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BNU has a strong reputation in this area, and we’ve worked in partnership with Thames Valley Police to deliver policing programmes for more than 15 years.
Our teaching staff includes professionally qualified former police officers and police staff, so they can offer you practical insights and first-hand knowledge. We also have excellent links to serving police officers and staff, who we invite to share their knowledge and experience with our students. This degree will help you to take an informed decision about your future career destination, offering a broader examination of policing and related activities rather than a specific focus on preparing you for a police officer career.
We understand that when it comes to deciding where you’d like to study, there are a lot of things to consider. Come along to our Open Day and discover why BNU could be the place for you. You can find out more about your course, meet the course team, and get all your questions answered.
For everything you need to know about applying, check out our Application Guide. You can find useful information for each stage of your application journey – from before you even apply to what to do if you receive an offer, and everything in between.
Why study this subject?
Policing is changing. The police service needs to recruit both police officers and non-warranted police staff from all communities to undertake challenging front line roles.
If you’re considering a career within the police service, or a role within the broader criminal justice and security environment, a degree can add real value to your chosen career path.
Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?
Are you interested in working in policing or the wider criminal justice system? This degree is for anyone with an interest in policing, who wants to explore the wide-ranging career opportunities on offer within and beyond the criminal justice field. If you’re good at problem solving and want to make a difference, there are lots of options open to you, both within and outside policing.
Our BSc (Hons) Police Studies with Criminal Investigation programme is aimed at students who are seeking a broader study of policing beyond the police constable role, such as non-warranted roles both within policing or the wider criminal justice and security environment.
Building on our strong links with Thames Valley Police and support from The College of Policing, this degree will allow you to study policing in depth, get tangible experience in the areas you are interested in, and see where your talents and interests lie.
On this degree, you will learn the importance of effective communication and professionalism, the layered complexities of communities, the law, police discretion, and ethical conduct.
We help our students prepare for their future careers, developing their academic writing, research and study skills backed up with advice from our careers team. Our policing students graduate as creative thinkers and problem solvers.
You can apply to be a volunteer special constable 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.
You could also volunteer in another area of policing or the wider criminal justice system, whether that’s probation, prisons, youth offending or another field. Getting tangible work experience brings the theory to life and will enhance your employability in the sector.
Throughout the course, you’ll hear from experienced practitioners as guest speakers who’ll cover contemporary policing topics and share their experiences with you. 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.
What will I study?
Throughout the course, you’ll learn about contemporary policing and criminal justice processes, with a particular focus on criminal investigation in England and Wales.
Alongside operational policing, we’ll cover a wide range of areas such as the police use of firearms, the wide demands placed upon policing, miscarriages of justice, and major crime investigations.
You’ll gain exposure to some of the real challenges facing policing today, exploring current reforms and what they mean, and looking at the importance of accountability, citizenship and ethics.
You’ll leave the course with:
- a solid base of 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 developments, the investigatory framework, historic case reviews, 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.
How will I be taught and assessed?
This course is 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 degree.
Modules are delivered through a blended learning through a combination of:
- 1-hour lectures
- 2-hour seminars which are typically semi-structured and interactive in their nature and may include exercises such as:
- Simulated role play type scenarios carried out in our Code of Practice Suite
- Research based activities
- Classroom based discussion
- Individual tutorials.
Guest speaker inputs from a range of expert professional practitioners provide a valuable additional learning experience and operational insight.
Formative assessment is a key feature of the programme, enabling early feedback to be given on progress and to help you improve your performance. Formative exercises may be group or individually-based and may include poster type presentations and simulated task-based exercises within our Code of Practice Suite.
Academic achievement will normally be demonstrated through completion of pieces of coursework, such as essays, case studies, reflective practice-based reports, journals and action plans, or by sitting formal examinations or time-constrained assessments.
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
BNU is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you do, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer, to help you get into your chosen field.
We’ll also prepare you for work beforehand, with special skills for work training, further boosting your CV, and building skills employers will value. In recognition of the value we place on these skills we have incorporated this experience into your study time.
Placements Plus is all about helping you get some valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student, to increase your choices later, and help you get the graduate-level job you want.
What are the course entry requirements?
A typical offer will require a UCAS tariff score of: 32 - 56
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. If you wish to enquire further, please send your query along with any academic evidence or references to firstname.lastname@example.org
Find out more about our General Entry Requirements.
This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.
Year 1 Modules
Ways of Learning about the Social World
Preparing for Success Knowledge and Creativity
Preparing for Success Self-development and Responsibility
Inquiry Based Learning
Year 2 Modules
Social Sciences & Policing Practice
Introduction to Policing
Criminal Law and Justice
Police Crime and the Media
Introduction to Cyber Crime
Year 3 Modules
Criminal Investigation: Past to Present
Policing: Concepts, Theories and Practice (optional)
Crime Prevention and Reduction (optional)
Forms of Crime: Crimes of the Powerful (optional)
Forms of Crime: Crime in Late Modernity (optional)
Special Constabulary (optional)
Policing Priorities and Legitimacy (optional)
Year 4 Modules
Criminal Investigation Systems
Criminal Investigation: Scope of the State
Choose from either:
PlacementPlus Work-Based Project (optional)
How much does it cost
Home and EU
Home and EU, Academic Year 2021-2022
£9,250 per year
International, Academic Year 2021-2022
£13,750 per year
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, employable and good leaders. We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.
Policing is changing rapidly, and many new police officer and non-police officer opportunities are opening up, which this degree allows you to explore and prepare for.
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.
On successful completion of this programme, you will be prepared for a range of roles in the criminal justice system. This includes roles in the:
- Police service
- Prison service
- Probation service
- Youth offending teams
- Drug action teams
- Community partnerships
- Home Office.
You could also go into crime analysis or go on to postgraduate studies in policing, criminology, or other related subjects.