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Professional Policing (Pre-Join) - BA Hons Degree


Prepare for entry to the police service with this three-year BA (Hons) Professional Policing Pre-Join programme. (Licensed by the College of Policing, since January 2020, this course is one of just three routes available to becoming a police officer.) Designed to align to the National Police Curriculum, successful completion of this course qualifies you to apply to become a police officer in one of the 42 police forces throughout England and Wales.

The programme’s wide variety of topics – from Digital Policing for a Digital Age to Counter Terrorism – will equip you to work in the constantly changing landscape within which the police operate. However, your highly transferable skills will also equip you for related careers in, for example, the legal and security sectors.

There is a strong employment focus, giving you an opportunity to undertake live briefs as well voluntary placements; in fact, we will actively encourage you to volunteer as a Special Police Constable (which will not only develop your practice-based understanding but also improve your long-term career prospects).

  • Course code TH1HE179
  • UCAS code N225
  • Duration 3 Years
  • Day/s of week Monday and Tuesday
  • Time 09:30 - 16:00

Next course dates

Start date Location Duration
09 Sep 2024
University Centre
3 Years

Where can this subject lead?

Career progression

It is envisioned that graduates will go onto seek a career in one of the 43 Police Forces in England and Wales or associated agency such at the British Transport Police. As well as preparing students for a career in the police service it will open the door to many other related careers in the police which could include, Custody Detention Officer, Police Control Room Operator, Police Community Support Officer, Intelligence Officer, Police Staff Investigator and many other related careers or further study. The BA (Hons) in Professional Policing (Pre Join) programme has a currency of 5 years following validation.

Please note: Completion of this degree does not guarantee the opportunity for recruitment into the police service. Recruitment process, selection policy, and vary from force to force. Those planning a career in the police are advised to check eligibility criteria as set out by individual police services.


Employment Opportunities

As employability is key to the programme you will also be able to gain employment with a range of formal and informal agencies across public, private and voluntary sectors such as central and local government, The Prison Service, The Home Office, The National Crime Agency and National Criminal Intelligence Service and welfare charities. Specific job roles outside the Police you may progress into include: Case Review Manager, Court Clerk, Community Worker, Immigration Officer, Fraud Investigator, Human Rights Officer, Border Control Officer, Prison Officer, Probation Officer, Youth and Community Worker and work in youth justice.

Graduates are also prepared for work in a range of social welfare and social care posts, such as Social Worker, Drug Rehabilitation worker, Housing Officer and Victim Support.

Key information

Entry Requirements

The typical offer for this programme is 80-112 points in an appropriate discipline:

  • A levels - BCC-CDD to exclude General Studies 
  • DMM - MMP from Extended Diploma 
  • Minimum of 5 GCSEs including English and mathematics at grade C/4 or above
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum score of 29 overall including 5 or above in English at standard level
  • Pass Access to HE Diploma in related discipline

Candidates need to understand that successful completion of the BA(Hons) in Profession of Policing (Pre-join) programme does not guarantee entry to any Police Service in England and Wales. It essential that students considering this course and a career in the police service should make themselves aware of the eligibility criteria as well as the Police Code of Ethics

If you want to join the Police Service in England and Wales as a police constable, you must successfully undertake a number of recruitment stages. One of these is the Police SEARCH® Recruit Assessment Centre (more details can be found here). The Police SEARCH® Recruit Assessment Centre is a rigorous and standardised process involving observation of a candidate's performance across a variety of exercises, to assess their potential to perform the role of a police constable effectively and is used by forces to
ensure they recruit to meet their resourcing demands.

Applicants who are able to demonstrate relevant work/life skills or knowledge will also be considered on an individual basis

The programme is designed to put the work of the police constable in a contemporary context, allowing students to understand the legal and regulatory requirements of policing and how the police service is moving forward strategically.

You will gain insight into the issues of diversity, equality and human rights and how this impacts on your day-to-day conduct in the service. You will also learn how to gather evidence, how to deal sensitively with victims of and witnesses to crime as well as how to assess, respond and problem solve in frontline situations.

You will explore the criminal justice system and  how your work as a police officer is a critical part of this process. There will also be the opportunity to research more specific avenues of policing such as counter-terrorism and community policing with an emphasis on your role in public protection.

