Professional Policing BA (Hons)

Study level: Undergraduate
HNC/HND courses
A Policing student talking to a police officer beside a police van

This pre-join policing degree is an entry route into the police force designed to prepare new recruits to meet the demands of 21st-century policing.

Year of entry


CU Coventry (Coventry)

Study mode



4 years part-time
4 years sandwich (study abroad or work placement)
3 year - Degree
2 year - HND
1 year - HNC

Course code

PP10 / PP12 / PP11

Start date

April 2024
June 2024

Course overview

This vocational degree meets the standards set by the College of Policing’s Policing Education Qualification Framework (PEQF). These are used by police forces across England and Wales as part of the categorised modes of entry into the policing profession.

The pre-join route gives you the opportunity to study for a degree and then apply to a force and follow a shorter on-the-job training programme to become a police constable or a special constable. The degree is designed so that you will undertake the learning as set out by the PEQF, attain a Professional Policing BA (Hons) and be equipped with the requisite skills and knowledge to be able to apply to the Police Force either as a Police Constable or through the direct entry detective pathway.

This exciting course focuses on the main challenges a 21st-century police officer faces, such as protecting the vulnerable, digital policing and counter-terrorism measures. It also provides a foundation knowledge of the role of a Police Constable and the five core areas of professional policing practice: Response Policing, Policing Communities, Policing the Roads, Information and Intelligence, and Conducting Investigations. You will also undertake your own research project into your chosen policing practice area in the final year.

Why you should study this course

Policing is an incredibly rewarding career and allows you to truly make a difference to a community while giving you the opportunity to protect members of the public.

Since 2020, the recruitment process for police constables has been open to those with a pre-join policing degree. This degree provides an academic and professional understanding of policing, serving as a comprehensive introduction to the policing industry which is accredited by the Policing Education Qualification Framework (PEQF)1.

Not only will you have the benefit of learning traditional methods, but you will also get to hear the first-hand experiences and personal perspectives from people in the industry. Each year, several professional guests visit the course2. Previous guests have included members from the Independent Police Complaints Commission, a former police sergeant for the West Midlands Police Force and a Mental Health Triage speaker. We also focus on current and future crime trends in addition to historic cases, so that you gain a rounded understanding of the policing industry.

Accreditation and professional recognition

Policing Education Qualification Framework (PEQF)

This course is licensed by the College of Policing under the Police Education Qualifications Framework for the 2023/24 intake.

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What you'll study

Your first year will introduce you to the fundamentals of being a police constable - what the job directly involves and the range of responsibilities, codes and conducts which must be adhered to. This year also starts your journey towards becoming an independent learner by introducing you to key research and teamwork skills which will be needed throughout the course and your career in policing. Students who complete year one are eligible for an HNC in Policing Practice.


  • This module lays the foundations, explaining the role of the police constable and the professionalisation of the service. It proactively embeds equality, diversity and human rights as a core theme of professional policing practice. The module discusses the functions of the Criminal Justice System, explaining the police role within it, including the supporting of witnesses and managing suspects.


  • This module aims to emphasise the importance of evidence-based policing in practice. Students will explore case studies on the impact of evidence-based policing in different areas of practice as well as be able to distinguish between different types of evidence. They will also learn to employ the key protocols of radio communication in police work.


  • This module will introduce you to the broad, complex and expanding area in which policing now operates. This module is the gateway to the study of the following subjects: Criminology and Crime Prevention, Vulnerability and Risk, Public Protection, Digital Policing and Counter Terrorism.


  • This module will consider the five core areas of professional policing practice, such as response policing, policing communities, policing the roads, information and intelligence, and conducting investigations. You will explore a very wide range of issues in this module and be able to relate your study to actual areas of practice.


As the course progresses, you will build on your knowledge of the criminal justice system and the policing profession, to create a deep level of understanding of what is required of a police officer in the 21st century. You will learn above and beyond what you have covered previously, such as the subject of radicalisation which will be introduced alongside how to respond to an incident as a first responder. You will also continue to further your understanding of the five core areas of policing by exploring more complex case studies. Students who successfully complete year two are eligible for an HND in Policing Practice.


