BSc (Hons)

Counter Fraud and Criminal Justice Studies

Full tutorial support as you study at your own pace

Star Course Overview

Why take this course?

The overall purpose of this course is to provide a qualification for those involved or interested in the detection, investigation or prevention of fraud. It has been developed in partnership with the Counter Fraud Professional Accreditation Board, Department for Work and Pensions, and NHS Counter Fraud and Security Management Service, with the aim of expanding your knowledge, enhancing your key skills and improving your professional effectiveness and prospects.

All applicants should apply as soon as possible to reserve a place and ensure adequate preparations are made for the start of your studies.

Distance Learning Brochure

What will I experience?

On this course you can:

  • Encounter and explore the issues, debates and arguments associated with crime, control and punishment
  • Follow the course in your own time and own home with the support of interactive online learning materials
  • Earn the Certificate of Knowledge in Policing, vital to a career in a UK police force
  • Gain credit for any relevant prior learning and experience you have done

We are keen to broaden the range of people who study with us, and offer a system to convert your prior learning in work or volunteering into university credit. Those who have completed an appropriate Foundation degree can do the final year of this course and gain a full honours degree.

Students can also exit after 18 months of study and achieve a nationally recognised Certificate of Higher Education or exit after 36 months and achieve a nationally recognised Diploma of Higher Education.

What opportunities might it lead to?

Current students come from a wide range of backgrounds in both the public and private sector counter fraud community. These include specialists from the Department for Work and Pensions, NHS Counter Fraud and Security Management Service, HM Customs and Excise, Inland Revenue, Child Support Agency, local authorities and the Abbey Group.

Students entering the course with the awards of ACFO, ACFS or ACFM are also entitled, on successful completion of the Advanced Level, to the award of Certified Counter Fraud Specialist (CCFS).

How do I apply?

Complete the University's online application form (not a UCAS form)

Kolawole Ajose, BSc (Hons) Counter Fraud and Criminal Justice Studies

My experience has been wonderful. The support from the teaching and admin staff have been of a high standard which only confirmed the high reputation of the university in the area of criminal justice education.”

Kolawole Ajose, BSc (Hons) Counter Fraud and Criminal Justice Studies student 2017

Virtual open days

Find out more

Apply now for September 2017

Start your online application now

Key Facts

4.5 years part time distance learning. Start date: September.
The UCAS tariff for 2017 entry has changed. See how this affects your tariff score ENTRY
Individual applications are assessed based on their experience and educational background. See full entry requirements

We accept UCAS points from other qualifications. See full details and English Language qualifications
Individual applications are assessed based on their experience and educational background. See full entry requirements
We accept UCAS points from other qualifications. See full details and English Language qualifications

UK/EU/Channel Islands/Isle of Man and International students
2017/18 entry: part time: £3,080 p/a* and £1,540* in year 5

*Tuition fee may be subject to annual increase.

View tuition fee terms and conditions
View additional course costs

+44 (0)23 9284 3148
Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
Programme specification (PT, DL)
Accreditations & Endorsements

Counter Fraud Professional Accreditation Board


BSc (Hons) Counter Fraud and Criminal Justice Studies

Find out why our degree in counter fraud and criminal justice studies is the ideal opportunity to combine work and study that will boost your career prospects.

Browse all courses in Law and Criminology

Back To Top

Light bulb Structure & Teaching

Stage one

  • EITHER Advanced Standing (ACF/S/M) or equivalent

OR Introduction to Criminal Law and Legal Studies AND Introduction to Criminal Justice

  • Introduction to Counter Fraud Studies
  • Understanding Criminology
  • Introduction to Research Skills
  • Studying Criminology

Students with ACFS are entitled, on completion of the full degree, to the award of Graduate Counter Fraud Officer, conferred by the Counter Fraud Professional Accreditation Board.

Stage two

  • The Fraud Problem
  • Anti-Fraud Strategies
  • Issues in Criminal Justice
  • Research Methods

Choice of two options from:

  • Crime, Media and Culture
  • Fundamentals of Forensic Investigation
  • Global, State and Corporate Security
  • Hate Crime
  • Information Security
  • Investigation, Psychology and Law
  • Issues in Criminology
  • Penology
  • Police, Law and Community (successful completion leads to Certificate of Knowledge in Policing)
  • Project Management
  • Risk Management
  • Youth Crime, Youth Justice

Stage three

  • Fraud: Legal Structures and Investigations
  • Fraud: Enforcing the Law
  • Dissertation

Choice of two options from:

  • Corporate Security
  • Counter-Terrorism and UK National Security
  • Criminal Justice and Minority Groups
  • Critical Issues and Minority Groups
  • Dangerousness and Dangerous Offenders
  • Internet Risk and Security
  • Interviewing and Evidence
  • Major Crime Investigation - Success and Failure
  • Organised Crime
  • Private Policing
  • Victimology and Victimisation

Teaching and Assessment

This is a part-time course delivered by supported distance learning. You will receive high-quality course materials through our online learning environment, which will also enable you to communicate with your tutors and other students on the course, as well as discuss and present your work. Induction material received at the beginning of the course will introduce you our online learning environment and the distance learning facilities offered by the University Library.

You will be invited to two annual events in Portsmouth: a two-day induction each September and a study conference each January. These allow you to meet staff and other students, as well as sample more traditional forms of learning, such as lectures and tutorials.

