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What makes the Degree in Professional Policing at the University of Worcester special?

Our Degree in Professional Policing (PPD) is licenced and validated by the College of Policing, the professional body for policing in England and Wales. This is the only qualification which enables you to apply for the ‘pre-degree' (PPD) entry route into the Police Service in England and Wales and meets the professional requirements for policing in the 21st century.

Though this degree is primarily designed for students wishing to pursue a career as a police officer, the course is also suitable for students wishing to work in other law enforcement or investigative roles, for example; the National Crime Agency, Probation Service, Prison Service, local authority, banking and similar organisations where investigative or practical legal knowledge are required. The degree has a currency of 5 years following graduation, for police officer recruitment via the PPD route.

You will study response policing, community policing, public protection and criminal investigation strategies and techniques, including suspect interviewing. Policing strategies and models will be explored with an evidence-based approach throughout to embed research-based and critical thinking into operational decision-making, problem-solving and police practice. You’ll learn policing and criminological concepts to explain, prevent and detect crime, criminality and victimisation and will understand how these underpin both criminal justice practice and policing practice in England and Wales. You will practice applying your new knowledge in simulated practical policing scenarios on campus and at the local West Mercia Police Headquarters, whilst wearing the police uniform, to really give you the immersive learning experience.

You’ll also have the opportunity to develop communication and team working skills at our Lakeside Campus Days, where you will take part in outdoor activities as a team and you have the choice to volunteer with local organisations, including West Mercia Police, as a Special Constable or member of police staff; building on your practical experience throughout your studies. You'll learn from lecturers who are all retired officers with real-world experience, so you'll get a genuine taste of the work policing entails on a day-to-day basis and the type of work you could be doing after you graduate.



Key Features

  • Designed for individuals who wish to join the police service, prison, private security organisations or wider criminal justice roles

  • You'll study the College of Policing (CoP) PEQF National Policing Curriculum; including the five principal areas of professional functionality (known as Police Practice areas) that have been specified as core to the performance of the police constable role: Response Policing, Policing Communities, Policing the Roads, Information and Intelligence and Conducting Investigations

  • You'll develop specific police skills, knowledge and critical understanding of policing in the 21st century, with opportunities to put knowledge into practice in simulations

  • You’ll critically evaluate police-related knowledge using a variety of academic and police bodies of research and knowledge, culminating in your final year in a dissertation

Joining the Police Service

Those joining the Police Service without a degree in professional policing are required to study this programme ‘in-force’ as part of a police apprenticeship programme or as an additional bolt-on Certificate if joining a police service via the ‘any relevant degree’ Degree-Holder Entry Programme. However, studying this degree at the University of Worcester prior to applying to join a police service via the ‘Pre-Degree’ route, provides students with the freedom to study this academic knowledge-based degree, based upon the national curriculum for the police constable role, whilst gaining valuable insight and experience from police practitioners and academics alike, in the comfort of University surroundings.

The pre-join Degree in Professional Policing will provide you with an entry route into policing if you wish to study before you apply to join a police force and securing this degree before joining a police service also means you receive a shorter ‘probationary’ training period with a police service of your choice and entry at a higher salary.

You may also consider a career outside of the police service, in the vast array of Criminal Justice agencies that work alongside the police and so this degree also benefits those seeking to want to understand more about the role of the police in consideration of a career in a partnership agency or working alongside police officers as a member of police support staff.

Please note – studying this degree does not guarantee entry into a police service as a police officer. This degree provides you with the academic entry requirements for an application for the pre-join degree route into policing. Each police force in England and Wales sets its own recruitment process and selection criteria, with entry requirements varying between forces in addition to the degree requirement. Your education will continue ‘in force’ if you become a probationary police constable upon successful application. 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.

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Entry requirements

Entry requirements

UCAS tariff points

Entry Requirements

112 UCAS tariff points (for example, BBC at A Level)

Reflecting the national police eligibility criteria, all students must hold a Level 2 qualification at GCSE grade C/4 or above in both English Language and Mathematics (in keeping with police force entry requirements).

We would strongly advice that students become familiar with the recruitment requirements and eligibility criteria for the police force to which they intend to apply to (those students wishing to become a police officer). Students should be aware of this separate employment criteria and note that entry requirements into a career in policing are subject to individual constabulary police recruitment processes, which includes vetting checks, application sift, assessment centre, final interview, medical and fitness. The degree programme will not be suitable for candidates whose sole ambition is to become a police officer, but for certain factors, will not be able to meet the eligibility criteria (e.g a conviction for certain criminal offences). Police forces also require a minimum education level of a level 2 qualification in English Language & Mathematics at a GCSE grade C or above, or grades 4-9.

