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BSc (Hons) Police Studies with Criminal Investigation with Foundation Year

TARIFF: 32 - 56
  • Study Mode: Full time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: Four Years
  • Start Date: September 2022

You can also study this course:

Offering a broad examination of policing challenges and criminal justice processes, this course will help you to be able to make an informed decision about your future career destination – whether that be as a police officer or a role within the wider criminal justice and security environment.
We’ve worked in partnership with Thames Valley Police to deliver our policing programmes for more than 15 years and have developed a strong reputation in this area.
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95% of our graduates in work or study after 15 months after graduation, HESA 2022

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Open Days

We understand that when it comes to deciding where you’d like to study, there are a lot of things to consider. Come along to our Open Day and discover why BNU could be the place for you. You can find out more about your course, meet the course team, and get all your questions answered.

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Application Guide

For everything you need to know about applying, check out our Application Guide. You can find useful information for each stage of your application journey – from before you even apply to what to do if you receive an offer, and everything in between.   

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Students' Union

At BNU, we believe in putting our students first. That’s why we’re the only university in the UK to offer free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities through our SU – all to enrich your university experience.

Why study this subject?

There is a current demand for recruiting new police officers and non-warranted police staff from all communities to undertake challenging front line roles.

Our BSc (Hons) Police Studies with Criminal Investigation programme is aimed at students who are seeking a broader study of policing beyond the police constable role, such as non-warranted roles both within policing or the wider criminal justice and security environment. If you have an interest in any of the above areas, a degree can add real value to your chosen career path.

These sectors never rest and can involve working in challenging and complex situations; the learnings you will take from this course and our highly experienced lecturers will help put you in a great position to move into the world of work.

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Five BNU policing students in uniform stood in a line in front of a Police van near the Gateway reception on the High Wycombe campus.

Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?

We’ve designed our BSc (Hons) Police Studies with Criminal Investigation to help you become part of the exciting, ever-changing worlds of policing and criminal justice. You will learn from skilled lecturers within the School of Aviation and Security who have a high level of knowledge, based on past and current work in their specialist areas.

In addition, throughout the course you’ll hear from experienced practitioners delivering guest talks that cover contemporary policing topics and what they’ve experienced in their careers.

At BNU, we recognise roles in this field can be hands-on – that’s why you’ll take part in simulated learning experiences throughout the course using our specialised facilities, including our Police Code of Practice Suite. You’ll also be able to use our library to support your studies, whether you’re looking for the resources you need or just a quiet place to study.

Getting tangible work experience brings the theory to life and will enhance your employability in the sector. Through our strong partnership with Thames Valley Police, you will be able to apply for a volunteer special constable position while studying for your degree. Selection to perform this voluntary Special Constable role is subject to a selection process and criteria owned by Thames Valley Police.

Other valuable volunteering opportunities in non-operational areas of policing or the wider criminal justice system and community initiatives are also available and encouraged via our Placement Plus Framework.

As a BNU student, you will automatically become a member of Bucks Students’ Union giving you access to a wide range of services that we offer for free as part of our exclusive Big Deal package. We are the only university in the UK to offer our members free access to such a diverse and exciting range of activities, allowing them to experience new things, socialise with broader groups of people and boost their employability – all to enrich your university experience.

Applicants should be aware that graduates who complete this degree and successfully apply to become police constables will have to undertake a graduate conversion programme during their initial police officer training.

What facilities can I use?

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.

What will I study?

In your Foundation Year, you will spend time adapting to study at university level, through a well-balanced mix of skills and subject-focused modules to help you make the transition into your degree.

As you move into your undergraduate studies, alongside looking at the demands of operational and investigative policing, students will enjoy a curriculum that covers a wide range of areas such as:

  • criminal law and justice
  • social science related research
  • operational policing priorities
  • miscarriages of justice
  • major crime investigations.

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

You will leave the course with:

  • a solid base 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.
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Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship

How will I be taught and assessed?

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

Modules are delivered through a blended learning approach comprised of:

  • 1-hour lectures
  • 2-hour seminars which are typically semi-structured, interactive in their nature and may include exercises such as simulated role play type scenarios carried out in our Code of Practice Suite, research-based activities, classroom-based discussions and individual tutorials.
  • Workshops

Formative assessment is a key feature of the programme, enabling early feedback to be given on progress and to help students improve their performance. Formative exercises may be conducted as a group or individually and may include poster presentations and simulated tasks within our Police Code of Practice Suite.

Academic achievement will normally be demonstrated through completion of pieces of coursework such as essays, case studies, reflective practice-based reports, journals and action plans, or by sitting formal examinations and time-constrained assessments.

The teaching staff are excellent; my course leaders are amazing and answer all questions that I have, they are extremely knowledgeable in their field.
Sophie Chaplain
Sophie Chaplain

The University also has a dedicated academic skills centre, Student Learning and Achievement, which can provide additional support in areas such as presentations skills, time-management, academic reading, referencing or academic writing, research for essay preparation and how to prepare effectively for examinations in addition to being assigned a personal tutor from the academic team.

Placements Plus

BNU 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.

Useful Information

BSc (Hons) Police Studies with Criminal Investigation Programme Specification

What are the course entry requirements?

A typical offer will require a UCAS tariff score of: 32 - 56

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

Find out more about our General Entry Requirements.



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

Year 1 Modules

Ways of Learning about the Social World

Preparing for Success Knowledge and Creativity

Preparing for Success Self-development and Responsibility

Inquiry Based Learning

Year 2 Modules

Social Sciences & Policing Practice

Introduction to Policing

Criminal Law and Justice

Police Crime and the Media

Introduction to Cyber Crime

Year 3 Modules

Research Methods

Criminal Investigation: Past to Present

Policing: Concepts, Theories and Practice (optional)

Crime Prevention and Reduction (optional)

Forms of Crime: Crimes of the Powerful (optional)

Forms of Crime: Crime in Late Modernity (optional)

Special Constabulary (optional)

Policing Priorities and Legitimacy (optional)

Year 4 Modules

Operational Policing

Criminal Investigation Systems

Criminal Investigation: Scope of the State

Dissertation (optional)

PlacementPlus Work-Based Project (optional)

What are the tuition fees


Home, Academic Year 2022 - 2023

£9,250 per year


Overseas/International, Academic Year 2022 - 2023

£14,250 per year

The University is unable to accept any new applications from students who require sponsorship for a student visa to start in September 2022. This is due to the overwhelming popularity of our courses and visa processing timeframes.  Applications are still being taken from students who are already in the UK and hold the right to study.

From September 2022, those students living in the UK or Republic of Ireland, and EU nationals with settled status in the UK, will be considered Home students.

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

What are my career prospects?

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 and skilled leaders and support you in your search to find employment after graduation. Have a look at our Careers and Employability pages to find out more.

Whilst many of our graduates from this programme have successfully gained employment in the police force, others have followed careers within the wider criminal justice system and well beyond. Upon graduation, you’ll be ready to work in a wide range of roles including:

  • police service
  • prison service
  • probation service
  • youth justice
  • child and youth protection
  • drug action teams
  • private security
  • intelligence services
  • community partnerships
  • local government
  • civil service
  • Home Office.

Course leader

A head shot of Allison Savory wearing a black top stood in front of a vibrant yellow background looking directly into the camera
Allison Savory
  • Senior Lecturer
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Mohamed Omar Mohamed
  • Senior Lecturer
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John Nesbitt
  • Senior Lecturer
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