  • This module will further embed the concepts of valuing difference and inclusion, maintaining professional standards and the criminal justice process but at a more advanced, intermediate level. We examine the theories and concepts linked to ethics and the impact of policing in diverse communities.


  • You will analyse the constraints associated with an evidence-based approach to policing including an analysis of cost-benefit and end-user satisfaction. You will have an opportunity to develop a research proposal based on an identified problem, learn about ‘organisational justice’, and be able to advance strategies for dealing with organisational culture in policing.


  • This module explores new concepts within the constituent subjects (Criminology and Crime Prevention, Vulnerability and Risk, Public Protection, Digital Policing, and Counter Terrorism) while consolidating existing knowledge. The subject matter is advanced and the case studies more complex, reflecting the ever-changing requirements of modern-day policing.


  • You will explore a wide range of issues of policing and be able to relate to actual areas of practice. These include an in-depth understanding of a ‘critical incident’ and the role of the Joint Emergency Services Operation, community engagement strategies and the roles of key stakeholders.


There’s no better way to find out what you love doing than trying it out for yourself, which is why a work placement can often be beneficial. Work placements1 usually occur between your second and final year of study. They’re a great way to help you explore your potential career path and gain valuable work experience, whilst developing transferable skills for the future.

If you choose to do a work placement year, you will pay a reduced tuition fee3of £1,250. For more information, please go to the fees and funding section. During this time, you will receive guidance from your employer or participating institution, along with your assigned academic mentor who will ensure you have the support you need to complete your placement.


  • This module2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved placement undertaken during your programme. A placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.


  • This module2 provides you with an opportunity to reflect upon and gain experience for an approved international study/work placement undertaken during your programme. A work/study placement should usually be at least 26 weeks or equivalent; however, each placement will be considered on its own merits, having regard to the ability to achieve the learning outcomes.


In the final year of this course you will identify as having an advanced level of critical analytical and reasoning skills and will consequentially be asked to critically reflect on your own professional practice and explore current affairs affecting your local policing service.

You will undertake a sustained, in-depth research exploration project using the skills taught to you throughout the duration of this course. You will also complete a specialist research project in your chosen area of professional policing practise. After successful completion of these modules, you will be educated to meet the demands of 21st century policing and gain a BA (Hons) Professional Policing degree.


  • This module aims to enhance your awareness of professionalism in modern policing. You will critically explore the use of social media in policing as well as the influence such media would have on communities and the individual. You will learn advanced leadership skills and be introduced to coaching, mentoring and assessment in the workplace.


  • This module equips you with the requisite knowledge and skills needed to address local policing priorities as identified by the respective police services. These may include caring for the vulnerable, increased blue light collaboration, effective use of technology, empowering communities and efficient and timely customer service.


  • The module enables you to undertake a sustained, in-depth research exploration and demonstrate your ability to use research and enquiry skills to collect, analyse and interpret relevant literature and information. You will identify a hypothesis to conduct a research project on, working within an aspect of policing for further investigation and produce a comprehensive, analytical report of this area taking account of appropriate research skills.


  • In this module, you will undertake specialist research in your chosen area of professional practice, demonstrating your ability to use research and enquiry skills to collect, analyse and interpret relevant literature/information. You will identify a specific area to conduct the research project in and produce a comprehensive, analytical report of this area taking account of appropriate research skills.


We regularly review our course content, to make it relevant and current for the benefit of our students. For these reasons, course modules may be updated.

How you'll learn

This course is available as a full-time three-year course. Alternatively, the course can also be studied part-time.

Our teaching methods are varied, offering a number of teaching styles to suit the needs of all our students, so in addition to lectures, we also utilise a blended learning approach, including online aspects, workshops and group work.

We also operate an open-door policy, with additional availability via email and our current online learning platform, Aula.

This course can be offered on a part-time basis. Whilst we would like to give you all the information about our part-time offering here, it is tailored for each course each year depending on the number of part-time applicants. Therefore, the part-time teaching arrangements vary. Request further information about part-time study.

Teaching contact hours


If you choose to study full-time you can expect up to 20 hours of learning activities per week, made up of face-to-face teaching, individual and group tutorials, online classes and independent learning.

