University of Chester

Programme Specification
Policing, Law and Investigation FDS
2014 - 2015

Foundation Science Degree

Policing, Law and Investigation

Policing, Law and Investigation

University of Chester

Cheshire Constabulary and the University of Chester

University of Chester Warrington Campus

Undergraduate Modular Programme

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

2 Years

5 Years





17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Social Science Institute of Policing

Skills @ Justice - sector skills council []

The course content is underpinned by the "Practice Advice on Core Investigative Doctrine" (NPIA 2012, 2nd Edition)

2007 Law Benchmark statements

Policing Module Assessment Board

Monday 1st April 2013

The educational aims of the programme are to develop the students' ability to utilise their research skills, evaluate existing bodies of knowledge, critically evaluate new information and ideas, and accept accountability for their actions and conclusions. Students will have therefore developed transferable graduate level skills in research, analysis, synthesis, problem solving, communication (oral and in writing) and the ability to work autonomously and as part of a team.

Part of the development of the aforementioned skills and the development of knowledge will be through the study of law, in particular aspects of the criminal law and the law of evidence. Students will gain the acquisition of knowledge and understanding of legal doctrines, concepts, principles, rules and values in core areas of law and an understanding of the English legal system. Through the study of law on the programme students will obtain an awareness of the close inter-relationship between the development of the law, through changes in society, the role of the legal professions in the criminal justice process and how that in turn impacts on the way in which a fully trained police officer will carry out their duties.

The programme will also equip students with the relevant knowledge, understanding, skills, attitude and behaviour to be able to perform the duties of a fully trained professional police officer and conduct impartial, fair and objective investigations, while maintaining an approach that recognises the concerns and needs of all parties involved. The student will also have attained all the mandatory learning outcomes of the College of Policing, Initial Police Learning and Development Programme (IPLDP) Policing Diploma.

There will be opportunity for the student to achieve a BSc Honours Degree by undertaking a third year's study at level 6.

The programme has been developed in conjunction with Cheshire Constabulary and the Law School of the University of Chester and will target an expanding area of academic study offering real employment opportunities for students through our partnership. Cheshire Constabulary will not only facilitate a work placement at level 4 with the Special Constabulary in order to meet the practical requirements of attaining "independent patrol" status and at level 5 to achieve the competences required to achieve the status of a fully trained constable fit to practice, but also supply additional expertise for the teaching of some modules most closely related to practical police work.

At the end of the programme students will be better able to exercise appropriate judgement in a number of complex policing situations and will be able to demonstrate:

  1. Knowledge, understanding and skills appropriate to graduate employment and specifically to employment within law enforcement and related areas
  2. Knowledge and understanding of criminal law, evidence and criminal procedure and critical awareness of the structure and operation of the English Legal System
  3. Critical awareness of the role of lawyers in the criminal justice system and how the legal profession impacts upon the work of the police
  4. Critical awareness of social, political and cultural diversity in the context of the law, ethics, the history and current developments of policing and the criminal justice system
  5. Understanding of the key concepts and theoretical approaches that have developed and are developing in relation to crime; responses to crime; policing and protecting people
  6. Knowledge understanding and skills in relation to managing and leading people
  7. The ability to undertake research and communicate the findings of research appropriately
  8. Knowledge, understanding and skills in relation to the theoretical and practical aspects of investigation; interviewing witness, victims and suspects
  9. Application of theory to real-world practice of policing and related areas
  10. The ability to act independently, managing and critically reflecting upon the students own learning, but also be aware of team dynamics and how to be an effective team player
  11. Explain the investigative process and planning required to conduct an investigation relating to Priority and Volume Crime
  12. Apply the investigative mind-set
  13. To plan, prepare, conduct and evaluate investigative interviews with suspects, victims and witness in accordance with legislation, national advice and best practice
  14. To critically analyse evidence and intelligence and assess its value in the investigation process balanced against criminal legislation, procedure and human rights
  15. Demonstrate how to make and record decisions during an investigation
  16. Explain how investigative and evidential evaluation can assist to determine the value of material gathered in an investigation
  17. Use core investigative strategies common to most investigations including victim and witness, suspect and scene strategies
  18. Record their decision-making process and justify their actions in criminal and civil proceedings
  19. Recognise how evidenced based research can influence effective policing strategy
  20. Understand how working with the community in multi agency partnership and solve local community problems.

