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 many of the skills and qualifications needed to become a police officer or police employee. One specialist module provides the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing, which is approved by the College of Police as part of the pre-join requirements of many forces. It examines the skills required for policing in schools and neighbourhood policing. Alongside their studies, students are encouraged to gain experience as a Special Constable, which can form part of students ‘criminology work experience’ learning.
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 is often high risk and fast moving in a context of increasing and accountability. The College of Policing is driving forward with a programme aiming to professionalise the role of the Police Constable in developing all officers to a degree standard of education. To this end, the course will 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 of policing contexts, ranging from community policing to intelligence-led & covert policing standards. It will 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

This course aims to:
1. Offer a programme relevant to a range of careers 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 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 over a wide range of policing problems.
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.
8. Provide an insight into the role of an investigating officer from the outset of an enquiry and to test problem solving, decision making and communication skills in the process.

Course learning outcomes

The following learning outcomes incorporate and depend on systematic understanding of the key aspects of the knowledge base of Police Studies, Procedure and Investigation, including a coherent and detailed knowledge of some specialist areas in depth.

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

1. Deploy accurately established techniques of analysis and enquiry within Police Studies, Procedure and Investigation.

2. Devise and sustain arguments, and/or to solve problems, using ideas and techniques, some of which are at the forefront of Police Studies, Procedure and Investigation.

3. Describe and comment upon particular aspects of current research, or equivalent advanced scholarship, in Police Studies, Procedure and Investigation, recognising the uncertainty, ambiguity and limits of knowledge.

4. 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 Studies, Procedure and Investigation).

5. 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.

6. 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.

7. Communicate information, ideas, problems and solutions to both specialist and non-specialist audiences.

8. Exercise initiative and personal responsibility, including decision-making in complex and unpredictable contexts.

9. Achieve Certification Award in Knowledge of Policing enabling students to meet the pre-join requirements for the UK Police Service.

Course learning outcomes / Module cross reference


Learning outcomes cover LO1-LO9

Principle QAA benchmark statements


Assessment strategy

Students are assessed through a combination of essays, module-specific research projects, seen and unseen examinations and an individual largely self-directed project focussed upon Policing. At level 4 assessments seek to encourage students to specify and describe theories and institutions. At level 5 assessments require students to extend and critically to evaluate the knowledge they have encountered. Students at this level are also required to produce research reports including data analysis and interpretation. At level 6 assessments test students’ critical knowledge of applied areas of the subject and their ability to think and research independently, along with development of communication and problem solving skills.

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

The course will liaise regularly with recruitment staff from both 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.
There may 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 several different European countries.

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 on how they might apply their learning from specific modules in the wider social world. Certain modules have a particular focus on study skills as well as transferable skills for their future career. Students will also reflect upon their practice as future police officers, the ethical dimensions of the role, and the ways in which their academic skills may be applied to solving problems in the context of volunteering activity and/or employment. The Knowledge of Policing focuses explicitly on practical aspects of policing and provides the qualification required by many forces as a pre-join criteria. Self-directed project work at level 6 provides the opportunity for students to focus on a policing problem or issue 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.
Throughout the module students will be given the opportunity to work as part of a team on research projects, as well as presenting and defending an investigative strategy relating to a major incident. Students will need to implement much of their previous learning and knowledge to complete these tasks.

Career, employability and opportunities for continuing professional development

The course is designed to provide a useful foundation for students wishing to take up careers in the police service or other areas of law enforcement and the Criminal Justice System. It delivers a comprehensive grounding in these fields and also provides an excellent preparation for undertaking a higher degree in the fields of law enforcement, security, intelligence and Criminology.

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 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.

Official use and codes

Approved to run from 2015/16 Specification version 1 Specification status Validated
Original validation date 29 Jul 2021 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        
SC4000 Introduction to Criminological Theory Core 30        
SC4001 Introduction to the Criminal Justice System Core 30        
SC4002 Introduction to Policing Core 30        

Stage 2 Level 05 September start Offered

Code Module title Info Type Credits Location Period Day Time
SC5002 Perspectives on Policing Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR FRI AM
SC5003 Skills for Community Police Officers Core 30        
SC5008 Policing in Practice Core 30 NORTH AUT+SPR THU AM
SC5000 Crime in Context Option 30 NORTH AUT+SPR THU PM
SC5050 Crime, Media and Technology Option 15 NORTH AUT FRI PM
SC5051 Youth, Crime and Violence Option 15 NORTH SPR FRI PM
SS5006 Racism and Ethnicity Option 30 NORTH AUT+SPR FRI PM
XK0000 Extension of Knowledge Module Option 15 NORTH SPR NA  
          NORTH AUT NA  

Stage 3 Level 06 September start Offered

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