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Course summary

If you love to be at the centre of your community, working to ensure those in need are supported, a degree in Police Studies with Criminal Investigation gives you the perfect opportunity to learn about the contemporary policing challenges and criminal justice processes at the heart of this sector. We’re proud of our strong reputation, which we have developed during our 15 year plus partnership with Thames Valley Police to deliver our policing programmes. The Foundation Year will allow you to develop your academic study skills and build confidence in your abilities, identifying your own strengths and development needs for progression onto an undergraduate programme. Why study at BNU? If you are seeking to gain a broader understanding of policing, from criminal law to major crime investigations, this programme will give you the opportunity to explore different routes to develop your chosen career. These sectors never rest and can involve working in challenging and complex situations; the learnings you will take from this course and our highly experienced lecturers will help put you in a great position to move into the world of work. You will learn from skilled lecturers who have a high level of knowledge, based on past and current work in their specialist areas. Throughout the course you’ll hear from experienced practitioners delivering guest talks that cover contemporary policing topics and what they’ve experienced in their careers. Getting tangible work experience brings the theory to life and will enhance your employability in the sector. Through our strong partnership with Thames Valley Police, you will be able to apply for a volunteer special constable position while studying for your degree. Selection to perform this voluntary Special Constable role is subject to a selection process and criteria owned by Thames Valley Police. Other valuable volunteering opportunities in non-operational areas of policing or the wider criminal justice system and community initiatives are also available and encouraged. Opportunity modules are a key part of the BNU curriculum. You’ll choose modules from a broad selection in areas such as sustainability, entrepreneurship, creativity, digital skills, personal growth, civic engagement, health & wellbeing and employment. Opportunity modules are designed to enable you to develop outside the traditional boundaries of your discipline and help you to further stand out from the crowd to future employers. Applicants should be aware that graduates who complete this degree and successfully apply to become police constables will have to undertake a graduate conversion programme during their initial police officer training. What will I study? Alongside the demands of operational and investigative policing, you will enjoy a curriculum that covers a wide range of areas such as:

  • criminal law and justice
  • social science related research
  • operational policing priorities
  • miscarriages of justice
  • major crime investigations
You’ll gain exposure to some of the real challenges facing policing and investigative work today, exploring current reforms and what they mean, and looking at the importance of accountability, citizenship and ethics. What facilities can I use? You’ll get to hone your professional skills in our Police Code of Practice Suite. This regularly updated facility includes a mock bedsit, custody desk and suspect interview room, as well as adjoining seminar rooms with a live audio and video feed. You’ll observe and understand theory by practising core policing processes such as arrest and interview of suspects, and searching premises, in a safe, controlled environment.


Foundation Year Core Preparing for Success: Knowledge and Creativity Preparing for Success: Self-development and Responsibility Inquiry Based Learning Ways of Learning about the Social World Year one Core Introduction to Policing and the Course Social Sciences & Policing Practice Criminal Law and the Justice System Criminal Law and Legislation Policing, Governance and Ethics Opportunity 2 x 10 credit year one Opportunity modules Year two Core Research Methods Criminal Investigation Past to Present Police Concept Theories and Practices including Crime Prevention Optional Special Constable/Voluntary Work Placement Rural Policing Police Crime and the Media Opportunity 2 x 10 credit year two Opportunity modules Year three Core Operational Policing Criminal Investigation Systems Criminal Investigations: Scope of the State Independent work Optional Policing Terrorism and Serious Organised Crime OR Progressing a Policing Degree Towards Leadership and Management

Assessment method

Modules are delivered through a blended learning approach comprised of: lectures seminars simulated role play type scenarios carried out in our Code of Practice Suite research-based activities classroom-based discussion individual tutorials Workshops. Formative assessment is a key feature of the programme, enabling early feedback to be given on progress and to help students improve their performance. Formative exercises may be conducted as a group or individually and may include poster presentations and simulated tasks within our Police Code of Practice Suite. We use various strategies to help assess your learning during your time studying this degree, including: essays case studies presentations portfolios projects.

How to apply

Application codes

Course code:
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Campus name:
Buckinghamshire New University
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Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Foundation

International applicants

If your first language is not English, we will require evidence of English language proficiency. Minimum requirements are: An IELTS score of 7.0 overall with at least 7.0 in Writing, 7.0 in reading, 7.0 in Listening and 7.0 in Speaking. For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international page -

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the 3-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a Level 4 course, will be considered for the 4-year programme including a Foundation Year.

Please click the following link to find out more about qualification requirements for this course

Unistats information

Operated by the Office for Students

There is no data available for this course. For further information visit the Discover Uni website.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

Channel Islands £9250 Year 1
Republic of Ireland £9250 Year 1
England £9250 Year 1
Northern Ireland £9250 Year 1
Scotland £9250 Year 1
Wales £9250 Year 1
EU £15000 Year 1
International £15000 Year 1

Additional fee information

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees. You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Sponsorship information

Buckinghamshire New University offers a range of bursaries and scholarships. For more information, please visit

Police Studies with Criminal Investigation with Foundation Year at Buckinghamshire New University - UCAS