Do you want a career in the police force? Are you interested in contemporary policing and law enforcement?
Our Professional Policing degree offers an exciting opportunity to develop the knowledge and understanding of the role that professional police officers undertake in the UK.
Since 2020, all new entrants to UK police forces are expected to hold or gain a degree-level qualification. This pre-join Professional Policing degree is a professional academic knowledge-based degree, based on the national curriculum for the police constable role, licensed by the College of Policing.
This four-year course includes an initial full-time Foundation Year and offers an alternative route into university and gaining a degree.
This route is for you if you do not have the necessary qualifications or don’t yet feel ready to begin degree-level study, or are returning to education and would like some support to get up to speed with learning in a university setting.
The Foundation Year in Criminology, Policing and Sociology will allow you to develop your academic skills and confidence as well as introduce you to key concepts, debates and skills that will support and inform your subsequent years of undergraduate study.
Following successful completion of your Foundation Year, you’ll progress onto Year 1 of our Professional Policing BA (Hons) degree.
About this course
During your Foundation Year, you will undertake modules to enable you to enhance your academic skills and equip you with the tools you’ll need to study with confidence. You’ll carry out a personal project so you can study an area of interest related to your chosen future subject specialisation.
You'll be introduced to key concepts and theories in criminology, policing and sociology including patterns of crime, issues in modern-day policing and social inequalities. You'll also examine how policymakers are responding to key societal problems and apply sociological and criminological theories to social problems, such as criminality and inequality.
Following successful completion of the Foundation Year, you’ll progress onto the first year of our Professional Policing BA (Hons) degree.
This specialist degree will give you the pre-join qualification you need to apply for a police officer role in England or Wales. It will provide you with a wide range of knowledge and understanding of theories that the College of Policing has identified as being advantageous for those aspiring to join UK police forces.
You will have the opportunity to study a range of subjects including operational policing, legislation connected to police work, diversity, response and community policing, criminal investigation and safeguarding.
Learning from lecturers with extensive experience working within the police, prisons and security services, you’ll develop your knowledge of the UK police force and gain an understanding of the policing profession.
Throughout your studies, you'll be encouraged to form professional links with police forces as a volunteer or in the role of a special constable in order to gain additional practical experience and further enhance your employability.
A Professional Policing programme is specifically designed as a pre-join qualification for the police force. In line with the College of Policing licensing of the programme, professional work placements are not offered as part of this course.
Why study with us?
- Build your self-confidence, academic skills and core subject knowledge in preparation for progression onto degree-level study.
- This specialist degree is a great starting point if you want to pursue a career in policing
- Learn from lecturers with experience of working within police forces and security services
- Enhance your employability through volunteering opportunities
- Benefit from our experience delivering police officer education in partnership with West Yorkshire Police
You will study a variety of modules across your programme of study. The module details given below are subject to change and are the latest example of the curriculum available on this course of study.
During your Foundation Year, you'll study four core modules.
Academic Skills and Studying with Confidence (Core)
We'll help you develop core academic skills such as using electronic resources, planning and note-taking, communication skills related to essay and report writing and delivering presentations.
You'll learn to manage your time, prioritise tasks and manage stress, and become more confident in engaging with collaborative learning, debates, discussions and critical reflection.
Professional Development and Project (Core)
In the first semester you'll get support through personal tutoring and learning hub liaison.
You'll study areas of interest related to your chosen degree specialisation so subject content will be tailored to you.
You'll have workshop-based tuition covering assessments and projects.
You'll focus on existing academic literature and secondary sources in your project, and you can negotiate what format you present your work in.
Foundations in Sociology and Policing (Core)
You'll look at social inequalities in society, how they can be explained, and current trends and issues in modern-day policing.
You'll draw on the work of sociologists, academics and criminologists to investigate these issues.
We'll cover concepts such as socialisation, norms and values, social control, status, inequality, crime, deviance, victimisation, retribution and non-crime-related social trends.
We'll try to address social problems, including inequality and criminality, and explore topical areas related to sociology, policing and crime.
Foundations in Criminology (Core)
You'll look at patterns of crime, social control, deviance, victimisation, the media and punishments.
We'll examine crime statistics, self-report studies and non-crime-related social trends.
You'll try to make sense of these areas using introductory-level theories from key academics and criminologists.
