Professional Policing

Professional Policing BSc (Hons)

The pre-join BSc (Hons) Professional Policing degree is recognised by the police service as one of the entry routes for the role of police constable. The course covers all the knowledge and many of the skills elements of the national curriculum for the police constable role. The University of Central Lancashire is fully licensed and approved by the College of Policing to deliver this course, with the content and structure meeting the Core Requirements contained within the National Programme Specification. This course is built on UCLan’s longstanding experience and reputation for the delivery of policing courses developed and run in partnership with The College of Policing and The Police Service.  

Key Information

  • Duration:

    Full Time 3 years

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • Award Type:

    BSc (Hons)

  • Institution Code:

    CLANC C30

  • UCAS Code:


  • Campus:

    Preston and Burnley (Campus code: Preston: U, Burnley: A)

  • Start Date:


  • The course is delivered by expert academics and former senior police officers with extensive practical and operational experience.
  • Access superb facilities such as the Hydra Minerva immersive training simulator and on campus crime scene houses.
  • You’ll benefit from our working relationships with local and national police forces and other national law enforcement agencies. We have regular high-profile speakers, visits from these agencies and other related organisations.

Course Overview

Year 1

Initial Policing Knowledge & Skills

  • Policing roles and responsibilities
  • Ethics Equality and Diversity
  • Professional Standards
  • Evidence Based Policing & Problem Solving
  • Study skills & Research methods
  • Decision Making

Initial Professional Responsibility

  • Criminology & Crime Prevention
  • Vulnerability & Risk, Public Protection
  • Digital Crime
  • Counter Terrorism
  • Evidence

Initial Core Policing

  • Response Policing
  • Community Policing
  • Policing the Roads
  • Information & Intelligence

Year 2

Continuing Policing Knowledge & Skills

  • Valuing Difference & Inclusion
  • Police Accountability & Public Confidence
  • Optimising evidence-based approaches
  • Research methods
  • Evaluation and review of decisions
  • Developing Communication skills

Continuing Professional Responsibility

  • Applying theories in Criminology
  • Evaluating risk
  • Investigating Digital Crime
  • Counter Terrorism & Front-Line Policing
  • Partners in Criminal Justice

Continuing Core Policing

  • Ambiguous and complex elements of Response Policing
  • Community Policing
  • Policing The Roads
  • Information & Intelligence

Year 3

Advanced Policing Knowledge, Skills & Professional Responsibility

  • The strategic context of policing and professionalisation of the service
  • Evaluating relevant use of sociology and criminology
  • Advanced and complex issues in public protection, digital policing and the Criminal Justice System

Advanced Core Policing

  • Critical analysis, discussion and the development of ideas in the following areas. Response Policing, Community Policing, Policing the Roads, Information & Intelligence and Conducting Investigations.

Specialist Research Project

  • Developing the further learning of the student as a critical thinker in one of the core policing areas

Optional Module- Study of one of the following;

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

*Options available at UCLan Preston only

More information about programme specifications and module information is available in the course handbook.

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Fees 2020/21

Full-time: £9,250* per year (UK/EU)
Part-time: £1,540* per 20 credits studied (UK/EU)
Fees for international students

Entry Requirements

Our typical offer is 104-112 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

Applications from individuals with non-standard qualifications, relevant work or life experience and who can demonstrate the ability to cope with and benefit from degree-level studies are welcome. If candidates have not studied recently they may be required to undertake an Access programme. Accredited Prior Learning /Accredited Prior Experiential Learning will be assessed through standard University procedures.

BTEC Extended Diploma: Distinction, Merit, Merit
BTEC Diploma: Distinction*, Distinction - Distinction*, Distinction
Pass Access Course: 106-112 UCAS Points  
International Baccalaureate: Pass Diploma with 104-112 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

International applicants will be required to have a minimum level of proficiency in English Language equivalent to IELTS grade 6 with no subscore lower than 5.5.

International Students

View our entry requirements for your country

Scholarships and Bursaries

The University offers a range of scholarships and bursaries to support you through your studies.

Discover More

Not got the grades?

If you do not meet the formal entry requirements specified, Foundation Entry offers an alternative route to study for this degree

Foundation Entry Route

Check your points

Not sure how many points you have? Use our handy calculator and find out.

Points calculator

Further Information

The curriculum covers the study of elements of core policing such as; response policing, policing communities, policing the roads, information and intelligence and conducting investigations. There are opportunities to develop your skills relating to subjects such as; evidence-based policing, decision making, and valuing difference and inclusion. There is also a focus on developing professional responsibility in areas such as; the study of vulnerability and risk, digital policing and counter terrorism. The final year provides the opportunity to carry out a research-based study as well as study optional specialist areas of policing.

Although this is a qualification recognised by the police service as part of one of the entry routes for the role of police constable, there is no guarantee that successful completion will lead to an employment opportunity. 

