University of Chester

Programme Specification
Policing with Criminal Investigation BSc (Hons) (Level 6 only)
2015 - 2016

Bachelor of Science (Level 6 only)

Policing with Criminal Investigation

Policing with Criminal Investigation

University of Chester

University of Chester with Cheshire Constabulary

University of Chester Warrington Campus

Undergraduate Modular Programme

Full-time and Part-time

Classroom / Laboratory,

1 year Full-Time; 2 years Part-Time

3 Years




17a. Faculty

17b. Department

Social Science Institute of Policing

Skills@Justice - sector skills council []

College of Policing - ICIDP.

Criminology   (where relevant)


On completion students will be eligible to receive the Initial Crime Investigation Development programme PIP Level 2.

Policing Module Assessment Board

Friday 1st January 2010

The educational aims of the programme are to build on the Foundation Degree in Policing to develop student's ability to utilise their research skills, evaluate existing bodies of knowledge, critically evaluate new information and ideas, accept accountability for their actions and conclusions. The programme will also equip Trainee Investigators with the knowledge, understanding and skills to be able to conduct professional and objective investigations, while maintaining an approach that recognises the concerns and needs of all parties involved. At the end of the programme Trainee Investigators will be better able to exercise appropriate judgement in a number of complex situations and

  • Explain the investigative process and planning required to conduct an investigation relating to Serious and Complex Crime
  • Apply the investigative mindset
  • To plan, prepare, conduct and evaluate investigative interviews with
    suspects, victims and witness in accordance with legislation, national advice and best practice
  • To critically analyse evidence and intelligence and assess its value in the investigation process balanced against criminal legislation, procedure and human rights
  • Demonstrate how to make and record decisions during an investigation
  • Explain how investigative and evidential evaluation can assist to determine the value of material gathered in an investigation
  • Use core investigative strategies common to most investigations including victim and witness, suspect and scene strategies
  • Justify their actions in criminal and civil proceedings
  • To utilise reflective practice to identify developmental needs. 


FHEQ Level 6

  • Has a comprehensive knowledge of policing and investigation, with areas of specialism in depth, and an awareness of the provisional nature of knowledge (SO6601 - SO6604)
  • Is aware of personal responsibility and professional codes of conduct and can incorporate a critical ethical dimension into their working practice (SO6601 - SO6604)





FHEQ Level 6

  • Can analyse new and/or abstract data and simulations without guidance, using a range of techniques appropriate to the subject (SO6601 - SO6604)
  • With minimum guidance can transform abstract data and concepts toward a given purpose (SO6601 - SO6604)
  • Can critically evaluate evidence to support conclusions/recommendations reviewing its reliability, validity and significance (SO6601 - SO6604)
  • Can investigate contradictory information and identify reasons for contradiction (SO6601 - SO6604)
  • Is confident and flexible in identifying and defining concepts problems and can apply appropriate knowledge and skills to their action (SO6601 - SO6604)

FHEQ Level 6

Practical Skills

  • Can operate in complex and unpredictable contexts, requiring selection and application from a wide range of innovative and standard techniques (SO6601 - SO6604)
  • Able to act autonomously with minimum supervision within agreed guidelines (SO6604)


Professional Skills (SO6601 - SO6604)

  • Understands the legal basis of investigation
  • Working with other organisations and individuals
  • Working effectively in a hostile and challenging environment
  • An awareness of the needs of vulnerable members of society
  • Management of complex tasks

FHEQ Level 6

  • Can interact effectively within a team recognise support or be proactive in leadership, negotiate in a professional context and manage conflict (SO6601 - SO6604)
  • With minimum guidance can manage own learning using a full range of resources for the disciplines (SO6601 - SO6604)
  • Can work professionally within the discipline (SO6601 - SO6604)
  • Is confident in the application of own judgement and can challenge received opinion and reflect on action (SO6601 - SO6604)
  • Can seek and make use of feedback (SO6601 - SO6604)
  • Can select and manage information competently undertaking straight forward research tasks with minimum guidance (SO6601 - SO6604)
  • Can take responsibility for ones own work and can criticise it (SO6601 - SO6604)
  • Can engage effectively in debate in a professional manner and produce detailed and coherent reports (SO6601 - SO6604)
  • Is confident and flexible in identifying and defining complex problems and the application of appropriate knowledge, tool and methods to their solution (SO6601 - SO6604).

The BSc in Policing with Criminal Investigation combines the Foundation Degree in Policing with a Level 6 addition in Criminal Investigation. Level 6 is made up of four components: interviewing witnesses and victims, interviewing suspects, investigatory practice and a placement in an operational unit. Students will normally complete Level 6 in 1 year. The programme is designed for 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'. The objective is for students to gain an honours degree, to meet the National Occupational Standards for investigation and be appointed as Level 2 investigators.  

The Foundation Degree is made up of 240 credits, 120 at Level 4 and 120 at level 5 and is completed after two years of fulltime study. The Foundation Degree is the initial training degree for Cheshire Constabulary and, as such, is fundamental to all subsequent training. Whilst the Foundation Degree deals with all aspects of Policing, some modules and parts of modules at Level 4 and 5 specifically relate to investigation at a preliminary level this is a pre-curser to a higher level of study at Level 6.

