BSc (Hons)

Professional Policing


The PEQF (Policing Education Qualifications Framework) is a new, professional framework for the training of police officers and staff. As of 1st January 2020, successful appointment as a police officer in any one of the 43 Police Forces in England and Wales will be dependent upon the completion of a professional educational qualification.

Police offers on the street

Course overview

The College of Policing, as the professional body of the police service, have developed three new entry routes into the police service. One of these routes is by completion of a Pre-Join degree, whereby students study a three-year degree in professional policing.

The BSc (Hons) Professional Policing programme covers a comprehensive range of knowledge, skills and professional approaches that have been identified as being critical to policing services in the 21st century. These include evidence-based policing; decision-making and discretion; criminology and crime prevention; pro-active approaches to vulnerability, risk, and public protection; well-being and resilience. There is also coverage of key emerging areas of responsibility, such as digital policing and counter terrorism. Students develop academic and research skills as well as policing knowledge. In the final year, students will be putting the in-depth learning into action through an Extended Independent Study module. 

As well as subject specific skills, students will have the opportunity to develop key transferable skills that are highly valued by employers in the graduate job market, including the ability to present and develop a cohesive argument, IT skills, research and problem-solving skills, communication skills and working as part of a team.


The Pathways to Law, Crime & Justice programme is an opportunity for prospective law, criminology, forensics and policing students to engage in a series of practical and informative sessions delivered by academics and practitioners at the Faculty of Law, Crime and Justice.

Participants in the Pathways to Law, Crime & Justice  are eligible to receive reduced contextual offers on the following University of Winchester courses:

- LLB (Hons) Law
- BA (Hons) Law with Criminology
- BA (Hons) Criminology
- BA (Hons) Criminology with Psychology
- BA (Hons) Criminology and Sociology
- BSc (Hons) Forensic Investigation
- BSc (Hons) Forensic Science
- BSc (Hons) Professional Policing

Eligibility for the programme
The programme is open to all home/ Islands Year 12 and Year 13 students.

Programme activities include:
•    Lectures and seminar activities based on a variety of legal topics
•    Experience of practical legal exercises including mooting, client interviewing and negotiation
•    Career guidance and advice from legal and criminal justice and policing professionals
•    Optional interview experience with the Dean of Faculty or Head of Department

All activities are delivered live at the University of Winchester. Some activities are also delivered virtually.

For more information on the pathways programme and how to apply, register your interest here

Please click here for the Pathways to Law, Crime & Justice - Privacy Notice

What you need to know

Course start date



Winchester campus

Course length

  • 3 years full-time
  • 6 years part-time



Typical offer

104-120 points


From £9,250 pa

Course features

  • Develop both the practical skills and the theoretical knowledge you need to become an effective police officer. Learn from leading experts who have wide-ranging real-life experience in policing
  • Become equipped to deal with the exciting challenges of modern policing

Course details

Our aim is to shape 'confident learners' by enabling you to develop the skills needed to excel in your studies here and as well as onto further studies or the employment market.

You are taught primarily through a combination of lectures and seminars, allowing opportunities to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups.

In addition to the formally scheduled contact time such as lectures and seminars etc.), you are encouraged to access academic support from staff within the course team, your personal tutor and the wide range of services available to you within the University.

Independent learning

Over the duration of your course, you will be expected to develop independent and critical learning, progressively building confidence and expertise through independent and collaborative research, problem-solving and analysis with the support of staff. You take responsibility for your own learning and are encouraged to make use of the wide range of available learning resources available.

Overall workload

Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning and assessment activity.
While your actual contact hours may depend on the optional modules you select, the following information gives an indication of how much time you will need to allocate to different activities at each level of the course.

Year 1 (Level 4): Teaching, learning and assessment: 240 hours. Independent learning: 960 hours

Year 2 (Level 5): Teaching, learning and assessment: 216 hours. Independent learning: 984 hours

Year 3 (Level 6): Teaching, learning and assessment: 168 hours. Independent learning: 1032 hours

*Please note these are indicative hours for the course.


Taught elements of the course take place on campus in Winchester.

