University of Chester

Programme Specification
Policing, Law and Investigation BSc (Hons) (Level 6 only)
2017 - 2018

Bachelor of Science (Level 6 only)

Policing, Law and Investigation

Policing, Law and Investigation

University of Chester

University of Chester

University of Chester, Warrington Campus

Undergraduate Modular Programme

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

1 year full-time study or 2 years part-time study

3 Years

Variable - October




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Social Science Institute of Policing

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

2015 Law Benchmark statements

Criminology (where relevant)


Institute of 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 programme has been developed in conjunction with the Law School and will target an expanding area of academic study offering real employment opportunities for students.  

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. The ability to undertake research and communicate the findings of research appropriately
  7. Application of theory to real-world practice of policing and related areas
  8. 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
  9. Apply the investigative mind-set
  10. To critically analyse evidence and intelligence and assess its value in the investigation process balanced against criminal legislation, procedure and human rights
  11. Demonstrate how to make and record decisions during an investigation
  12. Explain how investigative and evidential evaluation can assist to determine the value of material gathered in an investigation
  13. Use core investigative strategies common to investigations
  14. Record their decision-making process and justify their actions in criminal and civil proceedings
  15. Recognise how evidenced based research can influence effective policing strategy
  16. Understand how working with the community in multi-agency partnership and solve local community problems.

FHEQ Level 6

  • Develop an awareness of the ethical issued involved in Policing (SO6612 - SO6641)
  • Demonstrate a thorough knowledge of the principles and practice of criminal investigation (SO6612, SO6613)
  • Knowledge and understanding of a substantial range of legal doctrines, major concepts and values that underpin law and the legal system (SO6613, SO6614, SO6616).
  • Knowledge and understanding of the purpose of some areas of law from a critical perspective (SO6613, SO6615, SO6616)



FHEQ Level 6

  • An ability to collect, categorise and analyse information (SO6612-SO6641)
  • An ability to evaluate conclusions derived from the process of analysis (SO6612 - SO6641)
  • The application of such skills as outlined above in the context of the Policing profession (SO6612 - SO6641)
  • Recognise and distil issues from factual or hypothetical information, and prioritise them in terms of their relevance and importance (SO6612 - SO6641)
  • Undertake an analysis of complex legal or factual information in a systematic way and according to the purpose to be served (SO6612 - SO6641)
  • Apply knowledge and understanding to solve problems – actual or hypothetical (SO6612 - SO6641)
  • Propose and handle alternative solutions (SO6612, SO6614 - SO6641)
  • Produce a synthesis of relevant doctrinal and policy issues in relation to a topic (SO6613)
  • Offer critical evaluation of particular arguments and make informed judgements about their merits (SO6612 - SO6641).

FHEQ Level 6

Practical Skills

  • An ability to act with limited autonomy under direction and supervision (SO6613)
  • Identify and retrieve legal information using paper and electronic sources (SO6612 - SO6641)
  • Use primary and secondary sources relevant to the topic under study (SO6612 - SO6641)
  • Collate information and materials from a variety of sources in a coherent way (SO6612, SO6613, SO6616 - SO6619)
  • Plan and undertake tasks in areas of law, policing and criminal justice already studied (SO6612, SO6613) 
  • Plan and undertake research in areas of law, policing and criminal justice not previously studied (SO6613)
  • Properly attribute and utilize the work of others (SO6612 - SO6641).


Professional Skills

  • An ability to understand professional policing and its relationship with the legal system and to analyse and evaluate conclusions (SO6612 - SO6641)
  • An awareness of the needs of society generally and of its most vulnerable members in particular (SO6612, SO6614, SO6615, SO6617 - SO6619)
  • Understand the importance of personal and organisational ethics (SO6612, SO6616)
  • Understand and use proficiently the English language, both orally and written (SO6612 - SO6641)
  • Present knowledge in a way which is comprehensible to others and directed to their concerns (SO6612 - SO6641)
  • Understand and present relevant statistical or other numerical data as part of an argument (SO6612, SO6613)
  • Reflect on own learning, and seek and make use of feedback in order to be able to evaluate their own performance (SO6612 - SO6641)
  • Manage time effectively (SO6613) 
  • Work in groups as a participant who contributes effectively to the group’s task (SO6616)
  • Construct a consistent and sustained argument (SO6612, SO6613).

