Want to learn more about how policing and investigations work? This distinctive new degree is a combination of the theory, policy and practice of policing and investigations, criminology and criminal justice, equipping you with the advanced skills to pursue a career in the broader criminal justice system.
- We're all about employability - gain vital investigative work experience as part of your degree through our links with employers such as NEXT PLC, Derbyshire Constabulary, the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA), Nottinghamshire Police and Rolls Royce
- Our teaching team are former police officers, police detectives and criminal investigators, providing you with a unique insight into real world policing and investigations
- Explore contemporary policing and the criminal investigation process, underpinned by relevant academic theories in criminology, forensics and sociology
- During your studies you have the opportunity to become a Police Support Volunteer or a Special Constable if you wish to pursue a career as a Police Office after graduating, and have volunteering opportunities within Retail Loss Prevention
- Harness our excellent learning facilities - from a crime scene house to courtrooms - to hone your investigative skills and enhance your professional experience
- Prepare for a career not just in policing but also in broader areas such as civilian investigation, crime reduction, probation and security.
This course combines a high level of investigative expertise with rigorous academic knowledge so that you are well prepared for a future working within the criminal justice system.
In-depth knowledge, broad perspectives
We provide you with a solid introduction to criminal investigation and a logical framework for understanding the investigative process. Drawing on a fascinating variety of case studies, you will explore a range of historical, empirical and theoretical approaches to key issues in evidence gathering and criminal justice.
We bring together the academic disciplines of criminology, forensics and sociology so that you can evaluate critically the contemporary challenges facing police officers and criminal investigators.
Gain real-world experience of investigative practices
For those students wishing to pursue a career in investigation, our links with prominent employers, such as NEXT PLC, Derbyshire Constabulary, Nottinghamshire Police, Rolls Royce and the Gangmasters and Labour Abuse Authority (GLAA) gives you a unique opportunity to gain vital investigative work experience throughout your studies that will add substance to your CV and increase your employability in the competitive graduate job market.
Working in industry with employers’ means you can experience working in different areas of investigation, such as retail or human trafficking, and put the theories you’ve learnt in the classroom into practice in the workplace.
Richard Stones OBE, Head of Retail Loss Prevention at NEXT PLC explains how this degree will reduce business crime and the benefits to our students:
'We are keen to partner with the University of Derby following the recommendation from Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary (HMIC) for improved training for civilian investigators. The British Retail Consortium (BRC) 2017 survey estimated 4.1 million crimes were committed against the retail industry last year, at a cost of £660 million, the highest level on record. The programme offered by the University of Derby will help to professionalise retail investigations thereby assisting the industry to reduce the cost of business crime. We are also passionate to create a scheme to provide University of Derby students with real world experiences to help them gain the world class knowledge and skills they need to make a positive impact in the sector’.
Besides investigative work, if you would like to pursue a career as a police officer once graduating, this course will fully support you to apply and become a Special Constable or Police Support Volunteer, which will give you the chance to develop your professional practice.
The Special Constabulary is a force of trained volunteers who go out on patrol and form a vital link between the regular full-time police and the local community. Police Support Volunteers perform tasks which complement the duties of police officers and police staff investigators, helping free them up for key operational duties. Volunteer roles range from front counter services and administration to following up crime reports with members of the public.
There are rigorous application procedures including vetting for these roles and we will support you through the process.
Expertise and inspiration
You will be taught by a teaching team with extensive professional experience in policing and investigation. This ensures your learning is enriched by the latest thinking and ideas. We have built a reputation as a world-leading provider of police education and we have one of the largest teams of academics with policing experience in any UK university.
Thanks to our strong professional links, we also offer an outstanding visiting speaker programme where influential practitioners share their experiences with you. We pride ourselves on a superb network of contacts – from chief constables and crime commissioners to leading figures in organisations such as the Society of Evidence-based Policing and the British Society of Criminology.
A highly practical focus
Alongside the academic theory, you will benefit from practical experience of investigative processes, using the University’s first-rate facilities such as a crime scene house and courtrooms.
There may also be the opportunity to go on visits to settings such as police stations, police custody suites, victim support facilities, courts and various voluntary organisations working within the criminal justice sphere.