Teaching hours

All class based teaching takes places between 9am – 6pm, Monday to Friday during . Wednesday afternoons are kept free from timetabled teaching for personal study time and for sports clubs and societies to train, meet and play matches. There may be some occasional learning opportunities (for example, an evening guest lecturer or performance) that take places outside of these hours for which you will be given forewarning.


Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. An indicative, and not necessarily comprehensive, list of assessment types you might encounter includes essays, portfolios, supervised independent work, presentations, written exams, or practical performances.
We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.

Percentage of the course assessed by coursework

The assessment balance between examination and coursework depends to some extent on the optional modules you choose. The approximate percentage of the course assessed by different assessment modes is as follows:

Year 1 (Level 4)*: 50% coursework. 0% written exams. 50% practical exams

Year 2 (Level 5)*: 83% coursework. 0% written exams. 17% practical exams

Year 3 (Level 6)*: 75% coursework. 0% written exams. 25% practical exams

*Please note these are indicative percentages and modes for the programme.

Further information

For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures.


Please note the modules listed are correct at the time of publishing. The University cannot guarantee the availability of all modules listed and modules may be subject to change. The University will notify applicants of any changes made to the core modules listed. For further information please refer to


Introduction to Police Values and Attributes

The Police Service of England and Wales is recognised as the pinnacle model of policing-by-consent globally. For this position to be maintained, policing specialists must characterise and demonstrate exemplary attitudes and behaviours, recognising the complex nature of policing activity. Consequently, this module examines the values, ethics and personal/professional standards required for policing professionals.

Students will reflect upon core ethical and evidence-based practices when making decisions and problem-solving within the identified core areas of policing practice: response policing, policing communities, policing the roads, managing information and intelligence, and conducting investigations. The unbiased use of discretion underpins the module throughout, encompassing wider policing entities and roles.

Developing Academic Skills

This module starts to educate students to be able to apply a broad expanse of evidence-based policing to the scenarios they will face. This module introduces the principles of academic study, the associated discipline, research, reading, interpreting, and referencing skills necessary to achieve a professional policing degree. It additionally starts to focus on learning theory, communication skills, and reflective practice, all essential to continuous improvement and development.

Introduction to Contemporary Policing

Policing in the contemporary world is made challenging by the advent of new methodologies and technologies in terrorism and digital, internet, cyber-dependent and cyber-enabled crime. This, in turn, has an inextricable link and impact on many aspects of the core policing areas of response policing, policing communities, information and intelligence, and conducting investigations. It is therefore appropriate that this module looks in detail at all aspects of the initial considerations in these areas. The module examines the advent of digital policing and terrorism, together with evolving and existing strategies to counter them. The ever-changing scope and function of the core policing areas is examined and later evaluated for its effectiveness.

Throughout, the concept of evidence-based policing, evolutionary in contemporary policing, must be considered and appropriate evidential sources located, applied, and evaluated. This is a fundamental requirement in modern policing contexts.

Introduction to Criminology and Criminal Justice

The Police are just one agency working within the Criminal Justice System - a multi-agency approach to supporting and delivering justice within society. Importantly, the Police will typically initiate the criminal justice process. Underpinning this must therefore be an understanding of criminology and crime prevention within the field of criminal justice. Exploring a range of criminological and criminal justice theoretical perspectives, policing will be considered from this academic viewpoint. The National Decision Model will be introduced, and its role and application will be considered. The study of legislative, judicial and court proceedings will be part of this module as well as wider international influences such as relevant UN Sustainable Development Goals including Gender Inequality, Reducing Inequalities and Peace, Justice, and Strong Institutions. Understanding a wider definition of policing, students will start to understand the concept of plural policing and the many different forms that this takes.

Introduction to Vulnerability, Risk and Public Protection

Contemporary policing requires appreciation of a wide cross-section of vulnerability and public protection requirements within society. Individuals who are, have been, or are likely to be subjected to modern slavery, human trafficking, forced marriage, honour-based abuse, and female genital mutilation, are examples of those who are of relatively recent consideration to the police in terms of vulnerability and the need for public protection.

