Police Studies, Procedure and Investigation - BSc (Hons)

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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.

More about this course

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.

Fees and key information

Course type Undergraduate
UCAS code L438
Entry requirements View
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Entry requirements

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 or above or Higher Diploma (or equivalent)

If you do not have traditional qualifications or cannot meet the entry requirements for this undergraduate degree, you may still be able to gain entry by completing the International Relations and Politics Extended degree.

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.

Modular structure

The modules listed below are for the academic year 2018/19 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) - Friday morning
    • all year (January start) - Thursday afternoon

    Criminal Law is a core module for the LL.B. courses and the BA in Law, which introduces students to the key principles of Criminal Law, which is one of the foundation subjects of English Law, as identified by the professional legal bodies, the Solicitors Regulation Authority and the Bar Standards Board.

    The module provides an academic introduction to fundamental rules of criminal law, including the key principles of a number of criminal offences. Criminal law affects many aspects of human behaviour and interaction but has complex definitions. This module aims to help students to understand the changing landscape of criminal law as well as some of the major debates in the subject.

    It also teaches and assesses key skills of analysis, academic writing and legal research in the context of criminal law. It does this by emphasising the use of primary and secondary sources of criminal law (legal judgments and Acts of Parliament as well as Parliamentary Papers and academic journal articles).

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

    The module aims to:

    1. Examine the emergence and development of criminological theory
    2. Examine the different ways in which different criminological traditions theorise crime and its social control
    3. Examine how the assumptions which underpin different traditions provide for different strategies of intervention and control
    4. Develop students’ learning and transferable skills in preparation for modules at levels 5 and 6.

    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) - Friday afternoon
    • 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.

    The module aims to:
    1. Provide students with a solid grounding in the field upon which to build a grasp of issues relating to criminal justice
    2. Review the historical development, structures and roles of key agencies responsible for the execution of justice in England and Wales
    3. Identify key models of the Criminal Justice System such as the due process and crime control models
    4. Consider recent, and significant, examples of changes in the CJS (such as the increasing levels of inter-agency cooperation)
    5. Develop students’ knowledge of current policies relating to the ‘problem of crime’.

    Read full details.

Year 2 modules include:

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

    Deliver some of the practical knowledge and skills needed to become a police officer.
    Critically evaluate the academic and open source data relating to the ten areas of generic policing covered.
    Explore the operational challenges and ethical dilemmas inherent in generic police operations.

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

    The module aims to:
    1. Explore the operational challenges and ethical dilemmas inherent in specialist police operations
    2. Examine particular aspects of specialist policing in detail from both practical and academic viewpoints
    3. Analyse the effectiveness of governance in relation to specialist policing operations
    4. Compare and contrast different perspectives in relation to policing priorities.
    5. To develop student communication and team working skills.
    6. Improve critical analytical thinking for real world problems.

    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 with 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.

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

    This module builds on level 4 introductory modules by focusing on specific categories of crime and behaviors, which have emerged as sources of concern. It gives attention to the emergence of concern about imagined dangerous groups, and moves on to more recent social anxieties. This includes the crimes associated with the socially and economically marginalized, and those associated with the economically and socially powerful.

    The central themes revolve around why some behaviors and some groups of people are ‘constructed’ as the focus of concern and special treatment. Equally, it considers why some crimes, such as corporate crime, or state crime, usually receive less attention. This exploration encourages reflection on how and why certain behaviors are defined and constructed as ‘crime’, and ‘social problems’.

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  • This module currently runs:
    • autumn semester - Friday afternoon

    1. Consider the various relationships between media, technology and crime

    2. Develop an understanding of the role of the media in shaping perceptions of crime
    and criminal justice, with a particular emphasis on marginalised groups

    3. Develop an awareness and familiarity with the emerging forms of deviant
    behaviour facilitated by contemporary technologies and/or the media

    4. Provide an overview of the way technologies interact with crime and the criminal
    justice system

    5. Develop summarising and analytical skills

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

    This 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.
    Module aims
    • To analyse critically key concepts including racism and ethnicity themselves in order to develop an awareness of their contested nature.
    • To look at these issues as worldwide problems and in a sociological context that explores the meanings ascribed to these terms, their historical origins and key examples of societies where these issues have been or still are important in shaping the social orders in which people live.
    • To consider the impact of racism on specific communities and groups, including national, religious and ethnic groups.
    • To examine the links between class, gender and ethnic differences. 

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

    The module aims to:
    1. Familiarise students with the theoretical perspectives that have shaped criminological thought on violence by young people
    2. Encourage students to develop a critical overview of young people’s engagement in violent crime
    3. Develop students’ ability to research, analyse and communicate critical and informed arguments relating to the theory, policy and practice underpinning youth involvement in violent crime.