Additionally, you will be expected to undertake self-directed study of approximately 30 hours each week, depending on the demands of individual modules.


If you choose to study part-time, you'll usually receive up to 11 hours per week of blended learning, including classes, tutorials and online learning. Outside of this, there will also be independent study and online support.

Additionally, you will be expected to undertake self-directed study of approximately 30 hours each week, depending on the demands of individual modules.

Please note: part-time courses run subject to numbers.

As an innovative and enterprising institution, the university may seek to utilise emerging technologies within the student experience. For all courses (whether on-campus, blended, or distance learning), the university may deliver certain contact hours and assessments via online technologies and methods.

Since COVID-19, we have delivered our courses in a variety of forms, in line with public authority guidance, decisions, or orders and we will continue to adapt our delivery as appropriate. Whether on campus or online, our key priority is staff and student safety.


The learning outcomes of modules, assignments and projects will be clearly stated. Your work will be marked according to how well you achieve these learning outcomes and your final feedback will refer to each outcome, as well as providing an overall percentage grade.

Assessment methods vary and include, practical class and project performance, written practical reports, project thesis, tutorial tasks and assessments.

Course breakdown:

  • Coursework
  • Interactive assessments.

The Coventry University Group assessment strategy ensures that our courses are fairly assessed and allows us to monitor student progression towards achieving the intended learning outcomes.

Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2023/24 entry.

Entry level What we're looking for
HNC 64 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification.
HND 80 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification.
Degree 104 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification.

If you do not have the typical entry requirements, we offer a number of programmes to help you secure a place. Successful completion of one of the below programmes guarantees you a place on a degree course with us, subject to meeting specified criteria.

Access to HE Course
Access to HE courses aim to bring your academic skills and topical knowledge up to Successful completion of our Business Studies Access to HE course will guarantee you progression onto this degree programme, subject to meeting specified criteria.

If you undertake an Access to HE course, you may qualify for an Advanced Learner Loan. If you are eligible and awarded an Advanced Learner Loan, and successfully complete an eligible Higher Education course, the outstanding balance from your Access course could be written off. For full information and to check your eligibility visit

We recognise a breadth of qualifications, speak to one of our advisers today to find out how we can help you.

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Are you eligible for the CU Support Scheme?

We believe every student should have the opportunity to dream big, reach their potential and succeed, regardless of their background.

CU Support Scheme

Entry level What we're looking for
HNC 64 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification.
HND 80 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification.
Degree 104 UCAS tariff points. Minimum 5 GCSEs graded 9-4 / A* - C including Maths and English. Minimum two A2 levels or BTEC equivalent qualification.

Visit our International hub for further advice and guidance on how to apply and travelling to and living in the UK.

English language requirements

  • IELTS: 6.0

If you don't meet the English language requirements, you can achieve the level you need by successfully completing a pre-sessional English programme before you start your course.

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Fees and funding

2023/24 tuition fees.

Student Full-time Part-time
UK, Ireland*, Channel Islands or Isle of Man £7,950 per year Not available
EU £7,950 per year with EU support bursary**
£16,800 per year without EU support bursary**
Not available
International £16,800 per year Not available

For advice and guidance on tuition fees3 and student loans visit our Undergraduate Finance page and see the university’s Tuition Fee and Refund Terms and Conditions.

We offer a range of international scholarships to students all over the world. For more information, visit our International Scholarships page.

Tuition fees3 cover the cost of your teaching, assessments, facilities and support services. There may be additional costs not covered by this fee such as accommodation and living costs, recommended reading books, stationery, printing and re-assessments should you need them.

If you choose to do a work placement2, you should consider travel and living costs to cover this. There is also a tuition fee3 of £1,250 that will cover your academic support throughout your placement year.

The following are additional costs not included in the tuition fees3:

  • Any optional overseas field trips or visits.
  • Any costs associated with securing, attending or completing a placement (whether in the UK or abroad).

*Irish student fees

The rights of Irish residents to study in the UK are preserved under the Common Travel Area arrangement. If you are an Irish student and meet the residency criteria, you can study in England, pay the same level of tuition fees as English students and utilise the Tuition Fee Loan.