FHEQ Level 6

  • An ability to understand the complexity of Policing and Multi-agency problem solving and communicate the conclusions of such a process and to be able to defend their conclusions under examination within a legal and ethical context (SO6614 - SO6641)
  • An ability to evaluate their own strengths and weaknesses (SO6612 - SO6641)
  • An ability to work appropriately with others as members of the group and also as representatives of other agencies involved in professional decision making (SO6614, SO6615, SO6616, SO6617 - SO6641)
  • An ability to use the concepts and methodology and to recognise the complexity of so doing (SO6612 - SO6641)
  • An ability to record the decision-making process and rationale within a legal and ethical framework (SO6612 - SO6641).

 The BSc Policing, Law and Investigation (Level 6 top-up) comprises one mandatory module and the student can choose four optional 20 credit modules from six.

The students will have gained a critical awareness of the English Legal System (both criminal and civil) and the development of a critical perspective of the law and legal institutions. Students will also develop a perception and appreciation of the context in which law operates and an understanding of the dynamic nature of law and of the need for and proposals for law reform.

Level 6 will comprise five modules, one mandatory and four optional modules.

Mandatory Modules:

  1. SO6613 Research Methods in Policing Dissertation (40 Credits)

Optional Modules:

  1. SO6612 Advanced Criminal Law, Procedure and Evidence (20 Credits)
  2. SO6614 Protection of Vulnerable Children and Adults (20 Credits)
  3. SO6615 Youth and Criminal Justice (20 Credits)
  4. SO6616 Counter Terrorism, Transnational and Organised Crime (20 Credits)
  5. SO6617 Drugs and Alcohol in Society (20 Credits)
  6. SO6618 Digital Crime – Investigation and Intelligence (20 Credits)
  7. SO6619 Strategic Management and Leadership in Policing (20 Credits)
  8. SO6640 Managing Communication and the Media within Policing (20 Credits)
  9. SO6641 Delivering Quality Services within the Criminal Justice System (20 Credits)

Level 6 is delivered entirely at the University of Chester Warrington Campus and provides the opportunity for the student to develop the skills already attained by engaging in a more traditional academic study period looking at some of the strategic and contemporary issues that impact upon modern day policing both from a local and transnational point of view. In addition the student will develop their research skills and conduct a research dissertation, which will assist preparing the student in supporting the Police Service Aim to approach problem solving using, evidenced based research.

Students will also continue to develop a systematic and critical understanding of the law by undertaking research and analysis of specific areas of law relevant to the criminal justice system through for example the advanced criminal law, procedure and evidence module. They may also further their legal knowledge and awareness of areas of uncertainty and ambiguity of the law by undertaking the dissertation module in an area of law. Summative assessment will be by assignment, research proposal, presentations and dissertation. There will be no application for derogation from the University's Regulation in relation to passing the assessment component parts of Level 6 programme modules.

Mod-Code Level Title Credit Single
SO6612 6 Advanced Criminal Law, Procedure and Evidence 20 N/A
SO6613 6 Research Methods in Policing Dissertation 40 Comp
SO6614 6 Protection of Vulnerable Children and Adults 20 Optional
SO6615 6 Youth and Criminal Justice 20 N/A
SO6616 6 Counter Terrorism, Transnational and Organised Crime 20 Optional
SO6617 6 Drugs, Alcohol and Society 20 Optional
SO6618 6 Digital Crime – Investigation and Intelligence 20 Optional
SO6619 6 Strategic Management and Leadership in Policing 20 Optional
SO6640 6 Managing Communication and the Media within Policing 20 N/A
SO6641 6 Delivering Quality Services within the Criminal Justice System 20 N/A

Level Six

120 credits (60 ECTS) BSc in Policing, Law and Investigation (academic award)

A relevant Policing or Law Foundation Degree programme.

Benchmark 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.