Knowledge and Understanding

A factual and conceptional knowledge of investigative interviewing and the context within it is used. An awareness of the ethical issued involved in investigative interviewing. Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the principles and practice of criminal investigation. A knowledge and understanding of a substantial range of legal doctrines, major concepts and values that underpin law and the legal system.
A knowledge and understanding ofthe purpose of some areas of law from a critical perspective.
Thinking or Cognitive Skills

An ability to collect and categorise information gather by means of investigative interviewing. An ability, with guidance, to analysis information gathered in investigative interviewing. An ability to evaluate conclusions derived from the process of investigative interviewing. The application of such skills as outlined above in the context of their profession. Recognise and distil issues from factual or hypothetical information, and prioritise them in terms of their relevance and importance. Undertake an analysis of complex legal or factual information in a systematic way and according to the purpose to be served. Apply knowledge and understanding to solve problems – actual or hypothetical. Propose and handle alternative solutions. Produce a synthesis of relevant doctrinal and policy issues in relation to a topic. Offer critical evaluation of particular arguments and make informed judgements about their merits.

Practical Skills

An ability to conduct an investigative interview, to analysis such interviews and to defend conclusions against critical examination. Demonstrate a competence and appropriateness in the application of the use of investigatory skills. An ability to act with limited autonomy under direction and supervision. Identify and retrieve legal information using paper and electronic sources. Use primary and secondary sources relevant to the topic under study. Collate information and materials from a variety of sources in a coherent way. Plan and undertake tasks in areas of law, policing and criminal justice already studied. Plan and undertake research in areas of law, policing and criminal justice not previously studied. Properly attribute and utilize the work of others.

Key Skills

  • Communication
  • Application of Number
  • Information Literacy and Technology
  • Improving own learning and performance
  • Working with others
  • Problem solving

An ability to interview and communicate the conclusions of such a process and to be able to defend their conclusions under examination within a legal and ethical context. An ability to evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses as an investigative interviewer.
An ability to work appropriately with others as members of the group and also as representatives of other agencies involved in professional decision making.
An ability to use the concepts and methodology associated with investigative interviewing and to recognise the complexity of so doing.
An ability to plan and conduct investigations into priority and volume crime.
An ability to collect and collate evidence and present evidence in a court setting.
An ability to record the decision-making process and rationale within a legal and ethical framework.
Transferable Professional Skills

An ability to conduct investigative interviews and to analyse and evaluate conclusions. An awareness of the needs of society generally and of its most vulnerable members in particular. Understand the importance of personal and organisational ethics. Understand and use proficiently the English language, both orally andwritten. Present knowledge in a way which is comprehensible to others and directed to their concerns. Understand and present relevant statistical or other numerical data as part of an argument. Reflect on own learning, and seek and make use of feedback in order to be able to evaluate their own performance. Manage time effectively. Work in groups as a participant who contributes effectively to the group’s task. Construct a consistent and sustained argument.

The Foundation Degree in Policing, Law and Investigation comprises of eleven credit bearing modules and two induction modules The first is delivered by Cheshire Constabulary at their Headquarters which is non-credit bearing but is a pre-requisite for the College of Policing Diploma and to be able to conduct duties as a Special Constable, this is then followed by the University of Chester Induction Module and then the eleven credit bearing modules at levels 4 and 5.  There is an option for the student to attain a BSc Honours Degree by completing a third year of study at Level 6, which comprises five modules.Cheshire Constabulary Induction Module During the two week Induction students will be trained in Personal Safety, First Aid, and Health and Safety, etc. The students will become aware of the values and mission of both the Police Service and the Cheshire Constabulary and start to become accustomed to the Police Family.  Attendance by all students is required, however it is appreciated that some students will already be Special Constables prior to joining the programme and therefore it will not be necessary for them to attend all parts of this module.   University of Chester Induction Module The students will then complete the University Induction week prior to commencing their full time study. The students will receive copies of the Student Officers handbook and the University of Chester Programme Handbook. Level 4 will consist of six modules:

  1.  History of Policing, Ethics, Culture and the Development of Law (20 Credits)
  2.  Criminal Law and Society (20 Credits)
  3.  Intelligence Legal Procedure and Evidence (20 Credits)
  4.  Investigative Interviewing (20 Credits)
  5.  The Management of Road Safety Legislation and Procedure (20 Credits)
  6.  Operational Placement (20 Credits)
Students are based at the University of Chester Warrington Campus where they will develop knowledge and understanding of legislation and procedure required to undertake duties as a police officer who is fit for "Independent Patrol", underpinned by academic study to enhance decision making and problem solving.  This knowledge, understanding and critical awareness of the law will be developed further at level 5.Part way through the programme the student will be able to conduct duties as a Special Constable assigned to and supported by a dedicated tutor to commence the implementation of the Skills Attitude and Behaviour of a trained police officer.  This will be pre-arranged by the University Tutor team and will be a minimum of 12 hours per month.Summative assessment will be by examination, assignments, personal role play, simulated exercise and group presentations.At the end of this period there is a an Operational work based learning placement (10 weeks) in the tutor unit of the Basic Command Unit in which students will serve the remainder of their Level 4 element of the programme.  The aim of the placement is to ensure that the officers are fit for independent patrol and can satisfy the College of Policing, Police Action Checklists in relation to their operational competence. Level 5 comprises five Modules:
  1. Community Engagement and Partnership Working (20 Credits)
  2. Developing Investigation Techniques (20 Credits)
  3. Developing Interview Skills (20 Credits)
  4. Leading and Managing People (20 Credits)
  5. Operational Work Based Module (40 Credits)
The four classroom modules will be delivered over an eight week period at University of Chester Warrington Campus where the student will start to develop the skills they have attained at Level 4 and will be able to reflect upon their experiences as they enhance their knowledge, understanding, skills, behaviour and attitude towards becoming a fully trained police officer. Summative assessment will be by assignment, oral presentations and case study, the production of decision making policy logs and an oral tribunal.The remainder of the academic year will be conducting an Operational Work Placement where the students will work independently under the guidance and support of dedicated tutors and mentors. The aims to provide the student with the experience of being a police officer, a member of a team and a public servant. The placements are also an opportunity for the student to reflect on that experience in a supportive environment. The assessment method is by submission of a portfolio of evidence to demonstrate competence against the National Occupational Standards for a police constable.  Their competency is assessed in a professional discussion between the student officer concerned and the assessors from the tutor unit.

In general the programme is designed to provide students with the academic knowledge and practical experience to develop their ability to critically review their work, utilise their research skills, develop their technical expertise and exercise a degree of professional judgement whilst making their career in 'Policing'. The objective is for students to gain a Foundation Degree in Policing, Law and Investigation and to meet the National Occupational Standards for policing at PIP Level 1.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
SO4626 4 History of Policing, Ethics, Culture and the Development of the Law 20 Comp
SO4627 4 Criminal Law and Society 20 Comp
SO4628 4 Investigative Interviewing 20 Comp
SO4629 4 Intelligence, Legal Procedure and Evidence 20 Comp
SO4630 4 The Management of Road Safety Legislation and Procedure 20 Comp
SO4631 4 Operational Placement 20 Comp
SO5613 5 Community Engagement and Partnership Working 20 Comp
SO5614 5 Developing Investigation Techniques 20 Comp
SO5615 5 Developing Interviewing Skills 20 Comp
SO5616 5 Leading and Managing People 20 Comp
SO5617 5 Operational Work Placement 40 Comp

Level Four. 120 credits (60 ECTS)
Interim exit award - Cert. H.E. in Policing, Law and Investigation (this is an academic award only, not professionally recognised)
Level Five. 120 credits (60 ECTS) Policing, Law and Investigation (academic and professional award)
Level 6 BSc top-up award:
LevelSix.120 credits (60 ECTS)
BSc in Policing, Law and Investigation (academic and professional award)

In order to join the programme students are required to have successfully applied for a place to study with the University of Chester and to complete the National Police Assessment Centre's requirements for initial training. Both members of Cheshire Constabulary and the University of Chester will conduct the interview in order to assess the student's suitability to conduct duties as a police officer and to study in a Higher Education Institution.