You will study modules such as:
- The Criminal Justice System
- Introduction to Policing
- Study Skills and Criminological Research
- Contemporary Issues in Policing & Investigations
- Investigation and Loss Prevention
- Introduction to Investigative Interviewing
- Real World Criminology
- Advanced Investigative Interviewing
- Crime, Media and Culture
- Domestic Abuse
- Hate, Ethnicity and Crime
- Mentally Disordered Offenders
- Sexual Violence, Exploitation and Abuse
- Substance Misuse
- Working with Young Offenders
- Youth Justice
You can also choose from two optional modules such as:
- Crime Scene Investigation for Policing
- Forensic Perspectives
Please note: modules are subject to availability, and may change to suit the needs of industry.
You will learn through a stimulating mix of lectures, tutorials, role play and external visits. There is also a fascinating programme of guest lectures by professionals from the criminal justice arena.
How you'll be assessed
Assessment is via a range of methods including essays, investigative strategies, applied interviewing and evaluations, the production of statements and the completion of MG (Manual of Guidance) files.
Who you'll meet
You will be taught by our team of engaging, passionate and inspiring subject experts. They include:
- Angie Neville - Programme Leader and Senior Lecturer in Criminology with 20 years of experience as a Police Officer, Detective and CID Crime Trainer. Angie has research interests in areas such as the investigation of domestic abuse and sexual offences
- Mark Flint-Freel - former Police Officer, Crime Trainer and Specials Trainer with 30 years of experience
- Dr Phil Hodgson - Head of Department for Law, Criminology and Social Sciences. With research interests in areas such as policing, probation, drugs and anti-social behaviour
- Tony Blockley - former Senior Investigating Officer and Head of Crime, with 30 years of experience as a Police Officer and research interests in areas such as domestic abuse. Tony is still involved in investigating domestic homicides, which he has done on a consultancy basis since 2011
- PC Darren MacDonald - a serving Police Officer seconded from a police training department who has 24 years of experience.
September 2019 typical entry requirements
|UCAS points||112 (up to 16 from AS-levels)|
|Specific requirements at A-level|
No specific subject requirements
|Specific requirements at GCSE||N/A|
|Interview / Audition||N/A|
Alternative entry qualifications:
- BTEC - DMM
- Access to HE Diploma 60 credits: 45 at level 3 with a minimum of Dist: 15 Merit: 24 Pass: 6
We usually consider an A-level in General Studies as a supplementary qualification. A good application/performance will be taken into account if you do not meet the criteria/offer conditions.
Our entry requirements for this course should be read together with the University's general entry requirements, which details subjects we accept, alternative qualifications and what we're looking for at Derby.
The transferable skills you will develop during this course in loss prevention, investigatory practice and investigative interviewing are essential requirements for many employers in the policing family and wider arena of civilian investigators. You may pursue a career within the broader criminal justice system; civilian investigation, retail investigation, Business crime investigation, crime reduction partnerships, security and loss prevention.
This degree has also been designed in close partnership with constabularies, an excellent stepping stone if you want to pursue a career in policing once you have graduated.
If you need any more information from us, eg on courses, accommodation, applying, car parking, fees or funding, please contact us and we will do everything we can to help you.Contact us
† Additional information about your studies
Download programme specification
Like most universities, we operate extended teaching hours at the University of Derby, so contact time with your lecturers and tutors could be anytime between 9am and 9pm. Your timetable will usually be available on the website 24 hours after enrolment on to your course.
Additional costs and optional extras
We’re committed to providing you with an outstanding learning experience. Our expert teaching, state-of-the-art facilities and great employability prepare you for your future career. As part of our commitment to you we aim to keep any additional study costs to a minimum. However, there are occasions where students may incur some additional costs.
Included in your fees
- DBS checks (if required for WBL - volunteering positions)
- Access to Geographic Information Systems software, Arc GIS
- International study trip to the e.g. The Hague. Local trips and visits to criminal justice organisations (PSU training, CBR Critical Incident training, prisons, police HQ, custody suites, courts.
- Youth Justice Effective Practitioner Certifcate (YJEPC)
- Access to online learning materials
Please note: Our courses are refreshed and updated on a regular basis. If you are thinking about transferring onto this course (into the second year for example), you should contact the programme leader for the relevant course information as modules may vary from those shown on this page.