished.

What are the main topics and aspects of the course?

In a nutshell, the course builds your knowledge about police officers and how they work and helps you to get to grips with the detail that goes along with each piece of law. In addition, it covers what a police officer’s job and roles are in relation to a victim and criminal. There is also a practical side to the course. I learn how to undertake interviews with a victim and a criminal. As part of one of my assignments a ‘crime scene’ is set up and I must uncover the scene and find evidence/the criminal and solve the crime that has been given to me by my lecturer.

What is the balance of theory and practical?

Both- very much 50/50. With the current circumstances it has had to be more theory based but hopefully by my final year I will be able to do more practical aspects.

Do you do any work in the community?

I have recently been helping with Covid testing at Richmond School. However, before I left to go to University, I volunteered at Richmond Rugby Club where I coached the Micros (under 6s) every Sunday morning, for the best part of five years.

What are your plans after you finish the course?

I hope to work in a police force for a year or so doing admin or at a call centre and then hopefully do a ski season for six months, before returning to go into a police force as an officer. My long-term goal is to work my way up to becoming a Family Laison Officer.

Are there any specific A-Levels that you need to study to do a degree in Professional Policing?

When I applied to universities, it wasn’t based on the subjects themselves but on the number of UCAS points you achieved. However, I would say subjects such as psychology and even PE are helpful as there are practical elements. And of course, being an officer requires you to run after criminals and victims so it is always helpful to have an extra A-Level in PE to help. But really you could have any A-Levels and as long as you collect the correct amount of UCAS points you should be fine.

What qualities in a person are being looked for to be successful in applying for this course?

For the course itself I would say resilience as coursework and practical elements can be long-winded and need patience and resilience to be the best. Confidence and teamwork are another two key attributes as the course requires lots of group work during seminars. There are also a lot of practical assessments to complete so the more confidence you have and the better team player you are then the better you will do.

Does it help an application if the person is in the police cadets?

I’m not personally in the police cadets nor have I been. However, it wouldn’t put you at a disadvantage at all. It always looks good having something like that when applying as you look passionate.

What advice would you give a student who is considering the course/career path?

Do lots of research and think about the different choices there are for policing. There are more options than just the degree. However, I would strongly recommend the degree as I have learnt so much already in the two years I’ve been at Edge Hill.  Do as much as you can at A-level to better your chances of getting higher UCAS points and if you do choose policing, look at Edge Hill.  I absolutely love it and if university becomes your option enjoy every second and work as hard as you can.

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