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
SO6601 6 Interviewing Victims and Witnesses in relation to Serious and Complex Crime 20 Comp
SO6602 6 Interviewing Suspects in relation to serious and complex crime. 20 Comp
SO6603 6 Developing Investigatory Skills. 40 Comp
SO6604 6 Investigation Placement 40 Comp

Level 6. 120 credits (60 ECTS)
BSc in Policing with Criminal Investigation (academic and professional award)

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%.

  1. Successful completion of a relevant FdSc in Policing or equivalent.
  2. A professional interview to assess suitability for Investigation.
  3. A pass in the National Investigators examination.

At Level 6 the most relevant academic benchmarks with respect to Investigation are those of Criminology, professionally the National Occupational Standards are identified by the sector skills council - Skills@Justice.

For Criminology they are:

 Benchmark standards


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 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.

The National Occupational Standards are; 

CJ 102  Interview Victims and Witnesses in relation to Serious and Complex 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 202  Interview Suspects in relation to Serious and Complex 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

CI 102 Conduct Serious and Complex Investigations

3.1 Plan allocated investigations                                            

3.2 Conduct allocated investigations   

Academic benchmarks for Policing and Investigation relate most closely to the QAA Subject Benchmark Statement for Criminology. 


In all the learning activities student investigators work in small groups and have close relationships with tutors, often on a one to one basis. They are supported with a high level of specialist equipment and their learning is carefully monitored in relatively high levels of face to face contact with tutors.

The first two modules of Level 6 are related to interviewing. In these modules student investigators work individually and in small groups, planning interviews, conducting gap analysis.  Whilst conducting role play interviews students work in pairs in dedicated interviewing suites which have facilities to video sessions and relay them to adjoining classrooms. They are subject to peer and tutor review and available for self reflection.

The third module, which deals with the process of investigation is a computer based simulation - providing an opportunity for student officers to develop their skills in Investigation in a "real time" simulation. Working in groups that mimic the working conditions of an actual investigation they experience the pressures and the conditions of a "real" investigation while being observed by tutors and fellow students in a controlled environment. The aim is to give student investigators experience of using professional procedures and processes in a controlled environment.

The final module is a 40 credit placement. This will take the rest of the year to complete. In this placement the student officer will be given the opportunity to apply learning in a "live" operational environment.

Formative and summative assessment at level 6 is directly related to building competence and experience in Investigation Formatively students will be required to

  • review case materials
  • plan and conduct an investigation into Serious and Complex Crime
  • Plan, conduct and analysis interviews with victims, witnesses and suspects
  • be subject to self, peer and tutor review
  • collecting and collating evidence
  • brief Senior Officers on the Investigation
  • develop a "policy book"
  • Present evidence in a court setting and be cross examined.

Summative assessment varies from module to module. SO6601 and SO6602 have similar assessment regimes, in each case students are asked to plan an interview, conduct an interview and prepare a pre-disclosure document in which they are able to demonstrate their research skills and their ability to critically evaluate the nature of the plan. They are also able to demonstrate their ability to exercise appropriate judgement as well as critically evaluating information, applying legislation and using police procedure appropriately.

Summative assessment for SO6603 requires the student to compile a "policy book" which is a reflective account of a simulated investigation, they are also required to take an oral examination in which their ability to evaluate new information, their professional judgement and their application of core investigatory doctrine will be probed by professional advocates. SO6604 is assessed by means of a placement report which demonstrates that the student has acquired a range of skills and abilities that accord with level 6 descriptors and are sufficient to attain PIP Level 2 status as a criminal investigator as defined by the College of Policing. 

In general terms the holders of the BSc in Policing with Criminal Investigation should be able to demonstrate:

  • Knowledge and a critical understanding of the principles of Policing and Investigation
  • Successful application in the workplace of a range of knowledge and skills learnt throughout the programme
  • The ability to apply underlying concepts and principles outside the context in which they were first studied, and the application of those principles in the work context
  • Knowledge of the main methods of enquiry in Policing and Investigation and the ability to evaluate critically the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems in Policing and Investigation and apply these in the work context
  • An understanding of the limits of their knowledge, and how this influences analysis and interpretations based on that knowledge

They will be able to

  • Use a range of established skills to initiate and undertake critical analysis of information, and to propose solutions arising from that analysis.
  • Apply legislation and procedure to the investigative process.
  • Effectively communicate information, argument and analysis, in a variety of forms, to specialist and non-specialist audiences, and deploy the techniques of Policing and Investigation.
  • Undertake further training, develop existing skills, and acquire new competences that will enable them to assume responsibility within their Police role.

The ultimate aim of the degree is for student officers to develop their research skills within their specialism, to be able to evaluate new information, exercise appropriate judgement, accept responsibility for their personal decisions, work affectively in teams and deploy key techniques of investigation so that they can become knowledgeable, competent and experienced in their role within the police force.

  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.

The degree is intended to lead to increased professionalism of investigators, and establish a structured, professional approach to investigation. The programme is congruent with a national programme which aims to introduce a registration process for investigators who demonstrate they meet competence based standards as described in the National Occupational Standards (NOS) for investigation. The National Occupational Standards are ratified through the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority and are incorporated within the Integrated Competency Framework managed by Skills or Justice on behalf of the police service.

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