Policeman and woman patrolling a street wearing their uniforms and a high-vis vest
Mode of Study
Full-time, Sandwich with work placement
3 years Full-time, 4 years Sandwich with work placement
Start Date
September 2022


Serving in the police is now a graduate-level career. This BSc Professional Policing degree course is your next – and final – step to qualifying to work in the police service in England and Wales.

The structure of the course aligns to the College of Policing's National Police Curriculum. You'll gain the legislative, policy and procedural knowledge and practical skills needed to succeed in modern policing, learning from staff who have worked as police officers or in related law enforcement fields such as the probation service.

You'll also develop the critical thinking, communication, problem solving and conflict management skills you'll use in your career. Through volunteering opportunities with Hampshire Constabulary, you'll get practical experience with everything from community engagement to response policing with support from appropriate support from serving police officers.

Before your final year, you'll have the chance to spend a year on a sandwich work placement or immerse yourself in another culture by studying abroad.

When you graduate, you'll be ready to apply for entry level law enforcement positions. There's great demand for new police officers around the UK and our close ties to Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire constabularies will further improve your chances of employment after the course.

TEF Gold Teaching Excellence Framework

Entry requirements​

Typical offers
  • A levels – ABB–BBC
  • UCAS points – 112–128 points from 3 A levels or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
  • BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDM–DMM
  • International Baccalaureate – 29–30 (29 points from the IB Diploma, with 655/754 at Higher Level – 30 points from the IB Diploma. 665 at Higher Level)

See full entry requirements and other qualifications we accept

English language requirements
  • English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.

See alternative English language qualifications

We also accept other standard English tests and qualifications, as long as they meet the minimum requirements of your course.

If you don't meet the English language requirements yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

All our courses go through a rigorous approval process to make sure they’re of the highest quality. This includes a review by a panel of experts, made up of academic staff and an external academic or professional with specialist knowledge.

This course is in the final stages of this process and is open for applications. If any details of the course or its approval status change after you apply, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and will be here to discuss your options with you.

What you'll experience

On this course, you'll:

  • Gain the legislative and practical knowledge you need to apply for work in the English and Welsh police forces, following the National Police Curriculum as set out by the College of Policing
  • Be taught by experienced members of staff – members of the course team have had previous roles as police officers (including detectives), crime scene officers, probation officers and intelligence analysts
  • Benefit from our close ties to Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire constabularies, including opportunities to volunteer with them, and other related community organisations
  • Study alongside students from related disciplines, such as criminology and forensics, giving you a broader perspective of crime and law enforcement and experience of interdisciplinary working
  • Learn valuable transferable skills such as problem solving, conflict management and community engagement

You'll use specialist facilities and equipment, such as:

  • The Hydra Immersive Learning Suite – this allows you to engage in simulated scenarios that replicate operational policing challenges, developing your problem solving, decision making and critical thinking skills
  • Crime scene forensic simulations – these give you experience with forensic crime scene techniques, in a safe, controlled environment
  • Specialist interviewing suites – these are similar to the policing facilities you'll use in your career

You can also:

  • Apply your knowledge and skills in the workplace on a year-long work placement, boosting your employability prospects after the course
  • Study abroad through our links with overseas universities
  • Learn a language while you earn credit towards your degree as part of the University IWLP

Careers and opportunities

A career in policing is an exciting, rewarding way to serve your local community and make a positive impact on society.

This degree is an approved entry route into the police services in England and Wales, so you'll be able to apply for police constable roles when you graduate.

This course also gives you the knowledge and skills necessary to apply for other related roles, such as a civilian investigator, or in other security organisations such as the National Crime Agency.

Placement year

After your second year, you can do an optional work placement year to get valuable longer-term work experience in policing and law enforcement.

As well as placement and volunteer roles in police forces around the UK, you'll also have the opportunity to spend a year studying abroad, in locations such as Canada and South Korea.

We'll help you secure a work or study placement or that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.

Work experience and career planning

To give you the best chance of securing a great job when you graduate, our Careers and Employability service can help you find relevant work experience during your course. You'll also get career planning help and support from your Personal Tutor.

Using our ties to Hampshire Constabulary, you'll have the opportunity to take on a position such as a Special Constable, or another police volunteer role. These positions include police training in areas such as officer safety, police first aid and the use of police IT and communication systems. As with all similar roles, successful application would still be dependant on vetting and medical checks.

This course allows you to take the Learning From Experience (LiFE) option. This means you can earn credits towards your degree for work, volunteer and research placements that you do alongside your study.

When you finish this Professional Policing degree course, our careers and employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the industry.

​What you'll study

Each module on this course is worth a certain number of credits.

In each year, you need to study modules worth a total of 120 credits. For example, four modules worth 20 credits and one module worth 40 credits.


