BSc (Hons) Professional Policing (Including Foundation Year)
From 2020, policing in England and Wales became a graduate profession.
If you don't have the right qualifications to apply for the BSc (Hons) Professional Policing degree year one entry, the foundation course offers an alternative route into degree study.
You’ll start by completing a foundation year, which provides well-structured support and follows a general policing and security curriculum.
Upon successfully passing this year, you will progress to the first year of the professional policing degree which meets all the core requirements of the National Police Curriculum for the College of Policing’s pre-join degree in Professional Policing.
Modules cover key areas such as counter terrorism, covert activities, law and the justice system, crime scene awareness, digital policing, cyber-enabled crime, protecting the vulnerable in society, and community policing.
You will be taught by former police officers and leading academics and enjoy outstanding facilities on campus.
Get a glimpse of what it's like to study at USW before you apply
Foundation Year: Professional Policing degree
- Serious and Violent Crime - 20 credits
- Introduction to Police Sciences - 20 credits
- Careers in the Criminal Justice System - 20 credits
- Foundation Performance and Development - 20 credits
- Police Law and Crime Investigation - 20 credits
- Contemporary Issues within Policing and Crime - 20 credits
As part of this foundation police course we will teach you to become an independent thinker and to develop your skills to match those required for a career in the Police Service. Your study across a range of modules such as crime investigation, critical analysis of policing, criminal justice processes and practical skills for police officers will give you a solid foundation to progress on to our BSc (Hons) Professional Policing degree.
Year One: Professional Policing degree
- Law, Governance and the Criminal Justice System - 20 credits
This module introduces students to the role and duties of a police officer; the role of law enforcement agencies such as Special Branch, National Crime Agency, National Counter Terrorism Policing, MI5 and MI6 and the Criminal Justice System, how legislation is created and the roles of the Police and Crown Prosecution service in prosecuting crimes.
- Neighbourhood and Community Safety - 20 credits
This focuses on neighbourhood policing and policing communities and covers such topics as the development of community policing; understanding neighbourhoods and communities; preventing and responding to anti-social behaviour; partner agencies and effective problem solving and community engagement and community impact assessments.
- Understanding Vulnerability, Risk and Threats in Society - 20 credits
You will examine terms and offences associated with public protection policing - including child abuse; adults at risk; domestic abuse; modern slavery and human trafficking; sexual offences and hate crime - and develop an understanding of strategies for dealing with these situations.
- Technology in Policing - 20 credits
This module looks at how criminals engage in complex digital-related crimes. Students will learn about legislation and offences associated with digital-facilitated crimes such as hate crime; sexting/revenge porn; abuse, bullying or harassment online; online fraud and child grooming. You will learn to identify individuals who may be more vulnerable to digital-facilitated crimes, how digital-facilitated crimes may be reported to the police and the impact on the individual and family.
- Policing, Criminology and Victimology - 20 credits
Students will be introduced to criminology and sociology and will cover such topics as crime, victimisation and harm; policing powers; trends, patterns and causes of crime; offenders and offending and risk and vulnerability.
- Practical Forensics for Policing - 20 credits
Using the University’s Forensic Crime Scene Training Facility, students will learn about securing and preserving a crime scene and gain skills in forensic record keeping; briefing and debriefing; handling and transporting evidence; forensic report writing and forensic tools and techniques such as DNA analysis, finger prints and footprints and blood splatter.
- Academic and Professional Skills for Police Officers
Year Two: Professional Policing degree
- Research Methods for Policing and Security - 20 credits
Students will learn to conduct reliable and credible research and to plan it and present it effectively and professionally by learning and developing their research skills. In this module they will cover topics such as academic writing and critiquing; developing critical analysis and arguments and working in teams but within a policing and security context.
- Using Intelligence in Police Investigations - 20 credits
In this module students will develop key skills relating to gathering intelligence and interviewing people. You will cover the role of specialist agencies including the National Crime Agency; Special Branch; Interpol and MI5 and MI6 and establish how information differs to intelligence and the different forms of intelligence.
- Contemporary Operational Policing - 20 credits
This module will examine key cases and their outcomes. It will scrutinise such key concepts as the effect of using a 'default position' for decision making, based upon previous approaches; the benefit of reviewing example case studies;
risk assessment, risk aversion and risk avoidance and the concept of 'constabulary independence'.