In the academic year 2014-15 the University admissions criteria will be:

200-240 UCAS points from GCE A Levels or equivalent (such as BTEC/OCR Diploma)


Access to HE Diploma

Relevant, recognised Level 3 qualification

Those without such qualifications are considered on an individual basis and a wide range of prior experience may be taken into account GCSE English Language and Math's at Grade C or above (or equivalent).

Each student will be required to become a Special Constable with Cheshire Constabulary to be able to complete the vocational modules in the Programme. It will therefore, be necessary for them to undergo the Police Vetting Process so no additional CRB checks are required. 

The student will also be required to pass the Police Vetting process, fitness test and medical to be able to conduct duties as a Special Constable.

In the academic year 2015-16 there will be an incremental rise in the admissions requirement. This gradual incremental rise admissions criteria is thought the best option as both the police service and potential recruits come to terms with this change process of students gaining a pre join entry qualification prior to joining then service and is supported by Cheshire Constabulary.



As an integrated programme addressing the knowledge, competence and developing the experience of the student the Foundation Degree in Policing, Law and Investigation is designed with reference to a number of benchmark statements.

1. As a FOUNDATION DEGREE the programme matches the FHEQ benchmark for Foundation Degrees in relation to:

  • Employer involvement
  • Accessibility
  • Articulation and progression
  • Partnership
  • Knowledge, understanding and skills

Learning outcomes are specifically relevant to employer needs.

2. Policing.

The sector skills council - Skills @ Justice, identifies the most relevant ‘benchmark' with respect to Policing, they have determined the National Occupational Standards for Police probationer training which is the standard the student will be assessed against

3. College of Policing.

The student will also attain the minimum standards of the College of Policing Initial Learning and Development Programme (IPLDP) Policing Diploma



Threshold achievement

Typical achievement

An understanding of the social and historical development of policing, of the changing values governing police work including human rights, of the structure and culture of police work in different locations, of policing diversity, and of new and emergent forms of private and state policing.

Able to recognise different police cultures, historical and contemporary trends in police work, and the implications of changes in the values governing police work and police practice in a diverse society.

Able to evaluate policing practices and developments in terms of changing values and relationships between individuals, groups, and public and private agencies in different locations.

Cognitive abilities


Threshold achievement

Typical achievement

An appreciation of the complexity of crime and victimisation; able to assess the merits of competing theories and explanations.

Able to describe contrasting interpretations of crime and victimisation.

Able to assess a range of perspectives and discuss the strengths of each for the understanding of crime and victimisation.

An understanding of how to assess the ethical issues arising in particular research situations.

Able to describe quantitative and qualitative methods of data collection, and to undertake basic analysis.

Able to distinguish between ethical and unethical research practice.

Ability to review and evaluate criminological evidence.

Able to identify an ethically appropriate action. Able to cite evidence and make judgments about its merits.

Able to draw on relevant evidence to evaluate competing explanations.

Ability to develop a reasoned argument.

Able to contrast different points of view and discuss them in a logically coherent manner.

Able to evaluate the viability of competing explanations within criminology and to draw logical and appropriate conclusions.

Subject-specific skills


Threshold achievement

Typical achievement

Ability to investigate criminological questions in relation to victimisation, crime, responses to crime and deviance, and representations of these.

Able to undertake a preliminary criminological investigation of crime, victimisation, responses to crime and deviance, and representations of these using qualitative and quantitative methods.

Able to gather appropriate qualitative or quantitative information to address criminological questions in relation to crime, victimisation, responses to crime and deviance, and representations of these, using qualitative and quantitative methods.

Ability to identify the ethical issues and the range of ethical problems in research into criminological questions and to take action within the Guidelines of Ethical Practice for Criminology.

Able to recognise the ethical dimensions of research into criminological questions.

