Professional Policing HNC/HND/BA (Hons)

Study level: Undergraduate
A Policing student talking to a police officer beside a police van

The Pre-join Policing degree is a new entry route into the police force and has been designed to prepare new recruits to meet the demands of 21st century policing.

Year of entry


CU Coventry (Coventry)

Study mode



3 year - Degree
2 year - HND
1 year - HNC

Course code

PP10 / PP12 / PP11

Start date

July 2023

Course overview

This vocational degree meets the new standards set by the College of Policing’s Policing Education Qualification Framework (PEQF), will be used by all police forces across England and Wales as part of the newly-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 BA (Hons) Professional Policing and be equipped with the requisite skills and knowledge to be able to apply to the Police Force to become a police constable. 

This exciting new 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 into 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 CU Coventry

We offer a style of education which is flexible and designed to fit around your life, allowing you to benefit from a modern, forward-thinking higher education institution, reinforced by the quality and reputation of Coventry University. We aim to provide career-focused courses, wherever possible, coupled with placement opportunities to help prepare you for the world of work. We are dedicated to making higher education accessible and enjoyable to everyone, so we keep our fees low and made it a policy to cover one module at a time, allowing you to become a specialist in each topic before moving onto the next.

Accreditation & Professional Recognition

Policing Education Qualification Framework (PEQF)

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What you'll study

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. From 2020, the recruitment process for police constables is open to members with a pre-join Policing degree, as you will have 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).

Not only will you have the benefit of learning traditional methods, you'll also get to hear the first-hand experiences and personal perspectives from people in the industry. 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.

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 onto 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 a Higher National Certificate (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, namely, Response Policing, Policing Communities, Policing the Roads, Information and Intelligence and Conducting Investigations. Students will explore a very wide range of issues in this module and be able to relate their 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 in what is required of a police officer in the 21st century. This year will go 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 complete year two are eligible for a Higher National Diploma (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) whilst 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 with policing in this module 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.


It is not a requirement of the BA (Hons) Professional Policing Degree for students to undertake any placement element nor for the course to be aligned with a particular force for purposes of delivery. If you choose to, you can apply to take an optional placement or year abroad* between years two and three. If you decide to take advantage of a placement year it is your responsibility to find a placement with an employer within your chosen sector. The Talent Team, alongside the course team, can support you throughout your placement year.


  • Optional

  • Optional

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 practise 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 will aid in enhancing 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 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 or optional four-year sandwich course, incorporating a work placement or study year in a related field. 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 online learning platform, Aula.

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.

If you choose to study part-time you'll usually receive up to eleven hours per week of blended learning, including classes, tutorials and online learning. Outside of this, there will also be independent study and online support. Please note: part-time courses run subject to numbers.


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, oral presentations, tutorial tasks and assessments which take place at the end of each six-week block.

Progression through the modules develops knowledge and skills, including communication (written and oral), study skills, research methods, project management, presentation and career development. We will also encourage you to consider your employability and/or entrepreneurial development.

Unlike traditional institutions, there are no end of year exams. Instead, learning is assessed through coursework and phase tests, which is more reflective of our learning model.

Course breakdown:

  • Coursework
  • Interactive Assessments

Job ready

On successful completion, you will 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.

Entry requirements

Typical offer for 2022/23 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.

Foundation Year
This degree programme has an integral stage 0 attached to it, so if you do not meet the entry requirements you may enter at the foundation level. Successful completion of our Law and Practice Foundation Year will guarantee you progression onto this degree programme.

Access to HE Course
Access to HE courses aim to bring your academic skills and topical knowledge up to optimal standard for higher education study. If you undertake an Access to HE course and then successfully complete a degree programme, the remaining balance of your Advanced Learner Loan will be written off. Successful completion of our Business Studies Access to HE course will guarantee you progression onto this degree programme.

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.

If you do not have the typical entry requirements, you may want to consider studying this course with a foundation year. Upon successful completion our Law and Practice Foundation Year will provide you with the knowledge and skills you need to progress onto this undergraduate degree.

Alternatively, 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 (HNC - year 1/HND - year 2) or 6.5 (Degree/Top Up - year 3).

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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Tuition Fees

We pride ourselves on offering competitive tuition fees which we review on an annual basis. Course fees are calculated on the basis of what it costs to teach each course and we aim for total financial transparency.

Student Full-time Part-time
UK £6,800 per year £6,800
International £15,300 per year Not available
  • 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):

  • 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

After successful completion of this degree, graduates should be equipped with the requisite skills and knowledge to be in a position to apply to the police force to become a Police 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

  • Student Contract

    By accepting your offer of a place and enrolling with us, a Student Contract will be formed between you and the CU Group. A copy of the 2022/23 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 CU Group will owe to you. You should read the Contract before you accept an offer of a place and before you enrol at CU Coventry.

    Tuition fees

    The tuition fee for the course that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For UK and EU students, if Parliament permit an increase in tuition fees, we 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. Following the UK’s exit from the European Union, EU students should be aware that there may be a change to UK laws following the UK’s exit, this may change their student status, their eligibility to study part time, and/or their eligibility for student finance. We will act in accordance with the UK’s laws in force in relation to student tuition fees and finance from time to time.

    For International students the tuition fee that is stated on the course webpage and in the prospectus for the first year of study will apply. We will review our tuition fees each year. For international students, we may increase fees for each subsequent year of study but such increases will be no more than 5% above inflation.


    Many 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 CU Group maintaining the same high standards of course delivery. 


    Facilities mentioned on this page may not be relevant for every course. Due to the ongoing restrictions relating to COVID-19, some facilities (including some teaching and learning spaces) and some non-academic offerings (particularly in relation to international experiences), may vary from those advertised and may have reduced availability or restrictions on their use.

    Placements and study abroad opportunities

    Please note that we are unable to guarantee any placement or study abroad opportunities and that all such opportunities may be subject to additional costs (e.g. travel, visas and accommodation etc.), competitive application, availability and/or meeting any applicable visa requirements. To ensure that you fully understand the requirements in this regard, please contact the International Office for further details if you are an EU or International student.

    Additional costs

    This course may incur additional costs associated with any field trips, placements or work experience, study abroad opportunities or any other opportunity (whether required or optional), which could include (but is not limited to), equipment, materials, bench fees, studio or facilities hire, travel, accommodation and visas.

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