For Criminology ( they are:

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 design research appropriately in relation to a specific problem, how to gather, retrieve and synthesise information, including comparative data; an understanding of how to evaluate research data including both quantitative and qualitative data. Able to gather and summarise information. Able to draw on materials from a range of sources and demonstrate an ability to synthesise them. Able to design and use appropriate research strategies for data collection using quantitative and qualitative methods. Able to apply basic statistical techniques where appropriate.
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 analyse, assess methodologically and communicate information and empirical research findings about crime, victimisation and responses to crime and deviance Able to summarise the findings of empirical research on criminological issues including the ability to identify the methodological framework used. Able to summarise and explain empirical information and research findings about crime, victimisation and responses to crime and deviance; able to assess the methodology used.
Ability to identify a range of different strategies and methods and use appropriate research tools in relation to criminological problems, including quantitative, qualitative and evaluative techniques. Able to apply basic research tools appropriately and in a preliminary way. Able to apply basic research tools appropriately in relation to theoretically driven, exploratory, or evaluation research.
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.


Law (2015) Subject Benchmark Statement:

The Subject Benchmark Statement for Law was updated and published in the summer of 2015, and is now in its third incarnation. The University of Chester Law School was fortunate to have a member of staff on the review group for Subject Benchmark Statement for Law.

There was considerable change but this was to reflect the view ‘that a law graduate is far more than a sum of their knowledge and understanding, and is a well skilled graduate with considerable transferable generic and subject-specific knowledge, skills and attributes.’ As a consequence some of the terminology used is not directly comparable with other subject benchmark statements.

The core aspect is contained within part 2- the benchmark standards. There a list is provided of skills and qualities of mind that are expected to be achieved by all graduates within a law focused degree programme. The list is clearly comprehensive but marked as not being exhaustive or definitive nor is it arrange in any specific order. The list of skills are not specific to any particular areas of law meaning many of these will be embedded across multiple modules. Care has been taken to ensure that all of the areas identified within the subject benchmark are thoroughly addressed within the curriculum and are assessed and evidenced in the diverse nature of our assessment which encompasses both written and oral, individual and collaborative components across various modules and levels of our degree.

As well as the diversity of assessment to match the skills and qualities of mind we are also mindful that the learning and teaching needs to be diverse, the subject benchmark states that ‘it is recommended that students experience a range of teaching methods throughout their law programme and this might typically, although not exclusively, include lectures, small group formats, online learning environments, self-directed or collaborative study, experiential learning and problem-based learning.’

Again real care has been taken to ensure these are present throughout with all modules supported by online learning environments and all law students expected to undertake a period of experiential learning either through placements or experiential research.

It is clear though that individual programmes have been given considerable freedom by the subject benchmark statement for law and we have been mindful to try and blend high academic and employment focused aspects within our programmes to ensure students are able to demonstrate a broad range of skills and qualities of mind. 

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 both the programme handbook and in module handbooks.

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 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 Throughout Levels 6 all students have access to the University's Student Support Services and Network. At the commencement of the programme students 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 22 and the programme outcomes in section 23 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 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
  • Assignment plans
  • Question and answer sessions
  • Review research materials
  • Be subject to self, peer and tutor review
  • Collecting and collating evidential research 
  • Record Policy decisions
  • Managed group discussions

Formative assessment forms a significant part of the learning experience and developing the student's skills and knowledge. 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.

Summative assessments are also varied and include:

  • Assignments
  • Reflective Essay
  • Personal and Group Presentation
  • Research proposal
  • Dissertation
  • Professional conversation
  • Review research materials
  • Be subject to self, peer and tutor review
  • Collecting and collating evidential research
  • Case study management 

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. 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. 

Students who graduate with this BSc (Hons) Policing, Law and Investigation (top-up) degree will have developed comprehensive knowledge and understanding of policing, multi-agency problem solving, the legal system and the work associated with it.  The student will evidence analytical abilities and critical thinking skills will have been developed throughout the programme and will complement wider transferable skills of research, IT, problem-solving, teamwork, and communication.

Graduates will find the programme a useful grounding for entry to a range of criminal justice and related careers.  The police, youth offending service, national offender management service, and teaching are career paths identified for graduates, but the knowledge, abilities and skills developed throughout the programme of study will prove valuable in a wide range of central and local government areas.  Some graduates will use the Policing Law and Investigation degree as an opportunity to undertake formal legal training, or choose post-graduate study in related areas.

The study of law on this 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 in relation to the further development of Higher Education Police Leadership and Learning pathways.  

The student will self-fund the programme of study.

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