BSc (Hons) Policing and Criminal Investigation

Course Overview

Are you interested in a rewarding career within  criminal investigation, the policing family or wider law enforcement arena? Then our BSc (Hons) Policing and Criminal Investigation might be the perfect fit for you. The course will fully immerse you in the investigative process using cutting-edge technology, giving you valuable practical insight into real-life investigations. 

The course starts by taking you on an immersive journey through the entire investigative process, illustrating the natural progress of criminal investigations and the interlinked areas of policing and forensics. Through this, you will gain knowledge of how the various personnel involved in an investigation work together to achieve a common goal. Not only is the course delivered by skilled academic staff with years of experience in the field, but the additional use of guest lectures and webinars will provide you with a solid grounding of real practises in modern policing and criminal investigations.

Just one of the ways this course stands out is our immersive virtual crime world, which allows you to place yourself in real-world scenarios. To supplement your learning, this environment will be integrated seamlessly with your modules so that you can put the theory you learn during your lessons, seminars, and workshops into practice. You’ll have the opportunity to take on a range of investigative roles as you navigate different environments such as crime scenes, the police custody suite, the major incident room, police cells, the courtroom, and the forensics lab. Through this, you’ll gain insight into important processes and roles within civilian and operational policing and criminal investigations as a whole, preparing you for future work in the field.

Entry requirements

At Arden University we consider applications on a case by case basis. If you have significant work experience, have qualifications you have gained elsewhere, or a degree or qualification that isn’t a clear pathway to this degree – we are more than happy to discuss your application.

What do you need to study with us?

Our aim is to make learning as accessible as possible by ensuring that you can study your degree in a flexible and convenient way. That’s why we keep our requirements simple. All you need is a laptop or desktop PC (we recommend one running the latest version of Windows), and a good internet connection. Through ilearn, our online university campus in the cloud, you’ll be able to access your course calendar, support services, learning materials, and our online library containing almost half a million texts, as well as creating assignments, keeping notes, and collaborating with other students on your course. 


To be eligible for our BSc (Hons) Policing and Criminal Investigation, you should normally have:

  • Two subjects at GCE A level or equivalent, plus passes at grade C or above in three subjects at GCSE level or equivalent.
  • Alternative level 3 qualifications will also be considered, including Access to HE, a BTEC Extended Diploma, or internationally equivalent.

We’re also happy to consider your application if you can demonstrate your ability to study the course via previous work experience, references, and a personal statement.

Course fee

International FeeFee
fee per level:£5500
UK FeeFee
fee per level:£6,935

Please note: Fees quoted relate to the intake that you enrol on (i.e. when you start your course), NOT your application date.

English proficiency

  • IELTS 6.0 (no less than 5.5 in any element); or TOEFL iBT 90; or equivalent.
  • Alternatively, evidence you have previously studied in English, such as a letter to show that the medium of instruction was in English can be accepted.

Before you start studying

Whilst you can read your study materials on your smart phone or tablet, to make the most of your learning experience, you will need access to a laptop or computer (we recommend one running the latest version of Windows), and a good stable internet connection.

Course details and modules

Your course modules begin by taking you through the entire criminal investigative process, from the scene of the crime to the courtroom. Each module will link offences, offenders, law enforcement, forensic personnel, laws, and legislation, helping bring evidence to life. Using our unique virtual environment, you’ll also have the opportunity to assume the role of a crime scene investigator, detective, analyst and civilian detention officer, helping you translate theoretical principles to the real-world scenarios you might face in your future role. 

Later in the course you’ll study the academic components of policing and how these can be applied to practice, including leadership, communication, and investigative interviewing skills, as well as gain knowledge of a range of specialised areas within the field. These modules will showcase the civilian roles within the police service and the wider law enforcement family. Through level 5 and 6, you will select elective modules, which are also shared with the BSc (Hons) Forensic and Criminal Investigation programme.

When studying online you’ll have the flexibility to study on a schedule that works for you. While most of our students aim to complete the course within 3 to 6 years, you’ll have the option to extend the time in takes to complete the course if you need to.

Studying full-time, through our blended learning option, means you have 3 years to complete the course.

This course shares the same level 4 modules as our BSc (Hons) Forensic and Criminal Investigation.

Authentic assessments. No exams.

