Undergraduate BSc (Hons)

Professional Policing

School of Health and Society





Three year

Six year

Next enrolment

September 2024


In a nutshell

This course provides you with comprehensive knowledge and preparation for a career in policing. The programme focuses on developing a deep understanding of the role of a police officer. In addition to honing operational and practical skills, you will critically examine the Criminal Justice System (CJS).

Throughout, you will have the chance to apply theory to practice with case studies and research projects. There will be simulation exercises based on policing scenarios which allow students to develop key interpersonal skills are a key part of the programme. In year 3 students will undertake a community placement.

There are a range of assessments that will allow students to demonstrate their use of key skills such as researching information, presentation and academic writing skills. Assessments such as policy briefings are linked to the sort of real-world task that an officer would undertake. 

Although studying this course does not guarantee entry to the police service, it is a recognised entry route to police constable and provides graduates with the skills to progress a career in policing or other areas linked to the criminal justice system.

You will:

  • Learn the essential knowledge, skills and professional approaches that are required in modern policing
  • Critically explore the role of the police
  • Explore the complex and diverse nature of modern communities
  • Develop critical thinking and research skills
  • Study a programme approved by the College of Policing

options available


students accepted

Course approved by:

College of Policing logo

This is for you if...


You are interested in a career in policing


You are interested in a career in other areas of the criminal justice system or related professions


You are interested in crime and wider social issues


You have a critical mind (with a sprinkling of scepticism)


You are a problem solver and able to think fast on your feet


You have a strong desire to help other people

Course details

All about the course

The recruitment process for police officers has seen significant changes. Completing this pre-join degree in Professional Policing is a recognised pathway into the police service. 

This BSc in Professional Policing is a qualification designed and verified by the College of Policing to meet the new requirements and seeks to address the critical questions and issues that the modern police officer will face.

You will study six modules per year in areas such as; investigation management, response policing, policing communities, criminology and criminological research methods. Specific subject areas include cyber-crime, counter terrorism, investigation of serious crime, dealing with vulnerability and safe-guarding victims and criminological theories of crime and society. The course is underpinned with modules and support on academic skills, research methods and professional development, culminating in an evidenced based project (dissertation) on a contemporary policing issue of your choice. 

This programme offers unique opportunities to experience inter-professional learning, simulation exercises and community engagement. You will be able to share learning experiences with students from other courses such as Nursing, Social Work and Criminology, including shared modules and practice exercises. This will enhance your learning and prepare you for working in practice with other linked professions. 

You will have the opportunity to do work placements and will be able to take advantage of our strong links with various organisations across Greater Manchester. We also encourage you to join the Special Constabulary of Greater Manchester Police if you wish to. 

The programme team includes former police officers with many years of professional knowledge and experience in a wide variety of policing disciplines as well as leading academics from criminology, sociology, social policy and social work. 

Year one

Understanding Vulnerability and Risk

In this module you will explore the factors that place individuals, groups and communities at increased risk or make them potentially more vulnerable. 

The Practice of Policing

In this module you will explore the role of the police constable in key areas including response policing, counter-terrorism, roads policing and cyber crime.

Policing and Society

In this module you will explore the role of the police constable in modern society and the challenges of policing different crime types in a variety of settings. 

Criminal Justice and Human Rights

You will be introduced to the form, key features and purpose of the institutions of the contemporary criminal justice system in England and Wales and begin an exploration of the issues relating to justice and civil liberties. 

Contemporary Issues in Policing

This module introduces you to key issues in contemporary policing and explores the diverse nature of the communities across the City region.

Academic Skills

This module will help you develop and fine tune a range of study skills, including essay writing, time management, presentations, and critical thinking.

Year two

Safeguarding and Policing

The focus of this module is developing skills in the gathering and evaluation of information so that students can identify and assess vulnerability and risk and enhance public protection. 

Research Problems and Methods: Qualitatively Better

You will develop an understanding of competing methodological approaches to social research. The focus throughout this module will be on learning and experiencing applied methods to address "real world" research social problems. You will gain a working knowledge, and practical experience of, alternative methods of collecting, reporting and presenting qualitative data. 

Complexity and Challenges of Operational Policing

You will gain an understanding of the survey research process, including forming a suitable research question, operationalisation, and types of sampling strategy. You will gain knowledge of key concepts in quantitative research, including statistical significance and probability and practical experience of alternative methods of analysing qualitative data. 

Internet Risk and Security

This module explores a range of issues relevant to our digital age including hacking, online victimisation, darknet drug markets and tackling online child sexual exploitation. 

Communities, Policing and Public Protection

This module focuses on developing a critical understanding of strategies of crime prevention and public protection and the importance of working alongside communities across the City region.  

Year three

Dissertation - Policing

You will examine a policing related topic of your choice in an independent piece of research, exploring an area of your own academic, professional or personal interest. 

Dealing with a Complex Investigation

In this module, you will follow an investigation into a serious incident from the first report to the police to a court hearing. Students will develop practical skills that are critical to an investigation including interviewing, witnesses and preparing a court file. 

The Politics of Policing

This module explores contemporary debates about the nature and role of policing. 

Community Placement

The placement will offer you an opportunity to gain first-hand experience working in a community setting, and to develop key work-based skills such as teamwork, time management and communication skills. 

Please note that it may not be possible to deliver the full list of options every year as this will depend on factors such as how many students choose a particular option. Exact modules may also vary in order to keep content current. When accepting your offer of a place to study on this programme, you should be aware that not all optional modules will be running each year. Your tutor will be able to advise you as to the available options on or before the start of the programme. Whilst the University tries to ensure that you are able to undertake your preferred options, it cannot guarantee this.

What will I be doing?


