Course specification and structure
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UDPSPRIN - BSc Police Studies, Procedure and Investigation

Course Specification

Validation status Validated
Highest award Bachelor of Science Level Honours
Possible interim awards Bachelor of Science, Diploma of Higher Education, Certificate of Higher Education, Bachelor of Science
Total credits for course 360
Awarding institution London Metropolitan University
Teaching institutions London Metropolitan University
School School of Social Sciences
Subject Area Criminology and Sociology
Attendance options
Option Minimum duration Maximum duration
Full-time 3 YEARS  
Part-time 4 YEARS  
Course leader  

About the course and its strategy towards teaching and learning and towards blended learning/e-learning

The course will enable you to 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 Police; provide the basic skills needed to become a police analyst; the skills required for policing in schools and neighbourhood policing; enable time spent as a special constable to be rewarded with academic credit.

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 face are often high risk and fast moving in a context of increasing and accountability. There is now a strong professional commitment at a senior level, which openly encourages policing practitioners, both serving and potential, to develop to degree level. This programme aims to provide you with a thorough grounding and 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 that policing now operates in. Building upon both practical and theoretical insights, the course will develop you across a wide range policing contexts, encourage critical and analytical thinking whilst preparing and developing you for a role in 21st century policing.

The course is taught by research active academics and police practitioners with a wealth of operational experience. This includes serving and ex-officers from a variety of ranks from Police Constable to Commander. Based in London, students will be encouraged as part of their studies to take up pre-existing links with the Metropolitan Police Service, British Transport Police and the Mayor’s Office for Policing and Crime.

Course aims

  1. Offer a course relevant to a range of career policing
  2. develop the intellectual skills necessary for the understanding, critical evaluation and application of a range of theoretical approaches to the study of crime and policing
  3. Enable students to attempt to gain practical experience and knowledge required to be able to join the Police Service.
  4. develop students’ competence in qualitative and quantitative research methodologies
  5. provide a framework in which students identify and distinguish between some comparative models of policing and for understanding the differing forms of policing systems
  6. Explore practical applications of operational policing
  7. offer the opportunity to develop the above in relation to specialist areas of interest culminating in the production of an in-depth piece of independent research focussed on policing at level 6.

Course learning outcomes

The following learning outcomes incorporate and depend on systematic understanding of the key aspects of the knowledge base of [the subject], including a coherent and detailed knowledge of some specialist areas in depth.

On successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  • deploy accurately established techniques of analysis and enquiry within Police Practice, Procedure and Investigation;
  • devise and sustain arguments, and/or to solve problems, using ideas and techniques, some of which are at the forefront of Police Practice, Procedure and Investigation;
  • describe and comment upon particular aspects of current research, or equivalent advanced scholarship, in Police Practice, Procedure and Investigation, recognising the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge;
  • manage their own learning, and to make use of scholarly reviews and primary sources (for example, refereed research articles and/or original materials appropriate to Police Practice, Procedure and Investigation);
  • apply the methods and techniques that they have learned to review, consolidate, extend and apply their knowledge and understanding, and to initiate and carry out projects;
  • critically evaluate arguments, assumptions, abstract concepts and data (that may be incomplete), to make judgements, and to frame appropriate questions to achieve a solution - or identify a range of solutions - to a problem;
  • communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences;
  • exercise initiative and personal responsibility, including decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts;
  • undertake appropriate further training of a professional or equivalent nature

Organised work experience, work based learning, sandwich year or year abroad

There will be opportunities for students to study for part of their degree in another European country. ERASMUS is part of the European Union SOCRATES programme for cooperation in the field of education. Under ERASMUS the university has student exchange agreements with 16 different European countries. The course team has a partnership with the British Transport Police and the Metropolitan police service where officers visit the university to encourage students to become Special Constables. If this avenue is pursued, students can be awarded credit by taking the criminology work placement module at level 6.

