Explore and analyse areas critical to policing and investigation – such as criminal justice, the legal system and public protection – that you can use to:
- qualify for the degree-holder entry programme to the police service in England or Wales
- level up from your current role in the police to a senior or specialised role
- turn a general interest in policing into academic and professional expertise in policing and criminal investigation
This BSc (Hons) Policing and Investigation degree course is a part-time, distance learning course, which you can study around your other commitments, anywhere that suits you.
If you're planning a career in policing and related areas (such as investigative criminal profiling, police oversight bodies, or financial investigation in banking), you'll develop the practical skills you'll need in your future career.
If you’re already a serving police officer, you'll specialise in areas that could enhance your contribution to your organisation, increasing your potential to level up in a new role and achieve a higher salary.
What you'll experience
On this Policing and Investigation course you’ll:
- Transform a passion for the criminal justice system into a rewarding career, with optional modules to suit your ambitions such as cybercrime, forensic psychology, contemporary terrorism and rehabilitation
- Have the freedom to choose a final year project topic that suits your career goals – previous students have focused on areas including human trafficking, domestic abuse, terrorism, county lines drug trafficking and the retention of special constables
- Be taught by leading academics from the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, whose research areas include forensic interviewing and science, economic crime and cybercrime
- Have the chance to use on-the-job experience as proof of relevant prior learning to complete the course quicker
Work experience and career planning
Get work experience while you study with support to find part-time jobs and volunteering opportunities. Towards the end of your degree and after graduation, you'll get 1-to-1 support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to find your perfect role. On top of this you'll get bespoke careers support through our faculty 'career-ready' programme.
Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits. As a distance learning student, you'll study modules worth a total of 80 credits each year. This will be a combination of core modules, worth 40 credits each, and optional modules worth 20 credits each.
A degree is split into three levels (level 4, level 5 and level 6), each made up of modules worth a total of 120 credits. Completing all three levels of this course takes 4 and a half years.
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.
This course is delivered by supported distance learning. You will receive high-quality course materials via Moodle, our online learning environment.
You'll get to chat with fellow students, discuss and present your work and keep in touch with tutors. You'll get plenty of support throughout your studies, including help on writing and structuring essays, and how to undertake research.
You'll need access to a computer and a web connection. You may be able to access some of the resources through a tablet or smartphone, with limited functionality. You don't need to be especially computer literate, although typing skills are useful.
You’ll be assessed through essays and reports, with essay titles provided at the beginning of the academic year. You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.
You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.
The way you’re assessed will depend on the modules you select throughout your course. Here's an example from a previous year of how students on this course were typically assessed:
- Stage 1 students: 100% by coursework
- Stage 2 students: 100% by coursework
- Stage 3 students: 100% by coursework
Society relies on the police force, and those that study effective policing, to keep communities safe.
This means there will always be a demand for the skills you develop on this course – whether you're just starting out, upskilling in your current role or planning to put your skills and knowledge to use through consultancy, investigation or research.
If you want a career in the police in England or Wales, this degree qualifies you for one of the College of Policing’s entry routes to the police service.
If you're planning to stay with your current force after graduating, you could use this degree course to secure a more senior or specialised role.
But you could also apply the skills and knowledge you develop on this course to any number of roles across multiple industries. As well as equipping you to become a confident police officer, this course opens up a range of other opportunities.
You could join the public sector, working for organisations including:
- the Probation Service
- the National Crime Agency
- Department for Work and Pensions – investigating fraud
- HMRC– investigating smuggling
You could join the private sector, working for organisations including:
- banks and financial institutions – investigating fraud
- insurance companies – investigating false claims
- legal firms – assisting in legal cases
- loss prevention and private security companies
- private investigation firms
You could take on various roles, both within and outside the police force, including:
- crime scene investigator
- police staff investigator within the Criminal Investigation Department (CID)
- intelligence analyst and researcher
- private investigator
- security analyst