The University of Huddersfield is to help recruit the police officers of the future.

A new Professional Policing Degree, to be launched in September 2023, will teach students a broad range of skills needed for police work.

It is also hoped the course, newly-accredited by the College of Policing, will widen police recruitment from under-represented communities.

Students will learn practical and theoretical skills and once graduated they can apply to police forces in England and Wales for the role of constable.

The course will offer opportunities for students to learn from other relevant courses at the university including paramedicine, law, social work, forensic science and nursing.

The course also aligns with the desire of the Government and the National Police Chiefs Council to recognise the complex nature of policing in the 21st century and to equip police officers with the knowledge and skills to deal with societal issues and new and evolving criminality, such as online fraud and abuse, organised crime and terrorism.

Andrea Tara-Chand, lecturer in policing at the university’s Department for Behavioural and Social Sciences, said: “The course will feature a blend of knowledge, theory and more vocational-based skills, with practical elements built into the programme.

“There will be opportunities for our students to become involved with policing whilst on the course, and we want to bring the practice element into the university.

“We have had discussions with our paramedic science, forensic science, nursing and social work courses to work together with them, and we will ensure our students get to use some of the great facilities we have on campus such as the court room in the Oastler Building.

“A key strand will be to impress upon our students that policing and law and order is not only about what the police do, it is about how society functions. We want them to understand about partnership working, working in communities and working with communities.”

Home Office figures from 2022 showed that 8.1% of police officers identified as BAME, while female police officers represented 33.5% of the police force.

“We want to work with disadvantaged communities to make this a course that is very much about inclusion,” said Andrea. “We want to encourage students from groups that would not normally consider policing as a career.”

Michelle Rogerson, subject leader in Professional Policing Programmes, added: “Police forces are facing a challenge when recruiting people from BAME backgrounds and we want to support an increase in the number of female recruits.

“There is also a willingness for police forces to work with diverse communities to reflect the people that the police serve.

“We are already proactively engaged with these communities to encourage young people to come to us. We want to help the police reflect the society we now have, and we were commended by the College of Policing for the high degree of support that the University of Huddersfield offers to its students.”