Christ Church has made me the person I am today, caring more of others’ wellbeing and trying to better myself everyday to aim high in life.

Jesse, Policing student

How do you want to study?


3 years

UCAS code:



Apply via UCASBook an Open day
TEF Silver


For 25 years Christ Church has led the way in providing innovative academic and professional programmes to support students seeking a career in policing.

This degree, validated by the College of Policing, continues to build on these years of experience to deliver a course that meets the changing nature of crime and the profession.

This course thoroughly embeds the current National Policing Curriculum, allowing you to develop a strong grounding in the theory and practice of policing, crime and the criminal justice system. You will be able to explore the diversity of the police role and gain practical experience through volunteering opportunities, giving you a great start to your career.

Our dedicated and experienced staff will support your development into a skilled professional who meets the pre-join requirement for the role of Police Constable or is able to utilise the knowledge and experience gained to join emerging careers in the criminal justice, intelligence and security fields, to name but a few. You will explore areas such as:

  • policing legislation and procedures
  • the criminal justice system
  • crime prevention
  • criminal investigations
  • policing communities
  • evidence-based policing and research methods.

Why study Professional Policing?

If you want to gain expert knowledge and skills in many aspects of professional policing, then this course is a great choice. As well as preparing you for a career in the police service it will open the door to many other related careers or further study.

Using your enquiring mind, you'll explore the diversity of the police role by exploring different contexts in which policing is applied. This could include the debate around policing and interagency work, the legal and ethical parameters and duties involved, criminological theories, the application of scientific methods in policing and the development of policing skills.

You'll gain a strong academic and vocational understanding of policing and, in line with the National Policing Curriculum as set by the College of Policing, you'll learn about aspects of criminology, law, politics, psychology, forensic science, sociology and philosophy.

On successful completion of the course, you will have achieved the pre-entry requirement for the role of a warranted Police Constable.

Entry requirements

A typical offer would be 88-112 UCAS Tariff points.

We welcome applications from students with non-traditional qualifications and from low participation neighbourhoods. In such circumstances, where a student does not fully meet traditional criteria, flexibility is provided by assessing suitability by way of a face-to-face interview with the Programme Director and examining a sample of previously written work provided by the student. Please contact the programme team via to discuss.

Students enrolling on BSc (Hons) Professional Policing with the intention of joining the police service on graduation are strongly encouraged to consider the police entry requirements (e.g. security vetting, health and fitness) before applying for entry on to the degree. Although the course meets the Police Constable entry requirements, the completion does not guarantee entry to a police service post. It is important that prospective students make the necessary enquiries with police services and/or their General Practitioner (GP) regarding entry requirements for employment and are aware of any implications for pre-existing medical conditions, criminal records or cautions. Levels of fitness are the applicant’s responsibility.

For more information on the IELTS (International English language Testing System) requirements for this course, please click here to visit our dedicated web page.

More information about entry requirements.

UCAS Points

All about the course

During each year, you'll study core policing topics such as key legislation and procedure, criminal investigation, community policing and evidence-based policing.

In Year 1, you'll gain a broad and general introduction to the police and policing and as you progress through Years 2 and 3 you’ll typically study more specialist modules, covering topics such as decision-making, research methods, terrorism and political violence, criminal psychology, major crime investigations and cyber crime.

In Year 3, you'll undertake an extended study under the supervision of a member of staff. This will be an opportunity for you to demonstrate your knowledge and use your research and analytical skills to explore a specific area of policing that interests you.

Throughout the course you'll have volunteering and work-based learning opportunities to provide you with important practical learning.

By the end of the course, you will have developed knowledge and understanding of:

  • the police, their partners and other organisations involved in policing and criminal justice
  • contemporary policing issues and how these are addressed through evidence-based policing and practice
  • basic police practices, policies and procedures in England and Wales
  • the underlying and essential legislative and procedural responsibilities of a police officer
  • the principles underpinning maintenance of order nationally and in the community and the responsibilities of a police officer towards them.

Module information

Please note that the list of optional modules and their availability may be subject to change. We continually review and where appropriate, revise the range of modules on offer to reflect changes in the subject and ensure the best student experience. Modules will vary when studied in combination with another subject.

Core/optional modules

How you’ll learn

You will be taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and online activities, while some modules may also include practical workshops.

Typically and depending on the availability, you have the opportunity to develop practical skills in the Hydra suite, where you can experience simulations relating to a terrorist or other event and put the theory you have learnt into practice.

In Year 2, you are expected to undertake a volunteering placement that allows you learn within a workplace context and develop valuable skills for employment.

During your final year Individual Study project, you'll research a particular policing issue in-depth.

All courses are informed by the University’s Learning and Teaching Strategy 2015-2022.

In addition to attending timetabled sessions, you will continue learning through self-study. Typically, this involves engaging with recommended readings, completing research tasks in preparation for sessions, interacting with other students and staff on the University's virtual learning environment, keeping up with news and events relating to policing, and working on assessments.

Your module tutor will direct you towards specific readings and/or activities to complete before class.

For the Individual Study project in Year 3, you will undertake independent research working under the supervision of a member of the course team who you will meet with regularly.

For each 20 credit module, your study time is about 10 hours a week. Your actual contact hours vary depending on the module. However, typically you will have 6-12 hours of timetabled sessions per week as well as one-to-one tutorials with members of staff. In addition, you will undertake 18-24 hours of independent learning and assessment activity.