The course is delivered by a team of expert academics, based in sociology and criminology, alongside former senior police officers. The team members have carried out research in key areas of policing and the wider criminal justice system (CJS). In addition, members of the programme team have extensive practical and operational experience as police officers. 

We use a variety of teaching and learning methods to cater for all styles of learning. This includes:

  • Lectures
  • Group tutorials
  • Seminars- in groups and based on a lecture subject or allocated reading
  • Presentations - including those given from someone working in the profession - the programme team will organise regular visits from high-profile speakers, including serving senior police officers
  • Student-directed study - where work is assigned and deadlines given
  • Site visits - where you can gain a working insight into organisations and institutions linked to this course
  • Simulation

We place emphasis on the acquisition of individual transferable skills as well as the development of knowledge and skills important to those working in the field.


A variety of assessment methods will be used, these include:

  • Essays
  • Policy briefing papers
  • Seminar reports
  • Presentations
  • Exams
  • Dissertation

The School of Health and Society

The School of Health and Society is a forward-thinking, dynamic school with a commitment to lifelong learning and real world impact.

Our courses are informed by the latest research and we work closely with organisations from both the public and private sector to ensure our teaching is at the forefront of practice.

Explore our school

Real World Learning

Our facilities reflect real working environments that enable our students develop their skills under supervision, while preparing to confidently enter the workplace. 

We have a range of simulation environments including our Immersive Simulation Room which allows users to be transported to any environment without having to leave the suite. The technology combines a series of cameras which project realistic images onto the walls, with audio equipment to transform the space into anything from the back of an ambulance to a nightclub, prison cell or crime scene. 

The suite is fully fitted with an audio-visual system which allows scenarios to be streamed, recorded and played back. It is a discrete, multi-camera and microphone system through which different views (including close-ups of procedures) can be achieved. Through advanced audio, a voice can be provided for manikins in response to the user's interactions and clinical interventions.

You will use the healthcare simulation suites on specially organised 'simulation days' which will involve working on scenarios with students and staff from across the School of Health and Society.

Employment and stats

What about after uni?

The Professional Policing degree will provide you with the knowledge required prior to joining the police service. However, this is not the only career option open to graduates. Students will develop a range of interpersonal, professional and academic skills over the course of the programme. This combination alongside the fact that the degree is verified by the College of Policing will ensure that graduates are outstanding candidates for  not only policing posts but also roles in other areas such as civilian investigation, crime reduction, probation, security and criminal justice policy development.  

The successful completion of the Degree in Professional Policing does not guarantee that you will be offered a post as a trainee Police Constable. Each police force within England and Wales has its own recruitment and selection process.  

We also offer postgraduate courses in areas that may be of interest to you, such as:

A taste of what you could become

Police Constable

Intelligence Analyst

Policy Officer

Civilian Investigator

NCA Investigator

Career Links

We have close associations with industry and professional bodies such as:

  • Greater Manchester Police
  • HMP Risely
  • HMP Manchester
  • HMP Forest Bank
  • Greater Manchester Probation Authority
  • HMP Liverpool
  • Salford Magistrates Court
  • Salford – Youth Offending Team

This provides you with a number of benefits such as field visits, attendance at national and international conferences, portfolio surgeries, guest speakers, workshops and placements.


What you need to know


An ideal student would have:

  • An interest in crime and its occurrence
  • A critical mind (with a sprinkling of scepticism). This will require you to think about things in ways that look beyond the taken-for-granted assumptions
  • An interest in working with people
  • Strong people skills 
  • Good communication skils
  • Compassion
  • An interest in helping people
  • A positive mindset 


If you are an international student and not from a majority English speaking country, you will need IELTS 6.0 with no element below 5.5. We also accept a range of other English language qualifications. If you do not have the English language requirements, you could take the Pre-Sessional English course to gain entry onto this degree.

Standard entry requirements


GCSE English Language/Literature and Mathematics at grade C/grade 4 or above. Level 2 equivalencies will also be accepted. You must fulfil our GCSE entry requirements as well as one of the requirements listed below.

UCAS tariff points

112 points

A level

112 points. You do not need any specific A levels for this course.

BTEC National Diploma


BTEC Higher National Diploma

Equivalent of 112 points


If applying to start from September 2024, you will need T Level - Merit

Foundation degree

Applicants will be considered for entry into first year

Access to HE

112 points. Sociology and Social Sciences preferred.

Scottish Highers

112 points

Irish Leaving Certificate

112 points


International Students

We accept qualifications from all around the world. Find your country to see a full list of entry requirements.

Alternative Entry Requirements

Salford Alternative Entry Scheme (SAES)

We welcome applications from students who may not meet the stated entry criteria but who can demonstrate their ability to pursue the course successfully. Once we have received your application we will assess it and recommend it for SAES if you are an eligible candidate.

There are two different routes through the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme and applicants will be directed to the one appropriate for their course. Assessment will either be through a review of prior learning or through a formal test.

To be considered for the Salford Alternative Entry Scheme you must have already achieved or be working towards GCSE Maths and English Grade C/4 (or equivalent).

How much?

Type of study Year Fees
Full-time home 2024/25 £9,250.00per year
Full-time international 2024/25 £15,720.00per year

Additional costs

You should also consider further costs which may include books, stationery, printing, binding and general subsistence on trips and visits.

Scholarships for international students

If you are a high-achieving international student, you may be eligible for one of our scholarships.
Explore our International Scholarships.


Apply now

All set? Let's apply

Still have some questions? Register for one of our Open Days or contact us:

By email: enquiries@salford.ac.uk
By phone: +44 (0)161 295 4545

Enrolment dates

September 2024

UCAS information

Course ID L436

Institution S03