- Vulnerability and Public Protection - 20 credits
This builds on the work covered in the first year relating to the vulnerable in our society. Student will develop their knowledge and understanding of topics that include potential forms of abuse/harm, including digital-related abuse; the range of situations and locations in which abuse can take place; the Home Office definition of domestic abuse and why incidents of abuse often go under-reported.
- Cyber Crime and Forensic Investigation - 20 credits
This simulation-based module has been designed in conjunction with the Regional Organised Crime Unit and offers students the opportunity to learn the skills and knowledge of an officer responding to cyber-facilitated crime. Students will develop skills in applying and executing a search warrant under PACE; searching premises and seizing evidence; analysing evidential exhibits; expert witness reporting writing and testimony and court room cross examination.
- Simulated and Immersive Learning - 20 credits
This module offers students a practical simulated policing environment, as a means of contextualising policing concepts into operational practice, promoting the development of key decision making and problem solving skills.
Year Three: Professional Policing degree
- Police Duties and Law - 20 credits
This module covers the legislation police officers will use in dealing with typical policing incidents such as Offences Against the Person Act 1861; Criminal Damage Act 1971 and the Public Order Act 1986.
- Roads Policing and Investigation - 20 credits
This module covers legislation, police powers and the most common offences associated with policing the roads. It covers such topics as how to prevent and disrupt high-level crime on the road network; the relevant case law and legislation in relation to drink/drug driving and stopping a vehicle, using the powers provided by Section 4 of Police and Criminal Evidence Act (PACE) 1984.
- Investigation of Serious and Organised Crime - 20 credits
Students will study the fundamental principles, legislation and powers related to conducting investigations including entry powers; powers of arrest; ethical considerations when conducting investigations and the investigative mind-set.
You'll also study the legislation to be considered during interviews.
- Leadership and Professional Development - 20 credits
This module examines the necessity for maintaining professional standards in policing and relevant governance, roles and responsibilities. They will typically cover fair, ethical and unbiased delivery of policing services; professional standards and the roles and responsibilities of disciplinary procedures and the IOPC ( formerly IPCC) in serious cases.
- Dissertation - 40 credits
In their final year students have the opportunity to conduct research into a topic area of their choice related to policing and security. They will be supported and guided through this process by an assigned supervisor.
The foundation police course delivers a curriculum set by The College of Policing, but you will not be on the Policing Education Qualifications Framework (PQEF) course until you progress to year one of the BSc (Hons) Professional Policing degree.
It will introduce you to the key areas of knowledge required by a contemporary police officer and develop your personal and practical skills.
During an average week, you'll have lectures and blended learning activity before attending tutorials in assigned tutorial groups.
Each module has on average around 36 hours contact time and 12 hours using our blended learning facilities.
Every student studying a 20 credit module will be expected to complete 200 notional hours of study.
We work in partnership with Dyfed Powys Police, Devon and Cornwall Police; Gloucestershire Police; Wiltshire Police; Dorset Police and work closely with South Wales Police and Gwent Police.
Students will be assessed through a combination of approaches including coursework; vlogs; academic posters; presentations; essays; reports; interviews; portfolios; laboratory reports; written examinations; multi-choice questions and interactive assessment exercises.
The professional policing course is validated by the College of Policing.
Students on the police degree have the opportunity to take part in an international summer school. USW works with police training universities in Germany, Netherlands and Australia.
If you want to volunteer as a special constable or police student volunteer, we will help you do that and will be happy to support your application.
We offer unrivalled facilities for our students who learn in a range of realistic scenarios using state-of-the-art facilities.
Our Hydra Simulation Centre - the only one in Wales - helps you practise dealing with realistic scenarios such as major crime enquiries. The simulation suite allows you to experience these incidents in a safe learning environment, where you can test your ability to make decisions, take action and see the consequences.
The Crime Scene Training Facility is where you practise your crime scene investigation techniques. We have forensic facilities where you can explore and analyse forensic evidence, and interview rooms with CCTV systems so you can observe and assess your interview skills.
Our state-of-the-art moot court room provides an immersive environment for debates, press conferences with our journalism students and mock trials.
Policing has been taught at the University for more than 15 years.
Within this time, we have built up an unrivalled team that combines senior figures from the policing profession, who bring a wealth of operational knowledge, with academics at the cutting edge of research into key areas such as religion-based terrorism, international relations, and police governance and accountability.