Able to recognise the ethical implications of research into criminological questions and to identify appropriate solutions.

4. For the sector skills council they are:

CI 101 Plan and Conduct Allocated Investigations

3.1 Plan allocated investigations

3.2 Conduct allocated investigations

CJ 101  Plan, Conduct and Evaluate Interviews with Victims and Witnesses for Dedicated Investigations.      

3.1 Plan and prepare interviews with victims and witnesses                                         

3.2 Conduct interviews with victims and witnesses                                           

3.3 Evaluate interviews and carry out post-interview processes

CJ 201  Plan, Conduct Interviews with Suspects for Dedicated Investigations.                                     

4.1 Plan and prepare interviews with suspects  

4.2 Conduct Interviews with suspects

4.3 Evaluate interviews and carry out post-interview processes

5. Law Benchmark Standards

The Law benchmarks are drafted somewhat differently from those in other subject areas. The purpose is, among other issues, to provide a basis for institutions to devise their own learning outcome statements compatible with the benchmark statements. Also, the benchmarks set as a minimum certain achievements which a student must demonstrate to be awarded an undergraduate honours degree in law. They have been specifically designed to take account of the fact that the Joint Academic Stage Board also produces a protocol of what is required to achieve the academic stage of training in order to become a solicitor or barrister. Therefore in a programme where law forms part of the whole, they are a useful guide but would not necessarily all be met to the same level as if a student was studying law as a major element of an honours degree programme. Thus the statements are both generic and look to the final outcome of study on a law programme.

Benchmarks - The text below has been extracted from the Law benchmark document:

Any student graduating in Law must show achievement in all of the following areas of performance, thereby demonstrating substantially all of the abilities and competences identified in each area of performance. Subject-specific abilities

1. Knowledge: A student should demonstrate a basic knowledge and understanding of the principal features of the legal system(s) studied, viz. s/he:

  • should be able to demonstrate knowledge of a substantial range of major concepts, values, principles and rules of that system;
  • should be able to explain the main legal institutions and procedures of that system;
  • should be able to demonstrate the study in depth and in context of some substantive areas of the legal system.

2. Application and problem-solving: A student should demonstrate a basic ability to apply her or his knowledge to a situation of limited complexity in order to provide arguable conclusions for concrete problems (actual or hypothetical).

3. Sources and research: A student should demonstrate a basic ability

  • to identify accurately the issue(s) which require researching 
  • to identify and retrieve up-to-date legal information, using paper and electronic sources; 
  • to use primary and secondary legal sources relevant to the topic under study.

4. General transferable intellectual skills Analysis, synthesis, critical judgement and evaluation: A student should demonstrate a basic ability 

  • to recognise and rank items and issues in terms of relevance and importance; 
  • to bring together information and materials from a variety of different sources; 
  • to produce a synthesis of relevant doctrinal and policy issues in relation to a topic; 
  • to make a critical judgement of the merits of particular arguments; 
  • to present and make a reasoned choice between alternative solutions.

5. Autonomy and ability to learn: A student should demonstrate a basic ability, with limited guidance 

  • to act independently in planning and undertaking tasks in areas of law which she or he has already studied; 
  • to be able to undertake independent research in areas of law which he or she has not previously studied starting from standard legal information sources; 
  • to reflect on his or her own learning, and to seek and make use of feedback.

6. Key skills Communication and Literacy: Both orally and in writing, a student should demonstrate a basic ability 

  • to understand and use the English language (or, where appropriate, Welsh language) proficiently in relation to legal matters;
  • to present knowledge or an argument in a way which is comprehensible to others and which is directed at their concerns;
  • to read and discuss legal materials which are written in technical and complex language.

7. Other key skills: numeracy, information technology and teamwork: A student should demonstrate a basic ability

  • where relevant and as the basis for an argument, to use, present and evaluate information provided in numerical or statistical form; 
  • to produce a word-processed essay or other text and to present such work in an appropriate form;
  • to use the World-wide web and e-mail; 
  • to use some electronic information retrieval systems. 
  • to work in groups as a participant who contributes effectively to the group's task.  


