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Home/Courses/Foundation Degree (Arts) Policing


This course is a recognised pre-selection route into Thames Valley Police. During this course you’ll combine learning with a placement as a Special Constable. You’ll also have access to the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing (CKP) course, which is a nationally recognised pre-selection route into policing.

Qualification: FDA

UCAS code: LL36

Study mode: Full-time

Location: High Wycombe Campus

Duration: Two years

Start date: September

Is this course for me?

This course equips those interested in joining the police force with the critical knowledge needed for a successful career in policing. We are looking for applicants with strong leadership and decision-making qualities and a high regard for public service. When you finish this course and pass Thames Valley Police requirements, you'll be well placed for recruitment.

Gain real policing experience
This programme focuses on placement learning with Thames Valley Police. The placement element will require you to work as a Special Constable for two four-week periods. Following this, you’ll also have to complete 18 hours per month. Your own tutor constable will support you during your initial training and once you become ‘fit for accompanied patrol’ you’ll work alongside a range of officers and carry out a variety of police duties.

Students studying at the High Wycombe Campus are likely to carry out their policing practice in the South Buckinghamshire area. Those studying at the University Campus Aylesbury Vale (UCAV) are most likely to practice in North Buckinghamshire. You may attend classes at different university campuses, depending on the specialist lecture series.

Building on our unique relationship with Thames Valley Police, this course has been designed to turn you into responsible, responsive and dedicated graduates ready for a career in one of the most demanding fields of employment.

Excellent facilities
You’ll learn in a safe, modern environment, making use of our Code of Practice Suite, which includes a mock bedsit, custody desk and suspect interview room. Students will also take part in a number of practical scenarios in and around our town campus.

A gateway to the police force
Successful completion of this foundation degree together with your special constable training, will lead you to be considered for employment by Thames Valley Police. You will also have access to the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing (CKP) course, which is a nationally recognised pre-selection route into policing.

Year One

  • Policing Procedures
  • Policing Legislation
  • Operational Policing
  • Introduction to Social Sciences
  • Preparation for Fair and Effective Policing Practice
  • Reflection for Fair and Effective Policing Practice
  • Mandatory Sessions for Policing at Level 4

Year Two

  • Policing Processes
  • Policing Law and Ethics
  • Operational Policing Two
  • Social Sciences Theory for Police Practice
  • Mandatory Sessions for Policing at Level 5


Three and a half days a week at University with integrated placements as a Special Constable working within a range of policing teams in Buckinghamshire. The course will be conducted throughout relevant parts of the Thames Valley Police area (including High Wycombe). Please note that you must apply to the University as well as Thames Valley Police for the Special Constable aspect of the course. Please see the 'How to apply' tab for further details.

What are the entry requirements?

Each application is considered on an individual basis. We are looking for a minimum of GCSE grade C in Maths and English and a UCAS Tariff score between 240-280.

You'll also be required to pass the Thames Valley Police Special Constabulary selection criteria.

For further information please visit Thames Valley Police Jobs - Volunteer Police Officer (Special Constable).

How much does it cost?

Fees for September 2015 to August 2016 entry
Home and EU students: £7,650 per year.

Fees for September 2016 to August 2017 entry
Home and EU students: £7,800 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.

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 in our Applicants' pages.

You will need the following information to complete your UCAS application form.
Institution Code: B94
Course Code: LL36
Short Code: FdA/Polici

You will also need to apply to be a Special Constable with the Thames Valley Police. This should be done at the same time as making your UCAS application to ensure they are both processed in time for the start of the course. The Thames Valley Police recruitment process typically takes 3-6 months.

Further information on the Special Constable application process can be found on their website Thames Valley Police Jobs - Volunteer Police Officer (Special Constable). Should you have any queries relating to this, please contact Thames Valley Police on 01865 846612.

What are my career prospects?

Opportunities for graduates of this course are specifically routed into policing. The Foundation in Policing may lead you into employment with the Thames Valley Police and, as the course also benefits from access to the Certificate in Knowledge of Policing (CKP) course, policing jobs outside of the Thames Valley area may also be an option.

Graduates may wish to further their studies and top-up to an honours degree in policing.

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.