Undergraduate prospectus 2022


Professional Policing BSc

The BSc in Professional Policing is for keen and motivated candidates wishing to join a police organisation and become future leaders and managers. The programme will provide students with the knowledge and skills needed to pursue a career in policing and contribute effectively to the criminal justice system. Through a mix of lectures, seminars, work placement and projects, students will gain a thorough understanding of the theory, science and practice of policing.

Key Information

Programme starts

September 2022
UCAS code
Full-time: 3 years
Application deadline
26 January 2022
London, Bloomsbury

Entry requirements

A Levels

No specific subjects. At least two A level subjects should be taken from UCL's list of preferred A level subjects. WJEC Level 3 Applied Diploma in Criminology is acceptable in lieu of one A Level subject.
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.

Contextual offer

BBB (more about contextual offers)
No specific subjects. At least two A level subjects should be taken from UCL's list of preferred A level subjects.
English Language and Mathematics at grade C or 5.

IB Diploma

A total of 17 points in three higher level subjects, with no score below 5.

Contextual offer

32 (more about contextual offers)
A total of 15 points in three higher level subjects, with no score below 5.

UK applicants qualifications

For entry requirements with other UK qualifications accepted by UCL, choose your qualification from the list below:

Equivalent qualification

BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (RQF – teaching from 2016) with Distinction, Distinction, Distinction and Distinction in at least three of the following five courses: Introduction to Criminology; Police Powers and the Law; Research Skills in the Uniformed Protective Services; Criminal Investigations Procedures and Practice; Professional Development in the Uniformed Protective Services.

Pass in Access to HE Diploma with a minimum of 30 credits at Distinction and 15 credits at Merit, all from Level 3 units.

D3,D3,M1 in three Cambridge Pre-U Principal Subjects.

A,A,B at Advanced Highers (or A,A at Advanced Higher and B,B,B at Higher).

Successful completion of the WBQ Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate plus 2 GCE A levels at grades AAB.

International applications

In addition to A level and International Baccalaureate, UCL considers a wide range of international qualifications for entry to its undergraduate degree programmes.

Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates

UCL Undergraduate Preparatory Certificates (UPCs) are intensive one-year foundation courses for international students of high academic potential who are aiming to gain access to undergraduate degree programmes at UCL and other top UK universities.

Typical UPC students will be high achievers in a 12-year school system which does not meet the standard required for direct entry to UCL.

For more information see: ucl.ac.uk/upc.

English language requirements

If your education has not been conducted in the English language, you will be expected to demonstrate evidence of an adequate level of English proficiency. Information about the evidence required, acceptable qualifications and test providers can be found on our English language requirements page.

The English language level for this programme is: Good

A variety of English language programmes are offered at the UCL Centre for Languages & International Education.

Degree benefits

  • UCL Security & Crime Science is the first university department in the world devoted specifically to reducing crime and other risks to personal and national security, and houses the Institute for Global City Policing, which aims to foster cutting edge research on policing in a globalised world.

  • You will be provided with the latest knowledge, technical and human skills needed to pursue a successful career in policing and related law enforcement professions. 

  • You will learn the philosophical and theoretical justifications for adopting an evidenced based and scientific approach to professional policing practice, and explore applications to a wide range of crime and security problems.

  • You will be taught by academic experts in security and crime reduction, with input from practitioners and policymakers to provide a focus on real-world relevance and impact. 

Degree structure

In each year of your degree you will take a number of individual modules, normally valued at 15 or 30 credits, adding up to a total of 120 credits for the year. Modules are assessed in the academic year in which they are taken. The balance of compulsory and optional modules varies from programme to programme and year to year. A 30-credit module is considered equivalent to 15 credits in the European Credit Transfer System (ECTS).

In the first year, all your modules are compulsory, introducing fundamental concepts related to crime and security, criminological theories and legal powers of the police. 

In year two, in addition to compulsory modules, you will be able to choose from a range of options, according to your specific area of interest, including a work placement based module within police forces as Special Constables or shadowing police officers (subject to availability and eligibility).

In the final year you will undertake six compulsory taught modules. You will also carry out a six month empirical research project enabling you to source, analyse, and evaluate the available evidence, and to adapt and apply it in the context of routine policing, thus contributing to the existing evidence base on policing related challenges.

Upon successful completion of 360 credits, you will be awarded a BSc (Hons) in Professional Policing.


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 is subject to change.