Other Information

If you have any questions about entry requirements, please contact the Admissions Office on 01905 855111 or email for advice.

Further information about the UCAS Tariff can be obtained from the UCAS website.

Course content

Course content

Our courses are informed by research and current developments in the discipline and feedback from students, external examiners and employers. Modules do therefore change periodically in the interests of keeping the course relevant and reflecting best practice. The most up-to-date information will be available to you once you have accepted a place and registered for the course. If there are insufficient numbers of students interested in an optional module, this might not be offered, but we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative.

Year One

  • Introduction to Criminology and Criminal Justice 
  • The role of the Police Service and the Police Constable
  • The Blue Line and the Law; Powers, Procedure and Professionalism
  • Individual Differences in Criminal Justice Practice
  • Problem Solving in the Community

Year Two

  • Building on Theory and Research in Criminology
  • Black Box Thinking and Emotional Intelligence; Criminal Investigation
  • Victim/ Witness and Suspect Interviewing
  • CPIA, Disclosure and the Threshold Tests 
  • Streets and Wheels

Year Three

  • Dissertation
  • Public Protection and Multi-Agency Working 
  • Specialist Police Investigations
  • Digital Policing and Cybercrime  
  • Organised Crime and Global Security 
  • Victims and Vulnerability 
Maria Haque

Maria Haque, Level 5 PPD Student

“Worcester stood out to me for the Professional Policing Degree because of their commitment to providing comprehensive support and guidance. Their close collaboration with West Mercia Police means you have access to a wide range of practical learning experiences and connections within the field. It's an excellent choice to launch your career in policing!”

Professional Policing degree launch, students and relevant staff members stood at the front of a Law court

Assistant Chief Constable Launches University's Policing Degree

Assistant Chief Constable for West Mercia Police, Richard Cooper, visited the University to welcome its first Professional Policing cohort. Several members of the police service attended to mark the occasion and speak to the students about a career in policing.

You can find out more about this launch in our recent press release.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching and assessment


Teaching will relate to real-world examples and ‘lived experiences’, whether in relation to police practice, the behaviour of individuals or the specifics of legislation, policy, procedures and strategies and implementation of such into practice. Simulated activities using Virtual Crime Scenes and the ‘Crime Scene House’ will prepare you for ‘real world’ policing in a safe, supportive environment. You will be immersed in realistic scenarios, allowing you to work in groups to secure and preserve the scene and physically collect evidence. Your investigative interviewing skills will be harnessed and developed through the use of face-to-face interviews with victims, witnesses and suspects (using role players) and the use of the local police force’s custody training suite. Your investigations will be seen through to evidential evaluation and case management stages using criminal barristers acting as members of the CPS and Defence teams, culminating in simulated criminal proceedings using the University’s mock court room facilities.

You will not always be taught in isolated ‘professional policing only’ modules. Instead, you will join inter-disciplinary criminology modules throughout your degree studies, to benefit from peer learning and differing perspectives to policing issues. This link with other student bodies and criminal justice communities within a safe, learning environment is designed to encourage multi-agency working, broader thinking and an enhancement of your evidence-based practice and understanding of the wide reach of policing issues and strategies. Policing is not an isolated public service and therefore you will not be isolated from associated communities within the University student body.

Modules take a blended approach to learning and teaching: you will be participating in lectures, seminars and group-work, which will be face-to-face on-campus learning complemented with online learning materials and online activities. The virtual learning environment (VLE) is utilised as a point of access for information such as course materials, session recordings, recorded presentations and static presentations. Learning, teaching and assessment integrate the professional requirements, core subject knowledge and professional attributes required by the College of Policing as a licenced degree programme to promote your development as knowledgeable, safe, competent, and rounded professional police officers.

The University places emphasis on enabling students to develop the independent learning capabilities that will equip you for lifelong learning and future employment, as well as academic achievement. A mixture of independent study, teaching and academic support from Student Services and Library Services, and also the personal academic tutoring system enables you to reflect on progress and build up a profile of skills, achievements and experiences that will help you to flourish and be successful.


The course provides opportunities to assess knowledge, understanding and learning informally through the completion of practice or ‘formative’ assignments and individual assessment tutorials with Module Tutors. Each module has one or more formal or ‘summative’ assessment which is graded and counts towards the overall module grade. The assessment schedule is balanced so as not to ‘overload’ the student with submission deadlines and summative assessments designed in relation to course and module learning outcomes (constructive alignment). Module learning outcomes will be assessed in isolation within summative assessments; assessments are not designed to continually require a student to achieve learning outcomes more than once in more than one assessment. This is to add clarity and comprehension to assessment briefs for the benefit of the learners and their clear development and progression routes; throughout the programme and modules themselves within Semesters.  

