• Study mode: Full Time
  • Location: High Wycombe | Uxbridge | Aylesbury
  • Duration: Four Years
  • Start Date: September 2019 and February 2020

Course Overview

The Foundation Year will allow you to develop your academic study skills and build confidence in your abilities, identifying your own strengths and development needs for progression onto an undergraduate degree.

Are you interested in working in policing or the wider criminal justice system? If you’re good at problem solving and want to make a difference, there are lots of options open to you, both within and outside policing.

This degree allows you to study policing in depth, get tangible experience in the areas you are interested in, and see where your talents and interests lie.

Critically study policing

Throughout the course, you’ll learn about contemporary policing and criminal justice processes, with a particular focus on criminal investigation in England and Wales.

Alongside operational policing, we’ll cover a wide range of areas such as the police use of firearms, the wide demands placed upon policing, miscarriages of justice, and major crime investigations.

You’ll gain exposure to some of the real challenges facing policing today, exploring current reforms and what they mean, and looking at the importance of accountability, citizenship and ethics.

Get hands-on experience

Building on our strong links with Thames Valley Police and The College of Policing, you can apply to be a volunteer special constable while studying for your degree.

You could also volunteer in another area of policing or the wider criminal justice system, whether that’s probation, prisons, youth offending or another field. Getting tangible work experience brings the theory to life and will enhance your employability in the sector.

Excellent facilities

You’ll get to hone your professional skills in our Police Code of Practice Suite. This regularly-updated facility includes a mock bedsit, custody desk and suspect interview room, as well as adjoining seminar rooms with a live audio and video feed.

You’ll observe and understand theory by practising core policing processes such as arrest and interview of suspects, and searching premises, in a safe, controlled environment.

Who is it for?

This degree is for anyone with an interest in policing, who wants to explore the wide-ranging career opportunities on offer within and beyond the criminal justice field.

More placements, more choices

Bucks is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you do, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer, to help you get into your chosen field.

We’ll also prepare you for work beforehand, with special skills for work training, further boosting your CV, and building skills employers will value. In recognition of the value we place on these skills we have incorporated this experience into your study time.

Placements Plus is all about helping you get some valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student. To increase your choices later, and help you get the graduate-level job you want.

Course Details


Bucks has a strong reputation in this area and good links with the police force. Some members of staff have come to Bucks from senior professional posts, so they can offer you practical insights and first-hand knowledge. You’ll also hear from experienced practitioners as guest speakers who’ll cover contemporary policing topics and share their experiences with you.

You’ll leave the course with:

  • a solid base of knowledge of policing and criminal justice, drawing on aspects of criminology, criminal justice and sociology
  • an understanding of key areas of contemporary operational policing and criminal investigation, including the role of the investigator, forensic developments, the investigatory framework, historic case reviews, human rights and ethics
  • strong critical thinking, analysis and communication skills
  • an insight into different areas and roles within the criminal justice system, so you can see where your interests lie.

What are the course entry requirements?

Applicants who do not meet the minimum requirements for the 3-year undergraduate programme, or those who do not feel fully prepared for a Level 4 course, will be considered for the 4-year programme including a Foundation Year. If you wish to enquire further, please send your query along with any academic evidence or references to admissions@bucks.ac.uk

Course Modules

Module Map

This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course.

Each module is worth a specified number of credits (typically either 15 or 30 credits for undergraduate courses). Compulsory (or ‘core’) modules cover key subject knowledge, while ‘option’ modules enable you to develop your own interests. For a full-time course you must take modules worth a total of 120 credits at each level of the course. The number of option modules you can take depends on the number of compulsory modules at each level. You can find more information about how your course is structured via the Academic Advice pages.

Our teaching is informed by research and employer requirements, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the subject area. In addition, where we have insufficient numbers of students interested in an option module, this may not be offered. If an option module does not run, we will advise you as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative module.

The modules available on this course are as follows:

Foundation Year Modules

  • Ways of Learning about the Social World
  • Preparing for Success Knowledge and Creativity
  • Preparing for Success Selfdevelopment and Responsibility
  • Inquiry Based Learning

Year One Modules

  • Social Sciences & Policing Practice
  • Introduction to Policing
  • Criminal Law and Justice
  • Police Crime and the Media
  • Introduction to Cyber Crime

Year Two Modules

  • Research Methods
  • Criminal Investigation - Past to Present
  • Human Rights and Crimes Against Humanity (optional)
  • Policing: Concepts, Theories and Practice (optional)
  • Crime Prevention and Reduction (optional)
  • Forms of Crime (optional)
  • Knowledge in Policing in context (optional)
  • Rural Policing (optional)
  • Police Community Support Officer (optional)

Year Three Modules

  • Operational Policing
  • Criminal Investigation Systems
  • Criminal Investigations: Scope of the State
  • Dissertation


How much does it cost

Full Time Home and EU, September 2019: £9250 per year

Full Time International, September 2019: £12,000 per year

Full Time Home and EU, February 2020: £9250 per year

Full Time International, February 2020: £12,000 per year

Most courses will involve some additional costs that are not covered by your fees.

You could benefit from financial support through a bursary or scholarship during your time as a student. For more details visit our financial support, bursaries and scholarships section.

Questions about fees?

Contact our Enquiries Team:
0330 123 2023

How do I apply?

For application details please visit bucks.ac.uk/applying-to-bucks


What are my career prospects

What are my career prospects?

Policing is changing rapidly, and many new police officer and non-police officer opportunities are opening up, which this degree allows you to explore and prepare for.

By the end of the programme, you will be qualified to work in large number of roles in the criminal justice system. This includes roles in the police service, the prison service, the probation service, youth offending teams, drug action teams, community partnerships, the Home Office and crime analysis.

You could go on to postgraduate studies in policing, criminology, or other related subjects.

The Big Deal

At Bucks, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why our Students’ Union have developed our exclusive ‘Big Deal’ package. We’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities – all to enrich the university experience.

We offer FREE events and entertainment, additional skills workshops, sports, recreational activities, societies and paid student rep schemes. All at one of the top 10 Students’ Unions in the UK.  It’s a big deal!

Want to find out more? Visit our Students’ Union page or watch our video.

Got a question?