The programme utilises a variety of learning and teaching methods, which provide opportunities for students to enhance their learning skills and personal development during this programme. These teaching and learning methods also take account of equal opportunities and inclusive practice. All methods of learning and teaching are related to and relevant for the acquisition of key and subject specific knowledge and skills, to afford students the best opportunity to meet module and programme learning outcomes. Students are made aware of how modules will be delivered, and what is expected of them, in the student handbook and in module guides.

SEMINARS - will provide opportunities for student-centred and interactive learning.  These will be organised around themes for discussion and/or designated reading with the aim of enabling students to deepen their knowledge and competence knowledge of a particular subject and develop their ability to critically examine alternative perspectives. 

WORKSHOPS - these are intended to provide experience in collaborative and creative problem solving.  Workshops will also aim to develop key skills in information retrieval and presentation, communication skills and team/group work skills.

TUTORIALS - will provide the opportunity for individuals or small groups of students to meet with individual staff members.  The aim is to provide a context whereby students' personal development and progress can be assessed (formative feedback); students can be encouraged to develop learning skills; students can be assisted to make informed and realistic choices within their course and support can be offered for individual or group project work, work-related placements and dissertation supervision.

MANAGED LEARNING ACTIVITIES - these will comprise formative learning activities that are set with a specific task focus to develop students policing skills and academic skills in preparation for summative assessments (in line with the UK Quality Code Chapter B3 - ensuring students have adequate time to reflect on learning before being assessed).

PRACTICAL PROBLEM BASED ACTIVITIES - these will allow students to conduct practical activities related to a given problem/task and develop their understanding of how research evidence can inform policy, inform intelligence gathering investigation and structure decision making

ROLE PLAYS/ SIMULATIONS - provide an opportunity for individuals and small groups of students to develop their skills in Policing while being observed by tutors and in a controlled environment. The aim is to give student officers experience of using procedures and processes.

COMMUNITY BASED LEARNING - Role-play locations vary from street exercises witnessed by members of the public to a more enclosed situation involving public order demonstrations.

PLACEMENTS - At both Level 4 and 5 of the Foundation Degree these are operational within the working environment of a Basic Command Unit. These placements are where the student conducting the duties of a Special Constable gains experience in the field. During level 4 a dedicated tutor will support the student with additional support from a Sergeant and progress reviewed on a regular basis.  In this context the student will be given the opportunity to apply learning in a ‘live' operational environment. During the Level 5 Operational Placement the student will continue to work in their area, developing their policing knowledge, understanding, skills, attitude and behaviour.


LEVEL 4 -The tutor constable is a distinct role which differs from the academic tutor. The tutor constable seeks purely to assess the capability of the student during practical application in a live policing environment. The tutor works one on one with the student for the entire 10 week module in level 4, amounting to 400 contact hours of development and assessment. The tutor constables are all approved qualified workplace assessors.

The tutor is in contact with the training supervisor during this process. Each student has a personal tutorial with the supervisor at the culmination of this in company period.

LEVEL 5 -The student works independently at level 5 in the operational policing environment, and whilst not ‘in company' has access to any of the qualified tutors for advice and support. The area training sergeant maintains a close watch over the students' progress and will instigate a minimum of three personal tutorials throughout Level 5. Should the students' progress be in question, either through the student underperforming or indeed be exceeding expectations, then further tutorials are scheduled.

During this Level 5 period the student undergoes a further 60 hours of one on one assessment by a qualified tutor constable.

Throughout Levels 4 and 5 all students have access to the University's Student Support Services and Network.

At the commencement of the programme each student will have a tutorial with their allocated approved tutor in relation to their ability to engage with academic qualifications and study and each student will be treated on an individual basis depending upon their individual needs. 