The Police Service has its own selection procedure and entry requirements, which include physical requirements as well as background and vetting enquiries. Some of these are included below, with further detail included in the course handbook which you can access by clicking on the link at the bottom of the page.

Study Policing and Forensic Science at UCLan

Police Eligibility Criteria

Applicants from all backgrounds and ethnic groups are encouraged to apply to the police service.  Applicants are not limited to any particular age group. You should also be aware that all new recruits are required to undertake a two-year probationary period.

Here are some of the basic eligibility requirements for new police constables:

  • Nationality requirements
  • Qualifications and experience
  • Criminal record
  • Tattoos
  • Financial status
  • Physical fitness
  • Health
  • Eyesight
  • Previous applications

More information regarding eligibility criteria can be found at the link here.

If you want to join the Police Service in England and Wales as a police constable, you must be successful in a number of recruitment stages.One of these is the Police SEARCH® Recruit Assessment Centre which is a rigorous and standardised process involving observation of a candidate's performance across a variety of exercises, to assess their potential to perform the role of a police constable effectively.

Following successful completion of the recruitment assessment centre there may be further recruitment processes and interviews with-in individual police force.Individual forces would need to be contacted to discuss their recruitment process

More information regarding the assessment centre, its processes and assessment can be found here.

Conduct and Standards

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As part of your preparation for a police career It is important that your conduct whilst studying at UCLan meets that which is expected of a potential police officer. There are some cultural differences between being a student on other courses and the pre-join Professional Policing Degree programme. It is important that as a potential police officer you conduct yourself appropriately with regard to attendance, behaviour, inside and outside the university, and with regard to the image you portray to others at all times, including on social media.

Membership of the Special Constabulary

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Please note that being a volunteer as a Special Constable does not form part of this course. Some applicants may already be Specials and their development in the role, although valuable to their future employability, cannot at this time be accredited as part of this particular pre-join course.

Additional Support

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Due to the unique nature of the demands of being a student on a course focussed on a specific career path, there is plenty of additional support available to you. This includes being able to contact and speak to staff before you apply, via course enquiries, and ongoing support throughout the course. The majority of the teaching staff on the course have extensive operational policing experience and will provide guidance and advice in relation to your development on the course, including helping you prepare for the application and recruitment process. In addition, UCLan work closely with police forces and have visiting speakers to offer advice and support on professional policing issues. UCLan can also provide carer advice on alternative career paths, either within the wider police family or other potential openings for graduates.

It is essential that students considering this course and a career in the police service should make themselves aware of the Police Conduct Regulations and Code of Ethics and Student Conduct Rules.

Entry Requirements

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Please see the section below relating to the entry requirements for this programme.

UCLan are prepared to consider applications from individuals with non-standard qualifications, relevant work or life experience and who can demonstrate the ability to cope with and benefit from degree-level studies are welcome. If candidates have not studied recently they may be required to undertake an Access programme.  Accredited Prior Learning /Accredited Prior Experiential Learning will be assessed through standard University procedures. UCLan and the police service are particularly interested in recruiting applicants from underrepresented groups.

For Further Information

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Look out for details of our open days and applicant days on our website, where you will be able to discuss the course and your eligibility criteria with members of the team.Alternatively use the contact details below for the Course Enquiries Team.

UCLan also work closely with Further Education colleges across Lancashire, so you may also be able to access information if you are a student there.

Learning Environment and Assessment

A 3 year degree qualification typically comprises 360 credits and each 20 credit (a standard module) equates to 200 hours of study, which comprises of a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials, practical sessions and independent study. Independent study is an important aspect of your degree course. The exact combination of study time will be detailed within your module descriptors, and will depend on your option choices.

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HYDRA Minerva Suite Control Room (Preston Campus)

Crime Scene Houses (Preston Campus)

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"Get to know everyone in the lectures, enjoy all aspects of university life, utilise the support available from UCLan and commit to your education."

Vicky Mooney Staff Q&A – Course Leader BSc (Hons) in Professional Policing

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UCLan Policing Magazine

UCLan Policing Magazine

Investigating News


Course Enquiries

Telephone us: +44(0)1772 892400
Email us or Book a visit

Important Information

This course is based in the School of Forensic and Applied Sciences

Course Handbook

For detailed information about studying this course at UCLan, please see the course handbook for your year of entry: 2019 Entry | 2020 Entry
For information on possible changes to course information, see our Essential and Important Course Information.

Tuition Fees & Finance

*Tuition Fees are per year unless otherwise stated.
For 2019/20 fees please refer to our fees page.

Further Information for students

You can find regulations and policies relating to student life at The University of Central Lancashire on our Student Contract page.

Entry Requirements

For changes to 2017 UCAS tariff entry requirements please see our Essential and Important Course 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.