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Year 3 modules include:

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

    The module aims to:

    1. Provide the opportunity for the student to gain experience of a working environment
    2. Enhance and extend their learning experience by applying and building on their academic skills and capabilities by identifying and / or tackling real life problems in the workplace
    3. Provide the opportunity to reflect upon the culture and structure of a working environment and their activity within it
    4. Develop new capabilities and skills in the context of a work environment.

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

    The module aims to build on existing knowledge by providing a more detailed insight into the criminal investigative process within the UK Criminal Justice System. Module content will include:
    Critical review of miscarriages of justice (MOJ) to identify risk areas for MOJ's.
    The module will go on to identify reforms made through legislation and procedure to improve the investigative process as a result.

    Students will also examine the roles and responsibilities of a variety of actors during the process, from the Senior Investigating Officer, Crime Scene examiners, Family Liaison Officers and specialist support staff.

    Students will have the opportunity to discuss and develop an investigative strategy that develops at stages through their group work.

    A number of major public enquiries will also be scrutinised through examination of reports such as Hillsborough and MacPherson and their impact on police procedure and accountability.

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

    a. To provide students with an overview of the key theoretical concepts within victimology.
    b. To identify to some of the social and political factors that placed victims at the forefront of academic and professional discourses.
    c. To encourage students to critically appraise the nature and extent of victimisation. To develop student ability to research, analyse, and communicate their thoughts relating to victimisation, victim policy and practice.

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

    The module aims to:

    1. Give students the opportunity to reflect upon their learning to date and define and research a topic of interest to them in the light of that experience.
    2. Give students the opportunity to design and plan an independent research project and to produce a research proposal outlining the field of interest, proposed methodology and ethical considerations.
    3. Enable students to produce a written piece of research which demonstrates awareness of the relationship between criminology and related fields and the limits of knowledge.

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

    The module aims to:

    1. Give students the opportunity to reflect upon their learning to date and define and research a topic of interest to them in the light of that experience
    2. Evaluate a complex body of policing related knowledge
    3. Give students the opportunity to report upon their research to their peers, including the evidence base for their chosen focus, the problems raised by the research and the progress made
    4. Ensure they demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the potential impacts of recommendations on workplace, workforce and service.
    5. Enable students to produce a written piece of research which demonstrates awareness of the relationship between policing and related fields in criminology and the limits of knowledge.

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

    The module aims to:
    1. Identify and explore key concepts underpinning crime control
    2. Examine contemporary policies and practices of principal crime control agencies
    3. Enable students to understand the linkages between contemporary crime control and wider social policy (and accompanying political debate)
    4. Enhance analytic skills and instil a critical awareness through consideration of both official rhetoric and evidence together with the limitations of crime control policies and practice in a 'real world' context
    5. Explore the application of criminological theories and concepts to penal policy and practice and encourage confidence in the use of varied learning and discursive strategies
    6. Develop understanding of the operation of prisons and the role of imprisonment within the criminal justice system and wider society
    7. Explore comparative penal perspectives and develop understanding of diversity within penal policy and practice.

    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.

    The module aims to:
    1. discuss and give examples of some of the most disturbing and controversial forms of offending behaviour;
    2. identify the prevalence of serial and serious offending within the broader population of criminal offences, questioning common assumptions about, and contemporary popular focus on, these categories of offences;
    3. evaluate and debate the definition and measurement of serious and serial offending, particularly in relation to methodological concerns;
    4. describe and critically discuss a range of key theories and concepts employed in the explanation and understanding of serious and serial offenders;
    5. critically evaluate the investigation and detection of such offenders and offences, with a special focus on offender and geographic profiling.

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

    This module aims to exploit specialism’s residing within the criminology team in London met so that students can apply theories to exciting and relevant areas of criminology


    The module aims to:
    1. Introduce students to theories and debates on the nature of crime control in the modern state
    2. Provide an overview of the major traditions of thinking within Criminology regarding the issue of illegal drugs their use and distribution
    3. Examine the way the attempts to control crime and deviance are examples of broader debates over social control
    4. Sensitise students to the ethical and social consequences that flow from the way in which contemporary society elects to punish offenders and prevent crime

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

    The module aims to:
    1. examine the debate over of the origin of a variety of forms of ideological, nationalist and religiously motivated violence in the form of 'terrorism'.
    2. explore the dimensions of the new ‘terrorist’ threat.
    3. examine the contemporary range of counter terrorist agencies and policies in the
    national and international context.

    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)

After the course

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.

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.

Unistats - key information set

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.

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.

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