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Police Studies, Procedure and Investigation - BSc (Hons)

Why study this course?

This course aims to provide you with a thorough understanding of the role of the modern police service and is designed to equip you with both a practical and strategic insight into the demanding and complex landscape policing operates in. The degree will enable you to attain the equivalent of the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing and gain the experience as a special constable that is currently required as a prerequisite to join the police service.

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Policing in the UK is undergoing some of the most radical changes since Sir Robert Peel first launched the Metropolitan Police in 1829. The challenges that the modern day policing practitioner faces are often high risk and fast moving in a context of increasing accountability. There’s now a strong professional commitment at a senior level which openly encourages policing practitioners, both serving and potential, to develop to degree level.

Building upon both practical and theoretical insights, the course will develop you across a wide range policing contexts, and encourage critical and analytical thinking whilst preparing you for a role in twenty-first century policing.

Lecturers on this degree have had significant experience in working in the police service, are distinguished academics, and are engaged in important research links to police practice. We have strong links with the City of London Police, the Metropolitan Police Service, British Transport Police and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime.

Assessment

You're assessed through a combination of essays, module-specific research projects, seen and unseen examinations and an individual largely self-directed project which includes an assessed oral presentation. In Year 1, assessments seek to encourage you to specify and describe theories and institutions. In Year 2, assessments require you to extend and critically evaluate the knowledge you have encountered. 

Students at this level are also required to produce reports including data analysis and interpretation. In Year 3, assessments test your critical knowledge of applied areas of police studies and criminology and your ability to think and research independently.

Professional accreditation

This degree offers two routes for entering into the police service. We are in the process of gaining approval by the College of Policing to deliver the equivalent of the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing. The course also provides the opportunity to apply to become a special constable.

In addition to the University's standard entry requirements, you should have:

  • a minimum of grades BBC in three A levels or minimum grades BC in at least two A levels in academic or business subjects (or a minimum of 112 UCAS points from an equivalent Level 3 qualification)
  • GCSE English at grade C (grade 4 from 2017) or above or Higher Diploma (or equivalent)

Applicants with relevant professional qualifications or extensive professional experience will also be considered on a case by case basis.

All applicants must be able to demonstrate proficiency in the English language. Applicants who require a Tier 4 student visa may need to provide a Secure English Language Test (SELT) such as Academic IELTS. For more information about English qualifications please see our English language requirements.

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2017/18 and represent the course modules at this time. Modules and module details (including, but not limited to, location and time) are subject to change over time.

Year 1 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday afternoon
    • all year (January start) - Wednesday morning

    This module provides an academic introduction to fundamental rules of criminal law, including the principles of a range of criminal offences.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday afternoon
    • all year (January start) - Friday morning

    The module provides a study of crime and its control through considering the history of criminological thought from the Enlightenment to the present day. The module begins by exploring classicism and traces the shift towards positivistic theories and later critical forms of criminological theory. Students are introduced to these theories through relating them to the social context in which issues to do with crime and deviance now occur.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    The module gives a broad introductory overview of policing in terms of law enforcement and combating crime. It traces historically the evolutionary process of policing as a distinct function of the state. The module introduces the development of policing traditions in England and Wales in some detail and also offers a grounding for comparison with policing systems in some other jurisdictions.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning
    • all year (January start) - Thursday morning

    This module introduces students to the scope and functions of the Criminal Justice System (CJS) in England and Wales. It provides a broad overview of the mechanisms and aims of the CJS upon which students can build a more detailed knowledge of criminal justice policies, crime control, punishment and social control by the state, at levels 5 and 6. The module also specifically provides students with an introductory picture of the extent of officially recorded crime.

    Read full details.

