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BSc (Hons)
Police Studies and Criminal Justice

Explore the complex nature of policing in this dynamic and comprehensive degree programme. Through a mix of teaching, research and practical experience you’ll develop the knowledge and understanding needed for a range of careers in the criminal justice system.

Qualification: BSc (Hons)

UCAS code: 6N17

Study mode: Full-time

Location: High Wycombe Campus

Duration: Three years

Start date: September


Is this course for me?

Do you have an inquisitive and open mind? Are you prepared for a challenge and want to make a difference? This course covers the complex nature of contemporary policing and criminology. You’ll learn to be adaptable and responsive to the everyday challenges this demanding field of work requires.

What will this course cover?
You’ll learn about modern police practice and the intricacies of the criminal justice system. You’ll look at historical and theoretical perspectives on controversial areas such as racism, sexism and accountability. Drawing largely on criminology, sociology and psychology, Police Studies gives you a broad understanding of the practice and prepares you for a career in this highly demanding field of work.

You’ll study key modules in policing, criminal law and justice, and making sense of society. The relationships between police, crime and the media will be explored and you will spend time developing a number of research methods that may prove invaluable when you enter the professional field.

As well as forms of crime and criminal justice process, you’ll cover radicalisation and terrorism, and spend time focusing on human rights and crimes against humanity.

Building on our special relationship with Thames Valley Police, this course has been designed to turn you into a responsible, responsive and dedicated graduate ready for careers in a range of demanding fields of employment in the police and criminal justice system.

We’re fortunate to have a highly experienced campus team as well as strong links with the police force. Many members of staff have come to Bucks from senior professional posts, so you’ll benefit from their practical experience and first-hand knowledge.

Work in the police force
You’ll have the opportunity to volunteer with Thames Valley Police as a Special Constable or Police Community Support Officer. This is a pre-join requirement for many police forces throughout the UK.

Excellent facilities
Our Code of Practice Suite gives you a taste of the professional working environment. This includes a mock bedsit, custody desk and suspect interview room, as well as adjoining seminar rooms with live and recorded video feed.

These facilities enable you to observe and understand theory in practical scenarios played out in the Operational Policing module in the third year.

Year One

  • Introduction to Policing
  • Criminal Law and Justice
  • Police, Crime and the Media
  • Criminal Justice Process
  • Making Sense of Society

Year Two

  • Research Methods
  • Human Rights and Crimes Against Humanity
  • Policing: Concepts, Theories and Practice
  • Crime Prevention and Reduction
  • Forms of Crime
  • Knowledge of Policing
  • Special Constabulary
  • Police Community Support Officer

Year Three

  • Operational Policing
  • Communication, Interaction and the Criminal Justice System
  • Cybercrime
  • Radicalisation and Terrorism
  • Disability, Mental Health and the Criminal Justice System
  • Dissertation
  • Personal and Professional Development

What are the entry requirements?

A typical offer will include GCSE Maths and English at grade C or above and a UCAS Tariff score of 240-280.

For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.

How much does it cost?

Full-time Home and EU: £9,000 per year
Full-time International: £9,500 per year

For information on fees and finance, please view our fees and funding section.

Fees quoted are for the next intake and are subject to change. Fee costs for subsequent years are subject to rise with inflation or course delivery costs.

For fees for international students, visit our international section.

Visit our Why Bucks? section to discover what studying at Bucks could mean for you.

How do I apply?

Applications for full-time undergraduate courses must be made through the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS). Information on making an application through UCAS is available on our Applicants' pages.

If you are an international student, visit our international students section.

What are my career prospects?

You’ll be qualified for many opportunities in the wider criminal justice system. This includes roles within the police service, the prison service, the probation service, youth offending teams, drug action teams, community partnerships, the Home Office and crime analysis.

You may have an opportunity to take the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing (CKP) as part of this programme for no additional cost. This module prepares candidates seeking recruitment with the police service, and other related roles in the criminal justice sector, and is a pre-entry requirement for many police forces.

Our special partnership with Thames Valley Police offers you the opportunity to apply for a position as a police community support officer or special constable. This element of work-related learning supports your academic education and will enhance your employability prospects in this sector.

Graduates may decide to further their studies at postgraduate level in Criminology, Policing or other related subjects.

How will you help me prepare for my future?
Throughout your time with us we’ll support you on the route to your chosen career. We’ll help you to develop crucial skills, encouraging you to become enterprising, employable and good leaders. Our modules and teaching expertise will help you become more independent as a learner and more certain of your discipline expertise.

We also help you find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.


Bucks gave me great links to the police service and the police family. Bucks has forged great relationships over the years with various police forces and criminal agencies, and these links came in very useful when completing assignments and planning for my future career.

Mike Ramsden