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BSc (Hons) Professional Policing

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Three years full-time. 

Next available intake will be September 2022

Typical Offer: 

2020 entry: 112 UCAS tariff points (or above)

BBC (A-Level), DMM (BTEC).

Please see Entry Requirements below.


The University of Suffolk is licensed by the College of Policing to offer a BSc Degree in Professional Policing. This pre-join degree route, developed by the College of Policing, forms part of the widening professionalization program being undertaken by the government of agencies involved with the criminal justice sector. The course will be framed drawing against the Policing Education Qualification Framework (PEQF) developed by the College of Policing and has been designed working in close collaboration with local Police Services to ensure all aspects are complied with.

The development of this course is a result in changes to recruitment requirements for those wishing to become Police Officer as from January 2020 there will only be 3 routes into joining the Police Service in England and Wales:

•           Police Constable Degree Apprentice (PCDA)

•           Pre-join Policing Degree

•           Degree Holder Entry Programme (graduate diploma in professional policing practice)

The BSc (Hons) Professional Policing is a knowledge-based qualification that is achieved prior to recruitment into the police service. Although the course is based upon the PEQF: National Policing Curriculum: Pre-join Degree in Professional Policing (College of Policing 2018), the completion of the course will not guarantee employment within the Police Service as this would be a matter for individual applications to the relevant constabulary within 5 years of gaining the qualification. At that point, police recruits would undertake practice-based operational competence training in order to perform the role of police constable during a post-join probationary period.

The course team will ensure that the current entry routes in to policing are identified and signposted. For example, The Police SEARCH® and Day One Recruit Assessment Centre together with details of common police eligibility requirements. Potential applicants are also advised to read current recruitment information provided online by the College of Policing, or to contact the recruitment teams in the constabularies to enquire whether any temporary local recruitment arrangements are in place.

The course will be studied on a full time basis taking between 3-5 years to complete depending on the number of modules taken each year.

Further information about the University's relationship with the College of Policing is available in the PSRB register.

Course modules

Full downloadable information on all University of Suffolk courses, including Key Facts, Course Aims, Course Structure and Assessment, is available in the Definitive Course Record but typical modules for the academic year 2018-19 will include:

Understanding the Police Constable Role

The aim of this module is to aide students to understand the role of the police constable and their responsibilities in supporting the delivery of a professional service. This will include exploring the concept of policing by consent; how the police service is structured and the commensurate roles and responsibilities; the extent of police powers and how these powers are regulated and how to exercise these powers fairly and without bias.

Ethical Decision Making in Policing

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the concept of ‘Ethics’ and ‘Ethical Decision Making’ in policing. Police officers are called to a miscellany of tasks in their daily duties and this requires them to exercise considerable discretion in the decisions they make. These decisions also have the potential to change the life-course of the individuals they meet, and yet, the majority of these decisions are made by the most junior ranking and often, the least experienced officers.

Introduction to Criminology

The aim of this module is to introduce students to the subject specialism that is criminology using a topic based approach. Students examine how we can make sense of crime and criminality by exploring some key areas of debate and controversy within the discipline of criminology.

Introduction to Criminal Justice

The aim of this module is to introduce constables to the model of Criminal Justice System (CJS) operationalised in England and Wales and to aide their understanding of their role within it. This will involve an explanation of the CJS and the legislation, processes and procedures that support it; the fundamental principles which support the exercise of police powers; case management and the legislative requirements for ethical recording and gathering of investigative material.

Ethics, Diversity & Professional Standards

This module will build upon the learning developed in the Ethical Decision-Making module at level 4 with strong links made to policing diverse communities with different values, ethics and norms, whilst also examining how traditions and culture can impact upon police conduct. This will illustrate how, as a Police Officer, you are expected to exercise your daily duties ‘without fear or favour’ but this does not mean that there are not barriers to overcome and you will be encouraged to critically reflect upon these barriers such as- language, cross cultural differences and personal circumstances and differential understanding of UK law, policy and practice.