Assessments take many forms and include reflective writing, the development of policy briefs, applied case studies, audio-visual presentations, or the use of digital software. Some of the assessment items within the PPD have been designed to reflect the professional requirements of report and document writing within policing. The precise assessment requirements for an individual student in an academic year will vary according to the mandatory modules taken, but a typical summative assessment pattern for each level is as follows:    

Level 4:  

  • 1 x case study
  • 1 x report    
  • 1 x opinion piece  
  • 2 x joint presentation
  • 1 x essay   
  • 1 x exam (multiple choice questions)  
  • 1 x Crime Reduction Policing Plan    

Level 5:

  • 1 x essay
  • 2 x report  
  • 1 x research proposal  
  • 2 x observations  
  • 1 x case file presentation (in pairs)  
  • 1 x exam (multiple choice questions)      

Level 6:

  • 1 x dissertation  
  • 2 x essay
  • 1 x Risk Management Plan  
  • 1 x interactive model  
  • 1 x investigative strategy and reflective piece    
  • 1 x presentation 

Contact time

In a typical week students will have around 12-15 contact hours of teaching. The precise contact hours will depend on taught modules and in the final year there is normally slightly less contact time in order to do more independent study.

Typically, class contact time will be structured around some of the following activities:

  • 3 hours of lectures and/or seminars
  • 6 hours of interactive workshops/ simulations
  • 2-4 hours of group activities
  • 1-2 hours of other activities (observations, online activities)

Independent self study

In addition to the contact time, you are expected to undertake around 22 hours of personal self-study per week. Typically, this will involve researching, reading, planning and designing projects, completing formative and summative assignments, working with other students in group activities and meeting with your PAT or Supervisor, Academic Writer in Residence or Academic Librarian.

Independent learning is supported by a range of excellent learning facilities, including the Hive and library resources, the virtual learning environment, and extensive electronic learning resources including the dedicated Professional Policing resources; which includes a University subscription to ‘Policing Insight’; an online virtual resource offering learning and research resources and access to ‘The Policing Student’, an online resource supporting students embarking on Professional Policing studies.


  • 3 years full-time
  • Up to 5 years part-time


Timetables are normally available one month before registration. Please note that whilst we try to be as student friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week and some classes can be scheduled in the evenings.

Teaching staff

Students will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course and students will meet several current and former police practitioners throughout the programme. Teaching staff have significant policing and police leadership experience in key specialisms such as investigation, domestic violence and abuse, child protection, major incidents, covert policing, risk management and response policing. Staff have prior experience of policing within the University’s local community and are therefore able to utilise existing working relationships and partnership arrangements/ contacts within the delivery of the programme modules. Teaching staff also have prior experience of training operational police officers and staff and delivery and/or contribution to the development of College of Policing licenced programmes. All teaching staff are dual professionals, in that they hold relevant teaching qualifications; 50% of staff hold or are working towards a Level 7 teaching qualification and are Associate Fellows/ Fellows of the Higher Education Academy. This dual professionalism in teaching staff provides students with unparalleled access to real-life examples of theoretical content to aid and enhance their learning experience. You can learn more about the staff by visiting our staff profiles



You will receive feedback on practice assessments and on formal assessments undertaken by coursework. Feedback on examination performance is available upon request from the module leader. Feedback is intended to support learning and you are encouraged to discuss it with personal academic tutors and module tutors as appropriate

We aim to provide you with feedback on formal course work assessments within 20 working days of hand-in.

Programme Specification

For comprehensive details on the aims and intended learning outcomes of the course, and the means by which these are achieved through learning, teaching and assessment, please download the latest programme specification document.

Meet the team

You will be taught by a teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course.

Michelle Clarke

Michelle Clarke

Michelle joined the University of Worcester in 2019 as a Lecturer in Policing having served 17 years with West Mercia Police in a variety of roles. She achieved the rank of Sergeant, serving predominantly as a detective within the Criminal Investigation Department and associated specialist units.

During this time, she discovered a passion for investigating the most serious and complex crimes committed against our most vulnerable members of society, specialising in domestic violence and abuse investigations, and has experience working within associated specialist investigation departments, including Major Incident Units. For the last four years of service, Michelle designed, delivered and co-ordinated the training for the College of Policing accreditation of all newly recruited detectives across West Mercia and Warwickshire police forces.

Angi Hart - Staff profile

Angi Hart

Angi joined the University of Worcester in October 2021. Before this, she worked as a Police Investigative Skills and Interviewing trainer with West Mercia Police. During her time at West Mercia Police, she designed, delivered and co-ordinated the training for the College of Policing accreditation of detectives (all ranks) across West Mercia and Warwickshire police forces. In addition to this, Angi specialised in County Lines, Serious and Complex Interviewing, Domestic Violence and Abuse, Professional Curiosity and The Management of Serious and Complex Investigations.

