Postgraduate Queries: 'How do I become a police negotiator? And, which are the best courses for learning to speak Arabic?'


Force for good

Q. Last month someone asked about the routes into forensic science. Is it as difficult to get a job as a police negotiator, or are there some general courses I could apply for which would help me into this career?

This is such a specialised job that openings in the UK will be rare and, where they exist at all, highly competitive. That is because few police forces can afford to employ full-time negotiating specialists. The career is more common in the USA, where you might find more openings and opportunities for training, but getting a position is still likely to be very competitive.

An undergraduate background in psychology, sociology or counselling should stand you in good stead. Careers in counselling psychology, for example, require a first degree recognised for Graduate Basis Registration of the British Psychological Society (BPS). However, even if you have little or no experience of the subject, don't fret: plenty of universities offer postgraduate conversion courses aimed at students who have become interested in the subject after their first degree. Visit the careers section of the BPS website at www.bps.org.uk for more details and lists of accredited courses.

A general qualification such as this will not be enough to get you in: you will also need to be a trained police officer with experience of dealing with such situations. Academic study is an increasingly important part of modern policing, and training options can even include fields such as psychology. It depends which local force you join, but many offer specialist training for various roles including hostage negotiating.

If you are keen enough and don't mind the stressful nature of the job, you could try to rise through the ranks as a specialist in this area – but don't be surprised if you have to do your fair share of regular policing to get there.

Contact your local force for details of recruitment and the types of training that they could offer, or visit the police recruitment website at www.police-recruitment.com.

Arabic ambition

Q. At the moment I only speak English but I'd like to learn Arabic, preferably in a country where it's the native language. Do you know of any good overseas Arabic language courses? Or would I be better off studying in the UK?

If this is to be your first venture into a foreign language, it's hardly the easiest choice. If your main reasons for learning Arabic are social, cultural or recreational, then you don't need a formal qualification: you'll probably find that there are suitable courses at your local university in the extra-mural department, which might also incorporate other aspects of arts and culture that will also interest you.

However, if you need to learn Arabic as a way into a future career, then the support of a recognised qualification will add credibility to your CV. Learn Direct (www.learndirect-advice.co.uk) lists a number of courses across the UK in all modes of study. If you have your heart set on learning Arabic in a foreign country – usually the best way to become fluent in any language – then an internet search will throw up a plethora of companies keen to accept you. The biggest is probably Language Courses Abroad (www.languagesabroad.co.uk), which offers intensive Arabic tuition at its school in Cairo.

Although it's very difficult to gauge the quality of the teaching, it's a good sign if they offer an internationally recognised syllabus or qualification and are willing to tell you the results that they have achieved. Do some careful research, ask questions and try to talk to ex-students: personal recommendation is probably the most reliable way of assessing the quality of these courses.

Thanks to careers consultants Liz Hagger and Mike Cox.

Please send your postgraduate queries to Chris Green at c.green@independent.co.uk

Arts and Entertainment
Gregg Wallace in Summer's Supermarket Secrets
tv All of this year's 15 contestants have now been named
Arts and Entertainment
Inside the gallery at Frederick Bremer School in Walthamstow
tvSimon Usborne goes behind-the-scenes to watch the latest series
Life and Style
A picture taken on January 12, 2011 shows sex shops at the Paris district of Pigalle.
newsThe industry's trade body issued the moratorium on Friday
News
Winchester College Football (universally known as Winkies) is designed to make athletic skill all but irrelevant
Life...arcane public school games explained
PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Could we see Iain back in the Bake Off tent next week?
tv Contestant teased Newsnight viewers on potential reappearance
Life and Style
Silvia says of her famous creation: 'I never stopped wearing it. Because I like to wear things when they are off the radar'
fashionThe fashion house celebrated fifteen years of the punchy pouch with a weighty tome
News
i100(and it's got nothing to do with the Great British Bake Off)
News
Angelina Jolie with her father Jon Voight
peopleAsked whether he was upset not to be invited, he responded by saying he was busy with the Emmy Awards
News
Bill Kerr has died aged 92
peopleBill Kerr appeared in Hancock’s Half Hour and later worked alongside Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers
News
news It's not just the world that's a mess at the moment...
Sport
footballPremiership preview: All the talking points ahead of this weekend's matches
News
Keira Knightley poses topless for a special September The Photographer's issue of Interview Magazine, out now
people
Voices
The Ukip leader has consistently refused to be drawn on where he would mount an attempt to secure a parliamentary seat
voicesNigel Farage: Those who predicted we would lose momentum heading into the 2015 election are going to have to think again
Arts and Entertainment
Cara Delevingne made her acting debut in Anna Karenina in 2012
film Cara Delevingne 'in talks' to star in Zoolander sequel
News
i100
Sport
Mario Balotelli pictured in his Liverpool shirt for the first time
football
Life and Style
tech
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs Student

