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BSc (Hons) Police Studies with Criminal Investigation

UCAS CODE: L4M9 (Full-time) or L4M4 (Foundation Year)
TARIFF: 88 - 112 (Full-time) or 32 - 56 (Foundation Year)
  • Study Mode: Full Time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: Three or Four Years
  • Start Date: September 2024
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.
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*Measured by % of positivity across all questions within the larger providers only: taught or registered population (NSS 2023)
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*Whatuni Student Choice Awards 2023
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*NSS 2023
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Top 10 for student support*
*Whatuni Student Choice Award 2023
We had the opportunity to have guest speakers from different sections of the police, trips out to the control room, access to the CCTV for the town and so much more. Lecturers even helped set up work experience for those wanting to join a different sector of the police and helped with CVs for job applications. All this over the 3 years made me feel very prepared to leave BNU and enter the world of work.
Sophie Parfitt

Why study this subject?

There is a current demand for recruiting new police officers and non-warranted police staff from all communities to undertake challenging front line roles.

If you are seeking to gain a broader understanding of policing, from criminal law to major crime investigations then our BSc (Hons) Police Studies with Criminal Investigation programme will give you the opportunity to explore the different routes you can develop your chosen career path.

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.

This course is also offered as a four-year programme, including an initial Foundation Year. 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. 

Four policing students in uniform sat at desks in a classroom looking towards a whiteboard
Five BNU policing students in uniform stood in a line in front of a Police van near the Gateway reception on the High Wycombe campus.

Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?

We’ve designed our BSc (Hons) Police Studies with Criminal Investigation to help you become part of the exciting, ever-changing worlds of policing and criminal justice. You will learn from skilled lecturers within the School of Aviation and Security who have a high level of knowledge, based on past and current work in their specialist areas.

In addition, 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.

At BNU, we recognise roles in this field can be hands-on – that’s why you’ll take part in simulated learning experiences throughout the course using our specialised facilities, including our Police Code of Practice Suite. You’ll also be able to use our library to support your studies, whether you’re looking for the resources you need or just a quiet place to study.

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.

As a BNU student, you will automatically become a member of Bucks Students’ Union giving you access to a wide range of services that we offer for free as part of our exclusive Big Deal package. Unlike many UK universities, we offer our members free access to a diverse and exciting range of activities, allowing you to experience new things, socialise with broader groups of people and boost your employability – all to enrich your university experience.

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 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. Our library is the perfect place to find the resources you need and a quiet place to study, filled with four floors of books, journals, computer suites and study rooms. Or, if you’d rather work off campus, e-Journals and resources are only a few clicks away using our Virtual Learning Environment.

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.

You will leave the course with:

  • a solid base knowledge of policing and criminal justice, drawing on aspects of criminology, criminal justice and sociology
  • an understanding of key areas of contemporary operational policing and criminal investigation, including the role of the investigator, forensic considerations, the investigatory framework, cyber-related crime, human rights and ethics
  • strong critical thinking, analysis and communication skills
  • an insight into different areas and roles within the criminal justice system, so you can see where your interests lie.
Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship
Policing students sat in a classroom listening to a teacher who is stood facing the students

How will I be taught and assessed?

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.

The University also has a dedicated academic skills centre, Student Learning and Achievement, which can provide additional support in areas such as presentations skills, time-management, academic reading, referencing or academic writing, research for essay preparation and how to prepare effectively for examinations in addition to being assigned a personal tutor from the academic team.

The teaching staff are excellent; my course leaders are amazing and answer all questions that I have, they are extremely knowledgeable in their field.
Sophie Chaplain
Sophie Chaplain

BSc (Hons) Police Studies with Criminal Investigation Programme Specification

What are the course entry requirements?

A typical offer will require a UCAS tariff score of: 88 - 112 (Full-time) or 32 - 56 (Foundation Year)

UCAS points can be obtained through qualifications such as A levels, T levels, BTEC or an Access to Higher Education course in a relevant subject. Please list all your qualifications on the application form as you will be asked to provide copies when we receive your application.

A minimum of two full A-levels (or equivalent) is required. Every application is considered on an individual basis

For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.

Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the three-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a degree course, can apply for a four-year programme including a Foundation Year; find out more.

If you do not meet the entry requirements you may, if you have relevant professional experience, still be invited for interview, where you will be required to demonstrate the necessary knowledge and understanding for entry onto the course. 

Previous study, professional and / or vocational experiences may be recognised as the equivalent learning experience and permit exemption from studying certain modules in accordance with our accreditation of prior learning (APL) process. 

Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the three-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a degree course, can apply for a four-year programme including a Foundation Year. 


This provides a guide of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

This course has Opportunity modules.

Opportunity modules are a key part of the BNU curriculum. You’ll choose modules in your first year 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. Find out more.

What are the tuition fees

  • Home, Academic Year 2024 - 2025: £9,250 per year
  • Overseas/International, Academic Year 2024 - 2025: £15,150 per year

Additional course costs and financial support

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.

Questions about fees?

If you have any questions about the fees above, contact our Enquiries team by calling 0330 123 2023 or emailing

What are my career prospects?

Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising and skilled leaders and support you in your search to find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.

Whilst many of our graduates from this programme have successfully gained employment in the police force, others have followed careers within the wider criminal justice system and well beyond. Upon graduation, you’ll be ready to work in a wide range of roles including:

  • police service
  • prison service
  • probation service
  • youth justice
  • child and youth protection
  • research
  • drug prevention teams
  • private security
  • intelligence services
  • community partnerships
  • local government
  • civil service
  • Home Office.

Course leader

A head shot of Allison Savory wearing a black top stood in front of a vibrant yellow background looking directly into the camera
Allison Savory
  • Senior Lecturer
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Mohammed Omar
Mohamed Omar Mohamed
  • Senior Lecturer
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Tuncay Durna
  • Senior Lecturer
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A head and shoulders shot of a smiling Dave Giblin, looking directly into the camera and stood against a wall
Dave Giblin
  • Associate Professor
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BSc (Hons) Police Studies with Criminal Investigation
BSc (Hons) Police Studies with Criminal Investigation with Foundation Year