Welcome to the Institute of Professional Policing

The ever-changing social environment and the associated challenges that communities face in the UK make unique demands on the Police Services that serve those communities.

From reports of crimes, through anti-social behaviour, to major incidents, terror-related incidents and civil disasters, police officers and police staff are required to manage the police responses whilst providing reassurance, protection, and confidence to the public and organisations alike. It requires commitment, dedication, and personal resilience from both police officers and police support staff alike. It also requires them to have high levels of emotional intelligence as well as interpersonal skills; the ability to critically analyse situations; and to make considered, justifiable, decisions as to courses of action. Our students graduate with these skills.

Against the background of changing threats, volatility, uncertainty, rapid change and ambiguity, our Policing students graduate as creative thinkers and problem solvers with the perspective to enable them to undertake careers not only within policing, but also across the whole Criminal Justice system.

Whilst it is not possible to predict the precise job functions that will dominate the future workforce in the Criminal Justice System, our programmes ensure that our students are in step with the direction of travel; and we believe that our policing graduates will provide the talent within that future environment.

In the Institute of Professional Policing, we have over ten years’ experience of working in partnership with Thames Valley Police and continue to deliver high quality Honours Degree courses in Police Studies with criminology; criminal investigation; and criminal justice.  A significant number of graduates from these courses have gone on to secure jobs within policing and other roles within Criminal Justice, or have continued in further academic study.

We also have a network of contacts in the College of Policing and HM Courts Service which are used to enhance the taught programmes as well as ensuring the currency of the teaching material.

The teaching staff includes seconded police officers as well as former police officers and police support staff.  Between them they have extensive experience of operational policing, support functions within the police, and also multi-agency working with the wider Criminal Justice System.

In 2012 we successfully introduced a two-year Foundation Degree in Policing as a recognised pre-entry route for Thames Valley Police. In the subsequent years the vast majority of those graduating students gained employment with Thames Valley Police as constables or continued their academic studies.

In recognition of the changes being brought forward by the College of Policing, we are collaborating with them to develop the up-coming Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship – one of only three future entry-routes for police constables.  We are also actively involved in working with the College of Policing on the development of in-service academic qualifications for sergeants, inspectors, and superintendents, which are planned for introduction over the next ten years.

Our students are treated as individuals and are taught by a small team of lecturers throughout their studies. Students are encouraged to develop their interpersonal skills as well as their ability to critically analyse problems and to identify solutions.

Working through a combination of seminars, presentations and self-directed learning, students also spend time interacting with their peers and tutors in higher skills development. We have excellent links to former and currently-serving police officers and staff, as well as subject-matter experts who are invited to make presentations to the students, thereby providing valuable links with current policing practice and thinking.

We aim to help our students to prepare themselves for their future careers and provide a range of support and guidance within the University including support for students to develop their academic writing skills, research skills, and study skills. There is also advice available from the University Careers Team.

The modules on the various courses are geared towards employability and are ‘operationally’ focused to assist students to appreciate what skills, knowledge and attitudes they need to develop throughout their time at the University. This also helps to illustrate the importance of flexibility, teamwork, critical analysis and problem-solving for students preparing for working life.