Policing, Security and Community Safety - Prof Doc

Add to my prospectus Why study this course? More about this course Our teaching plans for autumn 2021 Entry requirements Modular structure What our students say Where this course can take you How to apply

Why study this course?

This course is the first ever doctorate degree designed for professionals working in law enforcement, policing, security, government and the private sector. It’s ideal for those wanting to hone their professional and research skills through a PhD-level qualification but with a more practical, career-orientated focus. The course aims to produce professionally competent and informed practitioners who have an understanding of wider policing theories and advanced research skills and abilities. Our graduates include highly placed policing and security professionals.

More about this course

This unique professional doctorate course provides both theoretical and relevant practical skills development for those who wish to further their careers in policing, security, community policing, legal occupations and social research methodology.

The course is international in nature with previous students coming from Canada and Africa, and EU and Caribbean countries as well as the UK. The course contains a balanced content of international law enforcement and security issues, and also local community level problems. The taught modules and assignments are tailored as much as possible to assist you in your thesis.

Thesis topics of previous students have included financial regulation, anti-terrorism, public confidence in the police, comparative international security issues, local community police and societal issues.

You'll become a professionally competent and informed practitioner with a sophisticated understanding of wider policing theories and advanced research skills and abilities. As well as developing teamwork, leadership and presentation skills, the course will help you acquire the skills and knowledge you need to tackle complex occupational or professional problems in challenging and diverse situations.


You'll be assessed through reports, essays, presentations and a thesis.

Fees and key information

Course type
Entry requirements View
Apply now

Our teaching plans for autumn 2021

We are planning to return to our usual ways of teaching this autumn including on-campus activities for your course. However, it's still unclear what the government requirements on social distancing and other restrictions might be, so please keep an eye on our Covid-19 pages for further updates as we get closer to the start of the autumn term.

Entry requirements

You must be engaged professionally in a recognised area of criminal justice and policing. This can include private sector employees who are engaged in aspects of criminal justice particularly cybercrime.

You'll be required to:

  • have at least three years of full-time experience in a senior role.
  • already be making a contribution to policy in policing or wider criminal justice. 
  • hold an undergraduate degree and a master's degree in a relevant subject area.*

*In lieu of this, recognised professional courses with CPD points such as the Senior Investigators course (PIP3) and similar qualifications will be taken into consideration.

All applicants will be subject to an interview and will be required to submit an outline research proposal at the point of application.

English language requirements

English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5, with no component score below 6.0.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a Pre-sessional Academic English programme before you start your course.

Visa information for international students

As a part-time programme, this course does not qualify international applicants for a Student visa. Non-EU students can attend the study weekends on short-term study visas.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2021/22 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:
    • summer studies

    The module will consider the shifting policing landscape through a variety of perspectives defining the modern police service as a recognised profession. It will critically assess what this knowledge means in relation to policing, security and community safety as a foundation for evidence-based policy making and its practical applications.

    Read full details
  • This module currently runs:
    • summer studies

    This module is designed to look at leadership in general, as well as leadership in policing and law enforcement settings, specifically in the domain of police leadership in both strategic leadership and operational policing. The module will also look at ethical issues and dilemmas that can affect leadership decisions. It will draw on a body of work that explores the difference between managerial and leadership styles and helps students to identify how to influence those more senior to them, lead by example and motivate staff. There will be a specific focus on managing change, supporting staff through structural reorganisations and how to identify and nurture new talent.

    Read full details
  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester

    The module aims to:

    1. Assist students in designing and conducting research for their thesis, and in developing their skills of critical reflection and analysis.
    2. Develop a competence in understanding the strengths and limitations of quantitative and qualitative research.
    3. Develop a competence in analysing quantitative and qualitative research data and writing research reports.
    4. To critically appraise quantitative and qualitative research produced by statutory agencies (such as the Home Office and the Metropolitan Police Service) and voluntary sector organisations in order to enhance their employment prospects.

    Read full details
  • This module currently runs:
    • summer studies

    The module introduces key ideas involved in studying security policy issues in the contemporary world. Students will consider how social, political as well as international relations processes can play a role in constructing and reconstructing security. Topics that will be elaborated on include community, identity, statehood, and political determination. The module focuses on both contemporary and historical security policy issues such as community safety, arms race policy, and the lack of regulatory policy on private military companies. We will also examine the knowledge learned through country cases, such as Cyprus and Northern Ireland, Israel and Palestine, Syria, Russia, China. The course aims to expose students to contemporary debates in security policy and its implementation as well as to the various forms in which security is manifesting today.

    Read full details
  • This module currently runs:
    • summer studies

    This module aims to ensure that students have an understanding of the theoretical and philosophical contexts within which security, policing and community safety are constructed.

    Read full details

Year 2 modules include:

What our students say

"Teaching staff have experience both academically and with their previous employment in probation and police services which adds experience to the content."

Where this course can take you

The course will be of direct benefit to law enforcement officers who wish to progress their careers through a high-level doctoral qualification. As this qualification is more interactive and practical than a traditional PhD, it is an opportunity to gain a recognised qualification while making a significant contribution to your professional environment. Previous graduates have gone on to roles in the Crown Prosecution Service as barristers and as senior police officers with the London Metropolitan Police.

Additional costs

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.

How to apply

Use the apply button to begin your application.

When to apply

You are advised to apply as early as possible as applications will only be considered if there are places available on the course.

To find out when teaching for this degree will begin, as well as welcome week and any induction activities, view our academic term dates.

News and success stories

Visit us

You may also like...