Cardiff School of Education & Social Policy>Courses>Professional Policing - BA (Hons) Degree

Professional Policing - BA (Hons) Degree

Entry Year

From 2020, policing in England and Wales became a graduate profession.

The BA (Hons) Professional Policing degree at Cardiff Met will help prepare you for a career as a police officer. This police course is designed to meet all the core requirements of the National Police Curriculum for the College of Policing’s pre-join degree in Professional Policing.

​Modern policing is facing new professional challenges and the communities served by the police are increasingly diverse and complex, with differing needs and priorities. The nature of crime is also evolving. The constable role sits at the heart of effective professional policing.

This pre-join degree aims to equip you with the knowledge, skills and experience required for the police constable role. It aims to develop high levels of professional knowledge and skills across a range of complex and challenging situations and contexts, as well as demonstration of appropriate behaviours congruent with effective and appropriate front-line policing.

This BA (Hons) Professional Policing degree is an academic knowledge-based degree based upon the National Policing Curriculum for the police constable role; licensed by the College of Policing.

Foundation Year

This degree can be studied as a three-year full-time degree or a four-year full-time degree that includes a year of foundational study. Our foundation year is intended to prepare you for your subsequent years of studying, offering you the chance to strengthen your skills, knowledge and confidence.

The foundation year will be relevant to:

  1. Students who aspire to enrol onto the first year of a social science-based honours degree programme, who have not achieved the standard entry requirements to enter at year one of the chosen degree.
  2. Students who have not studied subjects that provide the necessary background within the scientific disciplines required to enter at year one of the chosen degree.

Find out more about the foundation year.

Please note: You will need to apply using a specific UCAS code if you wish to undertake the 4 years including foundation. Please refer to Key Course Information at the bottom of this page.

Course Content

Year ​One / Level 4

  • Understanding the role of the police: This module aims to develop students' knowledge of historical developments within law and policy.  In addition, it will facilitate their understanding of the role of a professional police constable and the principles that should underpin-personal interaction in that role. 
  • Ethics, equality and inclusion: This module aims to introduce and explore professional approaches to policing, demonstrating fairness, ethics and integrity. In addition, it will support students as they develop a learning and assessment-based portfolio, that evidences an understanding of ethical considerations within contemporary policing.
  • Introduction to research and employability: This module aims to support students for learning and on-going personal and professional development in higher education.  Facilitate students' understanding of evidence-based policing and evidence-based research. In addition, it will provide students with a platform for disseminating information via a range of media.
  • Criminal justice: This module aims to develop students' knowledge of the criminal justice system, whilst facilitating their understanding of the making of criminal justice policy.  Students will identify and explore the relationships between Police law, policy and procedure.  
  • Policing communities: This module aims to develop students' knowledge and understanding of the need for effective communication to foster partnerships.  Students will expand their understanding of the role of a professional police constable from the perspective of the wider community.  Students will identify and explore the relationships between police and society.
  • Criminology and crime prevention: This module aims to develop students' understanding of criminological theory.  Students will apply this knowledge and understanding to 'live' scenarios.  Sessions will facilitate an opportunity to contextualise theoretical understanding of POP (Problem-Oriented Policing).

Year Two / Level 5

  • Evidence-based Policing: This module aims to develop students' understanding of the nature of and importance of evidence-based policing and evidence-based research. Students will identify the possibilities of problem-orientated policing, whilst developing an understanding of research methods and data analysis.
  • Response Policing: This module aims to develop students' understanding of the response policing role and of legislation/powers used in response policing encounters.  Students will examine specific challenges faced by response officers and response encounters (street gang/crowd, joint services, weapons and citizen encounter).
  • Vulnerability and risk: This module aims to develop students' knowledge of the complexity and presentation of vulnerability in the context of policing.  Sessions will facilitate students' understanding of the diverse nature, experience and causes of victimization.
  • Policing the roads: This module aims to develop students' knowledge of historical developments within law/policy.  Sessions will facilitate students' understanding of the role of professional practice within the context of policing the roads.  Students will continue to Identify and explore the relationships between police law, policy and procedure.
  • Information and intelligence: This module aims to develop students' understanding of the processes for gathering and using information for the purposes of investigating crime.  Sessions will facilitate students' understanding of the multi-agency networks within the context of information and intelligence, both national and international.  The module will provide students with an opportunity to disseminate information via a range of media, to a range of stakeholders.
  • Conducting investigations: This module aims to develop students' knowledge and understanding of the interview process.  Sessions will facilitate students' understanding of the role of a professional police constable when applying a range of interview methods.  This module will provide students with an opportunity to apply theoretical understanding of methods to a live scenario.

