Policing MSc

London, Bloomsbury

Our Policing MSc focuses on developing an evidence-based approach to addressing modern challenges of policing diverse communities and dealing with 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 (2024/25)
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
Overseas tuition fees (2024/25)
Programme also available on a modular (flexible) basis.
1 calendar year
5 calendar years
Programme starts
September 2024
Applications accepted
Applicants who require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 28 Jun 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

Applications open

Applicants who do not require a visa: 16 Oct 2023 – 30 Aug 2024
Applications close at 5pm UK time

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 3

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.

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

Policing MSc is a multidisciplinary degree programme drawing on psychology, statistics, mathematics, engineering, architecture, forensic sciences, design, geography and computing. It is designed to enable graduates to be effective leaders and managers in a modern diverse policing context.

By studying with us, you will equip yourself with the full range of skills needed to produce effective, evidence-based and ethical responses to the biggest challenges in policing. These include dealing with complex problems, new crime and security threats, increasing public scrutiny and limited resources. 

Who this course is for

This programme 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, for example as a police officer, staff member or professional in a related agency (e.g. the National Crime Agency or international equivalents).

Our MSc programme offers the opportunity to specialise in certain areas of policing such as cybercrime, organised crime and terrorism depending on your area of interest.

What this course will give you

Our Policing MSc 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; it is 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 apply their experience in and out of the classroom.

The foundation of your career

Students will gain the skills required to conduct rigorous analysis, use evidence-based approaches, make sound policy decisions, and become leaders in modern police forces. 

Using these strategic thinking skills is likely to lead to further future careers opportunities in:

  • Law enforcement
  • Security industry and related companies
  • Government policy advisory roles
  • Strategic advisors to government and security agencies
  • Further research


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 offers an array of networking opportunities such as careers events, seminars conducted under the aegis of the Centre for Global City Policing, and annual events such as the Women in Security showcase and the International Crime Science Conference. All of these events aim to enrich students’ academic experience and professional growth.

These events also provide a platform for students to connect with law enforcement practitioners across the world and researchers across academia, government, and related organisations, offering a chance to learn from their expertise and establish valuable contacts.

Teaching and learning

Assessment is through unseen examinations, coursework, presentations, reports and project assignments.

The programme is delivered through a mixture 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. 

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. 

Students will undertake taught modules in terms one and two, with the dissertation commencing in term two and being completed in the summer term.

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

This programme can be undertaken for 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 Foundations of Security and Crime Science module first and their dissertation as their final module. Other modules in the diet can be taken in any configuration over up to five years. 

The dissertation cannot be taken during the first year of registration. Optional modules will be 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 work-life 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 and Wellbeing team.

Online and In-person at Roberts Building, Sir David Davies Lecture Theatre G08, Torrington Place, London, WC1E 7JE - Open day

Graduate Open Events: Security and Crime Science

Join our open event series to learn more about our MSc courses, future career opportunities and what it's like to be part of our fantastic community. You will also have the opportunity to ask questions and speak to our programme convenors, admission tutors and current students.

Fees and funding

Fees for this course

UK students International students
Fee description Full-time
Tuition fees (2024/25) £17,300
Tuition fees (2024/25) £34,400

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

There are no additional costs associated with this programme.

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 a number of scholarships of up to £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.

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.

You will need to complete our application, making sure to address the below points in your personal statement.

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 this programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally on completion of 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 part of all of our postgraduate programmes. While we do not require students to have a background in mathematics or statistics, 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: 2024-2025

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.