Gain the essential knowledge and skills required to be a police officer*, and join a rewarding profession with considerable benefits. Become a capable problem solver, communicator, negotiator and leader, and discover how you can make a significant contribution to policing - or the wider criminal justice sector.
Policing is growing as a profession. The Association of Police and Crime Commissioners and National Police Chiefs Council recently set out a ten-year plan for transforming the police, in order to deal effectively with rapidly changing demands in England and Wales. Part of this involves the professionalisation of the police service, ensuring it attracts people with the right skills, knowledge, behaviours and values to deliver their vision.
In Essex alone, the number of police officers grew by 5% from March 2017 to March 2018 (source: Home Office Police Workforce data tables, March 2018). Our course will help you stand out as a potential police constable, so you can become fully qualified, and gain Independent Patrol Status, soon after you graduate.
The future of the police will increasingly feature multi-agency collaboration, or ‘inter-operability’, driven by new forms of technology, evidence-based policing and innovation. Our course will prepare you for these developments, as well as training you to reflect critically and constructively on their implications.
You will learn to think like a police officer. This includes not only the legal and professional responsibilities of the role, but also modern policing strategies and ethical considerations, as well as key skills including decision making, problem solving, and negotiation. You’ll also pick up the necessary research skills to put evidence-based policing initiatives into practice.
In years one and two, all your modules will be compulsory, ensuring you develop in a team of your fellow students, and learn to understand the importance of collaborative work. You’ll begin with an introduction to the key ideas and practices that underlie policing specifically, and the criminal justice system itself, giving you a strong foundation to study at higher levels.
In year two, you’ll learn to use more advanced critical and analytical skills, and understand the significance of research methods in different areas of study. You’ll also learn to process information and make comparisons in order to develop new insights into police work and apply them to the workplace.
By your final year, you’ll be an independent learner taking on a Major Project, focusing all the skills and knowledge you’ve developed so far into the area of policing that interests you most.
Throughout the course, you’ll take part in a variety of methods designed to develop your understanding of current policing practices and theoretical issues. These include a high level of practical and problem solving work in the form of role-playing and case study scenarios, balanced with individual skills, research and teamwork.
Throughout the course, you’ll be supported by our team of expert lecturers, including both current and former policing practitioners and senior police officers, as well as visiting lecturers and specialist guest lecturers.
You’ll also be assigned your own personal tutor, for one-to-one advice, as well as having access to the University’s student support groups, including an Employability Service, and social networks such as the ARU Criminology groups on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram.
Our links with regional police forces and practitioners result in many events, giving you plenty of opportunities to further engage with criminal justice professionals. These include workshops, study trips and research projects, as well as events organised by our Policing Institute for the Eastern Region.
We have four brand new Crime Scene rooms available on our Chelmsford and Cambridge campuses, located in a secured area with CCTV, two-way viewing window and audio recording equipment for enhanced training sessions, as well as mock court rooms on both campuses.
Course Leader: Emma Brett
We work with employers to make sure you graduate with the knowledge, skills and abilities they need. They help us review what we teach and how we teach it – and they offer hands-on, practical opportunities to learn through work-based projects, internships or placements.
Studying our BSc Professional Policing will put you in an excellent position to apply to be a police constable, demonstrating your ability to contribute to the policing profession through being a capable problem solver, communicator, negotiator and leader as well as being socially and emotionally intelligent in the performance of a professional policing role.
The skills and knowledge you gain on this course will prepare you for the role of a police constable, as well as for work within the wider criminal justice sector, including the prison service, local government or the security industry.
However, successful completion of the degree does not guarantee entry to any police force: you must meet the eligibility criteria of the force you intend to apply to and follow their specific recruitment processes. You will need to pass medical and fitness tests, background and security checks, as well as a series of assessments including National Recruitment processes and Force vetting. All students who complete the course and are subsequently employed by a force will be subject to a two-year probationary period post-join, as specified in Police Regulations.
While recruitment processes and eligibility criteria are broadly similar for entry as a police constable, each police force in England and Wales sets its own recruitment process and selection policy, and entry requirements can vary from force to force. You are advised to check your eligibility against the information on the website of the force that you are interested in applying to. More detailed eligibility criteria are available on the Police Recruitment website, and the websites of individual police forces.
Your BSc Professional Policing degree will have a currency of five years from your graduation date for entry as a police constable.
Our course is designed to develop your understanding of current issues and debates in policing, and help you apply theory to different scenarios in the role of a police constable. This will be reflected in the range of assessment methods, including essays, portfolios, problem-solving activities, case studies, blogs, policy documents, presentations, and a major research project.
You will also be encouraged to reflect on your evaluative work through group discussions, peer review, reflective writing and self-evaluation, further developing your critical and analytical skills.
In the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences, we use our expertise and connections in Cambridge and beyond to nurture creativity through experimentation and risk-taking, and encourage critical thinking, in order to educate, entertain, inspire and understand, as well as to improve people’s lives.
You’ll have the chance to access talks and seminars at the University of Cambridge’s Institute of Criminology, with which we have close and supportive links.
You can pay your fees in the following ways.
You can take out a tuition fee loan, which you won’t need to start repaying until after your graduate. Or alternatively, there's the option to pay your fees upfront.
We offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Some of these cover all or part of your tuition fees.
Most new undergraduate students can apply for government funding to support their studies and university life. This includes Tuition Fee Loans and Maintenance Loans. There are additional grants available for specific groups of students, such as those with disabilities or dependants.
We also offer a fantastic range of ARU scholarships, which provide extra financial support while you’re at university. Find out more about eligibility and how to apply.
Important additional notes
Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email firstname.lastname@example.org for further information.
We don't accept AS level qualifications on their own for entry to our undergraduate degree courses. However for some degree courses a small number of tariff points from AS levels are accepted as long as they're combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.
We welcome applications from international and EU students, and accept a range of international qualifications.
If English is not your first language, you'll need to make sure you meet our English language requirements for undergraduate courses.
If you don't meet our English language requirements, we offer a range of courses which could help you achieve the level required for entry onto a degree course.
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