Students in the North East will become the first in the country to take up a new policing degree programme aimed at getting more bobbies on the beat.

From September, the University of Sunderland is introducing Professional Policing programmes developed by staff with decades of experience in the Police service.

The courses aim to play a pivotal role in helping the Government to achieve its target of boosting police officer ranks by 20,000 over the next three years.

The programmes included a pioneering two-year accelerated course which would see potential officers attain all the criteria needed to immediately apply to become a police officer.

This is the latest addition to the University’s emergency services frontline programmes which already includes Nursing, Paramedic Science,  Medicine, and Pharmacy.

Ben Middleton, a former Head of Law from the University, has consulted on and set up the new programmes during the past 10 months.

Every aspect of the new training has been created by working with former police officers and the University is licensed by the College of Policing to run the programmes. The courses all follow the National Policing Curriculum and will provide students with the skills and knowledge to apply to become a police officer.

Ben said: “Sunderland is unique in that, for the first time, an accelerated two-year course is available, alongside the three year programme and Foundation year. Students will gain knowledge of theory and policing practice and will be taught by expert staff, drawing on our fantastic reputation in police investigations.

“This will provide students with all the necessary requirements needed to apply for a role as a police officer in their chosen force.

“Universities have been working hard to address the need for more police officers and Sunderland is very much at the forefront of this.”

The University has been praised in recent months after nursing students were recruited to the NHS frontline at hospitals across the region to help at the peak of the pandemic.

The adding of Professional Policing to the University’s portfolio further cements the institution’s commitment to emergency frontline training.

Peter Kay, Head of School of Social Sciences, said: “We are very excited at the prospect of adding the Professional Policing Programmes to our already strong portfolio.

“One of our priorities has always been to support our community front line services and prepare graduates to contribute to that community.  These programmes will play an important part in that ongoing work.”

The programmes will draw on diverse experience from across the University to ensure that students are provided with the most up-to-date knowledge from expert academics in their fields, including: professional practice, police investigations, domestic violence, investigative management, law, social work and youth offending.