Modules required for interim awards

See Course Structure

Arrangements for promoting reflective learning and personal development

The first year students begin processes of personal development planning in core modules and start to build up a record of achievements. They are encouraged to reflect in workshop contexts and individually on specifically what they have learned from modules and the ways in which this knowledge may be used in, or applied to, the wider social world. Specific modules focussed on social problems including study skills provide a forum in which students reflect upon their practice as future police officers , its ethical dimensions and the ways in which this practice may be applied to solving problems in the context of volunteering activity and/or employment. The module Policing in Practice focuses explicitly on practical aspects of policing and so encourages students to reflect on the practical application of their knowledge whilst the module Knowledge in policing allows students to study for a qualification required by some forces to join the police service. Self-directed project work at level 6 provides the opportunity for students to focus on a particular problem or issue in relation to policing and in this context to bring together a substantive area of interest with methodological issues and to consider how this might provide a basis for further self-development and/or vocational activity in the future.

Arrangements on the course for careers education, information and guidance

Staff on the course are active researchers with links to a range of organisations associated with the Criminal Justice System and these contacts are used to engage professional as well as academic guest speakers on the course. Some staff specifically have vocational backgrounds within the police, probation and intelligence services and students are encouraged to consult for advice if they are interested in entering these professions. The careers service is also invited to make presentations to students on the course.

Staff include ex-practitioners who have built formal and informal links with their past places of work to help facilitate student employability.

We hold employer events where key Criminal Justice employers are invited to meet our students. The strong methodological component throughout the degree and range of assessments utilised are designed to aid students’ employment opportunities and enhance the contribution they can make to agencies within the Criminal Justice System and other organisations. Currently several students are Special Constables and we are in contact with the Association of Chief Police Officers to formalise our relationship with a view to extending these opportunities.

We provide contexts for undergraduate students to engage with practitioners in Policing, Probation and other areas undertaking PhD and Masters degrees courses and to discuss employment opportunities and experiences. We are also represented at the London-wide Probation Forum which can be attended by both undergraduate and postgraduate students and facilitates a cross-fertilisation of ideas as well as networking opportunities.

Students are invited to careers fairs and engagement with criminal justice agencies on a voluntary basis and we encourage students to draw on staff links and to develop their own links with employers, a process facilitated by the location of the faculty. We have strong links in particular with the Police Service from junior ranks to ACPO level. These links are manifest in teaching, research and consultancy. We encourage students to explore these links in pursuit of voluntary and ultimately professional employment.

Other external links providing expertise and experience

Police practitioner input on some of the lectures and contribution from other speakers from other criminal justice practitioners

Professional Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) accreditations & exemptions

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.

Career opportunities

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.

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 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.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2015/16 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date Last validation date  
JACS codes
Route code PSPRIN

Course Structure

Stage 1 Level 04 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
LL4004 Criminal Law Core 30 CITY SPR+SUM THU PM
SC4000 Introduction to Criminological Theory Core 30 NORTH SPR+SUM FRI AM
SC4001 Introduction to the Criminal Justice System Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR FRI PM
SC4002 Introduction to Policing Core 30 NORTH SPR+SUM    

Stage 2 Level 05 September start Not currently offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
SC5002 Perspectives on Policing Core 30        
SC5003 Skills for Community Police Officers Core 30        
SC5004 Knowledge in Policing Core 30        
SC5000 Crime in Context Option 30        
SC5050 Crime, Media and Technology Option 15        
SC5051 Youth, Crime and Violence Option 15        
SS5006 Racism and Ethnicity Option 30        
XK0000 Extension of Knowledge Module Option 15        

Stage 3 Level 06 September start Not currently offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
SC6002 Frameworks in Investigation Core 30        
SC6053 Victims and Crime Core 15        
SC6W51 Criminology Work Experience Core 15        
SC6P00 Criminology Project Alt Core 30        
SC6P06 Evidence-based Policing Research Project Alt Core 30        
SC6000 Crime Control and Penology Option 30        
SC6004 Social Control, Drugs and Organised Crime Option 30        
SC6051 Serious and Serial Offenders Option 15        
SC6052 Terrorism and Counter-Terrorism Option 15