Course options

Make sure you check on the university, college or conservatoire website for any updates about course changes as a result of COVID-19.

Course summary

Overview Explore and analyse areas critical to policing and investigation – such as criminal justice, the legal system and public protection – that you can use to: qualify for the degree-holder entry programme to the police service in England or Wales level up from your current role in the police to a senior or specialised role turn a general interest in policing into academic and professional expertise in policing and criminal investigation This BSc (Hons) Policing and Investigation degree course is a part-time, distance learning course, which you can study around your other commitments, anywhere that suits you. If you're planning a career in policing and related areas (such as investigative criminal profiling, police oversight bodies, or financial investigation in banking), you'll develop the practical skills you'll need in your future career. If you’re already a serving police officer, you'll specialise in areas that could enhance your contribution to your organisation, increasing your potential to level up in a new role and achieve a higher salary. Course highlights

  • Transform a passion for the criminal justice system into a rewarding career, with optional modules to suit your ambitions such as cybercrime, forensic psychology, contemporary terrorism and rehabilitation
  • Have the freedom to choose a final year project topic that suits your career goals – previous students have focused on areas including human trafficking, domestic abuse, terrorism, county lines drug trafficking and the retention of special constables
  • Be taught by leading academics from the School of Criminology and Criminal Justice, whose research areas include forensic interviewing and science, economic crime and cybercrime
  • Have the chance to use on-the-job experience as proof of relevant prior learning to complete the course quicker
Careers and opportunities Society relies on the police force, and those that study effective policing, to keep communities safe. This means there will always be a demand for the skills you develop on this course – whether you're just starting out, upskilling in your current role or planning to put your skills and knowledge to use through consultancy, investigation or research. Careers in the police If you want a career in the police in England or Wales, this degree qualifies you for one of the College of Policing’s entry routes to the police service. If you're planning to stay with your current force after graduating, you could use this degree course to secure a more senior or specialised role. But you could also apply the skills and knowledge you develop on this course to any number of roles across multiple industries. As well as equipping you to become a confident police officer, this course opens up a range of other opportunities. What areas can you work in with a policing and investigation degree outside the police force? You could join the public sector, working for organisations including:
  • the Probation Service
  • the National Crime Agency
  • Department for Work and Pensions – investigating fraud
  • HMRC– investigating smuggling
You could join the private sector, working for organisations including:
  • banks and financial institutions – investigating fraud
  • insurance companies – investigating false claims
  • legal firms – assisting in legal cases
  • loss prevention and private security companies
  • private investigation firms
What jobs can you do with a policing and investigation degree? You could take on various roles, both within and outside the police force, including:
  • crime scene investigator
  • police staff investigator within the Criminal Investigation Department (CID)
  • intelligence analyst and researcher
  • private investigator
  • security analyst
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.


Year 1 Core modules currently include:

  • Criminal Justice and the Legal System
  • Essential Skills in Criminal Justice Studies
There are no optional modules in this year. Year 2 Core modules currently include:
  • Fundamentals of Policing and Investigation
  • Policing and Society
There are no optional modules in this year. Year 3 Core modules currently include:
  • Research Methods and Analysis
Options to choose from currently include:
  • Advanced Investigation and Operational Policing
  • Contemporary Terrorism and the Global Response
  • Cybercrime and Security
  • Fundamentals of Forensic Investigation
  • Organised Crime
  • Rehabilitation of Offenders
  • Victimology - Victimisation and the Criminal Justice System
Year 4 Core modules currently include:
  • Critical Issues in Public Protection Policing
  • Major Crime Investigation – Success and Failure
Options to choose from currently include:
  • Counter Terrorism and UK National Security
  • Internet Risk and Security
  • Organised Crime
  • Victimology – Victimisation and the Criminal Justice System
Year 5 Core modules currently include:
  • Dissertation
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 modules may not run every year. If a module doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

Assessment method

You’ll be assessed through essays and reports, with essay titles provided at the beginning of the academic year. 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. The way you're assessed may depend on the modules you select. As a guide, students on this course last year were typically assessed as follows: Stage 1 students: 100% by coursework Stage 2 students: 100% by coursework Stage 3 students: 100% by coursework

How to apply

To apply for this course you will be taken to the provider's website, where you can find out more information and make an application.

Points of entry

The following entry points are available for this course:

  • Year 1
  • Year 2
  • Year 3

Entry requirements for advanced entry (i.e. into Year 2 and beyond)

We welcome applications for advanced entry. If you’d like to apply for advanced entry, you need to select the required year when you complete your application.

Entry requirements

Qualification requirements

There are no specific qualification requirements, we will assess your application on its own merits. Applicants may be required to produce a short written artefact to better assist the course leader as to the suitability of the applicant.

English language requirements

TestGradeAdditional details
IELTS (Academic)6English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.0 with no component score below 5.5.
PTE Academic54An overall score of 54 with a minimum of 51 in each skill.
TOEFL (iBT)7979 with a minimum of 18 in Reading, 17 in Listening, 20 in Speaking and 17 in Writing.
Cambridge English AdvancedCambridge English: Advanced (CAE) taken after January 2015. An overall score of 169 with no component score less than 162.
Cambridge English ProficiencyCambridge English: Proficiency (CPE) taken after January 2015. An overall score of 169 with no component score less than 162.
Trinity ISEPassTrinity College Integrated Skills in English (ISE) Level III with a Pass in all 4 components

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

EU £3080 Year 1
International £3080 Year 1
England £3080 Year 1
Northern Ireland £3080 Year 1
Scotland £3080 Year 1
Wales £3080 Year 1
Channel Islands £3080 Year 1
Republic of Ireland £3080 Year 1

Additional fee information

For more information about fees, go to
Policing and Investigation (Distance Learning) at University of Portsmouth - UCAS