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Why study policing?

If you have ambitions of upholding the law and making a difference then it’s likely a police degree has already crossed your mind. That said, there are many great reasons to study policing and they stretch far beyond a career in uniform. Below we explore the benefits of studying a policing degree, what the course will offer, and where it could take your career.

By Grant Longstaff. Published 15 November 2023.

What A Levels do I need to study policing?

You’ll likely find there are no specific subject requirements for a policing degree, but most universities will expect applicants to have good Level 3 qualification grades. For example, we expect students to have A Levels graded BBC, or a BTEC graded DDM. Entry requirements will differ between providers, but the higher your overall grades, the better equipped you’ll be. You’ll also need GCSE’s graded C or above in English and Maths.

A policing degree offers comprehensive knowledge

One of the biggest benefits of studying policing is that you’ll understand not just how the police service and justice system work, but why they operate as they do. By undertaking a detailed exploration of the law, and considering all the aspects involved, you’ll be better prepared for a career within the field when the time comes.

It's also worth pointing out the scope of a policing degree. Our policing degree has optional modules on antisocial behaviour, counter-terrorism, serious crime, drugs, and cybercrime. We don’t just stop at policing either, we offer students the chance to explore forensic and criminal psychology, and areas of criminology such as crime prevention and Zemiology (the study of social harms caused by the powerful, corporations, states, the media, & the justice system itself). We even offer a BA (Hons) in Criminology and Policing, which combines our expertise in criminology and professional policing, for those who want to explore both.

Finally, your learning won’t just be confined to theory. We use realistic scenarios to enhance our teaching, including the use of virtual reality and role play. We even have a crime scene suite at our Bloomsbury campus.

Expert experience

If you choose to study with us, you’ll find our lecturers have direct experience of working within the police service, in positions ranging from police constable to detective chief inspector (DCI). With several decades of experience to draw upon, our lecturers can share their invaluable knowledge and wisdom – the perfect platform on which to build your career.

Employability skills for life

Alongside the expert knowhow you’ll develop, you’ll also gain a number of transferable skills which will be useful in all walks of life. Throughout the degree you’ll explore complicated situations and hypothetical incidents which will develop your critical thinking and problem solving skills. By understanding how the police work together and respond to major incidents you’ll develop team building and management skills, and modules on community policing, and supporting victims and vulnerable individuals will develop your empathy and communication skills.

Many career options

Our BSc (Hons) in Professional Policing is licensed by the College of Policing and is used by many as a first step towards becoming a police constable. Some forces offer entry specifically for people who’ve already completed, or will shortly complete, the course.

But not everyone who studies policing goes on to become a police officer. We’re committed to your future employability, and this is embedded into your learning throughout the course. A policing degree provides a solid footing for careers within the wider world of the police service and roles related to security, criminal justice, and criminology. Further study is also an option for those looking to expand their skills in the above areas.

Why study policing before joining the force?

Policing is increasingly recognised as a diverse and complex profession, requiring skills from a range of disciplines. By undertaking a degree in policing your sole focus is on studying. This means you get a thorough, in depth understanding of policing, and the related areas of criminology and psychology, alongside the time to build and consolidate your knowledge and skills before you begin your career. Jennifer Schmidt-Petersen, our Programme and Student Lead for Policing, explained, “studies have shown that the person who has the most impact on new constables is their tutor. The opportunity to, in a safe learning environment, make mistakes and [Learn from] experts is invaluable in terms of developing you into the best police officer you can possibly be.”


Find out more about our three year BSc (Hons) in Professional Policing and two year Accelerated BSc (Hons) in Professional Policing, and start your journey towards making a difference today.