Mode of StudyFull-time, sandwich with work placement
Duration3 years full-time, 4 years sandwich with work placement
Start dateSeptember 2023
Following the National Police Curriculum as set out by the College of Policing, this BSc (Hons) Professional Policing degree prepares you for the emotional, physical and mental demands of a rewarding career in policing and related fields.
Use simulated facilities that replicate situations you’ll face in your job, gain insights from teaching staff with law enforcement experience, and get experience with local police forces.
You'll also gain legislative, policy and procedural knowledge and develop the critical thinking, communication, decision making and conflict management skills you need.
You'll graduate with the core knowledge required of a probationary police constable, which provides you with an entry route into policing in England and Wales, the foundations to pursue other careers in law enforcement and criminal justice, or to continue your studies at postgraduate level.
- Explore crime scenes and situations using virtual reality environments, allowing you to test your skills in a simulated environment
- Build your professional network through our close ties with Sussex, Surrey and Hampshire constabularies
- Get experience of the interdisciplinary work practices you’ll encounter in your career as you study alongside criminology students
- Enhance your CV and apply your skills through volunteering opportunities with local police forces
- Have the opportunity to see other countries’ approaches to policing by spending your placement year at a policing-focused overseas university
This course is a national pre-join degree programme licenced by the College of Policing.
This course is in the top 10 for Tourism, Transport, Travel and Heritage Studies in the Complete University Guide League Tables 2022.
Why study Professional Policing?
Meet your lecturers and discover how the BSc (Hons) Professional Policing course here at the University of Portsmouth will set you up for success.
Dr Richard John: The professional policing degree is now one of the prerequisite entry points for a career in policing.
Dr John Fox: A person who wants to join the police can come to Portsmouth as a full-time student, and effectively what we're giving them is a police training course.
Kimberley: Pretty much from college, I knew I wanted to go into policing. To know that there's a policing degree there that's specified for the role I want to do, then I would absolutely have signed up to that. I think that's the best route to come in now.
Dr Richard John: Students that enrol in this course will do some core subjects, such as research methods and such as criminal justice. They'll also have their own bespoke courses, such as 'an introduction to policing', and 'evidence-based policing'. We then move into managing complex investigations. Some of those really challenging issues that previously policing has struggled with and provides an opportunity to improve the delivery of policing for our communities.
Dr Richard John: We've got facilities here such as our interviewing suite and our forensic laboratories. We have Hydra facilities here to immerse them into the learning, almost like a flight simulator where they're given scenarios to solve under the time pressures and constraints that reflect reality. The course is accredited by the College of Policing.
When students come out of the end of this course, they will be fully qualified to apply to join a police force.
Kimberley: Students should consider a career in the police force because of the variety - that was a big draw for me.
Dr John Fox: You could join, with this degree, as a police staff member, as a detective. You open your career opportunities to far more varied routes than most public sector professions offer, for example, fraud, child protection or promotion. The sky really is your limit. The academic staff at Portsmouth, particularly on professional policing degree, have got experience in the field of industry.
Dr John Fox: Universities have now got this very interesting role that we can now influence the whole shape of the police service in England and Wales, and I think that's quite exciting to be part of.
BSc (Hons) Professional Policing entry requirements
- A levels – BBB–BBC
- UCAS points – 112–120 points from 3 A levels or equivalent (calculate your UCAS points)
- T levels – Merit
- BTECs (Extended Diplomas) – DDM–DMM
- International Baccalaureate – 29 (29 points from the IB Diploma, with 664, 655 or 754 at Higher Level)
You may need to have studied specific subjects – 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.
Facilities and specialist equipment
Careers and opportunities
A career in policing is an exciting, rewarding way to serve your local community and make a positive impact on society.
Working as a police constable
This degree is an approved entry route into the police services in England and Wales, so you'll be eligible to apply for police constable roles for up to five years after you graduate (you won’t need to do a graduate conversion programme). This allows you to work in neighbourhood and response policing.
With experience, you can rise in the ranks to roles such as:
- chief constable
Working in other police force units
After a 2-year probationary period as a police constable, you can apply to work in specialist areas such as:
- criminal investigation department (CID)
- child protection
- fraud squad
- drug squad
This course also gives you the knowledge and skills for roles in security organisations such as the National Crime Agency.