Year Three / Level 6

  • Evidence-based Policing dissertation: This module aims to develop students' ability to undertake evidence-based research independently in an area of specific interest to them.  Students' will independently select, rationalise and implement an extended written project.  The module will also develop students' ability to coherently and fully present the project in an academic style.
  • Public protection: This module aims to develop students' knowledge of public protection within law/policy.  Students will explore ethical practice in a policing role and identify the relationships between police law, policy and procedure within a diverse community.
  • Decision making and discretion: This module aims to identify the effect of bias on the decision-making process.  The module will provide students with the opportunity to apply the National Decision Model (NDM) in a role play situation. Whilst developing students' understanding of how discretion might be applied where policing decisions have to be made.
  • Counter terrorism: This module aims to develop students' knowledge of contemporary developments within counter terrorism.  Sessions will facilitate students' understanding of the organisational structures and inter-relationships that exist in counter-terrorism policing.  Students will identify and explore the relationships between police law, policy and procedure both nationally and internationally.
  • Digital Policing: This module aims to develop students' ability to disseminate contemporary ideas in digital policing.  Affording students the opportunity to demonstrate independent thinking and research within the context of contemporary policing.  Sessions will develop students' understanding of the ethical implications within the context of digital policing and digital-facilitated crimes.
Key specialist subject areas will be in line with the Policing Education Qualifications Framework (PEQF) and College of Policing requirements and will include: 

  • Communication, ethics and integrity, evidence-based policing, leadership and management
  • Ensuring public safety
  • Supporting victims
  • Conducting investigations
  • Maximising information and intelligence
  • Preventing and reducing crime
  • Protecting vulnerable people

Learning & Teaching

We use a variety of teaching approaches designed to accommodate a range of learning needs. This includes workshops, seminars, lectures and virtual learning environments. Students will also be presented with simulated complex policing problems that they are required to analyse and synthesise an appropriate response for. These simulated exercises are designed to develop problem solving and decision making skills.

Each 20 credit module has approximately 200 hours of study attached to it. Typically, 48 of these hours will be delivered in taught sessions such as lectures, seminars and workshops, usually scheduled as 4 hours per week. Approximately 52 hours are assigned for directed study and preparation tasks which are set weekly as part of the taught sessions and the remaining 100 hours are self-directed study where students undertake the reading required for the module and complete their required assessment.

Every student is assigned a personal tutor when they begin the course and this tutor supports them for the entirety of their degree. There are scheduled tutorial meetings that students attend, but tutors also operate an open-door policy which allows students to access them outside the scheduled meetings. The university has well-established student support provision for students who have additional learning needs and also is equipped to deal with any issues that arise during the course of a student's studies. 

The modules are supported through the use of the University's Virtual Learning Environment, Moodle, which is web based and so is accessible anywhere via the internet. All course based material is held here, including lecture and seminar presentations, assessment information and additional reading or resources. Tutors also use Moodle to email students with information and updates. 

Modules will be delivered in four-week blocks that allow students to deeply engage with each subject. Students study one module at a time and therefore focus on only one assessment. This concentrated focus enables students to explore topics in greater depth, developing a level of rational criticality appropriate with University study. With a particular emphasis on collaborative enquiry, allowing for greater integration and synthesis of learning. 

Modules will be delivered across campuses to integrate the use of not only specialist staff but also specialist spaces. 