Computer use

You will need to have use of a computer and access to the internet. You do not need to be especially computer literate, although typing skills are obviously useful.

Course materials, discussions and seminars are contained in an online learning environment called Moodle. The tools and resources available in Moodle are designed to guide and support your learning and study. You can to access the resources in Moodle whenever or wherever you are (as long as you have access to the internet).

You will be introduced and shown how to access and make use of the tools and resources in Moodle during the induction period though ongoing support and assistance is available throughout your study on the course.

If you don’t have access to the internet you will be at a disadvantage since you won’t be able to make use of the tools and resources available. Moodle is designed to be used via a computer. You may be able to access some of the resources through a tablet or smart phone but the functionality will be limited and slower than if you use a computer.

How are you assessed?

All units are assessed by essays and reports. Essay titles are provided at the beginning of the academic year. Unit materials often contain interactive exercises to encourage you to think and write about the issues being discussed, to test and encourage your learning.

You will receive feedback on your assessed essays, which will indicate what you need to do to obtain better marks in your next essay, alongside the criteria against which your essay was marked. As marks obtained in the first year do not count towards the classification of the degree, you will have time to hone your essay writing skills.

Dean Blackbourn

Tutor's view

Dean Blackbourn
Counter Fraud and Criminal Justice Course Leader

This is an excellent degree for anyone interested in all aspects of countering fraud. With specialist staff plus the Centre for Counter Fraud Studies within our department, you will have access to top-quality materials and research. We have a range of students from diverse working backgrounds, and are well equipped to cater for the specific requirements of distance learning students.

Back To Top

Monitor Facilities & Features


The Institute of Criminal Justice Studies was founded in 1992 and has since grown to comprise 50 academic staff and more than 1,800 students. Now an internationally-renowned focal point for the study of crime and criminal justice processes, it draws together expertise in criminological analysis, applied psychology, police governance and management, victimology, penology, risk and security.

Professional Links

Our extensive experience and close professional relationships with the police service and criminal justice agencies ensure that our courses reflect the changing needs of the profession. You may benefit from these links by hearing guest speakers, listening to leading-edge research and being helped to find professional work placements.

Distance Learning

Our distinctive approach to supported distance learning, robust procedures for the accreditation of prior learning and modular award framework not only help facilitate access to higher education but also offer flexible and transferable platforms for life-long learning.

Certificate of Knowledge in Policing

The Institute is an accredited provider of the CKP qualification, a prerequisite to applying for a UK police career. Read more: Certificate in Knowledge of Policing.

Budgeting for your studies

There are extra costs associated with studying, which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Recommended texts:
If you wish to purchase recommended texts, rather than borrow from the University Library, the average price is £50-£60. You may be studying up to 6 units a year, each with a standard recommended text.

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

Final year project:
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 to develop.

Other costs to consider

You may be required to pay for travel, accommodation and subsistence to attend our optional campus induction events and study days. These may be in the region of £50 - £500.

Back To Top

Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Where next?
Where next?

Your study will lead to a broad range of academic skills that are valuable in many professions, both in and beyond the criminal justice sector. The PLC option offers the Certificate of Knowledge in Policing, which may support entry to a police career. Alternatively you could enter occupations in counter fraud (public and private sector), law enforcement such as customs and excise, crime prevention and community safety.

This degree will also prepare you for an Master's degree. Having undertaken a major research project for your dissertation, you might also be interested in undertaking a research degree.

Career planning

To make sure you take the right steps on your career path, we’re here to give you help, support and advice throughout your study. Even after you’ve graduated, we continue to give you support for up to five years.

Employers tell us that they want graduates to be able to demonstrate certain skills when they come out of university. Our courses take account of this. We make sure we prepare you for employment through work-related learning, projects, placements and working in simulated environments that are designed to prepare you for the working world.

Deborah Lawson, BSc (Hons) Counter Fraud and Criminal Justice Studies

With the University being ranked in the top 2% worldwide and the Institute of Criminal Justice being one of the largest and leading specialist centres of its kind, studying at Portsmouth was an obvious first choice. The tuition itself was first class, and I was privileged to learn from lecturers who are amongst the most respected in their fields.

Deborah Lawson, BSc (Hons) Counter Fraud and Criminal Justice Studies

Back To Top

Apply now

Online application form

Apply direct using our online form

Your application will be received by the University's Admissions Team before being transferred to individual departments for consideration and processing.

Visiting opportunities for distance learners


If you want to know more about undergraduate distance learning courses in ICJS, you will be welcome at our Virtual Open Days, where you will have the opportunity to ask questions of the academic and administrative staff:

  • 18 May, 10am-12pm
  • 27 June, 1pm-3pm
  • 24 July, 7pm-9pm
  • 31 August, 7pm-9pm

Visiting opportunities

Postgraduate Information Days are held twice a year and give you the opportunity to visit the University and meet with subject tutors. Our Postgraduate Information Days for 2017 entry have now finished.

International Students

Staff from our international Office regularly attend overseas exhibitions. To find out more about these and our visits to your region see our International Office exhibitions page.

Fees and Funding

Find out more about fees and funding available to you at Portsmouth.

Similar courses to BSc (Hons) Counter Fraud and Criminal Justice Studies

Back To Top