Professional Policing - BSc (Hons)
- Level: Undergraduate
- Starting: September 2021
- Study mode: Full Time (3 Years), Full Time (4 Years with Professional Placement)
- Location: City Centre
Studying with us in 2021/22
It is possible that the 2021/22 academic year may be affected by the ongoing disruption caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Any arrangements put in place by the University for the 2021/22 academic year will be in accordance with the latest government public health advice, pandemic-related/health and safety legislation, and the terms and conditions of the student contract.
This course is a national pre-join degree course licensed by the Policing Professional Body, the College of Policing and will be delivered by subject matter experts and experienced practitioners (including retired police officers) with a wealth of subject expertise to prepare you with key transferable skills required for the role of Police Constable.
This course has been developed through consultation with a range of police service areas and the College of Policing, to give you the opportunity to examine the fundamental concepts of policing whilst also developing the practical and transferable skills you need for a career in law enforcement.
What's covered in the course?
The course will help to develop your critical thinking about policing, policy and practice through complementary modules encompassing the theory and principles of operational policing, legislation and police powers, structured interviewing skills and much more. To develop these skills, you will be involved in practical activities, events and will be exposed to a range of guest speakers. These speakers will be from a range of criminal justice and public sector agencies as well as police officers of all operational levels.
The course will utilise a range of exciting and innovative forms of assessment which match the working practices within policing. You will also be supported in applications for job roles within policing and will have opportunities to take part in mock assessment centres, fitness and team building exercises. You will take part in mock criminal investigations and be required to create relevant paperwork and understand current legislation and police powers in practice.
You will also benefit from a working arrangement between the university and West Midlands Police (WMP). The organisation has agreed to support with the training of 25 special constables both within the service settings and on campus. WMP will provide support and guidance through both the assessment and training stages so as to ensure you feel capable and equipped to face a variety of incidents and issues. You will be encourage to participate in a range of work within a variety of regional forces to improve subject knowledge and understanding.
This course will combine all of these elements together while offering you the opportunity to take part in a work placement which could be within a variety of areas in the field community safety and criminal justice. You will be encouraged to take part in to visit courts, police training establishments and prisons.
The course will develop a professional focus and real world experience, ensuring that when you gradate you are equipped to make an impact in your chosen career. The course teaching team will also provide additional support sessions to refresh students on academic and research skills so as to ensure students are fully prepared to carry out independent research projects throughout the course.
The course will also discuss the international dimension to law enforcement and how criminal activities are not just domestic in their construction. Module content will explore this in greater detail and through the use of guest lecturers from around the world, the professional relationships between various policing agencies around the world will be discussed.
Successful attainment of the BSc in Professional Policing does not in itself provide any guarantee of recruitment as a trainee Police Constable. Each police force within England and Wales sets out its own recruitment process and selection policy and entry requirements vary from force to force. You are therefore strongly advised to check the specific requirements of their chosen force prior to undertaking study. It is also important to contact local force areas and the college of policing to ensure that you are fully familiar with the eligibility criteria and any barriers which may inhibit you becoming a police officer.
Why Choose Us?
- We have a strong relationship with the British Society of Criminology. We hosted the 2018 British Society of Criminology Conference at our City Centre Campus.
- On all of our courses you will gain a professional focus and real world experience, ensuring you are equipped to make an immediate impact in your career. You have the opportunity to embark on a year-long professional placement as part of your degree course.
- The course’s professional relevance is supported by our close links with local criminal justice organisations, including West Midlands Police Force.
- In your first year, as part of our partnership with West Midlands Police, you will get the opportunity to be trained and supported to become a Special Constable'
- All our courses have an international focus. This is embedded throughout the curriculum, giving you the opportunity to transform your experience with us into a global one. There are a variety of exciting possibilities open to you, ranging from our successful international travel scholarships scheme, through which you can spend a summer working for a charitable organisation overseas, to one of our many overseas study exchange programmes.
- As a student on one of our undergraduate degrees, you will be able to benefit from our Graduate+ initiative. This three-year award course enables you to gain award levels for all the extra-curricular activities you undertake so that you can stand out from the crowd on graduation.
- You will study in our state-of-the-art City Centre Campus, ideally located for you to take advantage of our links to industry in the UK’s second city.