During her police service, Angi experienced working on Major Investigation Teams and discovered a passion for investigating and interviewing witnesses and suspects for the most serious crimes committed against our most vulnerable members of society. She also worked as a Custody Sergeant, having responsibility for some extremely vulnerable detainees.

She is excited to bring her experience and passion for policing to the University of Worcester and expects her lectures to be insightful, interactive, ‘down to earth’ and evidence-based.

Philip Edwards

Philip Edwards

Phil retired as a Detective Inspector for policing after 30 years’ service. During this time, he performed roles in Uniform and CID in the Metropolitan Police, Hertfordshire, and in West Mercia Police. After leaving the police, Phil has lectured in Den Haag and Rwanda with the Public Prosecutors, worked with the UN in Uganda, and trained staff working in the hostile territories of South Sudan.

Phil is current doing a Masters by Research where he is researching police legitimacy, focusing on those working within and alongside the criminal justice system. He is also writing about the plight of those awaiting outcomes of police investigations from the standpoint of a defendant.

Phil is very passionate about the future of policing and is looking forward to working at the University of Worcester to continue his teaching of potential police officers of the future.



The BA (Hons) Degree in Professional Policing is one of three possible entry routes into policing and is a key part of the national policing agenda to professionalise the police service, recruitment into policing, widening participation and wider Policing Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF). As such, this qualification will allow students to pursue a career in policing as an approved and licenced qualification from the College of Policing. This helps to improve graduate prospects with regard to a future career in policing (subject to police force’s own recruitment criteria – see "Further employability information" below), or a related field.


Further employability information

Please note, the BA (Hons) Degree in Professional Policing does not guarantee entry into employment as a police constable or any police staff position. It is tailored towards developing the skills, knowledge, understanding, experience and personal confidence students will need to apply for any of the posts offered by a police service. It will also prepare students for other roles in the increasingly pluralised environment of policing in the UK.

Each police force in England and Wales has its own recruitment process, selection policy and entry requirements and students who wish to apply to a police force should check their eligibility against the respective force’s own recruitment website. Police recruitment is managed by individual constabularies and involves rigorous background checks and recruitment processes that are separate to the University of Worcester’s admission policy and procedures. The University of Worcester has no influence over these external procedures and whilst admission onto this programme of study will enhance a student’s policing career prospects and provide them with the necessary licenced qualification it cannot guarantee students with a career in policing.

Employability skills associated with this programme include, but are not limited to, academic study and research skills, subject specific knowledge, collaboration and partnership working, professional standards and ethical practice, respect for others, creativity, innovation, problem-solving, decision-making, risk identification and management, effective communication skills, emotional intelligence and reflective practice.

Professional development of employability skills is integrated throughout the programme, module design and assessment strategy to build a spiral curriculum, enhancing knowledge, understanding, competencies and attributes as you progress through Levels 4-6. Assessment includes a focus on enabling learners to use reflective practice and approaches to continuous professional development, to inform solutions for self-improvement and self-development. The programme will provide graduates with a set of intellectual, social and practical skills, as well as knowledge that employers will find attractive.

Upon achievement of the BA (Hons) Degree in Professional Policing award, the award has a currency of 5 years for students wishing to apply to join a police service via the ‘Pre-Join Degree’ pathway.


Fees and funding

Full-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard fee for full-time home and EU undergraduate students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2024/25 academic year is £9,250 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

International students

The standard tuition fee for full-time international students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the 2024/25 academic year is £16,200 per year.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Part-time tuition fees

UK and EU students

The standard tuition fees for part-time UK and EU students enrolling on BA/BSc/LLB degrees and FdA/FdSc degrees in the academic year 2024/25 are £1,156 per 15-credit module, £1,542 per 20-credit module, £2,312 per 30-credit module, £3,083 per 40-credit module, £3,469 per 45-credit module and £4,625 per 60 credit module.

For more details, please visit our course fees page.

Additional costs

Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying. The amounts vary between courses.

If your course offers a placement opportunity, you may need to pay for an Enhanced Disclosure & Barring Service (DBS) check.


Finding the right accommodation is paramount to your university experience. Our halls of residence are home to friendly student communities, making them great places to live and study.

We have over 1,000 rooms across our range of student halls. With rooms to suit every budget and need, from our 'Chestnut Halls' at £131 per week to 'Oak Halls' at £221 per week (2024/25 prices).

For full details visit our accommodation page.

How to apply