MA Professional Policing

In 2020, policing in England and Wales became a graduate profession. Building on the success of our well-established Professional Policing degree, this masters degree will enhance and develop your management and leadership skills, whilst developing your knowledge and skills in contemporary policing areas.

The police course has been designed in conjunction with local forces and builds upon core requirements of the National Police Curriculum.  

Modules cover key areas of policing knowledge such as Problem oriented policing, crime and justice, technology in policing, critical incident management and leadership and management. 

This course benefits from:

  • Online flexible learning
  • Developed with local force input
  • Police Leadership

If you are a serving officer, or recently retired, please scroll down the page to the 'What you will study' area, click the dropdown box and read the section on 'Recognition for prior learning'.

2022/23 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 Covid-19 pandemic, the methods and activities adopted for delivering our courses in the coming year may differ from those previously published and may be subject to change during 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. Whether you’re on-campus full time, part-time with online study, or full-time online, 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.

Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Year September Online 8
Part-time 2 Years September Online 8
Study Mode
Duration Start Date Campus Campus Code
Full-time 1 Year September Online 8
Part-time 2 Years September Online 8

The MA Professional Policing will be a good choice for undergraduate students who wish to gain a career as police officers, police staff, or as part of the wider criminal justice system. If you are an undergraduate with a degree in Professional Policing, this degree will develop the leadership and management skills needed for progression in force. 

For officers in force, this degree will develop the leadership and management skills needed for progression in force and enhance your knowledge in identified key areas in policing. 

Modules include:

  • Police Leadership and Organisational Behaviour (20 credits)
  • Professional Development, Coaching and Mentoring (20 credits)
  • Critical Incident Management (20 credits)
  • Policing in the Digital World (20 credits)
  • Critical Issues in Criminal Justice Policy (20 credits)
  • Applied Investigation and Public Protection (20 Credits)
  • Evidence Based Research Project (40 credits) 

Recognition of Prior Learning Status

Applicants may be eligible for Recognition of Prior Learning status, subject to approval and appropriate evidence.

Rank (Minimum two years service in post)

Rank (Minimum two years service in post)

Chief Superintendent/Superintendent - up to 60 credits.

Chief Inspector/Inspector – up to 40 credits

Sergeant – up to 20 credits

Applicants will need to provide evidence that they have been in post for a minimum of two years, copies of any examinations sat and training undertaken for their role. Officers outside of these ranks, but who are able to demonstrate significant experience in specialist areas may submit a portfolio for review by the Course Leader, up to a maximum of 40 credits, chargeable at £230 per 20 credit module. The same module restrictions will be applicable.


The course will be delivered online and will feature 2 hours of learning per module, per week and one hour of live Q&A/Discussion forum with the Module Leader. 

Each module will run for ten weeks and students are expected to undertake at least 4-5 hours independent study per week. The course will feature guest lectures to help students contextualise their learning. 


Students will be assessed using a wide variety of assessments, designed to test various learning outcomes and include essays, reports, documents of analysis. 

There are no exams in the course and all assessments will be submitted online. 


Full student support will be embedded into the course virtual learning environment.

Beginning your course on a part-time basis in January 2021?

If you wish to begin this course on a part-time basis in January 2021, any remaining years of study will commence from a traditional start date of September, meaning after an initial first year of study you can progress into your second year in September 2021.

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.

Minimum 2:2 degree. Applicants without an academic degree but who hold significant industry experience are eligible to apply.

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:  £9000

  • Full-time International:  £14500 

  • Part-time UK:  £1000 per 20 credits

August 2022 - July 2023 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International:  £14700 

  • Part-time UK: TBC

August 2023 - July 2024 Fees

  • Full-time UK: TBC

  • Full-time International: TBC

  • Part-time UK: TBC

Student Perks

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.

Click here to learn more about student perks at USW.

Additional Costs

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. Below we’ve listed what types of additional costs are associated with this course:

Apply directly to the University if you are applying for a part-time, professional or postgraduate course, an Erasmus/Exchange programme, the Legal Practice (part-time) course, to top up your Foundation Degree or HND, or to transfer to USW from another institution.    

Apply now 

Admissions statement 

Students will develop transferrable skills in critical thinking and writing, synthesis and research. The course content has been designed with local forces to aid the development of officers, wishing to progress in force.

Career options include:

  • Policing 
  • Law enforcement 
  • Criminal Justice system