The methods of assessment are closely linked to the learning outcomes of the modules and programme. The aims of the programme are set out in section 23 and the learning outcomes in section 26 of this Programme Specification. The learning outcomes represent the skills to be acquired across the programme. In turn, as has been stated previously, these skills and outcomes have been informed by the various benchmark statements set out above. Each module descriptor states the module specific learning outcomes that are assessed in each component of assessment. The assessments will then test the programme and learning outcomes. These will be articulated in each in-course assessment. Thus, there is conceptual linkage between the benchmarks, programme aims and outcomes, skills, module outcomes and assessment in each module, and these linkages will be apparent in the actual assessment tasks. Apart from the above, the assessments are designed to provide a broad platform for students to demonstrate that they have achieved the module and programme outcomes in as diverse a set of assessments as it is possible to prescribe in a programme of broad choice. The assessments address academic learning outcomes, professional competences and the development of student experience. Ranges of both formative and summative assessment/methods are used. Each method of assessment is chosen for its fitness to purpose. Many of the methods of assessment reflect forms of recording, reporting and presentation and other work-related activities, which are required of police officers. Formative assessments are varied and may include:
  • Presentations
  • Reflective Log
  • Essay plans
  • Question and answer sessions
  • Knowledge checks
  • Monitored role play
  • Community based learning
  • Planning and preparation for interviewing
  • Practice Interview sessions
  • Planning and preparation for interviewing
  • Conduct and analyse interviews with victims, witnesses and suspects
  • Commentary on Interviewing techniques
  • Analysis of recorded interviews
  • Preparation of interview transcripts
  • Review case materials
  • Plan and conduct an investigation into Priority and Volume Crime
  • Be subject to self, peer and tutor review
  • Collecting and collating evidence
  • Brief Senior Officers on the Investigation
  • Develop a "policy book"
Formative assessment forms a significant part of the learning experience and developing the student's skills and knowledge. Much of the work is collected into Portfolios and forms a background for the summative assessments. The formative assessment is intended to foster student development and improve their ability to acquire the skills and knowledge they will need to meet the programme objectives. Several forms of formative assessment are used in the programme. One for example is embedded in "classroom" activities where tutors will ask questions and require students to undertake small tasks to assess their level of understanding and whether they have fully achieved the objectives required by the programme. If, when assessed, the student and/or their tutor feel that the student has not yet attained the required level of skill and knowledge tutors will identify weaknesses and suggest ways in which they can improve. The second example is a more formal "practice presentation" of the summative assessment and will normally take place about half way through the relevant part of the programme. There will be no "formal" formative assessment in the Operational Placement modules, although feedback on performance is provided continually throughout the module. Summative assessments are also varied and include:
  • Portfolios
  • Assignments
  • Reflective Essay
  • Personal and Group Presentation
  • Examinations, both traditional and structured
  • Observed tasks
  • Professional conversation
  • Analysis of recorded interview
  • Preparation of interview transcripts
  • Review case materials
  • Plan and conduct an investigation into Priority and Volume Crime
  • Be subject to self, peer and tutor review
  • Collecting and collating evidence
  • Brief Senior Officers on the Investigation
  • Develop a "policy book"
  • Oral tribunal with a Solicitor

Summative assessment, unlike formative assessment, provides a measure of student achievement with respect to their performance in relationship to the programme's intended learning outcomes. Given the vocational nature of some of the programme, summative assessment will be modelled on professionally relevant activities such as interview planning, analysis and review, the development of policy documents and the proper recording of evidence for example. Work Placements are assessed through forms of written work, reflective placement report, and achieving the National Occupational Competences set for the role conducted. The student has to pass all components of the each module. The pedagogical basis of these assessment strategies are discussed in:

Black, P., & Wiliam, D. (1998). Assessment and classroom learning, Educational Assessment: Principles, Policy and Practice, 5, pp. 7-74.

Bloom, B. S., Hastings, J. T., & Madaus, G. F (Eds.) (1971). Handbook on formative and summative evaluation of student learning. New York: McGraw-Hill.

Wiliam, D. & Black, P. (1996). Meaning and Consequences: a basis for distinguishing formative and summative functions of assessment? British Educational Research Journal, 22(5).

The Quality Code (QAA), 2012, The UK Quality Code for Higher Education: Part B: Assuring and enhancing academic quality, December 2012.

Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) (2013) UK Quality Code for Higher Education - Chapter B6: Assessment of students and the recognition of prior learning.


