Police officer experiences of higher education: Drivers, challenges, and organisational responses

Research Institution / Organisation

Leeds Beckett University

In Collaboration With

Metropolitan Police Service

Principal Researcher

Dr Tom Cockcroft

Level of Research

Professional / Work-based

Project Start Date

October 2015

Research Context

‚ÄčThis research, sponsored by the Metropolitan Police Service, will build on a successful feasibility study already completed by the lead researcher.

The co-researcher is Dr Katja Hallenberg from Canterbury Christ Church University.

The research will involve undertaking semi-structured interviews with 30 Metropolitan Police Service officers who have undertaken an educational programme through a Higher Education Institution.The data generated will be subjected to thematic analysis through NVivo, a leading qualitative analysis software package, and will be used to interrogate the following themes that emerged through the feasibility study.

These were

  • Drivers;
  • Facilitators/Inhibitors;
  • Responses to HE Engagement;
  • Outcomes, and
  • Identity and Identity Change.

Research Methodology

‚Äč30 Metropolitan police officers who have undertaken an educational programme through a Higher Education Institution will undertake a semi-structured interview.


Interviews will be transcribed and submitted to thematic analysis through NVivo.

Interim reports and publications

Hallenberg, K. and Cockcroft, T. (2017), 'From Indifference to Hostility: Police Officers, Organisational Responses and the Symbolic Value of 'In-Service' Higher Education in Policing', Policing: A Journal of Policy and Practice
(Oxford University Press).  DOI: 10.1093/police/paw055.

Date due for completion

February 2020
Return to Research Map