**EU Support Bursary

Following the UK's exit from the European Union, we are offering financial support to all eligible EU students who wish to study an undergraduate or a postgraduate degree with us full-time. This bursary will be used to offset the cost of your tuition fees to bring them in line with that of UK students. Students studying a degree with a foundation year with us are not eligible for the bursary.

  • We carry out an initial fee status assessment based on the information you provide in your application. Your fee status determines your tuition fees, and what financial support and scholarships may be available to you. The rules about who pays UK (home) or international (overseas) fees for higher education courses in England are set by the government's Department for Education. The regulations identify all the different categories of student who can insist on paying the home rate. The regulations can be difficult to understand, so the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) has provided fee status guidance to help you identify whether you are eligible to pay the home or overseas rate.

    If you meet all the criteria required by any one category, including any residence requirements, your institution must charge you the home rate. You only need to find one category that you fit into.


All our facilities are located at Mile Lane. Our building has been designed to enable collaboration, creativity and innovation to flourish, and includes (subject to availability):

Some taught sessions take place in the neighbouring building, Elm Bank, we also utilise the facilities in the Alison Gingell building, such as the community houses and hospital ward for role play/simulation work.

  • Indoor and outdoor social spaces, including a café
  • A library that includes loan laptops, over 115,000 eBooks and a silent study area
  • Open access IT suites and 83-inch teaching screens
  • Engineering lab, science lab and a moot courtroom
  • Student support and careers advice teams

Careers and opportunities

On completion, you should be able to:

  • demonstrate understanding and knowledge of the theoretical, analytical and practical aspects of policies, strategies and processes
  • develop appropriate research and analysis techniques, alongside the ability to undertake reliable research activities
  • operate, lead and collaborate in a team to solve problems of a practical (experimental) nature and to provide appropriate solutions
  • apply appropriate presentation and evaluation tools to establish the significance of research data produced.

After completion of this degree, graduates will be equipped with the requisite skills and knowledge to be able to apply to the police force to become a Police/Detective Constable. Graduates must apply to their chosen police force within 5 years of their graduation date.

After graduating, you will then be able to apply to become a police constable. Completion of the pre-join policing degree does not guarantee recruitment as a trainee police constable, but is one of the three entry routes into the policing profession as of 2020.

It is important to note that for progression into a career in the police force, a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check will be carried out. Please note that any previous convictions may have an impact on whether you can join the police force.

How to apply

  • Coventry University together with Coventry University London Campus, CU Coventry, CU London, CU Scarborough and Coventry University Online come together to form part of the Coventry University Group (the “University”) with all degrees awarded by Coventry University. 


    The majority of our courses have been formally recognised by professional bodies, which means the courses have been reviewed and tested to ensure they reach a set standard. In some instances, studying on an accredited course can give you additional benefits such as exemptions from professional exams (subject to availability, fees may apply). Accreditations, partnerships, exemptions and memberships shall be renewed in accordance with the relevant bodies’ standard review process and subject to the university maintaining the same high standards of course delivery.

    2UK and international opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any UK or International opportunities (whether required or optional) such as internships, work experience, field trips, conferences, placements or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (which could include, but is not limited to, equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable travel COVID and visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the visa requirements, please contact the International Office.

    3Tuition fees

    The University will charge the tuition fees that are stated in the above table for the first Academic Year of study. The University will review tuition fees each year. For UK (home) students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, the University may increase fees for each subsequent year of study in line with any such changes. Note that any increase is expected to be in line with inflation.

    For International Students, we may increase fees each year but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation. If you defer your course start date or have to extend your studies beyond the normal duration of the course (e.g. to repeat a year or resit examinations) the University reserves the right to charge you fees at a higher rate and/or in accordance with any legislative changes during the additional period of study.


    Facilities are subject to availability. Access to some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) may vary from those advertised and/or may have reduced availability or restrictions where the university is following public authority guidance, decisions or orders.

    Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the university. A copy of the 2023/24 contract can be found here. The Contract details your rights and the obligations you will be bound by during your time as a student and contains the obligations that the university will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at the university.

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