This module introduces the students to some of the personal characteristics, history, risk, and situational factors leading to vulnerability. Relevant legislation, noteworthy cases, and the multi-agency information sharing protocols are also examined. Consideration of external (international) influences such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals enable a wider understanding of issues such as inequality, inclusivity and partnership working as elements within this module.

Police Investigations

This module will introduce students to some of the core knowledge required in conducting police investigations. Starting from the point of the relevant legislation, principles and powers that are involved in investigating, students will begin to understand both the scope and limits of those powers. Wider legislative and policy influence such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals will be considered. Areas of focus will include stop and search/entry and search powers, and the differing approaches taken in ‘volume and priority’ crimes and ‘serious and complex’ crime investigations. The role of wider ‘policing’ entities will be considered.


Policing Values, Ethics and Practice

With public trust and confidence in the police being essential, the importance of values and valuing difference, ethics and adhesion to professional standards is paramount. Effective communication, leadership, and team-working together with ethical and consistent decision-making, are crucial elements to this. This second-year module requires students to evaluate ethics, values, and norms in policing and to critically examine and reflect upon their impact on policing and communities. Evaluation of theory and professional practice are sought, both in respect of communication and leadership. This will encourage the student to consider both sets of skills in relation to presentations, operational briefings and team dynamics, and cohesion. In addition, a focus on well-being and resilience and strategies to manage organisational justice and organisational culture are key aspects of this module.

Criminology, Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice

Continuing study within the field of social and criminal justice, this module explores relevant criminological theories and strategies, analysing the role of the police in contemporary society and within the wider criminal justice system. The module seeks to critically evaluate strengths and weaknesses of different policing models through sociological and criminological perspectives. The module requires students to critically review operational policing and decision making. Additionally, it reaffirms the importance of multi-agency engagement, crime prevention, bail, offender rehabilitation, and diversity issues within the criminal justice system. The module will further develop students understanding of the role of victims and witnesses within the criminal justice process.

Contemporary Policing Practice

With traditional core policing areas affected by an increasing influence of the more contemporary forms of terrorism and internet-enabled crime, the innovative and creative use of intelligence and analytics together with well-developed investigative ability and the appropriate level of understanding to source and use best available evidence to support an evidence-based policing approach are becoming essential skills within policing. This follow-on module takes a deeper look into the psychology of human behaviour and key history of events and incidents which help to understand both the importance of a contemporary policing approach, but also the impact of crime on response, community, and roads-policing with a view to developing modern prevention and disruption tactics and strategies, fostering, and maintaining community cohesion and ensuring capability within a joint emergency services operational provision. Intelligence, information, and investigative strategies are examined and enhanced in support of this throughout the core policing areas.

Introduction to Research Methods

This second year Research Methods and Skills module continues to develop the skills needed to support the student, regardless of background, the opportunity to learn and practice the skills needed by future police officers in the research, study, interpretation, presentation, and application of evidence-based policing. Focusing on research methods and approaches that will support the development of students as independent, critical, and ethically sound researchers, the module will prepare students to undertake a work based, problem oriented, Extended Independent Study in their final year of study.

Advanced Vulnerability, Risk and Public Protection

This module explores theories and concepts surrounding victimisation, offending, recidivism, and intervention. Specific study is undertaken in respect of youth gangs’ targeting of the vulnerable or at-risk individuals, and professionals abusing their position of trust. The module culminates in the evaluation of different approaches in supporting and managing the vulnerable, and strategies to manage both repeat victimisation and repeat offending. Understanding the role of wider international policy development such as the UN Sustainable Development Goals – particularly gender equality and reducing inequalities – will frame these considerations.

Information and Intelligence in Evidence-Based Policing

Evidence-based policing is at the core of modern practice. The concept in both theory and practice is essential knowledge for those conducting criminal investigations. The collection, management and retention of information and intelligence is subject to extensive legislation and guidance and this module introduces this and its applications in policing. Understanding the professional concept of evidence-based policing underpins many of the operational decision-making processes involved in both preventing and investigating criminal activity. The responsibility and interaction with other criminal justice, social justice and community organisations will be covered within this module.