Core modules in year 1 include:

  • Introduction to Policing
  • Evidence-based Policing
  • Crime and Society
  • Criminal Justice
  • Understanding Criminology

Core modules in year 2 include: 

  • Policing and Society
  • Complex Investigations
  • Safeguarding, Vulnerability and Community Policing
  • Victims of Crime: Key Players in the Criminal Justice System
  • Researching Criminology

Core modules in year 3 include:

  • Policing: communities, intelligence and information
  • Policing: Law policy and practice, Response Policing
  • Operational Policing Practice

Specialist options include:

  • Intelligence Analysis
  • Contemporary Terrorism
  • Murder Investigation
  • Management of Criminal Investigations
  • Dangerous Offenders and Public Protection

Changes to course content

We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.

Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.


Teaching methods on this course include:

  • Lectures
  • Seminars
  • Tutorials
  • Group discussions
  • Practical workshops

The teaching on this course is informed by experience and the latest research. Staff members on this course have operational policing experience or experience of working elsewhere in the criminal justice system. Many have also conducted research into policing and criminal justice.

You can access all teaching resources on Moodle, our virtual learning environment, from anywhere with a Web connection.

For more about the teaching activities for specific modules, see the module list above.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • Essays
  • Reports
  • Oral presentations
  • Group projects and portfolios
  • Seminar participation and engagement
  • Thesis/major report

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark.

You can get feedback on all practice and formal assessments so you can improve in the future.

How you'll spend your time

One of the main differences between school or college and university is how much control you have over your learning.

At university, as well as spending time in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and tutorials, you’ll do lots of independent study with support from our staff when you need it.

A typical week

We recommend you spend at least 35 hours a week studying for your degree. In your first year, you’ll be in timetabled teaching activities such as lectures, seminars and workshops for about 9 hours a week. The rest of the time you’ll do independent study such as research, reading, coursework and project work, alone or in a group with others from your course. You'll probably do more independent study and have less scheduled teaching in years 2 and 3, but this depends on which modules you choose.

Term dates

The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.

See term dates

Supporting your learning

The amount of timetabled teaching you'll get on your degree might be less than what you're used to at school or college, but you'll also get support via video, phone and face-to-face from teaching and support staff when you need it. These include the following people and services:

Personal tutor

Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to independent study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your time at university.

As well as regular scheduled meetings with your personal tutor, they're also available at set times during the week if you want to chat with them about anything that can't wait until your next scheduled meeting.

Learning development tutors

You'll have help from a team of faculty learning development tutors. They can help you improve and develop your academic skills and support you in any area of your study.

They can help with:

  • Improving your academic writing (for example, essays, reports, dissertations)
  • Delivering presentations (including observing and filming presentations)
  • Understanding and using assignment feedback
  • Managing your time and workload
  • Revision and exam techniques

Academic skills support

As well as support from faculty staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).

ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:

  • academic writing
  • note taking
  • time management
  • critical thinking
  • presentation skills
  • referencing
  • working in groups
  • revision, memory and exam techniques

If you have a disability or need extra support, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) will give you help, support and advice.

Library support

Library staff are available in person or by email, phone or online chat to help you make the most of the University’s library resources. You can also request one-to-one appointments and get support from a librarian who specialises in your subject area.

The library is open 24 hours a day, every day, in term time.

Support with English

If English isn't your first language, you can do one of our English language courses to improve your written and spoken English language skills before starting your degree. Once you're here, you can take part in our free In-Sessional English (ISE) programme to improve your English further.

​Course costs and funding

Tuition fees

  • UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £9,250 per year (may be subject to annual increase)
  • EU residents – £9,250 (including Transition Scholarship)
  • International students – £16,200 (subject to annual increase)

Funding your studies

Find out how to fund your studies, including the scholarships and bursaries you could get. You can also find more about tuition fees and living costs, including what your tuition fees cover.

Applying from outside the UK? Find out about funding options for international students.

Additional course costs

These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.

Costs breakdown

Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.

You’ll study up to 6 modules a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each module.

You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.

We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.

If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.

Work or study placement abroad

You'll need to pay additional costs anywhere between £50–£1000 to cover travel, accommodation or subsistence if you take a placement abroad.

The amount you'll pay will vary, depending on the location and length of your stay. It will also depend on additional funding the UK Government makes available after Brexit and if the UK remains part of the Erasmus+ student mobility programme or not.


Start your application by following the link below:

How to apply

To start this course in 2022, apply through UCAS. You'll need:

  • the UCAS course code – M392
  • our institution code – P80

If you'd prefer to apply directly, use our online application form.

You can also sign up to an Open Day to:

  • Tour our campus, facilities and halls of residence
  • Speak with lecturers and chat with our students 
  • Get information about where to live, how to fund your studies and which clubs and societies to join

If you're new to the application process, read our guide on applying for an undergraduate course.

Admissions terms and conditions

When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to abide by our Student Contract (which includes the University's relevant policies, rules and regulations). You should read and consider these before you apply.

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