Junior Analyst - Graduate - 6 Month fixed term contract

£17000 - £20000 Per Annum Bonus, Life Insurance + Other Benefits: Clearwater P...

Nursery Room Leader

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: JOB DESCRIPTION - NURSERY ROOM LEADER...

Recruitment Consultants - Banking & Finance

£20000 - £30000 per annum + OTE £40 - £50K first year: SThree: SThree Group an...

Nursery Room Leader

Negotiable: Randstad Education Plymouth: JOB DESCRIPTION - NURSERY ROOM LEADER...

Day In a Page

Ukraine crisis: The phoney war is over as Russian troops and armour pour across the border

The phoney war is over

Russian troops and armour pour into Ukraine
Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

Potatoes could be off the menu as crop pests threaten UK

The world’s entire food system is under attack - and Britain is most at risk, according to a new study
Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Gangnam smile: why the Chinese are flocking to South Korea to buy a new face

Seoul's plastic surgery industry is booming thanks to the popularity of the K-Pop look
From Mozart to Orson Welles: Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

Creative geniuses who peaked too soon

After the death of Sandy Wilson, 90, who wrote his only hit musical in his twenties, John Walsh wonders what it's like to peak too soon and go on to live a life more ordinary
Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Caught in the crossfire of a cyber Cold War

Fears are mounting that Vladimir Putin has instructed hackers to target banks like JP Morgan
Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years

Salomé: A head for seduction

Salomé's feminine wiles have inspired writers, painters and musicians for 2,000 years. Now audiences can meet the Biblical femme fatale in two new stage and screen projects
From Bram Stoker to Stanley Kubrick, the British Library's latest exhibition celebrates all things Gothic

British Library celebrates all things Gothic

Forthcoming exhibition Terror and Wonder: The Gothic Imagination will be the UK's largest ever celebration of Gothic literature
The Hard Rock Café's owners are embroiled in a bitter legal dispute - but is the restaurant chain worth fighting for?

Is the Hard Rock Café worth fighting for?

The restaurant chain's owners are currently embroiled in a bitter legal dispute
Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival

In search of Caribbean soul food

Caribbean cuisine is becoming increasingly popular in the UK ... and there's more to it than jerk chicken at carnival
11 best face powders

11 best face powders

Sweep away shiny skin with our pick of the best pressed and loose powder bases
England vs Norway: Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Roy Hodgson's hands tied by exploding top flight

Lack of Englishmen at leading Premier League clubs leaves manager hamstrung
Angel Di Maria and Cristiano Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

Di Maria and Ronaldo: A tale of two Manchester United No 7s

They both inherited the iconic shirt at Old Trafford, but the £59.7m new boy is joining a club in a very different state
Israel-Gaza conflict: No victory for Israel despite weeks of death and devastation

Robert Fisk: No victory for Israel despite weeks of devastation

Palestinians have won: they are still in Gaza, and Hamas is still there
Mary Beard writes character reference for Twitter troll who called her a 'slut'

Unlikely friends: Mary Beard and the troll who called her a ‘filthy old slut’

The Cambridge University classicist even wrote the student a character reference
America’s new apartheid: Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone

America’s new apartheid

Prosperous white districts are choosing to break away from black cities and go it alone