Compulsory module(s)

  • Crime and society
  • Introduction to security and crime science
  • Police powers and procedures
  • Probability, statistics and modelling I
  • Qualitative methods 
  • Response policing
  • Countering Terrorism
  • Understanding the crime event

Optional modules

All first year modules are compulsory.

Compulsory module(s)

  • Cybercrime
  • Introduction to research
  • Policing theory and evidence
  • Policing the roads
  • Situational Crime Prevention 
  • Project in policing
  • Safeguarding and public protection

Optional modules

Students must choose one of the following three modules:

  • Forensic psychology 
  • Perspectives on organised crime
  • Professional practice in the workplace

Compulsory module(s)

  • Criminal investigation and intelligence
  • Ethical policing
  • Information and intelligence
  • Models of policing for crime reduction
  • Police decision making
  • Police and the public
  • Security and crime science research project

Optional modules

All third year modules are compulsory.

Your learning

A combination of lectures, seminars, workshops, individual and group projects will form your learning experience, which also includes problem-based learning methods, outcome-based analysis and research activities.

Only UK nationals who clear basic CTC vetting will be eligible to choose work placements as Special Constables with selected police forces as part of their Professional Practice in the Workplace module. Students will have to fulfil the entry requirements and pass the standard physical tests in order to apply for work placements as Special Constables in selected police forces. Police forces will interview and select suitable applicants who will agree to commit to undergoing additional compulsory training prior to the commencement of their placement. Those who do not choose to undertake placement as a special constable or are not selected will be given opportunities to apply for other relevant research based work placements with law enforcement and security agencies.


A wide range of assessment methods are used by this programme, including unseen examinations, coursework assignments, practical assignments, oral presentations, poster presentations, policy reports and the dissertation.

Detailed module descriptions are available on the department website: Professional Policing BSc.


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


You will gain the necessary insight and skills, both intellectual and practical, to take up a wide range of crime and security-relevant positions throughout the world. The multidisciplinary approach gives you a competitive edge in the job market through your ability to work across disciplines in the service of crime reduction. However, please note, there are no guarantees of entry to a police force post completion. 

As the first cohort of this programme will graduate in 2023, we do not have any career destinations available. However, we anticipate that the majority of graduates will enter the policing profession. Please note that every police force has its own recruitment, selection and eligibility requirements and you will need to successfully pass these stages.

To research policing roles and eligibility criteria, it is recommended that you look through the force’s website in your preferred area. The link below provides a list of all UK police forces, and you can click on the force you are interested in and navigate to the recruitment or careers section on their website: https://www.police.uk/forces/

UCL is committed to helping you get the best start after graduation. Read more about how UCL Careers and UCL Innovation and Enterprise can help you find employment or learn about entrepreneurship.

Fees and funding

Tuition fees

The fees indicated are for undergraduate entry in the 2021/22 academic year. The UK fees shown are for the first year of the programme at UCL only. Fees for future years may be subject to an inflationary increase. The Overseas fees shown are the fees that will be charged to 2021/22 entrants for each year of study on the programme, unless otherwise indicated below. Fees for the 2022/23 academic year will be advertised as soon as they are available.

UK students
£9,250 (2021/22)
Overseas students
£25,800 (2021/22)

Full details of UCL's tuition fees, tuition fee policy and potential increases to fees can be found on the UCL Students website: ucl.ac.uk/students/fees.

Additional costs

A guide including rough estimates for these and other living expenses is included on the UCL Fees and funding pages. If you are concerned by potential additional costs for books, equipment, etc., please get in touch with the relevant departmental contact (details given on this page).


Various funding options are available, including student loans, scholarships and bursaries. UK students whose household income falls below a certain level may also be eligible for a non-repayable bursary or for certain scholarships. Please see the Fees and funding pages for more details.

Departmental scholarships

Funding opportunities relevant to the department may appear in this section when they are available. Please check carefully or confirm with the programme contact to ensure they apply to this degree programme.

The Scholarships and Funding website lists scholarships and funding schemes available to UCL students. These may be open to all students, or restricted to specific nationalities, regions or academic department.

Application and next steps

Your application

In addition to academic requirements, we will also use your application to assess your motivation for studying professional policing. We will be seeking applicants committed to studying at the highest level, and who are eager, and able, to rise to the challenges presented both by the programme and by a career in this field.

How to apply

Application for admission should be made through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service). Applicants currently at school or college will be provided with advice on the process; however, applicants who have left school or who are based outside the United Kingdom may obtain information directly from UCAS.

Application deadline: 26 January 2022


For further information on UCL's selection process see: Selection of students.

UCL is regulated by the Office for Students.

Page last modified on 9 August 2021