MA Professional Policing

Building on the success of our well-established Professional Policing degree and decades of providing police education this course has been designed to meet the needs of those working within the policing sector. This masters degree will enhance and develop your management and leadership skills, whilst developing your knowledge and skills in contemporary areas of policing.

Modules cover key areas of policing and the criminal justice system. The modules provide learners with the opportunity to delve into contemporary practice in relation to digital policing and cyber enabled crime as well as community engagement, critical incident management, public protection and vulnerability.

Underpinning these key areas of study will be a focus on:

  • Professionalism and professional standards
  • Developing leadership skills.
  • Developing consistency where it matters the most for the communities and those working in policing.
  • Coordinated and strategic thinking.
  • Workforce wellbeing.
  • Reaching underrepresented groups in society.
  • Horizon scanning and responding to new threats and challenges.

This course is delivered online through a blend of live and pre-recorded materials. This course meets the needs of those working in policing, and those who are interested in progressing within a policing environment, and who prefer to choose their space, pace and place of study.

This course builds on the work completed by those who have been successful on Police Constable Degree Apprenticeships (PCDA) and Degree Holder Entry Programmes (DHEP).

Please note: Serving officers of all ranks should consider possible Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning (RPL/RPEL) opportunities. You may have undertaken numerous courses throughout your career that the University can formally recognise as part of your application. The Course Leader is an experienced retired Detective Superintendent who can advise and help you with this process.


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 an excellent choice for those who wish to progress from their undergraduate studies in policing or related subject disciplines, and those interested in embarking on a career in policing.

The course will also prove attractive to those serving police officers and police staff who wish to progress in their careers.

This course will also prove attractive to those who have worked within policing at various ranks, and who wish to use the Recognition of Prior Experiential Learning opportunities to have previous experience and police run courses formally recognised.

This qualification will develop the leadership and management skills needed for progression within the police service, and enhance your knowledge in identified key areas in policing.

Modules include:

  • Police Leadership and Organisational Behaviour (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)
  • Community Policing and Partnerships (20 credits)
  • Evidence Based Research Project (60 credits)

Recognition of Prior Learning Status

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



The course will be delivered in a blended format utilising synchronous and asynchronous materials. Each week students will engage with two hours of learning per module, and one hour of live Q&A/Discussion forum with our experienced policing tutors.

Each module will run for ten weeks and students are expected to undertake at least four to five hours of 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 learning outcomes. There are no exams and all assessments will be submitted online.

Assessment methods include professional discussions, poster presentations, reports, case studies, pre-recorded and live presentations).


The Course Team

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


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 encouraged to apply and may be eligible for Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) status.

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 2024 - July 2025 Fees

  • Full-time UK:  £10250

  • Full-time International:  £16000 

  • Part-time UK:  £1140 per 20 credits

August 2025 - July 2026 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.


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.


USW Postgraduate 20% Alumni Discount 2023/24

The University of South Wales is offering a 20% reduction in tuition fees for all University of South Wales* graduates starting a taught/online*** MA,MSc, LLM,MBA or DBA course from September 2023 (this includes students starting a course in January/February 2024). T's and Cs apply. Click here for more details and eligibility criteria: USW Postgraduate Alumni Discount 2023/24

Apply directly to the University if you are applying for a part-time, professional or postgraduate course.


Apply now 

Admissions statement 

Students will develop transferable skills in critical thinking and writing, synthesis and research. The course content has been designed to develop those wishing to progress in their careers and gain recognition for previous experience and previous professional courses.

Career options include:

  • Policing
  • Law enforcement
  • Criminal Justice system