You'll also review how policy-makers attempt to address social problems such as criminality.
During your first year, you'll study six core modules.
Policing Overview and Understanding the Police Constable Role (Core)
Understand the purpose of the police service and the responsibilities of those charged with delivering a professional service. Review the role of law enforcement agencies and understand the concept and principles of policing by consent.
Develop a clear understanding of national policing strategies and the role of the College of Policing in professionalising the police service.
You’ll cover the structure of the police service, police powers and how these powers are regulated. You’ll grasp a clear understanding of how the police exercise police powers and procedures fairly and without bias.
Policing Communities (Core)
Appreciate the purpose, benefits, and challenges of community policing in a variety of contexts.
Understand the origins of community policing and how politics influences models. You’ll research diverse types of communities and the way in which police can effectively engage with these communities, drawing on theoretical frameworks for community engagement.
You’ll learn the importance of community engagement and understand how to foster effective community relationships. You'll become familiar with the main sources of information and academic research about community policing and be able to use these materials for research purposes.
You’ll be introduced to community groups and will spend time learning what makes a community group effective, and how engagement, participation and power all play a role in effecting positive social change.
Research Methods and Academic Skills (Core)
You’ll be introduced to the research methods and academic skills for policing, including research activities, how to review and assess literature and case law, to enable you to develop critical arguments and draw conclusions.
You’ll demonstrate autonomy, as well as accountability and working with others in a study skills context. You’ll present research on the identified issue with proposals to tackle it using a range of sources.
Legislative Practice for Policing (Core)
Explore the function of police powers and the need for clear rules and regulations for police procedures when dealing with the public. You’ll take a particular focus on stop search and the challenges inherent with this type of occurrence.
Examine the fundamental principles, legislation and powers relating to investigations and police interviews.
You’ll become familiar with the main sources of information and academic research regarding police powers and procedure and be able to use these materials for research purposes. You’ll understand appropriate powers to stop and search a person under Section 1 PACE 1984 with due care and attention to diversity and respect for the public.
You’ll cover how to establish grounds and authority for carrying out a lawful arrest and interview a suspect in custody and understanding the importance of carrying out these procedures correctly.
Criminology and Crime Prevention (Core)
Explore the nature and relationship between offending and victimisation and the concepts relating to criminology and why people commit crime. Appreciate the importance of assessing the strengths and weaknesses of different policing models in relation to crime and victimisation in the public and become familiar with the main sources of information and academic research regarding national policing strategies.
You’ll learn the importance of planning research activities, the strengths and weakness of research methodologies and approaches. You’ll research, analyse and evaluate research publications and qualitive and quantitative data, understand proficiency in academic writing and learn about quantitative and qualitative research techniques, including the interpretation of data.
You’ll be introduced to community groups and will spend time learning what makes a community group effective, and how engagement, participation and power all play a role in effecting positive social change.
Criminal Justice (Core)
Appreciate the purpose, benefit and responsibilities of the criminal justice system in a variety of contexts by exploring the role of the criminal justice system and the legislation of the key issues surrounding the area.
You’ll understand the importance of the court process, how diversity of individuals and society impact on the criminal justice system.
Review the current legislation and processes that support the criminal justice system and understand the importance of gathering evidence to enable offenders to be convicted.
You’ll explore and evaluate how diversity of individuals and society impact on the criminal justice system and why it is so important that there is effective partnership collaboration with respect to offender rehabilitation to prevent them from offending again.
During your second year, you'll study six core modules.
Criminal Investigation (Core)
You’ll be introduced to the criminal investigation process where you will distinguish between diverse types of crime and why this is important in the investigation process. You’ll explore several types of evidence and understand the importance of effective evidence management and the implications of not following policy or procedure.
Complex live and cold cases will form a large part of your studies and you’ll analyse the resources required to investigate such cases. You’ll consider the challenges that victims and witnesses face during complex investigation and the police response to these challenges.
Develop an understanding of the key terminology in relation to investigating, including the investigative mindset, best evidence, material, information, intelligence and disclosure.
You’ll have the opportunity to demonstrate your understanding of what constitutes as evidence using practical scenarios and real-life case studies. Your knowledge and understanding will be applied to different crime scenarios, and you’ll appreciate the distinct roles and responsibilities therein.
