University of Chester

Programme Specification
Policing FDS
2014 - 2015

Foundation Science Degree



University of Chester

Cheshire Constabulary and the University of Chester

University of Chester Warrington Campus

Undergraduate Modular Programme


Classroom / Laboratory,

2 years

5 Years





17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Social Science Institute of Policing

Skills @ Justice - sector skills council []

Foundation Degree qualification benchmark [


Policing Assessment Board

Friday 1st January 2010

The Foundation Degree in Policing is a two-year programme.

In specific terms the degree will:

  • Offer a vocational and professional training and qualification to FdSc in Policing.
  • Address the key aspects of the National Occupational Standards for Police Probationer Training as specified by
  • Develop an understanding of the concepts and principles of Police work.
  • Develop intellectual skills appropriate to Policing
  • Develop a range of practical skills appropriate for Police work
  • Offer opportunities for student officers to audit, evaluate, interpret and enhance their own and others skills
  • Prepare student officers for vocational and professional practice.
  • Allow student officers to progress to an honours degree.

The Foundation Degree is made up of 240 credits, 120 in Level Four and 120 in Level Five.  Level Four is taught intensively over a period of nine months and Level Five over the remaining fifteen months, thus completing two years of study.

Knowledge and Understanding
Level 4: To pass the programme students should demonstrate a basic knowledge of key concepts, principles and practices of Policing and an ability to evaluate them.(modules SO4602 - SO4606)
Level 5: To pass the programme students should demonstrate a thorough knowledge of police powers, relevant legislation, statutory instruments and regulations in relation to particular situations. They should be able to discern how they may need to be applied differently with appropriate professional judgement in different contexts, including a critical appreciation of their relevance to the diverse communities of Cheshire. (modules SO5601- SO5603)
Thinking or Cognitive Skills

Level 4: To pass the programme students should demonstrate basic intellectual skills appropriate to Policing and reflect on the different approaches to problem solving while understanding the logic of the legal process and police procedures. (modules SO4602-SO4606) Level 5: To pass the programme the student should be able to demonstrate a competence and appropriateness in the application of police powers and procedures including the confidence to address dilemmas in practice where the law/procedures may be insufficient to affect a satisfactory resolution.(modulesSO5601-SO5603)
Practical Skills

Level 4: To pass the programme the student should demonstrate basic practical skills and the application of knowledge appropriate to Policing and to reflect on such decisions and actions in a way that improves professional action.(modules SO4602-SO4606)
Level 5: To pass the programme the student should demonstrate a range of practical skills and the application of knowledge to Policing including the making of judgements relative to operational need. (modules SO5601-SO5603)
Key Skills

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

In order to pass the programme students should be able to demonstrate: 1.Oral, written, non-verbal, presentational skills; the ability to communicate with a wide variety of individuals and groups in appropriate ways and in a variety of settings
2. Problem orientated policing
3. IT data retrieval and general IT literacy, internet knowledge, data protection.
4. Working with other local services and agencies, team working, working individually, understanding the importance of listening, advocacy and intervention.
5.The practice of life long learning, reflective practice and personal development.
6.An ability to make decisions, resolve conflict and problems of some complexity, identify and address need.
Transferable Professional Skills

Level 4: To pass the programme students should show the ability to:
  1. Communicate accurately within a structured and coherent argument
  2. Follow procedures in an appropriate way
  3. Evaluate their own action and analyse appropriately
  4. Understand the legal foundation for action. SO4602-SO4606
Level 5: In order to pass the programme students should show the ability to:
  1. Formulate a coherent argument, with the appropriate use of data and evidence.
  2. Critically evaluate their own performance and respond appropriately.
  3. Resolve complex problems in context.
  4. Work effectively in a challenging and sometimes hostile working environment
  5. An awareness of the needs of society generally and of its most vulnerable members particularly.
  6. Understand the importance of personal and organisational ethics.
  7. Work with other organisations and individuals.
  8. Understand the law as it applies to policing. SO5601-SO5603

The Foundation Degree in Policing is the initial training degree for the Cheshire Constabulary. Its aim is to train knowledgeable, competent, experienced officers who, at the end of the degree, are confirmed in their rank. The Cheshire Constabulary will work in partnership with the University of Chester to develop, teach, administer and assess the degree.

The framework of the programme follows the recruitment and admissions timetable of the Constabulary; cohorts of student officers (15-20 at any one time) can be admitted four times a year. The exact number recruited in any one year will depend on the needs of the force and available financial resources. Throughout their training Student Officers are full time employees of the Constabulary.

Level 4

Level 4 runs for 39 weeks. For the first 29 weeks student officers are based at the University of Chester Warrington Campus, at the end of this period there is a short placement (10 weeks) in the tutor unit of the Basic Command Unit in which the officer will serve the remainder of his/her training. The aim of this placement is to ensure that the officers are fit for independent patrol.

Level 5 consists of three 20 week placements

1. The central aim of these placements is to provide the student officer 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 officer to reflect on that experience in a supportive environment. The aims of the placement are governed by the National Occupational Standards for Policing and Law Enforcement as determined by, the sector skills council.

2. To gain the necessary experience to evidence the National Occupational Standards, in the next 60 weeks, student officers will be placed in three different locations, the:

  • Target Patrol Teams
  • Custody Investigation Units
  • Neighbourhood Policing Units

3. In each of these placements the student officer will work with other, more experienced officers who will act as mentors, a sergeant supervisor, and an Area Training Sergeant.