Guest lectures are organised throughout the year featuring serving police officers of various ranks.
- Janine Vickery, Course Leader
- Helen Martin
- Professor Colin Rogers
- Professor Peter Vaughan
- Allison Turner
- Hilary Miller
- Huw Smart
- Mike Edwards
- Daniel Welch
- Roger Phillips
- Carwyn Evans
- Alun Davies
- Fiona Webb
- Rhian Kinsella
- Carl Davies
- Peter Jones
- Courtney Childs
- David Morgan
We regularly revalidate courses for quality assurance and enhancement
At USW, we regularly review our courses in response to changing patterns of employment and skills demand to ensure we offer learning designed to reflect today’s student needs and tomorrow’s employer demands.
If during a review process course content is significantly changed, we’ll write to inform you and talk you through the changes for the coming year. But whatever the outcome, we aim to equip our students with the skillset and the mindset to succeed whatever tomorrow may bring. Your future, future-proofed.
The entry criteria below reflect our standard entry requirements for the course for September 2023. However, all applications received by the University are reviewed holistically and individually. Entry criteria for September 2024 is changing and will be published on ucas.com from 8th May 2023. Entry criteria for September 2024 will be updated on our website from the end of October 2023.
We may make you a lower offer based on a range of factors, including your background (where you live and the school or college that you attended for example), your experiences and individual circumstances (as a care leaver, for example). This is referred to as a contextual offer and we receive data from UCAS to support us in making these decisions. USW prides itself on its student experience and we support our students to achieve their goals and become a successful graduate. This approach helps us to support students who have the potential to succeed and who may have faced barriers that make it more difficult to access university. Here is a link to our Contextual Admissions Policy.
Other qualifications and experience
We can also consider combinations of qualifications and other qualifications not listed here may also be acceptable. We can sometimes consider credits achieved at other universities and your work/life experience through an assessment of prior learning. This may be for year one entry, or advanced entry to year two or three of a course where this is possible.
To find out which qualifications have tariff points, please refer to the UCAS tariff calculator.
If you need more help or information or would like to speak to our friendly admissions team, please contact us here
Typical A-Level Offer
EE to exclude General Studies
Typical Welsh BACC Offer
Typical BTEC Offer
BTEC Extended Diploma Pass Pass Pass or BTEC Diploma Pass Pass
Typical Access to HE Offer
Pass the Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 48 UCAS Tariff points
GCSEs: The University normally requires a minimum 3 GCSEs including Mathematics and English at Grade C or above, or their equivalent but consideration is given to individual circumstances
Please note that whilst this course does not require a DBS Check for entry, some professions will not consider candidates who have certain types of criminal convictions. Therefore, if you have a criminal conviction and you are considering a particular career path we would recommend that you check with the relevant professional body or refer to their recruitment policy to make sure that your conviction will not disadvantage you.
International Entry Requirements
We also welcome international applications with equivalent qualifications. Please visit the country specific pages on our international website for exact details.
In general, international applicants will need to have achieved an overall IELTS grade of 6.0 with a minimum score of 5.5 in each component.
However, if you have previously studied through the medium of English IELTS might not be required, but please visit the country specific page on our international website for exact details. If your country is not featured please contact us.
Full-time fees are per year. Part-time fees are per 20 credits. Once enrolled, the fee will remain at the same rate throughout the duration of your study on this course.
August 2023 - July 2024 Fees
Full-time UK: £9000
Full-time International: £14400
August 2024 - July 2025 Fees
Full-time UK: TBC
Full-time International: TBC
At the University of South Wales, you’re investing in so much more than a degree. We strive to provide our students with the best possible experience, no matter what you chose to study. Whether it’s access to top of the range mac books and PCs, state-of-the-art facilities packed with industry-leading equipment and software, masterclasses and events led by industry experts, or a wide range of clubs and societies to meet likeminded people, better tomorrows start with extra perks.
Each course also has their own unique student benefits to prepare you for the real word, and details of these can be found on our course pages. From global field trips, integrated work experience and free course-related resources, to funded initiatives, projects working with real employers, and opportunities for extra qualifications and accreditations - at USW your future, is future-proofed.