Understanding the Police Constable Role: Ethics and Policy

This module continues to develop the students’ knowledge around the use of police powers, policies, and procedures. The module concentrates upon key legislation that can be drawn upon by holders of the office of constable to safeguard and protect the public. Underpinned by their oath of office, constables seek to safeguard fundamental human rights, keep the peace, and prevent offences against people and property. Key legislation is explored which enable constables to undertake proactive and reactive activities to confront suspected criminality. Interactive lectures and practical interactive workshops are utilized throughout this module to help embed learning.

Ethical decision-making, the use of discretion and the maintenance of professional standards are identified as methods by which the police service can help to ensure peaceful and inclusive societies where there is equitable access to justice for all.

Advanced Contemporary Policing

This concentrates on the core policing areas concurrent to completion of the evidence-based policing independent research project and requires the student to examine specific challenges in more complex response situations and the enablers to evolving response policing strategies. Community policing is evaluated in respect of key emerging issues, problems, concerns, and challenges placing the imperative on designing problem-solving approaches. The focus for road policing is reviewing, using an evidence-based approach, serious road policing offences and strategies associated with reducing the number of collisions. Underpinning these areas is an evaluation of the National Intelligence Model and how information, intelligence and outcomes from a given policing operation can be reflected upon and the learning used to inform future practices and indeed shape policing objectives. A comprehensive understanding of complex investigations and some of their intricate considerations concludes the module. Understanding the development of wider policing entities and models will be considered.

Problem Solving in Policing

For many years, policing has focused on reactive practices, responding to crimes once occurred and in response to public reporting. Crime have been regarding as episodes of detection with a conviction being the point of ‘solving’ a crime. However, contemporary policing, as well as community needs, require a much more pro-active and intelligence based approach to policing. This requires a different skill set of police – focusing on problem solving and interrogating a much broader range of intelligence and evidence than has previously been required. The concept and practice of problem-oriented policing is at the core of this module and students will have the opportunity to develop a critical understanding of the underpinning theory, what this means in practice and how this is helping to change the approach of contemporary policing practice.

Conducting Complex Investigations

Conducting complex investigations requires a different set of skills to addressing volume and priority crimes. This module will explore the processes required in conducting such investigations. This will include considering the wide range of stakeholders involved, the practice of interoperability between emergency services and the challenges of such investigations. Taking a practice-based approach, real cases will be explored as to best practice and lessons to be learned. Actions relating to both live and cold cases will be considered. The specific role of victims and witnesses in conducting complex investigations will be considered.

Extended Independent Study

This final module requires an evidence-based independent research project situated within a core area of policing practice. The student is required to research, identify, and demonstrate understanding of an emerging issue or problem and formulate an ethically sound research question. A critical evaluation of the issue or problem is undertaken using appropriate research methodologies, techniques, and analysis as applicable. Consequent to this is the expectation to plan, using an analytical approach to solving complex problems, an intervention to tackle the identified issue or problem. Concurrently, the student assesses the resultant conclusions and recommendations for their potential impact on the workplace, workforce, and service overall.

Entry requirements

104-120 points

Our offers are typically made using UCAS tariff points to allow you to include a range of level 3 qualifications and as a guide, the requirements for this course are equivalent to:

  • A-Levels: BCC-BBB from 3 A Levels or equivalent grade combinations (e.g. BBB is comparable to ABC in terms of tariff points)
  • BTEC/CTEC: DMM from BTEC or Cambridge Technical (CTEC) qualifications
  • International Baccalaureate: To include a minimum of 2 Higher Level certificates at grade H4
  • T Level: Merit in a T Level

Additionally, we accept tariff points achieved for many other qualifications, such as the Access to Higher Education Diploma, Scottish Highers, UAL Diploma/Extended Diploma and WJEC Applied Certificate/Diploma, to name a few. We also accept tariff points from smaller level 3 qualifications, up to a maximum of 32, from qualifications like the Extended Project (EP/EPQ), music or dance qualifications. To find out more about UCAS tariff points, including what your qualifications are worth, please visit UCAS.