4. Assessment of these placements is by means of a portfolio in which the student collects evidence to demonstrate that he/she has reached the required standard. The portfolio records the results of written examinations of the student's knowledge of the NOS and evidence of their competency as officers. Their competency is assessed in a professional discussion between the officer concerned and the assessors from the tutor unit. This discussion is recorded and assessed for evidence and will be available for external assessment. During Level 5, each module is assessed in turn in week 50, week 75 and week 94 of the course and must be passed before a student is allowed to proceed to the next module. Portfolios are reviewed once a month to determine that students are making satisfactory progress. The Area Training Sergeant usually chairs this review.

Please note that this programme has been granted derogation from the University's Regulation, and therefore all components of assessment must be passed with a minimum mark of 40%.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
SO4602 4 Criminal Law, Police Procedures and Duties 40 Comp
SO4603 4 Drivers and Driving Offences 20 Comp
SO4604 4 PEACE - model for investigatory interviewing 20 Comp
SO4605 4 Working with Others 20 Comp
SO4606 4 Fitness for Independent Patrol - Placement 20 Comp
SO5601 5 Target Patrol Teams Placement 40 Comp
SO5602 5 Custody Investigation Units Placement 40 Comp
SO5603 5 Neighbourhood Policing Units Placement 40 Comp

Level Four. 120 credits (60 ECTS)
Interim exit award - Cert. H.E. in Policing (this is an academic award only, not professionally recognised)
Level Five. 120 credits (60 ECTS) Policing (academic and professional award)
LevelSix.120 credits (60 ECTS)
BSc in Policingwith CriminalInvestigation (academic and professional award)
Having successfully completed the Foundation Degree in Policing, those officers who wish 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 'Crime Investigation' will have the opportunity to continue by taking a third year of study for an Honours Degree in Policingwith Criminal Investigation.

In order to join the programme students are required to have successfully completed the National Police Assessment Centre's requirements for initial training.

Normally students will have at least a minimum of 80 UCAS points, of which 60 points must be obtained from GCE and/or VCE A levels (12 or 6 unit awards) the remaining points may be achieved from GCE and/or VCE A/AS Levels, VCE double award, or from Level 3 Key Skills certification

  • BTEC National Diploma: pass profile
  • Irish Highers/Scottish Highers: D in 4 subjects
  • International Baccalaureate: 20 points
  • European Baccalaureate: 60%.
  • Kitemarked Access course, Open College Units or Open University Credits

Applications are also welcomed from students who have met NPAC's requirements and have an interest in and an aptitude for the programme and commitment to the values and practice of Policing, but who lack formal educational qualifications. There will be opportunities for serving officers to submit evidence of prior learning to gain exemption from Level 4 by APL.

As an integrated programme addressing the knowledge, competence and developing the experience of student officers the Foundation Degree in Policing 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 most relevant ‘benchmark' with respect to Policing are identified by the sector skills council - Skills@ Justice, they have determined the National Occupational Standards for Police probationer training.

The small numbers in each cohort (15-20 students) allows the programme team to teach in small groups and to mount detailed simulations of police practice. It also enables the team to give immediate feedback on many of the student activities.

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.

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 to meet with individual staff members.  The aim is to provide a context whereby students' personal development and progress can be assessed (formative feedback).

MANAGED LEARNING ACTIVITIES - these will comprise formative learning activities that are set with a specific task focus to develop students policing skills.

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 policymaking.  For example, conducting a risk assessment in order to implement crime prevention measures.

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 - Level 5 of the Foundation Degree is made up of three placements within the working environment of a Basic Command Unit. These placements are where the student officer gains experience in the field. During this time the student will be supported by a tutor 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 remainder of the 2 years as a probationary constable, the student will continue to work in his/her area, developing their policing skills. They will benefit from 30 days "protected learning time" during this period where they will be removed from operational responsibility.

The assessments address academic learning outcomes, professional competences and the development of student officer experience. A range 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
  • Essay plans
  • Question and answer sessions
  • Knowledge checks
  • Monitored role play
  • Community based learning

Formative assessment forms a significant part of the learning experience and developing officers skills and knowledge. Much of the work is collected into Portfolios and forms a background to summative assessments.

Summative assessments are also varied and include:

  • Portfolios
  • Examinations, both traditional and structured
  • Observed tasks
  • Professional conversations

Placements are assessed through forms of written work - a reflective placement report, a critical incident report and also in a holistic assessment by an academic tutor using the placement supervisor's report, the student's written and oral reports and a professional interview.

Student officers have to pass all components of the Foundation Degree.

In general terms, holders of the Foundation Degree in Policing 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 analyses 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, student officers 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.

An ability to audit, interpret and enhance their own skills within their working context will be engendered as a base for taking responsibility for their own learning.

The ultimate aim of the degree is for student officers to become knowledgeable, competent and experienced officers confirmed in their rank of constable.

  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 Constabulary policies on Equality and Diversity. Cheshire Constabulary is 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.

A. Cheshire Constabulary will ensure that:

  1. Members of the public receiving a policing service from the force and members of staff receiving employment or service benefits are not treated less favourably or are disadvantaged on the grounds of:
  • Sex
  • Marital or family status
  • Race
  • Colour
  • Nationality
  • Ethnic or national origin
  • Sexual orientation
  • Religion or belief
  • Age
  • Professional status
  • Trade union or Staff Association status
  • Disability
  • Gender re-assignment
  • Any other unjustified basis.

B.     Cheshire Constabulary policies will also reflect sensitively the particular circumstances and cultures of the communities that it serves.


Students completing this programme earn both an academic award and are confirmed in their role as warranted Police Officers.



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