Police Accountability, Decision Making and Discretion (Core)
You’ll explore the necessity for maintaining professional standards in policing and relevant governance and their roles and responsibilities. You’ll analyse how the police have developed policies and procedures to reduce the possibility of professional malpractice and increase community confidence; then review the progress being made within the police service to improve professional standards.
As part of your studies, you'll examine the role of discretion in the decision-making process and analyse the effect on bias on the decision-making process. You’ll cover and apply the National Decision Model to given professional situations and demonstrate effective judgement and decision making.
Evidence-based Policing (EBP) and Problem-solving (Core)
You’ll be introduced to the problem-solving techniques, sources of evidence which can be used to support policing practice and the models used to differentiate between types of evidence, to identify best practice.
Explore different models used in problem solving and crime prevention, such as Problem-Oriented Policing (POP), ‘hot spot’ Policing, intelligence-led policing, predictive policing, the Problem Analysis Triangle (PAT), rationale choice theory (criminological) and situational crime prevention.
You’ll consider the importance of partnership working and co-production in problem-solving and the challenges of using multiple sources of data and different timescales to help define and understand problems in practice.
You’ll engage in policing related activities with an evidence-based policing approach, ranging from public engagement to offender management.
Information and Intelligence (Core)
Explore the importance of information and intelligence to key areas of policing and the relevant legislation. You’ll learn the practical issues pertaining to the collection, retention and sharing of information and intelligence.
Gain an understanding how the use of information and intelligence which is held by other agencies can help and assist police operations. You’ll explore issues that can arise when data management protocols are not adhered to as well as the rights of the individual in respect of their information being held.
You’ll also have the opportunity to engage with road traffic officers to consolidate learning and apply to practical situations. You’ll evaluate how the roads can be effectively policed to disrupt criminal activity, reduce road traffic collisions and combat anti-social road use.
Victims and Witnesses (Core)
Victims of crime attract unprecedented academic interest, both as a subject of psychological enquiry and as a focus of criminal justice policy. You’ll study the rights of victims and understand the physical, social, psychological and emotional effects victims face in context of primary offences.
Since the 1960s, the victimisation surveys have aimed to quantify the unreported ‘dark figure’ of crime and have thus helped to build interest in the area. The need to protect the rights of victims has become increasingly important in both public opinion and judicial practice.
Police Response, Critical and Major Incidents (Core)
Appreciate the purpose, benefits, and challenges of response policing in a variety of contexts. Explore the function of response policing, the key issues surrounding response policing and attending major incidents.
You’ll pay particular focus on the key issues relating to the complexity and challenges of operational policing.
You’ll cover and review the overall scope of the response policing role and the type of incidents and crimes like to be encountered. You’ll examine the roles and responsibilities of the police and joint interoperability between other attending emergency services at an incident.
Examine the key social, political and strategic drivers impacting upon contemporary response policing and strategies involved to ensure they remain effective in an increasingly challenging environment.
During your final year, you'll study five core modules.
Policing Mental Health, Vulnerability and Risk (Core)
Explore the complexities involved in policing vulnerable people in society, understand vulnerability and the theories and concepts around how a person can become a victim.
You’ll explore the contemporary vulnerability issues such as child sexual exploitation, modern slavery, child criminal exploitation and online abuse. Evaluate evidence-based models of policing to protect vulnerable people with specific reference to domestic abuse, exploitation and mental ill-health. Learn how vulnerable people are supported by the police and other agencies and how risk is managed.
Study the concept of vulnerability as it applies to policing, determining the factors that lead to harm and risk identification and management, exploring the effectiveness of risk assessment tools used within policing. You’ll draw upon the national drivers for the police service in providing a professional and ethical service to individuals.
You’ll explore how vulnerable people can get dawn into exploitative situations and how they can become a target for perpetrators. You’ll use findings from serious case reviews to understand how valuable information sharing and multi-agency work is protecting vulnerable people. You’ll also review high profile cases to understand the different approaches used by professionals in supporting and managing vulnerability, drawing upon lessons learnt from reviews.
Serious and Organised Crime (Core)
Understand serious and organised crime with a particular focus on digital crime and counter terrorism.
You’ll explore policing technologies and the emerging prevalence of digitally facilitated crimes, you’ll consider the role of the dark web, social media, hacking and the variety of devices being used in policing and crime contexts.
