Available through Fast Track to Clearing

Course details

Study options

Full-time: 3 years

UK/EU fee

£9,250 per year (2019/20)

International fee

£13,250 per year (2019/20)

UCAS points

120 (September 2019 entry)

UCAS code


Course level



BA (Hons)

Start date



One Friar Gate Square, Derby Campus

Course description

A career in policing demands skill, responsibility, leadership and initiative, together with a genuine desire to make a difference to society. Featuring two distinctive routes – one of which includes experience as a Special Constable – our BA (Hons) Professional Policing equips you to meet that challenge. 

Taking an innovative and flexible approach, our BA (Hons) Professional Policing provides the ideal preparation for one of the most challenging professions of all.

It offers two distinctive routes: one with Special Constable training and one without. Whichever pathway you choose, you will graduate with the same highly regarded and valuable qualification which will stand you in good stead for a policing career.


Policing for the 21st century

We equip you with an in-depth understanding of the role of a police officer today, including a thorough grasp of criminal justice systems and the powers and laws used by the police throughout England and Wales.

Throughout your studies, you will be encouraged to explore policing issues critically. You will address themes such as ethics and policing, equality and diversity, and legitimacy and discretion. You will also consider the broader implications of police action – or lack of police action – for a wide range of communities and individuals.


Your choice of routes

If you follow the Special Constable route as part of your degree, you benefit from invaluable experience working with a local force.

You will become part of the team of 'Specials' who go out on patrol and form a vital link between the regular full-time police and the local community. This includes learning some key practical skills relating to arrest, search, self-defence and interviewing witnesses and suspects.

If you follow the alternative route – without Special Constable training – you will focus on developing your understanding of policing within society and concepts of criminology regarding crime, crime control, justice and punishment. You will also consider the ethics and principles of policing in the context of criminal investigation practice and concepts of policing by consent.

In addition, there will be the opportunity to explore key issues in criminal psychology, including offender profiling and the psychology of police interviewing and eyewitness testimony.


On-the-job experience as a Special Constable

Any student choosing the Special Constable route will commit to at least 200 hours on duty each year and will be expected to demonstrate a high level of professionalism and dedication, supported by full attendance in the classroom. By the time you graduate, you will have amassed hours of practical policing experience and undertaken a significant amount of the training that regular police officers undergo. 

In the past, some of our students have been commended for their actions in the role of Special Constable by the forces they represent - including one student who helped to save someone's life. 

To become a Special Constable, you will have to pass the vetting, assessment centre, medical and fitness procedures relating to the police force to which you have applied. You must be a national of a country within the European Economic Area (EEA), or if a national of a country outside the EEA, have the right to reside in this country without restrictions and in good health and of good character.  

We will assist you throughout the application process but the police recruitment panel will make the final decision.

You can find out more about becoming a Special Constable on the College of Policing website 

Please note, direct entry to stage 2 and 3 is not available.


Professional insights and practical know-how

There are exciting opportunities for you to learn more about the day-to-day challenges facing professionals working in the criminal justice system. This course features visits to settings such as police stations, police custody suites, victim support facilities including a sexual assault referral centre, courts and various voluntary organisations working within the criminal justice sphere.

You will also hone your practical skills by harnessing the University’s first-rate facilities which include a crime scene house and courtrooms.

A dynamic teaching team

We have one of the largest teams of academics with policing experience in any UK university, so you will learn from highly experienced policing and criminal justice practitioners.

Your studies will also be underpinned by our leading-edge research into the explanations and motivations for criminal behaviour and how criminal activity can be detected and prevented. This includes a focus on the notion on policing itself, ethical codes, human rights and police governance.

Through our International Policing and Justice Institute, we have also built a reputation as a world-leading provider of police, security and justice training and are regularly commissioned to provide educational solutions for policing organisations in other countries.

Inspiration from leading professionals

You can draw on the experience and wisdom of some of the most influential figures in policing today. We pride ourselves on an excellent network of contacts ranging from chief constables and crime commissioners to representatives of national and international policing organisations.

This means you can engage with an outstanding visiting speaker programme which captures all the topical issues and debates relating to the profession. Recent guests included policing experts from the USA – a retired police Captain, a retired Chief of Police and a current SWAT commander – who provided a unique insight into their policing models and challenges.

In addition, the former Chief Constable of Derbyshire shared experiences from his career, the changes which have transformed the profession and the challenges for policing in the 21st Century.

Students also attended an event focussed on the theme of modern slavery, hearing from the Bishop of Derby and representatives of Derbyshire Police and Derbyshire County Council on how they work collaboratively to create safe working environments free from slavery.

The University also hosts regular events with organisations such as the Society of Evidence-based Policing and the British Society of Criminology.

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Fast track to Clearing

Why wait for results day? Jump the queue and fast track to Clearing now. We’ll call you to talk through your options and we may be able to make you an offer there and then.

Register now for fast track to ClearingRegister now for fast track to Clearing

What you will study

If you choose the route with Special Constable training, you will study modules in Route A. If you choose the route without Special Constable training, you will study Route B.