Year 2 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday morning

    This module is designed to achieve a nationally recognised pre-entry qualification in policing alongside level 5 academic credits. The module incorporates all of the national mandatory learning requirements set by the College of Policing which is essential in order to achieve the equivalence of the Certificate of Knowledge of Policing (CKP). In order to achieve the level 5 credits, the module builds upon the required mandatory learning by developing the students’ knowledge and understanding so that they can demonstrate a critical understanding, reflection and evaluation of the of key factors and themes that are shaping the delivery of contemporary policing. Successful completion of this module - including passing all written exams - will be recognised as the equivalent of the Certificate of Knowledge in Policing. As it requires access to the College of Policing web platform and material, this is only open to students and courses preparing for access to police constable status.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday afternoon

    The module develops student knowledge of specialised areas of police operations and professional practice. The module focuses specifically on community policing (policing diverse communities), covert policing (police surveillance methods), specialist policing operations (organised crime, child protection), police analysis and intelligence-gathering, police ethics and culture and police governance (mechanisms for oversight and accountability).

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning

    The module aims to provide participants with a basic understanding of the skills needed for community police officers. This includes covering the skills and knowledge needed to liaise successfully wit local authorities and diverse communities. Particular focus with be on the school policing concept and culture and the duties generally performed by school community officers in partnership with schools and other agencies. It will highlight areas of good practice in partnership work and provide frameworks which help to develop problem solving strategies and ultimately keep young people safe. It will review and analyse local tactics and tool kits employed by both statutory and on-statutory bodies and consider the wider implications of effective partnership working.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning

    The module builds on level 4 introductory modules to provide an overview of the study of crime, criminality and criminals with reference to particular categories of ‘crime’. It begins by looking at how crime developed and changed in the transition from premodern to modern industrial societies. It then examines contemporary forms of crime by looking respectively at those associated with and predominantly perpetrated by the socially marginalised (the criminal ‘underworld’) and those associated with the economically and socially powerful (the ‘overworld’).

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Wednesday afternoon

    This module looks at the media impact on public perceptions of crime and justice.
    It also looks at the way contemporary media and technologies influence criminal behaviour and influence the operations of the criminal justice system; and the emerging forms of deviant behaviour facilitated by contemporary technology and media.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Thursday afternoon

    The module explores theories and conceptions of racism and ethnicity, and the practices of racism in contemporary societies. The historical roots of racism will be examined and its contemporary forms studied comparatively. Racism is specifically explored within the context of social and political conflicts.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday afternoon

    Academic authors have shown that for centuries adults have expressed concerns about the anti-social and criminal behaviour of young people. In recent times, this concern has centred on rising levels of violent crime by young people and the burgeoning ‘gang, gun and knife crime culture’ in the UK. In response to public concerns policy makers and practitioners have designed numerous community and criminal justice initiatives to tackle the anti-social behaviour of young people, reduce their offending rates and encourage desistence from criminal activity.

    This module critically examines young people’s involvement in crime and violence. It examines key theories for understanding violence by the young and explores the connection between violent behaviour and a variety of social issues such as peer pressure, gender, ‘race’ and ethnicity, and alcohol and substance misuse. This highlights the impact of changing economic, political and cultural contexts from the global to local. The module also explores, and critically examines, media and criminal justice responses to youth crime.

    Read full details.

Year 3 modules include:

  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Wednesday afternoon

    This module is based on self-managed work experience within an organisation or agency related to the field of criminal justice / criminology. The student either:

    1. Spends a period of 15 days with his or her chosen employer and produces an evidence-based account of his or her experience. In carrying out the work experience students develop new skills and enhance their generic learning experience.

    Or

    2. Undertake a piece of consultancy work for an employer producing a piece of work in agreement with the organisation that will develop the student’s new skills and enhance their generic learning experience.

    Students will be assisted to find a period of work experience, which can be paid or voluntary, and will be allocated a supervisor whom they may contact for support to look for work and during the work experience period.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday morning

    This module will build on student knowledge of policing with regard to criminal investigations. The module will develop an insight into a range of investigations, from volume crime to serious and organised crime, as well as examining investigative skills (e.g. investigative interviewing, crime scene examination) and the wide range of support services essential to successful investigative work (covert & intelligence led policing methods, forensic support, CPS). Key legislation impacting on the conduct of investigations will also be critically examined (PACE, RIPA, CPIA, HRA etc) and an examination of court procedure.