Explore the key counter terror terminology and concepts and the organisational structure that exist in counter terrorism policing. There will be a particular focus on key legislation that is relevant to counter terrorism policing, gathering intelligence and how to prevent home grown terrorism.
You’ll consider how technology may be used in everyday policing, from community engagement to data analysis and criminal investigations. You’ll be introduced to legislation and regulations concerning the use of policing technologies and specific legislation associated with digital facilitated crimes.
Cover the essential knowledge required to deal with the threat of terrorism including terminology and concepts, forms of interventions, the organisational structure, and inter-relationships that exist in policing.
Policing Abuse and Public Protection (Core)
You’ll be introduced to the diverse and complex nature of public protection policing and will develop an understanding of the powers and legislation relating to contemporary and significant areas of practice, such as country lines, child criminal exploitation, modern slavery and domestic abuse.
You’ll focus on the core policing functions and strategies relating to public protection policing and gain an understanding of the relevant legislation. You’ll then apply this to case studies, developing problem solving and critical thinking skills, to understand how these crimes impact victim using real life cases.
Co-Created Project for Policing (Core)
You’ll use your knowledge and experience gained over the programme to inform your co-created project based on contemporary issues in modern policing.
You’ll conduct academic research with ethical consideration and review current literature to inform your thinking and provide a knowledge base for your critical thinking in relation to the issues in modern day policing.
Present your work to encourage debate and discussion. Defend your approach to the project using a cohesive and evidence-based argument, providing knowledge and suggestions for future directions.
Research Project (Core)
You’ll have the opportunity to conduct your own research project about a specific police issue which relevant to your chosen interest and that is identified in the current National Policing Strategy.
You’ll explore research options, sound research practices and appropriate presentation of findings through workshops and one to one supervisions.
Learning and Teaching
At Leeds Trinity we aim to provide an excellent student experience and provide you with the tools and support to help you achieve your academic, personal and professional potential.
Our Learning, Teaching and Assessment Strategy delivers excellence by providing the framework for:
- high quality teaching
- an engaging and inclusive approach to learning, assessment and achievement
- a clear structure through which you progress in your academic studies, your personal development and towards professional-level employment or further study.
We have a strong reputation for developing student employability, supporting your development towards graduate employment, with relevant skills embedded throughout your programme of study.
We endeavour to develop curiosity, confidence, courage, ambition and aspiration in all students through the key themes in our Learning and Teaching Strategy:
- Student Involvement and Engagement
- Integrated Programme and Assessment Experience
- Digital Literacy and Skills
- Employability and Enterprise
To help you achieve your potential we emphasise learning as a collaborative process, with a range of student-led and real-world activities. This approach ensures that you fully engage in shaping your own learning, developing your critical thinking and reflective skills so that you can identify your own strengths and weaknesses, and use the extensive learning support system we offer to shape your own development.
We believe the secret to great learning and teaching is simple: it is about creating an inclusive learning experience that allows all students to thrive through:
- Personalised support
- Expert lecturers
- Strong connections with employers
- An international outlook
- Understanding how to use tools and technology to support learning and development
Your time on campus, learning through in-person teaching, is at the heart of your academic experience and the way we deliver our programmes. This is supported and further enhanced by additional engagement activities and opportunities provided online and through digital teaching materials. This blended approach seeks to ensure a positive learning and teaching student experience.
Your programme of study has been carefully designed around a three-phase model of delivery:
- Preparation: You will be given clear tasks to support you in preparing for live teaching. This could include watching a short-pre-recorded lecture, reading a paper or text chapter or preparing other material for use in class.
- Live: All your live teaching will be designed around active learning, providing you with valuable opportunities to build on preparation tasks, interact with staff and peers, and surface any misunderstandings.
- Post: Follow-up activities will include opportunities for you to check understanding, for staff to receive feedback from you and your peers to inform subsequent sessions, and for you to apply learning to new situations or context.
Preparation, Live and Post teaching and learning and the digital materials used will vary by course, but will be designed to help you structure your learning, take a full and active part in your course, and apply and test your developing knowledge and skills.
A variety of assessment methods are used, matched to the learning outcomes for your programme, allowing you to apply and demonstrate the full range of knowledge and skills that you have developed.
