Important changes to police education

Police Science degree

There is a major programme of policing reform underway in England and Wales.

The police service is striving for greater professionalism and has set out its aims in a strategy: Policing Vision 2025. There is an academic element to this vision, which affects police officer training.

From 2020, policing in England and Wales will become a graduate profession. ‘Graduate profession’ means that by the end of their training, officers will be educated to degree level, whichever route they choose. This change recognises the complex, demanding, yet rewarding, work they do. So while it’s not essential to have a degree to apply to become a police officer, having the BSc (Hons) Professional Policing degree is one of the three routes open to you.

Here’s some more information about the policing degree route at the University of South Wales.

Why choose the degree route?
Many people aren’t ready to join the police straight from school and want to study first. If that’s the case, the degree route will allow you to consider your career options and perhaps carry out some voluntary work as a special constable.

What is BSc (Hons) Professional Policing?
The College of Policing’s BSc (Hons) Professional Policing degree is knowledge based and only offered by approved providers. It doesn’t guarantee you entry to a police force when you graduate, but you can apply to your chosen force with this qualification and have shorter on-the-job training if you’re successful. This degree would also be suitable for those interested in a career in policing and not just as a police constable.

Will USW offer the Professional Policing degree?
In line with requirements laid out by the College of Policing, the University of South Wales is applying to become an approved centre to deliver the new BSc (Hons) Professional Policing. This is a lengthy and detailed process that involves quality assurance and validation events.

Why choose Professional Policing study at USW?
We have taught BSc (Hons) Police Sciences for 15 years. This degree has been constantly updated in consultation with police forces, so its content is similar to the proposed BSc (Hons) Professional Policing. This means we already teach key components of the new curriculum, such as cyber-enabled crime, community policing, counter terrorism and protecting the vulnerable.

The new College of Policing BSc (Hons) Professional Policing degree also has capacity for universities to include their own ‘value added’ elements, USW students can therefore benefit from our long-standing provision, experienced staff and professional facilities.

Our students will continue to benefit from close working and partnerships with police constabularies and will be supported by tutors and mentors throughout their degree.

What will I study on the BSc (Hons) Professional Policing course?
The proposed Professional Policing course incorporates themes that reflect and are relevant to modern policing, such as counter terrorism, covert activities, policing the roads, criminology and victimology, law and the justice system, crime scene awareness, and digital policing.

I have already applied to the BSc (Hons) Police Sciences. What happens now?
The entry requirements for the new BSc (Hons) Professional Policing are the same for the BSc (Hons) Police Sciences.  So, for anyone who has already been accepted on to the BSc (Hons) Police Sciences, the good news is you will automatically be offered a place on our new BSc (Hons) Professional Policing. 

When will the new providers and course information be announced?
All universities who plan to offer the BSc (Hons) Professional Policing need to undergo a process of validation with the College of Policing. This will be completed by May 2019. 

Find out more:

Professional Policing