    The module will focus on the investigative process and the practical aspects of investigations. It will also examine the legislation affecting investigations and often the miscarriages of justice that gave rise to them. Students will be involved in practical and group work in formative and summative assessments.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Tuesday morning

    For much of its history, criminology has been concerned with the offender. The victim was largely absent from criminological discourse, research and the criminal justice process. It was not until the early 20th century that criminologists [re] discovered the victim and began to consider the role they played in the commission of crime. From these early investigations, the victim became the central focus for many scholars and the discipline ‘victimology’ emerged. The victim is no longer considered to be ‘a bit part player’ in understanding crime. They are considered to be central to crime detection and to the prosecution of criminal acts. This module charts the birth and growth of victimology and considers some of its key theoretical concepts. It will explore the nature and extent of criminal victimisation in society and critically examine it from a number of different perspectives. The module will also explore the changing role of victim within the criminal justice system.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday afternoon

    In this module students have the opportunity to develop their interest in an area of criminology and related fields – exploring a topic of their own choosing in-depth by means of independent research.

    Students are given the opportunity to design and conduct their own research project focussing on a topic that relates to their degree course. The self-directed third year project is a great opportunity for students to build upon the knowledge and research skills acquired throughout their studies. The research project can take a variety of forms – surveys, questionnaires, interviews etc., or it may take the form of library based theoretical work.

    Students are required to attend a series of dedicated workshops designed to support you through the research project. From the outset, through to completion, students will also receive guidance from an allocated supervisor.

    The skills and experience gained throughout the project can also affect your employability and/or provide a reference for postgraduate study.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Tuesday morning

    In this module students have the opportunity to develop their interest in an area of policing – exploring in-depth a topic of their own choosing by means of independent research.
    Students design and conduct their own research project focussing on a topic that relates to their police studies degree programme. The self-directed third year project is a great opportunity for students to apply the specialist policing knowledge and skills acquired in years 1 and 2, and produce an evidence-based policing project. The research project can take a variety of forms – an action research approach, surveys, questionnaires, interviews etc., supplemented by library based exploration of ‘what works’. It should conclude by indicating key learning points and improvements or adjustments to working practices.
    Students are required to attend a series of dedicated workshops designed to support them through the research project. From the outset, through to completion, students will also receive guidance from an allocated supervisor.
    The skills and experience gained throughout the project can also affect your employability and/or provide a reference for postgraduate study.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Friday afternoon

    The first part of this module examines historical and contemporary approaches to crime control and the way in which the latter is manifest in policy and practice. The module considers and assesses the rhetoric, strategies, practices and evaluation of key criminal justice agencies in relation to both serious and less serious crime and national and international crime control issues.

    The second part of the module concentrates on penal policy and practice, exploring issues regarding the imprisonment of convicted offenders and the way in which this relates to theoretical criminological concepts. Through comparative penology, the role of imprisonment and impact of penal policy within the context of wider society are explored and examined. Issues such as diversity, gender, ‘race’ and mental disorder in relation to prisoner experiences area highlighted.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Thursday afternoon

    This module explores the definition, characteristics and offending behaviour of serious and serial offenders, with a particular focus on mass, spree and serial murderers, sexual offenders and arsonists. The module also considers how such offenders are investigated, their behaviour and characteristics analysed. Key explanatory theories used to explain serious and serial offending will be examined and the efficacy of these in relation to methodological concerns critically evaluated. Finally, the module explores the identification and apprehension of serious and serial offenders, including the application of psychological and geographic profiling techniques.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • all year (September start) - Wednesday morning

    This module will cover modern theoretical models of social control. It then goes on to interrogate the changing nature of social control in contemporary society, looking both at continuities with and disjunctions from the past It will use drugs and organised crime as examples to support and critique the theories. As this module is to be taught at level 6 it will also include some complex social and criminological theory.