For more details on specific assessment methods for this course contact email@example.com
Leeds Trinity University is committed to recruiting students with talent and potential and who we feel will benefit greatly from their academic and non-academic experiences here. We treat every application on its own merits; we value highly the experience you illustrate in your personal statement.
Information about the large range of qualifications we accept, including A-Levels, BTECs and T Levels, can be found on our entry requirements page. If you need additional advice or are taking qualifications that are not covered in the information supplied, please contact our Admissions Office.
|GCSE English Language at grade C or 4 (or higher)
Applications are welcome from mature students with few formal qualifications.
Any previous relevant work experience and learning will be assessed and, where appropriate, we may offer an alternative way to assess suitability to study.
This course is not available to students on a Student Route Visa.
Fees and finance
UK Home Students:
Tuition fees cost £9,250 a year for this course in 2024/2025.
Part-time tuition fees will be prorated accordingly to the number of credits you're studying.
Depending on government policy, tuition fees may change in future years.
Tuition fees for 2025/26 entry will be set in summer 2024.
Living costs, e.g. accommodation, travel, food, will also need to be taken into consideration.
Leeds Trinity offers a range of bursaries and scholarships to help support students while you study.
International Students, including EU Students:
Visit our webpage for international students.
Part-time study is not available for international students on a Student Route Visa.
We advise students that there may be additional course costs in addition to annual tuition fees:
- Recommended and required reading lists will be provided at the start of your course. All the books and e-books are available from our Library to borrow but you may choose to purchase your own.
- On some courses there may be additional costs, such as field trips, equipment, accreditations, that may be part-funded by the University. More details will be provided at the start of the course.
- You'll need to include placement/s travel and associated costs too, however the University will contribute a standard amount towards your total expenditure.
- The University provides students with a £6 printing credit each academic year which can be topped up either on campus or online.
How to apply
For full-time undergraduate courses, you apply through UCAS. That's the University and Colleges Admissions Service.
On your application form, you'll need to know our institution code - it's L24 - and the course code. If you click through to the UCAS website using the button below, it'll take you to the right place with all the information you need.
You'll need to write a personal statement - we've prepared a guide to help you.
Although the equal consideration deadline has passed for 2024 entry there are still ways to apply now.
If you included five choices on your application, have received decisions from all five, and weren’t accepted, or if you declined the offers you received, you will be able to use Extra which opens on 28 February. If you use Extra to add another choice you cannot reverse this to go back to your original five choices.
If you did not use all your choices in your initial application, you don't need to use Extra, you can just sign in to your application and add another choice, as long as it’s before 30 June, and you’ve not accepted or declined any offers.
If you don’t hold any offers after 5 July, you will be able to add an additional choice using Clearing.
If you require a Student Route Visa in order to study in the UK, then you must meet all the conditions of your offer and present all supporting documentation required for the visa application no later than Friday 26 July 2024.
Applications are not yet open for courses starting in September 2025. You can register and start your application for 2025 from 14 May 2024, although you cannot submit it until later in the year. The UCAS application deadline for courses starting in September 2025 is 29 January 2025.
There's lots more information about the application process on the UCAS website, or you can get in touch with our admissions team who will be happy to help:
Providing you with the opportunity to develop the professional skills and experience you need to launch your career is at the heart of everything we do at Leeds Trinity University.
This degree will prepare you for opportunities in the police service or for work in civilian policing roles, the broader criminal justice system or within the wider security services.
The Professional Policing BA (Hons) degree does not guarantee employment with the police service as an officer or staff member but provides you with the academic entry requirement via the pre-join degree route.
If you wish to use this degree as your entry route to the police service, you must apply to join a police force within five years of your graduation. Successful achievement of the degree does not guarantee recruitment as a probationary police constable. Each police force sets out its own entry requirements, recruitment process and selection policy.
After you graduate, Careers and Placements will help you as you pursue your chosen career through our mentoring scheme, support with CV and interview preparation and access to graduate employability events.
To find out how we can help you make your career ambitions a reality, visit:
What is Discover Uni?
Discover Uni is the official, authoritative source of information and guidance on higher education in the UK. The website allows you to search for and compare data and information on university and college programmes from across the UK.
It helps you make sense of all the information out there by linking to other quality resources and explaining what can be found where. It also allows you to search for and compare information and data for individual undergraduate courses across the UK.