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University of Gloucestershire
Undergraduate

Professional Policing

BSc (Hons)
Clearing Places available

Course options

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Study type
Full Time
Course length
3 Years
Campus
Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham
UCAS Code
L312

Course overview

In June 2021, policing became a graduate-qualified profession in England and Wales, so a relevant degree is a requirement for anybody wanting to become a fully operational police officer. Licensed by the College of Policing, our course was the first approved ‘pre-join degree’ in the South West, providing an excellent route into the profession and ensuring the required standards are met. We now have 3 cohorts of graduates who have successfully completed their degrees, many of whom are now operational police officers in multiple forces in England and Wales.

Our degree is run in partnership with Gloucestershire Constabulary with whom there are multiple opportunities to gain practical experience and support while you are studying with us.

If you have a strong sense of justice, an inquiring mind and the ability to diffuse tension in stressful situations, you might want to consider a career in policing.

While this degree is the licensed ‘pre-join’ degree for policing, we have students who want to study policing but who don’t necessarily want to become a police officer. This degree is a supportive and interactive way to learn about policing, the criminal justice system more broadly and related elements of social science, which is a great foundation for those wishing to go on to other careers. As well as having graduates working as police officers across England and Wales, we also have graduates working in victim support, forensics, counterterrorism, teaching, police civilian roles, child protection, social work and many other careers.

On this course you are able to make module choices in both your second and third year to allow you to further develop your own interests in criminal justice. We also have options to do overseas field trips if you wish giving you the ability to focus on what interests you the most. In your third year you can opt to do a professional experience module where you volunteer for an organisation – an opportunity to enhance your CV while working in an industry related to where you may choose to work upon graduation.

The course combines academic study with skills training to provide a thorough grounding in the theory and practicalities of contemporary policing.

You’ll gain practical policing skills by participating in live projects, a residential field trip (included in your fees) and other exercises – helping you to build your skills and apply knowledge to real-world scenarios.

The emphasis is on the application of knowledge to the real world – with reference to the College of Policing’s Competency and Values Framework for Policing.

Styles of assessment include problem-solving exercises, reports, essays, case files, presentations, research projects, and portfolios.

We have research groups in policing, sexual violence and homicide at the University run by experts and welcome students who wish to take part. Evidence-based policing is key to effective policing. Our research groups give you the opportunity to work on real-world research to enhance your knowledge and understanding of this important practice and add to the evidence base available to police forces. Maybe you can influence police practice while you are still a student!

Do you want to get hands-on experience while studying? Then our Special Constable route in collaboration with Gloucestershire Constabulary may be for you. The University offers academic credit to students who opt to be a Special alongside their degree. There is also the possibility to enter the police on a higher pay scale upon completion of your degree.

You’ll need to make a separate application when you join the course. Acceptance into the Special Constabulary isn’t guaranteed – and is dependent on a successful evidence-based application, interview, fitness test, medical and vetting procedure.

Further details are available on request and at our open days.

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Entry requirements

Don't meet the entry requirements?

Don’t worry about your results. We may be able to offer you a place on this course through UCAS Clearing even if you don’t meet the entry requirements below.

Become a Clearing VIP and get an early-bird offer before results day, plus a chance to win a rent-free year in halls. Call us on 03330 432 414 to discuss your options.

    • 96 UCAS tariff points, CCC at A levels, MMM at BTEC or a Pass (C and above) in your T-Level.

      If you are unsure whether we could make you an offer or you have any questions, just get in touch with our admissions team who will be able to advise you.

    • English Language or Literature and Maths Grade 4/C in GCSE (or equivalent) are normally required.

    • We welcome applications from mature students (aged 21 and over) and do not necessarily require the same academic qualifications as school leaving applicants, although some entry requirements may still apply for Professionally Accredited Courses. We accept Access to Higher Education Diplomas and make offers on an individual basis.

Course modules

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Fees and costs

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See the further details of fees and potential extra costs when studying a course at the University of Gloucestershire.
Start date Location UCAS code Fee (UK)
Fee per year
Fee (international)
Fee per year
Sep 2024 Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham L312 £9,250 £16,600
Sep 2025 Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham L312 TBC TBC
Sep 2026 Francis Close Hall, Cheltenham L312 TBC TBC

Ready to apply?

UoG Career promise

At UoG we create a climate for bravery and growth. We instil confidence in all our students, so you can graduate career-ready and meet your ambitions.

95% of our graduates are in work or further study*, but if you’re not in a job 6 months after graduating we’ll guarantee you 6 months of free support, followed by the offer of a paid internship to kickstart your career – plus we’ll commit to lifetime career coaching. Eligibility conditions apply.

*Graduate Outcomes Survey published 2024 and based on 2021/22 leavers

Discover our promises

Careers

While many graduates from this course choose to pursue a career in the police force, there are a range of career pathways open to consider. These include careers in the border forces, the court system or prison service, as well as roles within local authorities and organisations dealing with social housing, victim support or substance abuse.

Find out more about joining the police and police careers.

Please note:

There are no guarantees of entry to a police force after completing this course – as with all other policing-related courses, you should be aware there are associated recruitment processes required when you apply to a particular force. These include successful completion of the national police recruitment process (eg Police SEARCH / Day One Recruit Assessment Centre), passing medical and fitness tests, and background and security checks (force vetting) before being appointed as a Police Officer.

Find out more from the College of Policing.

Prepare to apply for police recruitment

As with all other Pre-Join Degree courses in Professional Policing licensed by the College of Policing, the course has a currency of 5 years after graduating for the purposes of recruitment into policing. This doesn’t mean our course only lasts for 5 years – it’s a lifetime award demonstrating significant academic achievement and transferable skills.

Students on Criminology and Psychology course talking to police officer in Cheltenham

Trips and experiences

Your skills of observation, information collection and analysis are developed through a live project conducted to a brief set by an external organisation – currently we’re working on a crime reduction initiative on behalf of Gloucester City Safe.

You’ll attend a residential field trip to examine the different social environments and policing challenges in another part of the UK. Your crime investigation skills will be developed during exercises carried out in our Crime Scene House, forensic interviewing suite and moot court. You’ll also participate in scenarios where you will develop skills for policing incidents and managing crime scenes, working in collaboration with students from paramedic science, social work and forensic computing.

Take part in real-life simulations

Learn essential skills in our major incident simulation. The critical incident event gives students from various courses the opportunity to work alongside each other following a mock terrorist attack on a Christmas market.

Two student police offers escort a criminal from the scene of an incident.

Consider a career in policing

“If you have a strong sense of justice and the ability to diffuse tension in stressful situations, you might want to consider a career in policing.”

John Clay-Davies, Senior Lecturer in Policing

Policing lecturer in policing officer

A versatile course

“The course is versatile and appeals to students wishing to pursue a career in policing or more broadly in criminal justice, as well as those who have an interest in policing but who choose to go on to work in other sectors.”

Nadine Harding, Academic Course Leader for BSc Professional Policing

Nadine Harding talks to a group of students, all wearing police uniform outside the Oxstalls main building.

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