You'll study modules such as:

Route A (with Special Constable training)

  • Introduction to Policing
  • Policing and Legislation
  • Study Skills and Criminological Research
  • Policing and Communities
  • Information and Intelligence
  • The Investigation of Crime and Criminal Activity

Route B (without Special Constable training)

  • Introduction to Policing
  • Policing and Legislation
  • Study Skills and Criminological Research
  • Policing and Communities
  • Crime, Justice and Society
  • The Investigation of Crime and Criminal Activity

Route A (with Special Constable training)

  • Response Policing
  • Evidence-Based Policing
  • Social Research Methods
  • Investigation Theory and Practice
  • Real World Criminology

Route B (without Special Constable training)

  • Response Policing
  • Policing and Society
  • Social Research Methods
  • Themes in Criminal Psychology 1
  • Real World Criminology

Stage three

Routes A and B (the same for specials and non-specials)

At this stage you can specialise by choosing one of our specific pathways:

  • Investigation of Crime
  • Working with Offenders
  • Criminology: Theory and Practice
  • International Criminology


You'll study four options from modules such as:

  • Crime, Media and Culture
  • Cybercrime
  • Domestic Abuse
  • Hate, Ethnicity and Crime
  • Mentally Disordered Offenders
  • Murder: Dynamics, Pathologies and Investigation
  • Psychopathy
  • Sexual Violence, Exploitation and Abuse
  • Substance Misuse
  • Working with Young Offenders
  • Youth Justice


Please note: these modules are subject to availability, and may change to suit the needs of the profession.

Please note that our modules are subject to change - we review the content of our courses regularly, making changes where necessary to improve your experience and graduate prospects.

Students welcoming guests to a Buxton Open Day

Find out more about Professional Policing

The best way to find out if studying at Derby is right for you is to experience an Open Day. Get a feel for the city and campus, tour our first-class facilities and see where you could be living.

Book your Open DayBook your Open Day

How you will learn

You will learn through a stimulating mix of lectures, tutorials, role play exercises and external visits. There is also a fascinating programme of guest lectures by professionals from the criminal justice arena.

How you are assessed

Assessment is via a range of methods including essays and multi-choice examinations, whether you are taking the route with Special Constable training or not. 

Special Constables will have more practical requirements built into their assessment process. These will include the production of witness statements; the ability to conduct suspect interviews at level 1 of the Professionalising Investigation Programme (PIP) national standards; and demonstration of competence in simulated practical activities, including arrest and giving evidence.
Those who are Special Constables will also be expected to meet the occupational requirements set out by their particular force. These are currently listed under what are known as Police Action Checklists.

Who you will meet

You will be taught by a team of subject experts with extensive experience of policing and who are dedicated to supporting your academic success and career progress.

Angie Neville – Senior Lecturer in Criminology with 20 years of experience as a Police Officer, Detective and C.I.D. Crime Trainer. Angie’s research interests are in areas such as domestic abuse and investigation of sexual offences.

Mark Flint-Freel – Former Police Officer, Crime Trainer and Specials Trainer with 30 years of experience.

Dr Phil Hodgson – Head of Law, Criminology and Social Sciences and Deputy Director of the International Policing and Justice Institute.  Phil’s research interests span 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.  Tony’s research interests are in areas such as domestic abuse and he is still involved in investigating domestic homicides, which he has done on a consultancy basis since 2011.

PC Darren MacDonald – a serving Police Officer with 24 years of experience who is seconded from Derbyshire Constabulary training department. Darren has extensive experiences as a Police Trainer and Assessor

Entry requirements

September 2019 typical entry requirements

UCAS points120 (up to 16 from AS-levels)
Specific requirements at A-level

No specific subject requirements

Specific requirements at GCSEGCSE Maths and English Grade C/Grade 4 (or above) or equivalent qualification
IELTS6.0 (with 5.5 in each skills area)
Interview / AuditionN/A

 Alternative entry qualifications:

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.

Fees and funding

2019/20 Fees


£9,250 per year



£13,250 per year


Further information about our fees and support you may be entitled to.

Additional costs and optional extras

How to apply

UK/EU students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for EU students post-Brexit

International students

Full-time students applying to start in September should apply for this course through UCAS or you can apply directly to the University for an undergraduate course if you’re not applying to any other UK university in the same year.

Apply through UCASApply directly to the University

Guidance for international applicants applying for an undergraduate degree


Ideally prepared to excel in policing

Because it is designed in close partnership with constabularies, this course is aimed mainly at ambitious individuals who want to pursue a career in policing. It paves the way for you to join a hugely rewarding profession which brings new challenges every day, demanding high levels of responsibility, dedication and integrity.

Although the BA (Hons) Professional Policing qualification will not guarantee you a position within the police service, it will set you apart as an attractive candidate to secure a role.

The skills you develop on the course could also prove invaluable for a career within the broader criminal justice system. You could, for instance, consider roles in areas such as civilian investigation, crime reduction partnerships, probation, security and loss prevention.

Ensuring you're 'work-ready'

Our Careers and Employment Service will provide you with support from day one of your course to ensure you leave Derby as a 'work-ready' graduate - industry aware, motivated and enterprising.

Throughout your studies, you will also benefit from our Personal Development Planning (PDP) scheme which enables you to reflect on your learning and develop your career ambitions. The support continues once you have completed your course too: you are entitled to further help and guidance from the Careers and Employment Service for up to three years after leaving the University.



Contact us


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.

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† Additional information about your studies

Download programme specification

Teaching hours

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

Mandatory costs not included in your fees

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.


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