Policing MSc

London, Bloomsbury

The MSc in Policing is aimed at people with a keen interest in using evidence to improve policing for everyone. We particularly welcome applicants with professional experience in policing, be it as a police officer, staff member or professional in a related agency (e.g. the National Crime Agency or international equivalents).Our focus is on developing an evidence-based approach to address modern challenges of policing diverse communities and dealing with transnational organised crime, terrorism, cybercrime and evolving security threats, while upholding principles of procedural justice to increase police legitimacy and public confidence.

UK students International students
Study mode
UK tuition fees (2023/24)
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2023/24)
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
1 calendar year
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2023
Applications accepted
All applicants: 17 Oct 2022 – 30 Jun 2023

Applications open

Entry requirements

Applicants should have, or expect to obtain before entry, a lower second-class Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. criminology, psychology, sociology, law, geography or hard science) from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Candidates who have at least five years' relevant professional experience are also eligible. In exceptional circumstances, students who do not fulfil these requirements may be considered.

The English language level for this programme is: Level 2

UCL Pre-Master's and Pre-sessional English courses are for international students who are aiming to study for a postgraduate degree at UCL. The courses will develop your academic English and academic skills required to succeed at postgraduate level. International Preparation Courses

Further information can be found on our English language requirements page.

Equivalent qualifications

Country-specific information, including details of when UCL representatives are visiting your part of the world, can be obtained from the International Students website.

International applicants can find out the equivalent qualification for their country by selecting from the list below. Please note that the equivalency will correspond to the broad UK degree classification stated on this page (e.g. upper second-class). Where a specific overall percentage is required in the UK qualification, the international equivalency will be higher than that stated below. Please contact Graduate Admissions should you require further advice.

About this degree

Leaders in policing deal with complex problems, new crime and security threats, increasing public scrutiny and limited resources. Study with us to equip yourself with the full range of skills needed to produce effective, evidence-based and ethical responses to policing’s biggest challenges. Our MSc will prepare you to make policing better for everyone. It is a multidisciplinary programme drawing on psychology, statistics, mathematics, engineering, architecture, forensic sciences, design, geography and computing and is designed to enable graduates to be effective leaders and managers in a modern diverse policing context.

Who this course is for

This programme is aimed at current and intended policing professionals and others who wish to study at postgraduate level to develop the skills and knowledge to use evidence to improve policing. The programme offers the opportunity to specialise in certain areas of policing such as cybercrime, organised crime and terrorism depending on your areas interest.

What this course will give you

The UCL Jill Dando Institute, of which UCL Department of Security & Crime Science is the core component, is the first research institution in the world devoted specifically to reducing crime through teaching, research, public policy analysis and by the dissemination of evidence-based information on crime reduction.

This MSc programme is delivered by experienced practitioners and researchers working in counter-terrorism, intelligence, law enforcement, risk assessment and other areas of policing. It boasts a unique multidisciplinary platform, being the only postgraduate programme of its kind in the world taught in a faculty of engineering sciences, integrating the cutting-edge of the social and engineering sciences in the security domain.

Our graduate students come from varied backgrounds; many are practitioners and are encouraged to contribute their experience in and out of the classroom.

The foundation of your career

This MSc will equip students to become future leaders and managers by enhancing problem solving and strategic thinking skills.

The focus on an evidence-based approach will enable practitioners and students to develop evidence-based thinking by adopting a scientific approach to effectively tackle crime, security, and law and order problems.


The programme will enable students to gain the skills to conduct rigorous analysis, use evidence-based approaches and develop a scientific approach as well as the ability to make sound policy decisions, and to become leaders in modern police forces. Graduates will gain analytical and other critical skills to progress in their current career. It is likely to lead to further future careers opportunities in:

  • Law enforcement
  • Security industry
  • Related companies
  • Government policy advisory roles
  • Strategic advisors to government and security agencies
  • Research

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and workshops. Distance learning students will have access to enhanced Internet-based tools and resources and virtual links between staff and students. Assessment is through unseen examinations, coursework, presentations, reports and project assignments.

Each taught module consists of 150 hours of content, which is a mixture of lectures, seminars, tutorials and self-directed study. A full-time student can expect to have around 10 hours of contact time during terms one and two, as well as self-directed study and time spent preparing for assessments.


This programme is undertaken for one year full time. The programme consists of five core modules (with a choice between Designing and Doing Research OR Quantitative Methods); three optional modules and a dissertation/report. Full time students will undertake taught modules in terms one & two, the dissertation will commence in term two and will be completed in the summer.

Optional modules will be on approved on a first come, first served basis.

This programme is undertaken up to five years for modular flexible students. The programme consists of five core modules (with a choice between Designing and Doing Research OR Quantitative Methods); three optional modules and a dissertation/report. Modular flexible students should take the module: Foundations of Security and Crime Science first and their dissertation as their final module, however other modules in the diet can be taken in any configuration in up to five years. The dissertation cannot be taken during the first year of registration.

Optional modules will be on approved on a first come, first served basis. We recommend that modular/flexible students who are also working full time spread the degree over at least three years to allow them to maintain a reasonable life/work balance.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability are subject to change. Modules that are in use for the current academic year are linked for further information. Where no link is present, further information is not yet available.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits. Upon successful completion of 180 credits, you will be awarded an MSc in Policing.


Details of the accessibility of UCL buildings can be obtained from AccessAble accessable.co.uk. Further information can also be obtained from the UCL Student Support & Wellbeing team.

Online and On campus at Roberts Building, G06 Sir Ambrose Fleming Lecture Theatre, Torrington Place, London, WC1E 7JE - Open day

Graduate Open Events: UCL Security and Crime Science

Join us online or on campus for our postgraduate taught open evening and hear from lecturers in crime science, terrorism, forensic science and policing. This is the perfect opportunity to find out what studying one of our MSc programmes entails, as well as learn about some of our latest research that feeds into the syllabus and apply for one of our bursary scholarships. The presentation will be followed by a Q&A session.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2023/24) £16,100
Tuition fees (2023/24) £32,100

Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.

The tuition fees shown are for the year indicated above. Fees for subsequent years may increase or otherwise vary. Where the programme is offered on a flexible/modular basis, fees are charged pro-rata to the appropriate full-time Master's fee taken in an academic session. Further information on fee status, fee increases and the fee schedule can be viewed on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

No additional costs.

For more information on additional costs for prospective students please go to our estimated cost of essential expenditure at Accommodation and living costs.

Funding your studies

UCL Security & Crime Science is offering up to 14 bursary scholarships of between £2,500 and £10,000 to outstanding applicants who have been offered places on one of our MSc programmes. Further information is available on the departmental website.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.

Brown Family Bursary

Deadline: 8 June 2023
Value: £15,000 (1 year)
Criteria Based on both academic merit and financial need
Eligibility: UK

Next steps

Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £90 for online applications and £115 for paper applications. Further information can be found at Application fees.

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Policing at graduate level
  • why you want to study Policing at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree.

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver.

It is important to note that statistical analysis of crime data is an integral component of all of our postgraduate programmes. While we do not require students to have a background in mathematics or statistics, in order to get the best out of studying with our department it is vital for our students to show a willingness to learn the concepts of statistics and quantitative research methods.  

Please note that you may submit applications for a maximum of two graduate programmes (or one application for the Law LLM) in any application cycle.

Choose your programme

Please read the Application Guidance before proceeding with your application.

Year of entry: 2023-2024

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.