There may be study trip opportunities throughout the course. 

A number of the teaching team are ex-police officers and they have a wealth of professional experience in addition to their academic credentials.

All team members have strong academic expertise in policing or related disciplines (e.g. criminology, psychology, forensic investigation) and most staff  are senior lecturers. They are research-active and have experience in delivering research-informed teaching. You should note that members of the teaching team might change.

Postgraduate students sometimes assist in teaching and assessing some modules and practical sessions are supported by specialist technicians. However, experienced academics teach the vast majority of lectures and seminars. We also invite expert speakers from to provide you with insights from criminal justice professions. 


Our dedicated and professional team have a wealth of practitioner experience and academic expertise, underpinned by pioneering research, which will enable you to gain knowledge and skills to achieve your full potential and prepare you for becoming a professional police officer.

Dr David LydonSenior Lecturer in Policing

How you’ll be assessed

The course provides you with opportunities to receive formative feedback on your work before submitting formal assessments that count towards your final mark.

Each module has its 'summative' assessment, the grades from which count toward your module mark. Such assignments include for example essays, presentations, reports, case studies and literature reviews. A number of modules are also assessed by examinations or tests, such as essay or multiple choice exams.

For your final year Individual Study project you will assigned a supervisor who will provide feedback on your plans, research and drafts as you progress.


You will receive feedback on all assessments undertaken. This is intended to help you learn and you are encouraged to discuss it with your module tutor. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. 

Your future career

BSc (Hons) Policing has been designed to prepare you for a policing career which is becoming ever more specialist. Private policing is expanding and public policing is going through a dynamic professionalisation process. BSc (Hons) Policing offers a comprehensive response to all three developments.

New exciting careers are emerging in wider policing and security fields as well as the evolving specialist requirements of policing and private policing sector interests, such as tackling cybercrime and fraud. Our qualifications will be of assistance in pursuing a specialist police staff role (as opposed to be being a police officer) and also joining national police organisations such as the National Crime Agency. Importantly too, BSc (Hons) Policing will also prepare you for other justice related public sector employment including the Border Force, UK Visas and Immigration, prisons, the civil service, offender rehabilitation and the armed forces.

The course is ideal for anyone aiming for a career within the police service as well as those looking to go into other roles within the law enforcement and security sector. The course material provides students with all the necessary knowledge as well as the necessary skills for the practical application of it within a working environment. The staff themselves have a vast knowledge from their own careers within policing, allowing them to provide invaluable guidance to the students.



The 2021/22 annual tuition fees for this course are:

  UK Overseas
Full-time £9,250 £13,000
Part-time £4,625 N/A

Tuition fees for all courses are payable on an annual basis, except where stated.

Please read the 2021/22 Tuition Fee Statement for further information regarding 2021/22 tuition fees and year on year fee increases.

Entry routes to the Police and the College of Policing License

From 1 Jan 2020, policing will become a graduate profession and gaining a L6 qualification (a Bachelor’s degree) will be a requirement for the office of Police Constable. There are three different entry routes to the police:

  1. Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship: 'earn while you learn', you join the police and study for your degree during the three-year probationer period
  2. Degree Holder Entry Programme: aimed at people holding any other degree than #3 below who enter the police. You are expected to study for two-year graduate diploma in policing once you start
  3. A pre-join Degree in Professional Policing: a specific programme that is licensed by College of Policing and incorporates the National Policing Curriculum

We offer the Pre-join Degree in Professional Policing, which embeds the National Policing Curriculum and is validated by the College of Policing

The degree has a currency of 5 years following graduation for recruitment into policing. This means that your degree allows you to apply to the Police Constable role through the ‘Pre-Join Degree in Professional Policing’ route up to 5 years after graduation. Any later than that, and it will no longer qualify, this is because professional policing requires candidates to maintain an up to date knowledge and understanding of current policing issues and practices.

Specialist facilities

Our School has invested significantly in a Hydra suite that will allow our students to simulate policing scenarios under ‘close-to-real’ conditions. We see this as a major advantage to our students who will be able to directly experience highly realistic policing incidents, situations and scenarios as part of their integrated learning. In addition, we offer bespoke facilities such as a custody suite and interview rooms, to provide opportunities for experiential learning where possible. 

Industry links

We have good links with a number of police services both locally and further afield, including Surrey, Sussex, Hampshire, Kent and the Metropolitan Police, the Police Service of Northern Ireland, and the Police Service of The Netherlands. We also have links with a wide range of community and voluntary agencies.

Staff case study

The writing team behind Blackstone’s Handbook for Policing Students, led by Professor Robin Bryant, are largely from Canterbury Christ Church University. The book has been used by the majority of police services in England and Wales as the core text for new recruits into the police service and it is key reading for students on pre-join policing programmes in universities across the country. Contributors from the School include several members of staff who also teach on the Policing programmes. The Handbook reflects the multitude of avenues into policing now open to future police officers, from pre-join courses to progression from serving as a special constable or working as a Police Community Support Officer.

Regulated by the Office for Students

The Office for Students (OfS) regulates Canterbury Christ Church University. The OfS is the independent regulator of higher education in England. It aims to ensure that every student, whatever their background, has a fulfilling experience of higher education that enriches their lives and careers. Further details about its work are available on the OfS website.

Apply now


3 years

UCAS code:



Apply via UCAS

Find out more

Sign up to hear the latest from the University, including upcoming events, useful updates, student life and more!