Policing and Criminal Investigation

Policing and Criminal Investigation BSc (Hons)

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 Policing degree course provides you with the opportunity to acquire recognised graduate and transferable skills within the field of policing by studying a range of topics, including crime scene investigation; criminal law; practical aspects of policing such as fraud, e-crime and homicide investigation; and ethical and political issues associated with policing. The Policing and Criminal Investigation 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 and recent graduates have secured employment in the police, the military and with major employers in industry, retail and commerce.

Key Information

  • Duration:

    Three years / four years with industrial placement

  • Level:


  • Delivery:

    Campus, Full-time and Part-time

  • Award Type:

    BSc (Hons)

  • Institution Code:

    CLANC C30

  • UCAS Code:


  • Campus:

    Preston (Campus code: U)

  • Start Date:


  • Forensic and Archaeological Sciences at UCLan are 1st in the North West for overall student satisfaction, teaching quality and academic support - National Student Survey 2019.
  • You’ll benefit from the insight and experiences of academics in the field, in addition to serving and former police officers from a variety of backgrounds.
  • You will have the opportunity to shadow a working crime scene investigator due to our pioneering Lancashire Constabulary collaboration.
  • Benefit from our numerous working relationships with local/ national police forces and other national law enforcement agencies. We have regular visits with several high-profile speakers from these agencies and related organisations.

Course Overview

Year 1

Compulsory modules

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

Year 2

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 3

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

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 104-120 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: Distinction, Merit, Merit
BTEC Diploma: 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 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

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

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.

To complete the BSc (Hons) Policing and Criminal Investigation, you must pass 18 modules over the three years of the course.

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.

Excellent Facilities

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.

HYDRA Minerva Suite Control Room

Crime Scene Houses

Forensic Laboratory

Exciting Opportunities

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 Policing 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.

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.