The benefits of completing academic study

Ed was a police sergeant when he applied for the BSc programme

I’ve always questioned what I do, why I do it and how / if policing can be done differently. My questioning mind has not always fallen in to line with my colleagues. I saw the opportunity to develop myself academically in something I love and believe in. I wanted to become that professionally qualified expert with sound operational and academic qualities. I completed a BSc (Hons) in Policing and am now in the final 8 months of a 2 year MSc Policing Research degree.

What impact has it had on you personally?

I have achieved something academically which I always knew I had the ability to do – I have fulfilled an ambition. I’m more open to discussion and take on board the thoughts of others and alternative views more readily, with a newly acquired ability to translate these thoughts and views into practical policing solutions. I wanted to be recognised as a professional, both in an operational and an academic sense.  

How has it improved your work?

I am definitely more structured, considered, and reasoned in my approach to work. I am infinitely more open to reasoned argument and more reflexive in the way I think through problems and their solutions, lead my team and operate as a police officer. I believe that the experience has also enhanced my emotional intelligence.

What would you say to officers or staff considering studying?

As I say to prospective students every year at the university I completed my studies at – ‘this is a serious business’. It is demanding, you have to strike a balance between work, rest, play, home life and of course the academic demands of the course. However, if you have strength of mind and are able to stick with it you will absolutely reap the rewards of your hard labour both personally and professionally. I have also presented my work to forces and have had engagement with force leads on cultural change. This has been very rewarding.