Policing and Criminal Investigation (Foundation Entry) BSc (Hons)

Policing and Criminal Investigation (Foundation Entry) BSc (Hons)

School of Forensic and Applied Sciences




Under- graduate



Contact UCLan

University of Central Lancashire
Preston, PR1 2HE, United Kingdom

Tel: +44 (0)1772 892400
Email: cenquiries@uclan.ac.uk

  • Duration:

    Four years / five years with industrial placement

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • UCAS Code:

    N352; Short form: P&CIFE

  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • Award Type:

    BSc (Hons)

Why study this course?

Foundation Entry degree courses are designed for students who have the ability to study for a degree, but don’t have the necessary formal qualifications to enter directly onto their chosen Honours degree programme. If you think you have a strong sense of justice and the ability to diffuse tension in stressful situations, then you might be considering a career in policing or similar law enforcement agencies. This course provides you with the opportunity to acquire recognised graduate and transferable skills within the field of policing by studying a range of topics. These include crime scene investigation, criminal law, more practical aspects of policing such as fraud, e-crime and homicide investigation, as well as ethical and political issues associated with policing. The course is delivered by experienced academics and former senior police officers who bring a wealth of theoretical and practical knowledge to enhance your learning. There is a strong emphasis on employability skills throughout the course and recent graduates have secured employment in the police, military and with major employers in industry, retail and commerce.

Entry Requirements

Our typical offer is 72 UCAS Points. We operate a flexible admissions policy and treat everyone as an individual. This means that we will take into consideration your educational achievements and predicted grades (where applicable) together with your application as a whole, including work experience and personal statement. General Studies accepted

BTEC Extended Diploma: Merit, Merit, Pass
BTEC Diploma: Distinction, Merit
Pass Access Course: 72 UCAS Points
International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 72 UCAS points from Higher Level Subjects
IELTS: 6.0 with no score lower than 5.5
GCSE: 5 at grade C/4 including Maths & English or equivalent

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our important information. UCLan requires all undergraduate applicants to have a minimum attainment of five GCSEs at grade C and above, or equivalent, (including Maths and English). In 2017 and beyond we will view the new Grade 4 as being equivalent to a C grade and will therefore require students to achieve GCSE Grade 4 or above. However, if the subject is relevant to our degree programme and requires a higher GCSE grade (e.g. GCSE B grade), and/or includes a Professional body that governs the entry requirements, Grade 5 or above may be required.

Find out more about our virtual open days Find out more about our virtual open days

Course at a Glance

Year 1

  • Study Skills
  • Key Issues in Law and Criminology
  • Introduction to Forensic Science


  • Professional Policing
  • Investigation Project

Year 2

Compulsory modules

  • Volume Crime Scene Science
  • Study Skills for Criminal Investigation
  • Introduction to Policing
  • Introduction to Criminal Law
  • Introduction to Criminal Investigation

Year 3

Compulsory modules

  • Criminalistics
  • Offences against Property and Weapons
  • Research methods
  • Partnership Working
  • Digital Investigation
  • Leadership and Management
  • Sexual Offences
  • Public Order

Optional for sandwich award:

  •  Industrial Placement Year

Year 4

Compulsory modules

  • Dissertation

Plus 4 of the following

  • Major Crime Inquiries
  • Policing Cybercrime
  • Fraud and Asset Recovery
  • International Humanitarian and Criminal Law
  • Counter Terrorism
  • Major Operations
  • Investigating Exploitation

Further Information

As part of our pioneering collaboration with Lancashire Constabulary, all students on the Policing and Criminal Investigation degree will have the opportunity to shadow a crime scene investigator as they conduct their work.

Jack Gordon
BSc (Hons) Police and Criminal Investigation

Study Policing and Forensic Science
Find out what it's like to study at UCLan

You will learn relevant study skills and be introduced to criminal law, the English legal system, forensic science and the subject of policing and criminal investigation.

You will learn further investigation skills, criminalistics, contemporary policing issues and the law relating to property and weapons. You will also have the opportunity to study overseas for one semester in The Police Academies in either Prague or Budapest.

You will have a number of options for studying high level crime investigation and ethics. You will also produce a dissertation on a relevant subject.

"With our varied and extensive modular course, coupled with a team of experienced academic staff, we feel we have a fantastic undergraduate learning programme. It’s a unique course, we all enjoy being here and we look forward to seeing anyone who wants to be a part of UCLan."

Michaela Preddy, Course Leader
Read Michaela's full Staff Q&A here


For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry:

For information on possible changes to course information, see our Important Information.

Fees 2020/21

Full-time: The fee for the first year of the course will be £5,500 (UK/EU). Fees for years 2 to 4 will be £9,250* (UK/EU) per year

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.

Further information:

For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Scholarships and bursaries

Learning Environment and Assessment

To complete the BSc(Hons) Policing and Criminal Investigation, you must pass 18 modules over the three years of the course. A full module is the equivalent of 200 hours work over the academic year. These hours are made up of lectures, tutorials, practical classes and private study.

Lectures are held in the large lecture theatres whilst tutorials are in much smaller rooms, usually in the Maudland Building. Our laboratories are also situated within this building. There is some outdoor work during the examination of crime scenes. Role-play is an essential part of the learning process, and situations and problem-solving are made as life-like as possible.

Each module is assessed by examination, coursework, role play, practicals, presentations or a combination of these options. 


The policing team is well resourced and facilities include a new Hydra Minerva suite, as well as three interconnected scenes of crime houses and a garage vehicle examination bay. Our dedicated criminalistics laboratory is equipped with cutting edge microscopy and analysis equipment. Your modules in crime scene investigation will include fingerprint recovery and identification, crime scene photography, and the recovery and analysis of trace evidence, such as hairs, fibres and body fluids.

Forensic Investigation Laboratory

“HYDRA” immersive learning suite


You may apply to be appointed as a special constable, a role you would undertake in your own time as a volunteer with Lancashire Constabulary.

You will have the opportunity to study overseas for one semester (four months) in the Police Academies in Prague, Budapest or Szczytno, Poland giving you an international perspective, as well as enhancing your CV and giving you crucial life-skills.

In addition students have the opportunity to add a sandwich year to study Criminal Justice subjects in countries other than those mentioned, such as the U.S.A, Canada and Australia. This comes between the second and third years and is highly recommended. Placements are an invaluable opportunity to help consolidate your first two years learning, gain experience, and radically enhance your employability.

The benefit of the experience gained during a study placement is often evident in improved performance in the final year of the course, and when competing for graduate jobs. We will support you in preparation for this with UCLan Careers, who can help you plan and develop your CV and applications, and have practice interviews.

In the final year you can customise your degree by choosing specialist modules eg fraud investigation, major crime inquiries and counter terrorism. We enjoy strong links with many law enforcement agencies and have regular visits with several high-profile speakers from these agencies.

We have graduates in numerous different UK police services as well as other UK and international law enforcement agencies. Not all our students wish to pursue careers in the police and we have graduates in employment in many fields. There are also opportunities for students to progress to postgraduate and even PhD study in the subject at UCLan.

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"I learned a lot about policing and criminology but I also learned a lot about myself. I met some great friends and had some amazing times. My tutors were fantastic, and being senior officers previously they brought so much life experience that I took a lot from." - Dan Hayes, Policing and Criminal Investigation - 2008 alumni