BSc (Hons) Professional Policing (Including Foundation Year)

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. 

2021/22 update: Blended learning approach for USW courses.

[Update excludes online-only courses].

The wellbeing and health and safety of our students and staff is paramount to us. We are committed to delivering all of our courses and services as safely as possible. Due to the pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to further change through the course of your study if such change is necessary due to public health concerns, health and safety guidance or in response to Government Guidelines. USW is committed to providing you with a fantastic student experience and a wealth of support, and you can hear how students have benefitted from this approach here: Learn more about blended learning.

UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
PP15 Full-time 4 Years September Glyntaff A
UCAS Code Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
PP15 Full-time 4 Years September Glyntaff A

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. 

Entry criteria detail typical offers but USW considers all applications on an individual basis which means that we could make offers based on qualifications, personal profile and experience. Combinations of qualifications are acceptable and other qualifications not listed may also be acceptable.



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 IB Offer

Pass IB Diploma or two IB Certficates at Higher level.

Typical Access to HE Offer

Pass Diploma with 60 credits overall to include 45 level 3 credits all Passes

Additional Requirements

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.

English Requirements
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 2021 - July 2022 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

Additional Costs

Students have access to a wide range of resources including textbooks, publications, and computers in the University’s library and via online resources. In most cases they are more than sufficient to complete a course of study. Where there are additional costs, either obligatory or optional, these are detailed below. Of course students may choose to purchase their own additional personal resources/tools over and above those listed to support their studies at their own expense. All stationery and printing costs are at a student’s own expense.

* Obligatory

Item Cost
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.
Books (Optional)
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.
Printing (Optional)
Students' material is generally available online and in digital format. Some students may wish to produce hard copies for their personal use.

UK and EU students
Apply via UCAS if you are a UK/EU 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 students
Apply directly to the University if you live outside the UK/EU. 

Admissions statement

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.