Understanding Victimisation & Risk

This module will examine vulnerability and risk through a multi-disciplinary lens. Police officers will come into contact on a regular basis those who are deemed to be vulnerable of becoming a victim of crime or become involved in criminal or deviant behaviour. As such, a broad understanding of key issues, policies and interventions is vital for those that wish to engage in Policing as a profession.

Crime Prevention

This module will draw against the learning undertaken at level 4 and addresses one of the classic debates within both criminology and security management: ‘social’ vs. ‘situational’ approaches to crime prevention. The former locates crime within the complex framework of the social environments that supposedly produce it, and typically recommends multi-levelled, multi-agency responses that draw together local councils, police, probation services, health and education providers (amongst others).


You will be required to complete a research project/dissertation. This builds on previous study undertaken at Level 5, with the expectation that you will have a fundamental theoretical knowledge of the research process and ethics, as well as being skilled at critically evaluating published research. This provides you with the opportunity to put into practice the knowledge and skills of research that have been developed under supervision of an experienced academic. This module will refine your skills regarding formulating informed research questions, design studies for the identified research purposes, carry out the planned research, interpret the data and then evaluate the findings and the study as a whole.

Conducting Police Investigations

The aim of this module is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the knowledge and skills required to conduct complex investigations and manage criminal justice processes. The College of Policing-Authorised Professional Practice (APP) for Conducting Investigations will be explored in detail and used as the core framework upon which the module will be developed. However, students will also be introduced to key socio-legal and academic commentary on these processes, to provide critical insight and understanding of the negative impact on court processes and the community when investigations are ill conceived or conducted without sufficient rigour or ethical consideration.

Victimology & Public Protection

The aim of this module is to provide a comprehensive understanding of the national drivers for the police service to provide a professional and ethical service to individuals who are, or may be, vulnerable or at risk of harm, and thus, in need of public protection. The College of Policing-Authorised Professional Practice (APP) for Major Investigation and Public Protection will be explored in detail and used as the core framework upon which the module will be developed. The module will explore all relevant academic literature, legislation, investigation strategies and procedures, including working with other agencies (CPS, MAPPA etc.) providing students with an advanced understanding of the complexities of public protection.

Career opportunities

The course is designed to develop graduates who have the academic knowledge, analytical confidence and relevant skills to work in a range of organisations and roles, specifically but not limited to Policing, and/or to progress to appropriate postgraduate training programmes.

Policing graduates have an important range of analytical and organisational skills for the private and public sectors. Jobs directly related to this degree include police officer, intelligence officer, civil nuclear police, MOD police, civil service fast streamer, government social research officer, politician's assistant, public affairs consultant, public relations account executive, social researcher. Other possible careers would include human resources officer, local government officer, market researcher, marketing executive, newspaper journalist, public relations officer. Some further possible destinations include:

  • International and National NGOs
  • The Third Sector and Charitable Organisations
  • Aid and International Development
  • Masters level study
  • Doctoral study

Fees and finance


  • Full-time Tuition fee: £9,250 p.a.
  • Part-time Tuition fee: £1,454 per 20 credit module (Please contact the Infozone for further information).
  • International Tuition fee: £12,150 p.a. 

Further Information

At University of Suffolk, your tuition fees provide access to all the usual teaching and learning facilities that you would expect. However, there may be additional costs associated with you course that you will need to budget for. 

Entry requirements

All applicants who intend on joining the Police Service upon completion of this course should be aware of the eligibility criteria. Please see the College of Policing website for further information prior to application.

Course will be open to applications from 2020.


Associate Professor in Criminology

Lecturer in Criminology

Senior Lecturer in Law

Facilities and Resources

Most sessions are held in the Waterfront building. Most practical sessions and workshops are held in the newly refurbished Atrium Building. The team strive to strike a balance between efficient teaching and learning and providing you with smaller group learning experiences through learning activities such as seminars, workshops and group work within modules. Online and Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) activities are considered an integral aspect of learning.