Two police officers stood next to each other outside wearing high visibility jackets and police hats

BSc (Hons) Professional Policing

  • Study Mode: Full time
  • Location: High Wycombe
  • Duration: Three Years
  • Start Date: September 2022
The police constable is the heartbeat of effective policing and this degree will give you all the knowledge required to start a career in this role.
We are licensed by the College of Policing to offer the Professional Policing Degree that will contribute to your official police training, leading to a reduced training period upon a successful application to any police service in England and Wales. The course offers a policing standard, knowledge-based examination of policing challenges and criminal justice processes and will help you to be able to make an informed choice about your future career destination within policing.


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Application guide

For information on how you can boost your career-prospects and apply for our postgraduate courses, follow our application guide.

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Postgraduate Open Days

Join us for a Postgraduate Open Day where you can discuss your options and chosen course with our course leaders.

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Fees and Funding

There’s a range of ways you can secure funding for your course, including sponsorship, scholarships and loans. And if you recently graduated from BNU, you may be eligible for a fee discount.

Why study this subject?

Policing is undergoing significant transformation, with many professional challenges. The College of Policing has indicated the qualifications to be a police officer include having a recognised apprenticeship or a degree, and our Professional Policing Degree meets the requirements for the latter of these choices. Upon graduating from this degree, you’ll be able to join any police force in England and Wales within 5 years to put into practice the knowledge that you have learnt throughout your time with us.

As well as being a great fit for those wanting to move into a police constable role, this course would also suit those who have an interest in other areas within the police force or wider law enforcement. If throughout your studies you realise being a police officer is not the right career for you, you’ll have the opportunity to swap to our Police Studies with Criminal Investigation degree which takes a broader study of policing and the wider criminal justice system.



Police Officers outside BNU



Why study at Buckinghamshire New University?

We’ve designed this course to help you become part of the exciting and demanding policing sector. 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 – more information on this is further down.

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.

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?

The curriculum for this degree has been rigorously mapped against the national learning standards defined by the College of Policing ensuring that our teaching is up-to-date and in line with the current policing landscape.

In year one, students are introduced to the significant legal and ethical responsibilities of a police constable through a thorough introduction of core professional policing principles including ethics, equality, diversity and human rights. You will examine theoretical criminological concepts with a focus on practical application, alongside the growth of ‘plural policing’.

In year two, you will cover topics such as vulnerability, risk, professional standards and public protection which will guide you towards ever more ethical professional policing practice. You’ll develop your understanding of more complex and serious criminal investigations, as well as operational policing priorities.

In year three, you will explore complex and strategic policing issues, alongside operational policing challenges that front-line policing teams are typically responding to, and the conduct of ethical criminal investigations including the moral and legal considerations. You will also get to undertake a detailed, evidence-based research policing project which will demonstrate understanding of evidence-based and empirical research methods.

How will I be taught and assessed?

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 Police Code of Practice Suite
    • research-based activities
    • classroom-based discussion
  • 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 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.

What are the course entry requirements?

A typical offer will require a UCAS tariff score of: 88 - 112

A minimum of two full A-levels (or equivalent) is required. Every application is considered on an individual basis.

For further details of our international English entry requirements, please visit our international pages.


What are the tuition fees


Home and EU, Academic Year 2021 - 2022



International, Academic Year 2021 - 2022


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.

Following completion of this professional policing degree, most candidates will look to join a police force as a probationary police constable. To do this, you must:

  • apply within five years of your graduation date
  • meet all of the recruitment criteria for the particular force.

Once you have successfully joined a force as a probationer, you will need to:  

  • undertake further practice-based learning and assessment in your force
  • demonstrate competence in the police constable role
  • complete the two-year probationary period, in line with police regulations.

Other graduates may choose to pursue other policing roles or apply their transferable skills to other professions and workplaces. The opportunities are numerous and include (but are not limited to):

  • private security
  • risk management
  • event organisation
  • probation
  • local government
  • civil service
  • Home Office