- Birmingham City University has just launched the UK's first Centre for Brexit Studies, researching all aspects of the UK's vote to leave the EU, including the impact it has on hate crime and national security in the UK.
Our next Virtual Open Day is taking place on Saturday 20 March. It's the perfect opportunity to virtually tour our facilities, hear from some of our staff and get a feel of what it's like to study at BCU.
This course is open to International students
We accept a range of qualifications, the most popular of which are detailed below.
BBC or 112 UCAS tariff points from a maximum of 3 subjects.
|Level 2 Qualifications|
|UK Qualification||Requirements 2021/22|
|Irish Leaving Certificate (Ordinary Level)||
|Scottish National 5||
|Plus one of the following Level 3 (and above) Qualifications|
|UK Qualification||Requirements 2021/22|
|A level and Advanced VCE||
|Access to HE Diploma||
IBO Certificate in Higher Level
International Baccalaureate Diploma
Irish Leaving Certificate (Highers)
NCFE CACHE Level 3 Applied General Certificate in Health and Social Care
OCR Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma
OCR Cambridge Technical Diploma
Scottish Advanced Higher
Advanced Welsh Baccalaureate - Skills Challenge Certificate (first teaching September 2015)
Welsh Baccalaureate Advanced Diploma – Core (awarded until 2016)
ESW/KS Combined component
WJEC Level 3 Diploma in Criminology (QCF)
|If you have a qualification that is not listed in the table please refer to our full entry requirements on UCAS.
Further guidance on tariff points can be found on the UCAS website.
Additional information for EU/International students
Applications from international applicants with equivalent qualifications to 112 points are welcome. Please see your country page for further details on the equivalent qualifications we accept.
In additional to the academic entry requirements listed above, international and EU students will also require the qualifications detailed in this table.
|English language requirements 2020/21|
6.0 overall with 5.5 minimum in all bands
If you do not meet the required IELTS score, you may be eligible for one of our pre-sessional English courses. Please note that you must have a Secure English Language Test (SELT) to study on the pre-sessional English course. More information.
|Other accepted qualifications||Visit our English language page|
From A/AS Level with a minimum of 2 A Levels
- UK students
- International students
Award: BSc (Hons)
Starting: Sep 2021
- Full Time
- 3 Years
- £13,200 per year
If you're unable to use the online form for any reason, you can complete our PDF application form and equal opportunities PDF form instead. The University reserves the right to increase fees in line with inflation based on the Retail Prices Index or to reflect changes in Government funding policies or changes agreed by Parliament up to a maximum of five per cent.
Guidance for UK students
UK students applying for most undergraduate degree courses in the UK will need to apply through UCAS.
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) is a UK organisation responsible for managing applications to university and college.
Applying through UCAS
Register with UCAS
Login to UCAS
Complete your details
Select your course
Write a personal statement
Get a reference
Pay your application fee
Send UCAS your application
There are three ways to apply:
1) Direct to the University
2) Through a country representative
Our in-country representatives can help you make your application and apply for a visa. They can also offer advice on travel, living in the UK and studying abroad.
3) Through UCAS
If you are applying for an undergraduate degree or a Higher National Diploma (HND), you can apply through the UK’s Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS).
You can request a printed form from your school or nearest British Council office. You will be charged for applying through UCAS. Birmingham City University’s UCAS code is B25 BCITY.
UK / EU students are required to submit a personal statement as part of their application for this course.*
The personal statement gives you a crucial opportunity to say why you’re applying and why the institution should accept you.
Here are the key areas you’ll need to address:
Why does this course appeal? What areas are of particular interest?
If you have a specific career in mind, say how your chosen course will help you pursue this goal.
Mention any work that is relevant to your subject, highlighting the skills and experience gained.
School or college experience
Highlight skills gained at school/college, eg summer schools or mentoring activities.
Non-accredited skills or achievement
eg Duke of Edinburgh Award, Young Enterprise scheme.
You should also mention your future plans – if you’re planning to take a year out, don't forget to give your reasons. Talk about any subjects you’re studying that don’t have a formal assessment and any sponsorships or placements you’ve applied for. And don't be scared to add in details about your social, sports or leisure interests.
Get more information on writing personal statements.
*Non-EU students are not required to submit a personal statement when applying for this course.
