• Study mode: Full Time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: Three Years
  • Start Date: September 2021

Course Overview

Are you interested in working in policing? If you’re good at solving problems and want to make a difference, then you might make a great Police officer.

Our pre-join degree is a three year professional knowledge-based programme, focused upon key policing competencies outlined in the National Policing Curriculum and is approved within the Police Education Qualifications Framework for a police constable role.

If you wish to use a pre-join degree as your entry route to being a Police Constable you must apply to join a police force within five years of your graduation.

Please note: Completion of this degree does not guarantee the opportunity for recruitment into the police service. If you wish to enter the police service via this route, you should achieve a pre-join degree before applying to join the police service. You would then need to successfully apply to join a police force as a probationary police constable. National and local entry requirements would need to be met, and achievement of the degree does not guarantee a successful application.

Not sure what career path or course is right for you? Why not come along to our next Open Day, meet our tutors, talk to current students and explore your options.

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


Police forces regularly engage with diverse communities and social groups. As policing requires a combination of practical skills and knowledge, this programme will help you develop critical thinking, communications and interpersonal skills, to be effective in your day-to-day job as a police officer.

Our 15 year long partnership with Thames Valley Police, has provided a solid foundation for our students at Bucks. You will have the opportunity to gain real-life experience of policing as a special police constable, or police volunteer this will greatly enhance both your personal skills and employability in the sector.

Over the three years you will 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. You will initially be introduced to ethical Professional Policing considerations including, legislation structured interviewing and investigative skills, plus much more.

Modules are designed to give you the knowledge, theory and know-how relevant to operational policing. As a result of our partnership with Thames Valley Police, you will also benefit from a wide range of guest speakers, and hear from expert policing practitioners on a range of topics. This course will be taught through a combination of lectures, tutorials and workshops, and will help give you a thorough understanding in a range of key issues and themes required to work as a police officer.

Community involvement and work placements

Getting tangible work experience brings the theory to life and set you apart from other applicants in the sector. Students on the course can take advantage of our strong links with Thames Valley Police supported by The College of Policing.

You will be given an opportunity to apply to be a volunteer special constable while studying for your degree.You will also be encouraged to volunteer in another area of policing or the wider criminal justice system, whether that’s probation, prisons youth offending or another field. Applicants may have a selection process for such roles including Special Constable selection processes.

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.

Course Modules

Module Map

This module map provides a list of the modules that make up your course. You can find more information about how your course is structured on our Academic Advice section.

The modules available on this course are as follows:

Year 1 modules

  • An Introduction to Professional Policing
  • Legislative and Practical Policing Processes
  • Ethical Problem Solving in Professional Policing
  • Investigating work-based learning and selfreview

Year 2 modules

  • Community and Partnership Policing
  • Ethical Investigative Policing
  • Action Inquiry in the workplace context
  • Organisational skills and behaviours

Year 3 modules

  • Complex and Strategic Policing
  • 5 Leadership and Communication in Policing
  • End Point Assessment


How much does it cost

Full Time Home and EU, Academic Year 2021-2022: £9,250 per year

Full Time International, Academic Year 2021-2022: £13,750 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

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

Whilst this degree teaches knowledge, theory and skills associated with the police constable role, these will also be applicable and transferable to other investigatory and enforcement positions.

By the end of the programme, you will have a level of knowledge relevant to a large number of roles beyond being a police officer, including police staff roles such as; police service, the prison service, the probation service, youth offending teams, drug action teams, community partnerships, The Home Office and crime analysis.

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!

We are proud that our exciting and dynamic students’ union is ranked in the top three in the UK for representing student’s academic interests (NSS 2020). It’s a big deal!

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