The staff on this programme are from a variety of backgrounds, with both national and international experience within their specialisms. They are committed to providing a high quality, supportive learning environment. A range of contemporary pedagogical approaches will be incorporated in the delivery of each module.  Policing specialists and academics from disciplines spanning across all Schools within the university (law, digital technology, education, social policy, and youth and community work) will provide multiple contemporary perspectives, engaging students in communities of enquiry.  


The Professional Policing course will be taught across both the Cyncoed and Llandaff campuses, where students will benefit from a range of facilities.

Cyncoed is a busy campus that offers on-site accommodation, excellent sporting facilities and a purpose-built Campus Centre including an on-site shop, coffee bars and refectory. We also have a psychology laboratory, drama studio, and plenty of outdoor space.

​At Cyncoed, students will put knowledge into practice at our dedicated Crime House, taking part in mock scenarios such as house searches, booking into custody, and victim and suspect interviews.

Llandaff is a busy and bustling campus. With millions of pounds of recent investment, it offers state-of-the art learning facilities for our students. At the Llandaff Campus students will be able to learn in our new Moot Court room, simulating elements of a criminal trial alongside Cardiff Met LLB (Hons) Law students.

Throughout this policing degree, students will take part in policing related scenarios and simulated exercises designed to develop problem solving and decision making skills. All of these facilities provide our students with excellent opportunities for immersive learning. 


Assessments are interesting and varied and are closely mapped to the requirements of the College of Policing. Assessments are designed to maximise learning and provide realistic opportunities to demonstrate knowledge and understanding.

The assessments are completed on either an individual or group basis. Modules have integrated b assessments: critical essays, exhibitions, portfolios and live scenarios. These all focus on developing students' knowledge, understanding and skills in relation to the Evidence-Based Policing dissertation that students undertake in their final year of study.

Students are given the submission dates for assessments at the start of each module, as well as an assessment overview grid for the whole of the academic year to help them plan and manage their time effectively. Students receive individual feedback on their work that identifies strengths and areas for improvement. 

Employability & Careers

The Cardiff Met BA (Hons) Professional Policing will help prepare you for a career as a police officer.

The Professional Policing degree is one of the recognised routes to becoming a police constable. While successful completion of the degree will not guarantee you entry into the police force, if you are subsequently accepted by the police (during a five year period after graduation) you will benefit from a shorter on-the-job training programme. Graduates will also need to meet the specified fitness, medical and other recruitment requirements of your chosen police force. A successful recruit to the police service via this entry route is subject to a two-year probationary period as specified in Police Regulations.

Graduates can also pursue careers in other organisations, for example: GCHQ, National Crime Agency, probation service, military police, private security industry. 

At Cardiff Met, we pride ourselves on our record with employment and further opportunities for our students.

On completion of the degree, students may choose to apply to study at Cardiff Met at postgraduate level on our MA, MPhil and PhD courses, including the MSc Criminology and Criminal Investigations.

Entry Requirements & How to Apply

Typical Offers

​The following requirements are based on typical offers relevant to entering year 1 of the degree.

If you do not meet these entry requirements, we also offer a Foundation Year which allows progression to Year 1 upon successful completion.​

  • Tariff points: 104
  • Contextual offer: See our contextual offers page.
  • GCSE: Five GCSEs at Grade C / 4 or above to include English Language / Welsh First Language, Mathematics / Mathematics – Numeracy.
  • English Language Requirement: Academic IELTS 6.0 overall with at least 5.5 in all elements, or equivalent.
  • A level subjects: Minimum three A levels to include grades CCC. No specific subjects required. Welsh Baccalaureate – Advanced Skills Challenge Certificate considered as a third subject.
  • BTEC National / Cambridge Technical Extended Diploma: MMM
  • T Level: Merit.
  • Access to Higher Education Diploma: No specific subjects required.
  • International Baccalaureate (IB) Diploma: No specific subjects required.
  • Irish Leaving Certificate: 2 x H2. No specific subjects required. Higher level subjects only considered with a minimum grade H4.
  • Scottish Advanced Highers: Grade DD. No specific subjects required. Scottish Highers are also considered, either on their own or in combination with Advanced Highers.