Unlike on more traditional degree programmes, you won’t be sitting any exams on this BSc (Hons) Policing and Criminal Investigation. Instead, the course utilises authentic, real-world assessments that replicate the observations, interviews, and reports that would be conducted in the field as part of a real policing and criminal investigation. 


Level 4

  • Introduction to Forensic Investigation(20 credits) 
  • Introduction to Criminal Investigation(20 credits) 
  • Police Custody (20 credits) 
  • Witnesses: An Introduction (20 credits)
  • Criminal Investigation: Procedures and Practices (20 credits) 
  • Analysis and Application of Forensics (20 credits)

Level 5

  • Core Modules
  • Leadership in Policing and Law Enforcement (20 credits)
  • Police Procedures and Evidence (20 credits)
  • Policing and Human Rights (20 credits)
  • Policing Concepts and Theories (20 credits)
  • Elective Modules
  • Intelligence (20 credits)
  • Community Policing (20 credits)
  • Transnational Organised Crime (20 credits)

Level 6

  • Police Ethics and Professional Standards (20 credits)
  • Law Enforcement: Vulnerability and Risk (20 credits) 
  • The Professionalisation of the Investigative Interview (20 credits)
  • Special Investigations: (60 credit portfolio)

Career prospects

Our BSc (Hons) Policing and Criminal Investigation will provide you with the foundations you need to continue on with further study and for future work in the field of policing and criminal investigation.

What can I do after Arden University?

This course is for anyone interested in learning more about civilian roles within policing and criminal investigation and pursuing a career within wider law enforcement. It is also an opportunity to take a fascinating deep dive into how criminal investigations work to provide you with universal skills for your future.

Additional benefits of the course include:

  • You’ll gain the academic knowledge needed for the entry route into a variety of civilian roles, such as crime and intelligence analyst, Intelligence officer, civilian detention officer, civilian investigating officer and Police Community Support Officer.
  • You could join the police as a police constable through the Degree Holders Entry Programme (DHEP). 

What will the BSc (Hons) Policing and Criminal Investigation do for me?

You’ll graduate from this course with real practical insight into the various roles and responsibilities within policing and criminal investigation, including an in-depth understanding of:

  • The major themes and practical underpinnings of policing and criminal investigations
  • The knowledge and skills required to undertake a criminal investigation from start to completion
  • The roles of different personnel and how they work together to achieve a common goal
  • Leadership, communication, and investigative interviewing skills that you can transfer to your future role

Online learning

How does it work? 

Studying this course online gives you the ultimate in convenience. As one of our online students, you’ll  study your degree through ilearn, Arden’s university campus in the cloud, which provides everything you need to study at university. 

Learn within an immersive virtual reality environment

This ground-breaking course uses a custom-built immersive virtual environment to put you at the heart of the crime scene. You’ll be able to place yourself into the scenario that is being presented, providing a seamless integration between your course content and our supplementary virtual crime world. Each of the modules studied in each year are linked by offences, offenders, law enforcement and forensic personnel. You will be assuming these different roles as you navigate through the crime world, investigating various offences that have been presented to you.

As well as receiving regular feedback and guidance from your course tutor, you’ll also be studying with like-minded students who you can meet with through our Unitu community, and you’ll have access to community message boards to discuss your course and the topics being raised within it. You’ll also have access to our Library Portal. The portal includes an extensive digital library including thousands of journal titles, eBooks, and academic and industry databases which you can use to research your assignments and projects. All of these materials are provided to you free of charge, and contain all the research information you’ll need to complete your degree with us.

Online learning students resident in the UK can apply for a Maintenance Loan if they cannot attend their course in person because of a disability. If you’re a student from Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland you can find information on Living Cost Loans from your student finance body.

Introducing your Digital Backpack

  • Once you’ve enrolled on your course with Arden you’ll get access to your Digital Backpack, a toolkit of digital resources we’ve put together to help you succeed during your time studying with us.
  • Here are some of the digital resources you’ll have available throughout your course:
  • Office 365 subscription
  • Integrated zoom video conferencing
  • Careers support available through Arden Futures, your careers platform, to help you throughout your career journey whether you are a Career Starter, Changer or Developer
  • Free online access to our Library Portal, which includes thousands of eBooks and journals, as well as industry databases which we’ve carefully hand-picked to support your studies – all yours for free while you study with us.
  • Subscription to Togetherall for an abundance of mental health support.