There are no compulsory additional costs or charges associated with studying on this course. While you may choose to purchase personal copies of text books, all our key text books are available from our library or online (subject to normal library loan and online access arrangements).
Based on the past experience of our students, you might find it helpful to set aside about £50 for each year of your studies for your personal stationery and study materials. All our students are provided with 100 free pages of printing each year to a maximum total value of £15.
Accommodation and living costs
The cost of accommodation and other living costs are not included within your course fees. More information on the cost of accommodation can be found in our accommodation pages.
Worried about personal statements?
If you've got no idea where to start or just want to check you're on the right track, we’ve got expert advice and real examples from our students to help you nail your personal statement. You can even download our ultimate personal statement guide for free.
We offer further information on possible undergraduate financial support. This includes the type of loans, grants and scholarships available both from the government and from Birmingham City University.
In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).
In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 120 credits).
In addition to the curriculum content, a range of support workshops will be provided throughout the second year in order to ensure that you are equipped to implement research methodologies to conduct an independent research project in year three. These will be non-credit bearing and will be delivered through workshops, lectures and independent tasks which will be accessible through virtual learning environment systems.
You will also be allocated a support mentor, who will guide you into discussing potential research topics for your independent research project.
In order to complete this course, you must successfully complete all the following CORE modules (totalling 100 credits).
In order to complete this course a student must successfully complete at least 20 credits from the following list of OPTIONAL modules.
You can gain international insight and experience a new culture with our Erasmus exchange programme. Students have spent a term at a number of major institutions, including the University of San Diego in the USA, as well as destinations in Cyprus and Denmark.
If you’re looking to continue your study following the completion of your course, we have exciting postgraduate degrees in MA Criminology and MA Security Studies.
The course will use a range of authentic assessment methods in order to reflect current working practices within policing. In all group activities, you will be assessed individually as well as part of a group so as to fairness is applied throughout. This will ensure that you contribute equally to your groups' overall grade but staff can award higher or lower grades to those who may have contributed/not contributed to the assessment.
Student support services
There is a range of support services which will be available to you:
Centre for Academic Success
The Centre for Academic Success is the University's central learning development service. Their aim is to help students develop all of the necessary academic, technical and numerical skills needed to progress and successfully complete a student’s chosen course. The centre can provide additional support regarding referencing, academic writing and presentation skills.
For all information regarding please see the (see Centre for Academic Success - student support).
The Student Contract
When you accept an offer of a place, you enter into a contract with the University which includes obligations on both sides. The main terms you need to be aware of are set out in the Terms and Conditions which are available below.
Your responsibilities as a student include:
- Attending the University and engaging fully with your studies whether in a formal teaching environment, in group work with your peers or in self-directed study
- Following the rules, regulations, policies and procedures applicable to you as a student (the Academic Regulations and other relevant policies and procedures).
- Paying your fees.
Please see The Student Contract for further guidance.
Enablement and Wellbeing
Our professional and confidential Health and Wellbeing services offer support for your physical, mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing, helping you to make the most out of your time at university. We can help you with:
- Mental health and wellbeing
- Disability support
- Faith and spiritual wellbeing
For all information regarding the services available please see Enablement and Wellbeing.
The BSc in Professional Policing is an academic knowledge-based degree, based upon the national curriculum for the police constable role. It will provide you with an entry route into policing if you wish to study before you apply to join a police force.
Your education will continue in force if you become a probationary police constable (see below). If you wish to use a pre-join degree as your entry route to the police service, you must apply to join a police force within five years of your graduation.
The pre-join degree may also be of interest or benefit to those considering a career in other roles within policing, for those seeking to understand how society is policed, for those who have an interest in law enforcement or for those want to enter the wider justice sector.
Please note: successful achievement of the pre-join degree does not provide any guarantee of recruitment as a probationary police constable. Each police force sets out its own recruitment process and selection policy; the entry requirements vary from force to force. Prospective students are strongly advised to check the specific requirements of their chosen force before undertaking study.
How do I apply to become a police constable?
Once you have graduated with a pre-join degree, you will need to apply to join your chosen police force as a probationary police constable. To do this, you must:
- Apply within five years of your graduation date
- Meet all of the recruitment criteria for the particular force.