    Read full details.
  • This module currently runs:
    • spring semester - Tuesday morning

    This module examines extreme political violence in the form of ‘terrorism’ and the responses of states and international organisations. Students will be encouraged to examine critically the phenomena, reflecting upon how motivation, tactics and strategies of groups employing extreme political violence have changed over time. The module explores the theoretical justifications of political violence, contrasting the presupposition that political violence is ‘rationalist’ with the presupposition that it is ‘pre-rational’. The second half of the module considers the impact of the threat posed by Al-Qaeda and affiliated groups and the UK’s legislative and policing response in the context of the global “war on terror”.

    Read full details.

If you're studying full-time, each year (level) is worth 120 credits.

Year 1 (Level 4) modules include:

  • Introduction to Policing
  • Introduction to Criminological Theory
  • Introduction to the Criminal Justice System
  • Criminal law

Year 2 (Level 5) modules include:

  • Perspectives on Policing
  • Skills for Community Police Officers
  • Knowledge in Policing
  • Policing in Practice (optional)
  • Youth, Crime and Violence (optional)
  • Crime in Context (optional)
  • Racism and Ethnicity (optional)

Year 3 (Level 6) modules include:

  • Criminology and Policing project
  • Advanced Police Processes: Psychology and Analysis
  • Frameworks in Investigation
  • Criminology Work Placement (optional)
  • Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism (optional)
  • Victims and Crime (optional)
  • Crime Control and Penology (optional)

At the end of the programme you’ll gain the skills and qualifications needed to become a police officer or police employee. These will be gained by taking specialist modules which provide the equivalent of the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing approved by the College of Policing. You’ll also gain the skills necessary to become a police analyst and those required for policing in schools and neighbourhood policing. There are also opportunities to spend time as a special constable to gain academic credit.

Police services in London include the Metropolitan Police Service, British Transport Police and the City of London Police. Students will be fast tracked into a role as a special constable from which the strongest candidates may gain a permanent post.

There are other further opportunities to study security and policing courses at master’s and doctorate level.

Between 2016 and 2020 we're investing £125 million in the London Metropolitan University campus, moving all of our activity to our current Holloway campus in Islington, north London. This will mean the teaching location of some courses will change over time.

Whether you will be affected will depend on the duration of your course, when you start and your mode of study. The earliest moves affecting new students will be in September 2018. This may mean you begin your course at one location, but over the duration of the course you are relocated to one of our other campuses. Our intention is that no full-time student will change campus more than once during a course of typical duration.

All students will benefit from our move to one campus, which will allow us to develop state-of-the-art facilities, flexible teaching areas and stunning social spaces.

Please note, in addition to the tuition fee there may be additional costs for things like equipment, materials, printing, textbooks, trips or professional body fees.

Additionally, there may be other activities that are not formally part of your course and not required to complete your course, but which you may find helpful (for example, optional field trips). The costs of these are additional to your tuition fee and the fees set out above and will be notified when the activity is being arranged.

Unistats is the official site that allows you to search for and compare data and information on university and college courses from across the UK. The widget(s) below draw data from the corresponding course on the Unistats website. If a course is taught both full-time and part-time, one widget for each mode of study will be displayed here.

How to apply

If you're a UK/EU applicant applying for full-time study you must apply via UCAS unless otherwise specified.

UK/EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University.

Non-EU applicants for full-time study may choose to apply via UCAS or apply direct to the University. Non-EU applicants for part-time study should apply direct to the University, but please note that if you require a Tier 4 visa you are not able to study on a part-time basis.

All applicants applying to begin a course starting in January must apply direct to the University.

When to apply

The University and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) accepts applications for full-time courses starting in September from one year before the start of the course. Our UCAS institution code is L68.

If you will be applying direct to the University you are advised to apply as early as possible as we will only be able to consider your application if there are places available on the course.

Fees and key information

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