By the end of the course, we envisage that our students will have all the core competencies necessary to apply to become a police constable, with the knowledge, experience and behaviours to pave the way to success.

Qualification obtained

BA (Hons) in Professional Policing (Pre Join)

Fees and funding

Please visit our finance page for more information on tuition fees and available financial support.

Extra costs and equipment

Every course has day-to-day costs for basic books, stationery, printing and photocopying. The amounts vary between courses.

There will be the opportunity to go on a variety of trips, these are optional and you will be expected to meet any costs.

A DBS check may be required for this course and will incur an additional cost (£44 plus a yearly update service of £13 per year).

Please note that all fees are subject to change.

Regulation and Accreditation

Accrediting Institute: N/A

Awarding Body: Lancaster University

Regulatory Body: Office for Students (OfS)

Terms and conditions

Read our full terms and conditions for more information.

What will I learn?

Industry placement, field trips and guest speakers

The programme follows a traditional degree structure and the modules that make up the curriculum include core or key themes that naturally interrelate and build upon previous knowledge at different stages and reflect key aspects of knowledge in the National Policing Curriculum.

A unique feature of the programme is that it is very employer focused and reflects contemporary society and the police. You will complete formative and summative assessments which will be sector focused which will include live briefs, sector simulations and real-world case studies. There are many voluntary placements which you will be encouraged strongly to access outside of normal curriculum timetable.

Students are encouraged to volunteer as a Special Police Constable to develop their practice based understanding of taught material and to prepare them for a range of employment opportunities within the police service (this is subject to meeting the requirements of Lancashire Constabulary and those set out by the Home Office). However any volunteering/ Specials placements are not a requirement for successful completion of the programme.

  • Modules at level 4

    Module title Code Credits Optional
    Introduction to Policing TH4MD300 20 No
    Police Powers TH4MD301 20 No
    Policing Contemporary Society TH4MD302 20 No
    Public Protection Risk and Vulnerability TH4MD303 20 No
    Crime Prevention and Detection TH4MD304 20 No
    Researching the Evidence Skills and Methods TH4MD305 20 No
  • Modules at level 5

    Module title Code Credits Optional
    Digital Policing for a Digital Age TH5MD316 20 No
    Fieldwork for Policing TH5MD317 20 No
    Ethics Integrity and Professional Standards TH5MD318 20 No
    Criminal Procedure and Investigation TH5MD319 20 No
    Criminal Justice Environment TH5MD320 20 No
    Crime Abuse and Human Behaviour TH5MD321 20 No
  • Modules at level 6

    Module title Code Credits Optional
    Evidence Based Project TH6MD291 40 No
    Working with Victims and Witnesses TH6MD292 20 No
    Community Cohesion and Strategic Policing TH6MD293 20 No
    Information and Intelligence Case Management TH6MD294 20 No
    Counter Terrorism TH6MD295 20 No

Programme Specification

Download our Programme Specification for this course.

How will I learn?

Scheduled Learning

Scheduled time relates to the time you spend in directed study with the guidance and support of our academic tutors. Scheduled learning can take a variety of forms and will vary from one course to the next, but may include lectures, seminars, tutorials, project supervision, demonstrations, studio or workshop time, fieldwork and external visits.

Independent Study

Higher education courses rely on students undertaking work outside of formal, scheduled sessions and this is generally categorised as independent study. Independent study might include preparation for scheduled sessions, follow-up work, wider reading or practice, completion of assessment tasks and revision.

Expert tutors

All staff involved in the delivery of higher education courses within the College are approved to teach the subjects and modules they deliver.

The approval process ensures that staff delivering a given programme are appropriately qualified and, where appropriate, possess relevant technical and industrial experience and professional practice.

Learning Methods

Learning Method Level 4 Level 5 Level 6
Scheduled 288 288 236
Independent 912 912 964
Placement 0 0 0
Total 1200 1200 1200

How will I be assessed?

How will I be assessed?

Assessment Method Level 4 Level 5 Level 6
Coursework 77% 72% 88%
Exam 10% 10% 12%
Practical 13% 18% 0%