Placement year (optional)
We'll help you secure a work or study placement or that fits your aspirations. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.
Working in a police force
After your second year, you can do a work placement year with a UK police force to get valuable longer-term work experience in policing and law enforcement.
You'll also have the opportunity to spend a year studying abroad, in locations such as Canada and South Korea.
Through 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 police IT and communication systems.
As with all similar roles, successful application is still dependent on vetting and medical checks.
Ongoing careers support
Get experience while you study, with support to find part-time jobs, volunteering opportunities, and work experience.
Towards the end of your degree and for up to five years after graduation, you’ll receive one-to-one support from our Graduate Recruitment Consultancy to help you find your perfect role.
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 this year include:
- Crime and Society - 20 credits
- Criminal Justice - 20 credits
- Essential Skills for Criminologists - 40 credits
- Evidence-based Policing - 20 credits
- Introduction to Policing - 20 credits
There are no optional modules in this year.
Core modules in this year include:
- Community Policing and Public Protection - 20 credits
- Complex Investigations - 20 credits
- Mental Health and Wellbeing - 20 credits
- Policing and Society - 20 credits
- Researching Criminology - 20 credits
- Victims of Crime: Key Players in the Criminal Justice System - 20 credits
There are no optional modules in this year.
On this course, you can do an optional work placement year between your 2nd and 3rd years to get valuable experience working in industry.
We’ll help you secure a work placement that fits your situation and ambitions. You’ll get mentoring and support throughout the year.
Core modules in this year include:
- Applied Policing and Investigation - 20 credits
- Dissertation (Criminology) - 40 credits
- Management of Criminal Investigations - 20 credits
- Policing: Communities, Intelligence and Information - 20 credits
- Policing: Law, Policy and Practice - 20 credits
There are no optional modules in this year.
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, course content is revised and regularly reviewed. This may result in changes being made in order to reflect developments in research, learning from practice and changes in policy at both national and local levels.
Policing is a fascinating subject to learn about, research and teach because everyone is impacted in some way by the decisions police officers make. Understanding how and why different people trust the police and have the confidence in them to do their job effectively is what interests me the most.
Teaching methods on this course include:
- 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:
- 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.
We use a blended learning approach to teaching, which means you’ll take part in both face-to-face and online activities during your studies. As well as attending your timetabled classes you'll study independently in your free time, supported by staff and our virtual learning environment, Moodle.
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.
The academic year runs from September to June. There are breaks at Christmas and Easter.
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 to enhance your learning experience and help you succeed. You can build your personalised network of support from the following people and services:
Types of support
Your personal tutor helps you make the transition to postgraduate study and gives you academic and personal support throughout your Master's.
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 meeting.
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
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
- 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.
Our online Learning Well mini-course will help you plan for managing the challenges of learning and student life, so you can fulfil your potential and have a great student experience.
You can get personal, emotional and mental health support from our Student Wellbeing Service, in person and online. This includes 1–2–1 support as well as courses and workshops that help you better manage stress, anxiety or depression.
If you require extra support because of a disability or additional learning need our specialist team can help you.
They'll help you to
- discuss and agree on reasonable adjustments
- liaise with other University services and facilities, such as the library
- access specialist study skills and strategies tutors, and assistive technology tutors, on a 1-to-1 basis or in groups
- liaise with external services
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.
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 (2023 start)
- 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 – £17,200 (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.
Our accommodation section show your accommodation options and highlight 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.
You'll need to pay additional costs anywhere between £50–£1,000 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.
During your placement year or study abroad year, you’ll be eligible for a discounted rate on your tuition fees. Currently, this discount amounts to 90% of the year’s fees.
Tuition fees for that year are:
- UK/Channel Islands and Isle of Man students – £925 a year (may be subject to annual increase)
- EU students – £925 a year, including Transition Scholarship (may be subject to annual increase)
- International students – £1,800 a year (subject to annual increase)
The costs associated with your specific destination will be discussed during your second year, as well as possible sources of additional funding.
Start your application by following the link below:
How to apply
To start this course in 2023, 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.
How to apply from outside the UK
See the 'How to apply' section above for details of how to apply. You can also 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.
If you don't meet the English language requirements for this course yet, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your 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.