School of Law, Criminology and Government

BSc (Hons) Public Services (Policing)

Are you interested in a career with the police? Are you among ‘the brightest and the best’? Fast-track your career with our one year top-up degree course that will qualify you for graduate entry to the police service. Develop into the calibre of candidate they’re seeking with this forward thinking course. You'll be taught by our experienced public services team, with some modules led by serving police officers, ensuring you’re right up-to-date with policing policy, theory and practice.

You will get ahead with this one year course specifically tailored so you can join the police service, either as a police officer or civilian employee, through direct entry graduate recruitment processes. You’ll work towards gaining a graduate entry qualification into existing police Accelerated Graduate Development programmes. You will benefit from work experience and networking opportunities in policing, and receive special guidance to prepare you for the recruiting and application procedures.

Key features

  • Get ahead with this one year course specifically tailored so you can join the police service, either as a police officer or civilian employee, through direct entry graduate recruitment processes. 
  • Completed levels 4 and 5 study in a relevant area of public services? Top up your degree with this level 6 course which has been driven by the recent government reforms of policing, outlined in the Winsor Report, to encourage the 'brightest and best' to join the police service.
  • Work towards gaining a graduate entry qualification into existing police Accelerated Graduate Development programmes. 
  • Transition to stage 3 with a comprehensive Public Services Transition programme.
  • Gain an understanding of the key elements of policing from a dedicated blend of academic and vocational teaching and learning. 
  • Learn from experienced and serving police officers, ensuring you’re right up to date with all current policies, practices and procedures.
  • Benefit from work experience and networking opportunities in policing.
  • Receive special guidance to prepare you for the recruiting and application procedures.

Course details

  • Course overview
  • During this year, you’ll gain an understanding of public services and an in-depth understanding of policing. You’ll develop the ability to think critically about issues and argue from different perspectives. You’ll learn to identify complex problems with confidence and select and use investigative strategies and techniques. You’ll also learn to evaluate outcomes and your own performance, and discover creative ways of improving techniques and processes.
    Core modules
    • PSPM305 Public Services (Policing) Research Project

      This module emphasises the skills required of the student as an autonomous learner, as its setting is geared toward the student taking responsibility for choosing a public service related topic, be that practice, policy or theory focused and then demonstrating the confidence to plan and undertake an autonomous research project. This activity is guided will by the supervision of one of the Public Service Team of academics, but it will be made clear that the student is responsible for the day-to-day progress of the work.

    • PSPM306 Managing Policing: Politics, Policy and Public Management

      Policing is a central aspect of modern liberal states, especially in terms of the relationship between state coercion and civil liberties. Thus, accountability in terms of both internal control and political control becomes of paramount importance. The module examines this by looking at the manner in which post-1970 political changes have impacted on police policy and practice.

    • PSPM307 Policing as a Public Service: Theories and Practice

      This module is designed to enable students to develop the ability to explore and critically examine issues relating to Police policy and practice. This would include; historical and contemporary theories; contemporary policies and practice; and relating theory to practice through relevant work opportunities.

    Optional modules
    • CCJS3143 Professional Knowledge of Policing I

      This module provides students with a practical knowledge and understanding of policing and police law, situated within the relevant contemporary social context of England and Wales.

    • CCJS3144 Professional Knowledge of Policing II

      This module provides students with a practical knowledge and understanding of policing and police law, situated within the relevant contemporary social context of England and Wales

    • HRL301 Managing Change

      The module provides a broad understanding of equality and diversity in the workplace. The module considers the paradigms underpinning regulation and voluntarism, organisational equality and diversity at the levels of strategy and operational practice, and how group and individual identities are constructed in the workplace.

    • HRL310 Equality and Diversity in the Workplace

      The module provides a broad understanding of equality and diversity in the workplace. The module considers the paradigms underpinning regulation and voluntarism, organisational equality and diversity at the levels of strategy and operational practice, and how group and individual identities are constructed in the workplace.

Every undergraduate taught course has a detailed programme specification document describing the course aims, the course structure, the teaching and learning methods, the learning outcomes and the rules of assessment.

The following programme specification represents the latest course structure and may be subject to change:

BSc Public Services Policing 16 17 4509

The modules shown for this course are those currently being studied by our students, or are proposed new modules. Please note that programme structures and individual modules are subject to amendment from time to time as part of the University’s curriculum enrichment programme and in line with changes in the University’s policies and requirements.

Entry requirements

Students may be admitted on the basis of one of the following: 

  • The successful completion of a foundation degree in public services or an equivalent two-year further education qualification.
  • The portfolio accreditation of Accredited Prior Learning (APL) and ongoing relevant public sector work experience.

English language requirements

For a full list of all acceptable qualifications please refer to our tariff glossary.

Please contact the Admissions Team.

Fees, costs and funding

New Student 2017 2018
Home/EU £9,250 To be confirmed
International £12,250 To be confirmed
Part time (Home/EU) Check with School To be confirmed
Part time (International) Check with School To be confirmed
Full time fees shown are per annum. Part time fees shown are per a number of credits. Fees are correct at the time of publication and may be subject to change.

How to apply

All applications for undergraduate courses are made through UCAS (Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). 

UCAS will ask for the information contained in the box at the top of this course page including the UCAS course code and the institution code. 

To apply for this course and for more information about submitting an application including application deadline dates, please visit the UCAS website.

Support is also available to overseas students applying to the University from our International Office via our how to apply webpage or email international-admissions@plymouth.ac.uk.



Professor Joyce Liddle, Plymouth Business School external examiner and internationally recognised scholar

…an exemplary programme and if not one of the best of its kind in the UK, it may well be the very best. It indicates a high degree of conceptual, theoretical and analytical capabilities from the students, and demonstrates excellent teaching and learning.

A key strength is the connection to real world case materials and the involvement of key personnel and organisations across the public services.

Paige Bray

I enjoyed interacting with the public and found it extremely beneficial to be able to work with the police and face the realities of policing. I gained an understanding of local crime and a real insight into how the Force actually works.

Paige Bray, BSc (Hons) Public Services student.

Robert Clatworthy

The work experience allowed us to ask the questions that we as students would like answered in relation to the job role. A brilliant insight on what neighbourhood policing is all about.

Robert Clatworthy, BSc (Hons) Public Services student

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Career opportunities

This course enables you to focus on a career path in policing. It also allows you to qualify for a career in other public services or to gain entry to management level opportunities in the private sector.

Stand out from the crowd and step into the career you want.

People