Policing, Policy and Leadership

Develop leadership skills for police and security sector bodies

Star Course Overview

Why take this course?

This course has been specifically designed for police officers and those in related occupations with an interest in securing or enhancing a role that requires knowledge and skills in policing, policy and management. You may apply your learning to your own organisation as part of the programme, which meets relevant occupational standards for the police and/or security organisations/services.

All applicants should apply as soon as possible to reserve a place and ensure adequate preparations are made for the start of your studies. Late applications may be processed, but your course induction and start to studies may well be disrupted.

Distance Learning Brochure

What will I experience?

On this course you will examine:

  • Strategy and tactics around core policing in the context, for example, of policing diverse communities
  • Policing policy and police leadership in the context of police governance and partnerships
  • Organisational and resource management in the context of operational delivery

What opportunities might it lead to?

Given the broad range of issues considered and the skills acquired throughout the degree, you will graduate with a portfolio of knowledge and abilities that supports a diverse range of career development opportunities in this field.

A significant number of our students are drawn from police officers and police staff seeking to further their career development in managerial roles in police and related organisations. Others have also found this course useful in developing their professional portfolio as a means of securing employment in policing or security-related organisations.

How do I apply?

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

no profile pic

The course materials were very comprehensive and easily accessible, the staff were hugely helpful and understanding of my needs as a mature and distance learning student and the range and variety of their experiences widened my horizons in ways I hadn't anticipated. Five months after completing my dissertation, I applied for and got a new role in the police which has used the skills I learnt on the MSc and which I doubt I would have got without it.

Clare Simkin, MSc Policing, Policy and Leadership 2016

Key Facts

2 years part time distance learning
2017 entry requirements
A second-class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject. Exceptionally, applicants with strong relevant criminal justice experience will be considered. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5, with a minimum score of 6.0 in Reading and Writing components.

UK/EU/Channel Islands/Isle of Man students and International students
2017/18 entry:

Part-time: £2,100 p/a * 

* Fees are subject to annual increase.

Course is eligible for Government Postgraduate Loan

View tuition fee terms and conditions
View additional course costs

+44 (0)23 9284 3933
Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
Programme specification

Back To Top

Light bulb Structure & Teaching

Units of Study

  • Policing Communities (30 credits)
  • Police Leadership:  Policing, Policy and Partnerships (30 credits)
  • Managing Justice and Security Organisations (30 credits)
  • Research Methods and Research Management (30 credits)
  • 15,000 word Dissertation (60 credits)

Please note that the course structure may vary from year to year; course content and learning opportunities will not be diminished by this.

Teaching and assessment

All ICJS distance learning students are supported in the initial stages by the extended Induction Programme (online and face-to-face). Immediately following induction, an ‘engagement officer’ proactively ensures any issues are resolved rapidly, and thereafter personal support is provided by your course leader for the duration of your studies.

All ICJS campus-based students will be assigned a personal tutor, responsible for pastoral support and guidance, and have access to University support services including careers, financial advice, housing and counselling etc.

Academic support will be delivered by the relevant academic unit coordinators and the course leader via the internet, telephone and email. All students have access to the formal and informal support areas of the course discussions areas (Graduate Common Room), student peer support and library support services in specific discussion rooms.

How are you assessed?

Assessment is based upon a range of written assignments including essays, case study, a literature review and research proposal focused on your chosen project, and finally a 15,000-word dissertation. For each assignment full academic support is provided by an academic subject expert and you will be provided with academic supervisor once you have identified your dissertation subject area.

Bob Golding

Tutor view

Bob Golding
Course Tutor

This course has been designed specifically to enhance the career and professional development of police officers who are seeking to progress in the service. The course has been running for many years now and it is a pleasure to see past students progress and develop in their policing careers.

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.

University Library

Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.

Budgeting for your studies

There may be extra costs arising from your studies which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.

Some are common costs to all courses of study. These may include the cost of study texts, reference books, photocopying and computer supplies. Others relate to specific courses and may include field trips, materials and specialist equipment.

Other costs to consider

Distance Learning

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

Back To Top

Mortarboard Careers & Opportunities

Career prospects

Whilst not rank or role specific, this degree has been specifically designed for those working in a supervisory, management or leadership role in the police, or aspiring to that role, as well as those working in the development of operational policy and/or strategy. As such, this degree is particularly valuable for those seeking continuing professional development in policing or related organisations and professions.

A number of students have also found this course of study useful in developing their professional portfolio as a means of securing employment in a policing or security-related organisations. 

Career planning

One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the support that we provide to our Master's and Research Degree students in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. Help is also available if you wish to find a part-time job while studying your degree.

We offer our postgraduate students and alumni one-to-one appointments with a careers adviser, or an online service for those not able to travel back to the University. Our alumni can call on our career services for five years after graduation.

In addition, regular employability events offer you the chance to meet employers, find out about different career sectors and improve your applications or CV. The Graduate Summer Programme provides a range of guidance and employability seminars and workshops.

Benefits of Postgraduate Study

Regardless of whether you are seeking to build on your studies, further your career or pursue a career change, a postgraduate qualification adds to your achievement record.

  • Postgraduate study may greatly improve your chances of getting that first break.
  • Many graduate employers prefer the higher intellectual rigour displayed in postgraduate students.
  • Recruiters for roles requiring specialist knowledge or research particularly target those with higher level qualifications.
  • Postgraduate study shows you can take the challenge of in-depth study; acquiring transferable skills in team working and problem solving techniques.
  • If you have a passion for a particular subject, postgraduate study can also be something undertaken as part of your own development at an appropriate time in your life.

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 MSc Policing, Policy and Leadership

Back To Top