In general terms, holders of the Foundation Degree in Policing, Law and Investigation should be able to demonstrate:

  • Knowledge and critical understanding of the principles in Policing and the way in which those principles have developed
  • Successful application in the workplace of the range of knowledge and skills learnt throughout the programme
  • Ability to apply underlying concepts and principles outside the context in which they were first studied, and the application of those principles in a work context
  • Knowledge of the main methods of enquiry in Policing and the ability to evaluate critically the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems in Policing and apply these in a work context
  • An understanding of the limits of their knowledge, and how this influences analysis and interpretations based on that knowledge in Policing.
They will be able to:
  • Use a range of established techniques to initiate and undertake critical analysis of information, and to propose solutions to problems arising from that analysis in Policing
  • Effectively communicate information, arguments and analysis, in a variety of forms, to specialist and non-specialist audiences, and deploy key techniques of Policing
  • Undertake further training, develop existing skills, and acquire new competences that will enable them to assume responsibility within the Police.
More particularly on successful completion of the programme, students will be able to demonstrate a secure understanding of the concepts and principles of Policing including the importance of their role in Cheshire communities within the context of ethnic and social diversity. They will possess the intellectual skills appropriate for Police work including the ability to critically reflect on their own behaviour and on the situations in which they find themselves. Foundation graduates in Policing will be in possession of a range of practical skills appropriate to Policing and with the ability to make critical judgements in complex and stressful situations. A successful graduate of this programme will be both a competent investigative interviewer and investigator at a foundational level. They will reach PIP Level 1, as defined by the College of Policing. As an integrated programme addressing the knowledge, competence and developing the experience of professionals, who require both investigative interviewing and investigative skills, the Foundation Degree is designed to meet the professional requirements of the relevant professional bodies. Extensive discussion has taken place both with police forces and other enforcement professionals such at the College of Policing to ensure that the Programme meets their professional need.

The study of law on this Foundation Degree programme, albeit with a focus on the law relevant to becoming a serving police officer, will still be of sufficient breadth and depth to allow students to consider other career opportunities other than above, if they so wish. Law is recognised as a rigorous social science and/or arts discipline and qualifies graduates to pursue a wide range of careers. These include professions such as social workers, probation officers and court workers. A graduate from this programme would also be qualified for entry into the various branches of the Civil Service, whether or not in a legal capacity. Graduates could also be recruited into parts of the financial services sector, such as insurance or banking, especially in a regulatory capacity or dealing with fraud. Students wishing to pursue a legal career can enrol on the Graduate Diploma in Law, the conversion course for honours graduates. They may well be able to gain exemption from some aspects of that course. The legal professions are keen to recruit students who have not studied Law exclusively or at all at undergraduate level. 

  1. The University is committed to the promotion of diversity, equality and inclusion in all its forms; through different ideas and perspectives, age, disability, gender reassignment, marriage and civil partnership, pregnancy and maternity, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation. We are, in particular, committed to widening access to higher education. Within an ethically aware and professional environment, we acknowledge our responsibilities to promote freedom of enquiry and scholarly expression.
  2. While the programme will meet all the requirements of the University's diversities policy, students on this programme will also be subject to the diversity and equality policies of their respective professional bodies. All are committed to ensuring that all staff shall be given equality of opportunity to progress within the organization in line with their skills and potential. This policy includes recruitment, transfer, promotion and training.

This programme has been developed with professional partners to meet their professional need. The University of Chester is in consultation with the College of Policing to become an accredited provider of the Policing Diploma, which is incorporated within the Foundation Degree. The student will self fund the programme of study.

There is a requirement for students to become and remain Special Constables with Cheshire Constabulary throughout the duration of the degree programme in order to evidence competence against the National Occupational Standards for the role of constable agreed with the Professional Body the College of Policing. Special Constables are subject to the Police Conduct (2012) Regulations whilst both on and off duty. Any conduct in breach of the regulations that rendered a student to either resign or be dismissed from the office of constable under the said regulations would lead to the student being unable to complete the programme and the student would fall under the University Professional Suitability Procedure which may lead to the termination of the student's studies on this programme or ultimately with the University.

Back - to previous page  Print - launches the print options panel