Combinations of the above qualifications are accepted if they meet our minimum requirements. If your qualifications aren’t listed, please contact Admissions or refer to the UCAS Course Search.

Further information on Overseas qualifications can be found here.

If you are a mature applicant, have relevant experience or RPL that you would like us to consider, please contact Admissions.

How to Apply

Further information on how to apply can be found here.

South Wales Police Bursary

South Wales Police are offering a bursary scheme for Ethnic minorities and under-represented groups who apply to the BA (Hons) Professional Policing degree. Up to £4,000 is available to students.

Bursary application submission dates: From June until end of September
Bursary applications are reviewed from 1st October onwards

Find out more information and how to apply.

Contact Us

For general enquiries please contact the Admissions Team on 029 2041 6044 or email

For course specific enquiries, please contact Kelly Hill:


We endeavour to deliver courses as described and will not normally make changes to courses, such as course title, content, delivery, and teaching provision. However, it may be necessary for the university to make changes in the course provision before or after enrolment. It reserves the right to make variations to content or delivery methods, including discontinuation or merging courses if such action is considered necessary. Please read our Terms and Conditions for the full information.

Key Course Information

Licensed by: College of Policing

UCAS Codes:
L900 - 3-year degree
L90F - 4-year degree (including foundation year)

Place of Study:
Cyncoed Campus

Cardiff School of Education and Social Policy

Course Length:
Three years full-time.
Four years full-time if undertaking foundation year.​

Degree Highlights

In this short introduction video, Lewis Ambler tells us more about the degree in Professional Policing.


“We pride ourselves on having a diverse range of experience in our teaching team. We have staff who are ex police officers in the UK and USA, and ex Crime Scene Investigators who bring their expertise to the role and share their experiences with the students. Being able to draw on first-hand case studies really helps to put into perspective what policing is really like and gives students an opportunity to test their skills when thinking about how they would deal with a situation had they been Police Officers dealing with it.”

Kelly Hill, Professional Policing Course Lecturer and Programme Director

Take the Moot Court tour

Take a virtual walkthrough of our Moot Court room at our Llandaff Campus.


Our dedicated Crime House facilities include a custody suite, observation and surveillance suite, and victim and suspect interview room, which provide you with critical simulated learning opportunities to put the knowledge and skills you learn into practice.

Being a Special Constable and receiving a Commendation Award whilst studying Professional Policing at Cardiff Met

“During the degree, lecturers always informed us of exciting or new opportunities available to us. When they explained about the special constabulary, I knew straight away I wanted to give it a try. I applied for South Wales Police (SWP) Special Constabulary at the end of my first year at Cardiff Met and I was successful and began my training the start of second year. Alongside my degree it has been amazing to experience what it is like to be on a Neighbourhood policing team and on Response policing.

A highlight for me as a Special Constable was receiving a ‘Certificate of Commendation’ from the Chief Officers of the Special Constabulary for my efforts to help save a man’s life on a bridge in Bridgend. Becoming a Special Constable has enabled me to learn all about the role of a Police Officer, apply things I’ve learnt into my modules and prepare myself for when I join the police full-time.”

Olivia Lester, Professional Policing – BA (Hons)

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Gaining valuable practical skills on the Professional Policing degree at Cardiff Met

“There are many volunteering options available to you on the policing degree to take advantage of. I chose to volunteer with South Wales Police working on the safety bus and helping vulnerable members of the public.

Undertaking this role has reaffirmed my passion to join the police, as well as giving me the extra knowledge to help complete my university assignments and apply information I have learnt to practical situations.”

Jack Lewis, Professional Policing – BA (Hons)

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My study experiences on the Professional Policing degree

“Having guest speakers take over some teaching sessions, has helped my knowledge and understanding. Hearing from current police officers or former officers, about their experiences and their stories has provided a broader view of the police service.

In year two we had a visit from Barnardos and the St Giles Trust to speak about exploitation of young people which really grasped my interest and swayed my vision from the police to youth work and providing care and support before, throughout and after crime has been committed.”

Sofi Keysell, Professional Policing – BA (Hons)

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