As a student of USW, you’ll have access to lots of free resources to support your study and learning, such as textbooks, publications, online journals, laptops, and plenty of remote-access resources. Whilst in most cases these resources are more than sufficient in supporting you with completing your course, additional costs, both obligatory and optional, may be required or requested for the likes of travel, memberships, experience days, stationery, printing, or equipment.
|Field Trips (Optional)||£140 - £450||
Students have the opportunity to participate in an International Police Summer School. The costs for this activity will vary depending on the hosting country. This is optional.
|Kit (Uniform and Equipment) (Optional)||£20 - £30||
Students may have the opportunity to borrow laboratory coats on site but they may wish to purchase their own.
|Assessment submission (Compulsory) *||£0 - £10||
Some assessments may need to be printed (e.g. academic posters) and this will incur a cost to be shared amongst a work group or a cost for individuals depending on modules.
|Dissertation (Compulsory) *||£0 - £10||
One hard copy of the students' final 10,200 word Dissertation is required.
|Field Trips (Compulsory) *||
During the course students will be required to travel to venues in the South Wales area in order to take part in learning activities.
|Field Trips (Compulsory) *||
Students will be required to travel to Cardiff to participate in an assessment at the Atrium Campus.
Students may wish to purchase their own copies of Police related text, however, reference copies are available in the Library.
|Storage for electronic submissions and work (Optional)||£5 - £50||
Cloud storage is available for use by students. Some students may wish to purchase additional storage devices to back up their work.
Students' material is generally available online and in digital format. Some students may wish to produce hard copies for their personal use.
Funding to help pay for (or cover) course tuition fees and living costs
Whilst you’re studying, you’ll have two main financial obligations – tuition fees and living costs. There’s lots of financial help available from the University of South Wales and external funding sources, that may provide loans (which have to be paid back) and grants, scholarships and bursaries (that don't).
To learn about course fees, funding options, and to see if you are eligible for financial support, visit our Fees and Funding pages.
Welsh Medium Scholarships
The University offers scholarships between £250 - £1000 to students studying part of their course through the medium of Welsh. The University is also part of the Coleg Cymraeg Cenedlaethol's scholarship scheme, which offer scholarships up to £3000. More information here: Welsh-Medium Scholarships | University of South Wales
South Wales Police Professional Policing Degree Bursary
In an aim to build a police force that better represents the community it serves, South Wales Police is offering a bursary of up to £4,000 to students from Black, Asian, or Minority Ethnic backgrounds who are studying towards the Degree in Professional Policing.
To be accepted for the bursary, you must fulfil the bursary criteria.
Applications are welcomed from the beginning of June to the end of September each year. To apply for the bursary, please download the application form and submit it to the Positive Action Team at South Wales Police using the following information:
Email: [email protected]
Subject heading: FAO Positive Action Team - Application for PPD bursary
Apply via UCAS if you are a UK residing applicant, applying for year one of a full-time undergraduate degree, Foundation Year, Foundation Degree or HND and you have not applied through UCAS before. If you are applying to study part-time, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution, please apply directly.
International and EU students
Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK.
Our new BSc (Hons) Professional Policing will prepare you for a career as a police officer, along with other police staff roles, such as community support officers, control room operators and analysts.
The Professional Policing course is recognised as one of the three routes to becoming a police constable. It does not guarantee entry into the police following graduation, however those with a Professional Policing degree who are accepted by the police will have a shortened initial police training and this qualification will enable to you to apply to your chosen force and if accepted receive the shortened initial training for a period of up to five years after graduation.
Whereas this police course is a recognised route to becoming a police constable, graduates will still need to satisfy the recruitment requirements of their chosen force in terms of medical and fitness requirements, as well as background and security checks.
Our police degree has been designed to prepare you for the police requirement process; this includes mock fitness tests and interviews, interactive assessments and application support sessions. Lots of career advice is available and we have plenty of ex-serving police officers who can offer valuable advice when it comes to preparing to apply for your chosen career. More information on the routes into the police and the recruitment process.
Professional Policing graduates will also be prepared for careers within the criminal justice system in general and in the security and intelligence industries, adopting roles within the Prison Service, MI5, MI6 and the National Crime Agency, for example. Graduates can also progress to the MSc International Risk and Security.
The starting salary for police constables in England, Wales and Northern Ireland is between £19,971 and £23,124, rising to £38,382 at the top of the scale - achievable after about seven years.
The range of typical salaries with several years' experience is £39,693 to £43,134 for sergeants, £49,176 to £53,340 for inspectors and £54,432 to £56,670 for chief inspectors.
Police officers in London, and the south of England, receive additional pay allowances.