In addition to level 3 study, the following GCSE’s are required:

GCSE English Language at grade 4 or C, or higher. Functional Skills at level 2 is accepted as an alternative, however Key Skills qualifications are not. If you hold another qualification, please get in touch and we will advise further.

If you will be over the age of 21 years of age at the beginning of your undergraduate study, you will be considered as a mature student. This means our offer may be different and any work or life experiences you have will be considered together with any qualifications you hold. UCAS have further information about studying as a mature student on their website which may be of interest.

International points required

If English is not your first language, a formal English language test will most likely be required and you will need to achieve the following:

  • IELTS Academic at 5.5 overall with a minimum of 5.5 in all four components (for year 1 entry)
  • We also accept other English language qualifications, such as IELTS Indicator, Pearson PTE Academic, Cambridge C1 Advanced and TOEFL iBT

If you are living outside of the UK or Europe, you can find out more about how to join this course by contacting our International Recruitment Team via our International Apply Pages.


2024 Course Tuition Fees

  UK / Channel Islands /
Isle of Man / Republic of Ireland 


Year 1 £9,250 £16,700
Year 2 £9,250 £16,700
Year 3 £9,250 £16,700
Total £27,750 £50,100
Optional Sandwich Year* £1,850 £3,340
Total with Sandwich Year £29,600 £53,440

Additional tuition fee information

If you are a UK student starting your degree in September 2024, the first year will cost you £9,250**. Based on this fee level, the indicative fees for a three-year degree would be £27,750 for UK students.

Remember, you don’t have to pay any of this upfront if you are able to get a tuition fee loan from the UK Government to cover the full cost of your fees each year.

UK Part-Time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £77.08 and a 15 credit module is £1,156. Part-time students can take up to a maximum 90 credits per year, so the maximum fee in a given year will be the government permitted maximum fee of £6,935.

International part-time fees are calculated on a pro rata basis of the full-time fee for a 120 credit course. The fee for a single credit is £139.14 and a 15 credit module is £2,087.

* Please note that not all courses offer an optional sandwich year.

**The University of Winchester will charge the maximum approved tuition fee per year.

Additional costs

As one of our students all of your teaching and assessments are included in your tuition fees, including, lectures/guest lectures and tutorials, seminars, laboratory sessions and specialist teaching facilities. You will also have access to a wide range of student support and IT services.

There might be additional costs you may encounter whilst studying. The following highlights the mandatory and optional costs for this course:


Printing and Binding: The University is pleased to offer our students a printing allowance of £5 each academic year. This will print around 125 A4 (black and white) pages. If students wish to print more, printer credit can be topped up by the student. The University and Student Union are champions of sustainability and we ask all our students to consider the environmental impact before printing.


We have a variety of scholarships and bursaries available to support you financially with the cost of your course. To see if you’re eligible, please see our Scholarships and Awards page.


Many students who undertake this degree will be aiming to join the police service as a Police Constable but it is important to emphasize to applicants and students that completion of this degree does not guarantee employment as a police officer or police staff. Every police service in England and Wales sets its own recruitment process and selection policy and entry requirements vary from service to service. Candidates are advised to check their eligibility against the College of Policing Vetting document, this may assist you in deciding whether to undertake the BSc (Hons) Professional Policing course and/or pursue a career in policing.

The BSc (Hons) Professional Policing course does not limit graduates to a career with the police service. Other careers could include working in; National Crime Agency, Border Force, the Independent Office for Police Conduct, probation service, military police, private security, civil service, local authority, or Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs, where investigative and legal knowledge are required.

The University of Winchester ranks in the top 10 in the UK for graduates in employment or further study according to the Graduate Outcomes Survey 2021, HESA.

Pre-approved for a Masters

University of Winchester students studying Bachelor Honours degrees are pre-approved to start a Masters degree at Winchester. To be eligible students must apply by the end of March in their final year and meet the entry requirements of their chosen Masters degree.


This course is a national pre-join degree programme licenced by the College of Policing.

"The course gives you all the knowledge you need so that you can be the best police officer that you can be." Kurt, BSc Professional Policing student

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