Counter Fraud and Criminal Justice Studies (Distance Learning) BSc (Hons)

Brown folders containing counter fraud and counter corruption evidence
Mode of Study
Part-time by distance learning
4.5 years part-time distance learning
Start Date
September 2019


Looking to start or advance your career in fraud detection, investigation or prevention?

Developed in partnership with the Counter Fraud Professional Accreditation Board, Department for Work and Pensions, and NHS Counter Fraud and Security Management Service, this part-time BSc (Hons) Counter Fraud and Criminal Justice Studies distance learning degree course will expand your knowledge and enhance your skills this area.

With your degree, you'll be more effective in your current role and be set for fraud detection jobs in fields such as law enforcement and community safety.

Read more about our distance learning crime and criminology degrees in this downloadable leaflet.

What you'll experience

On this course you'll:

  • Study fraud detection and prevention while exploring the issues, debates and arguments associated with crime, control and punishment
  • Join virtual study days with live seminars, interviews and question and answer sessions
  • Be taught by leading academics from the Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
  • Work at your own pace, in your own time and in your own location, with interactive online learning materials
  • Network and share experiences with other students from organisations including the Department for Work and Pensions, the NHS Counter Fraud and Security Management Service, HM Customs and Excise, the Inland Revenue and the Child Support Agency
  • Have optional opportunities to attend the University
  • Get the same support and similar benefits to students based on campus
  • Tailor your studies, by choosing units that match your interests and career ambitions
  • Have the chance to complete the course more quickly if you have relevant prior work experience or learning (such as a Foundation degree)
  • Get a Certificate of Higher Education after 18 months and a Diploma of Higher Education after 36 months, even if you don't complete the full course

If you have a ACFO, ACFS or ACFM award when you start the course, you can graduate from this course as a Certified Counter Fraud Specialist (CCFS).

Careers and opportunities

When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you prepare for a promotion or find a job that puts your skills to work in the field.

You’ll be ready to take on roles in areas such as:

  • counter fraud (public and private sector)
  • law enforcement (such as customs and excise)
  • crime prevention
  • community safety

You could also continue your studies by doing a Master's or research degree.

After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.

Professional accreditations

This course is accredited by the Counter Fraud Professional Accreditation Board (CFPAB). This makes sure the course is relevant to a career in the field of counter fraud.

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

What you'll study on this BSc (Hons) Counter Fraud and Criminal Justice Studies degree course

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

In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 120 credits. For example, 4 units worth 20 credits and 1 unit worth 40 credits.

Units currently being studied

Core units in this stage include:

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

Optional units in this stage currently include:

  • either Advanced Standing (ACF/S/M) or equivalent
  • or Introduction to Investigation and Introduction to Criminal Justice

Core units in this stage include:

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

Optional units in this stage currently include:

  • 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
  • Risk Management
  • Youth Crime, Youth Justice

Core units in this stage include:

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

Optional units in this stage currently include:

  • Business Administration in the Security and Justice Sectors
  • Contemporary International Policing Systems
  • 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

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 units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.

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.

We can help you identify placements, internships, voluntary roles and freelancing opportunities that will complement your studies.

Learning support

As well as support by faculty teaching 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 mental or physical disability, the Additional Support and Disability Centre (ASDAC) can give you help, support and advice so you can reach your potential.


This course is delivered by supported distance learning. You will receive high-quality course materials via Moodle, our online learning environment.

You'll get to chat with fellow students, discuss and present your work and keep in touch with tutors. You'll get plenty of support throughout your studies, including help on writing and structuring essays, and how to undertake research.

You'll need access to a computer and a Web connection. You may be able to access some of the resources through a tablet or smartphone, with limited functionality. You don't need to be especially computer literate, although typing skills are useful.

How you'll spend your time

This distance learning course allows you to combine study and work, progressing at your own pace.

How you're assessed

You’ll be assessed through:

  • essays
  • reports

You’ll be able to test your skills and knowledge informally before you do assessments that count towards your final mark: marks obtained in the first year do not count towards the classification of the degree.

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

The way you’re assessed may depend on the units you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows:

  • Year 1 students: 100% by coursework
  • Year 2 students: 100% by coursework
  • Year 3 students: 100% by coursework 
  • Entry requirements​

    Entry requirements

    • Individual applications are assessed based on their experience and educational background.
    • Applicants holding ACFS/ACFM or CFPAB will be eligible for accreditation points towards the degree.
    • Direct entry to Level 6 is also possible with a relevant Foundation degree.

      See the other qualifications we accept

    ​Course costs

    Tuition fees (2019 start)

    • UK/EU/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students and International students – £3,080 per year and £1,540 in year 5 (may be subject to annual increase)

    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.

    Additional costs

    You’ll study up to 4 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.

    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.

    You may need to pay additional travel, accommodation and subsistence costs, of £50–£500 to attend our optional campus induction events and study days.


    How to apply

    Apply for this course using our online application form. Our courses fill up quickly, so submit your application as soon as you decide which course you want to study.

    Not quite ready to apply? Attend a Virtual Open Day to explore our course facilities.

    How to apply from outside the UK

    If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply for this course through UCAS (see the 'How to apply' section above for details). You can also apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.

    To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section. 

    Admissions terms and conditions

    When you accept an offer to study at the University of Portsmouth, you also agree to our terms and conditions as well as the University’s policies, rules and regulations. You should read and consider these before you apply.