Once you have successfully joined a force as a probationer, you must then:
- Undertake further practice-based learning and assessment in your force
- Demonstrate competence in the police constable role
- Complete the two-year probationary period, in line with police regulations.
The range of both interpersonal and academic skills you will develop studying the BSc in Professional Policing will help to support your future career aspirations. Whether you pursue a career in policing or choose instead to take on roles in other sectors, the broad range of assessments, experiences and team activities that you will take part in, will provide to be valuable in future employment.
Special Constable Training (West Midlands Police)
As part of a business relationship developed between the university and West Midlands Police (WMP), you will be given an opportunity to align your studies to training to become a special constable (SC) with WMP. Some of the SC training will be done by WMP at their training facilities and some will be provided from within the course content. This is an exciting and creative opportunity to enhance career potential for a whole range of graduate roles and employment sectors.
OpportUNIty: Student Jobs on Campus ensures that our students are given a first opportunity to fill many part-time temporary positions within the University. This allows you to work while you study with us, fitting the job around your course commitments. By taking part in the scheme, you will gain valuable experiences and employability skills, enhancing your prospects in the job market.
It will also allow you to become more involved in University life by delivering, leading and supporting many aspects of the learning experience, from administration to research and mentoring roles.
Through our courses we give you the skills and experience needed to get a head start when applying for jobs. But we offer something extra too – Graduate+.
Our unique programme gives you the chance to develop valuable skills outside of the more formal classroom learning. We award points for Graduate+ activities (including firewalking!) and these can be put towards a final Graduate+ award.
Welcome to the School of Social Sciences, home to students from all around the world!
All of our undergraduate and postgraduate social sciences courses are open to international students, and our courses have been tailored to take a global approach to learning. We frequently welcome international students through the Erasmus scheme, from countries including Germany, Italy, Belgium and the Netherlands.
Our international pages contain a wealth of information for international students who are considering applying to study here, including:
- Explore some of the good reasons why you should study here
- Find out how to improve your language skills before starting your studies
- Find all the information relevant to applicants from your country
- Learn where to find financial support for your studies
The University is conveniently placed, with Birmingham International Airport nearby and first-rate transport connections to London and the rest of the UK.
Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC)
International students who have a serious interest in studying with us but who perhaps cannot meet the direct entry requirements, academic or English, or who have been out of education for some time, can enter Birmingham City University International College (BCUIC) and begin their degree studies.
BCUIC is part of the global Navitas Group, an internationally recognised education provider, and the partnership allows students to access the University’s facilities and services and move seamlessly through to achieving a Bachelor’s degree from Birmingham City University.
We are constantly investing in our estate and are currently in the process of spending £340 million on new learning facilities.
The Curzon Building
This course is based at our City Centre Campus – and specifically The Curzon Building, alongside other social sciences, law, business and English students.
The £63m building offers students a unique social learning space, including a dedicated student hub incorporating student support services, in the heart of Birmingham’s Eastside development.
Realistic, simulated environments include two mock court rooms, a Magistrates' and Crown Court, and an interviewing suite. We’re also exploring the use of virtual environments as a way to develop case study analysis.
For those studying on the BA (Hons) Policing or BA (Hons) Criminology, Policing and Investigation degrees, you’ll experience simulations of police interviewing environments for both suspects and witnesses, with access to tape recording and video playback analysis.
Crime investigation files are prepared using computer-based technology, and the crime data analysis requirements of the degree are supported by appropriate statistical and analytical software.
Psychology students can look forward to using state-of-the-art equipment as well, including the latest in eye-tracking software, and our new EEG machine, all geared towards giving you true hands-on experience with tools you’ll be using in your later career. You will also benefit from facilities across the wider campus including the Parkside and Millennium Point buildings.
The Curzon Building also features:
- An impressive new library with access to over 65 million full text items and stunning views of Eastside City Park
- Your Students’ Union which is located in a beautifully restored 19th century pub, The Eagle and Ball
- A modern 300-seat food court with space to study and socialise
- Brand new, accessible IT facilities with full Office365 for all students for free
Senior Teaching Fellow, Course Director BSc in Professional Policing
Jonathan has been working within teaching and learning for 11 years at a number of institutions and providers. His academic studies began at Northumbria University, where he graduated with both a BSc Criminology and MSc Homeland Security.