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Undergraduate study
Police Studies (Top-up)

Police Studies (Top-up) BSc (Hons)

This course explores issues in policing and criminal justice enabling you to gain insights into how the process of policing and investigative process is conducted, the significance of forensic evidence, and the legal constraints of an investigation and its impact on the wider criminal justice system.


Course overview

It allows you to enhance your previous level 5 study, or equivalent, to achieve a BSc (Hons) degree. It enables you to think more independently and critically about issues that interest you within policing and wider society, and the significance of the professionalisation agenda to the investigative process.

Our specialist facilities will develop your investigative skills, you’ll learn how to gather relevant evidence at a crime scene, and how to undertake investigative interviewing. You will also develop your skills to conduct research and to write a dissertation in an area of policing and investigation of interest to you.

Top reasons to study this course

• This degree gives you an appreciation of the considerations involved in the interviewing aspect of the investigative process, and the significance of professionalisation of the police service and related vocations.
• Practical tasks develop your understanding of evidence-gathering and forensic activities at the crime scene.
• You develop your problem-solving and analytical skills to explore and identify solutions to issues.

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Course details

Course structure

Core modules


This module begins with six weeks of formal lectures and seminars to cover issues relating to how to conduct a dissertation or work-based project.

Issues such as time-tabling and reflective diary as well as undertaking the research process, supervision, structure and guidelines will be covered.

Following from this, your supervisor will support and guide you through the dissertation process.

Every Contact Leaves a Trace

Every contact leaves a trace is a phrase used to sum up Locard's Exchange Principle, which is the foundation of forensic science.

This module develops your knowledge, skills and understanding of the use of scientific evidence within the criminal justice system, and requires you to learn how to locate, record and recover forensic evidence. It also develops your knowledge, skills and understanding of the uses of forensic, fingerprint and witness evidence in the investigation of crime.

As a result the module also explores potential investigative career opportunities for graduates.

International Policing

The module examines the policing systems in the United Kingdom, Europe, North America, Africa and Asia, along with the law enforcement agencies in place to assist the investigation of transnational crime.

The module charts the respective police services development and you explore the structural variations that exist between them. Attention is given to the function and role of the wider police family in different societies, the different tasks and responsibilities undertaken by policing personnel, and the relationship between the police and the wider society of their native country.

Professionalising the Investigative Process

This module expands upon your understanding of the investigative process. It examines the development of the concept of investigation, from its early roots in policing through to current investigative processes employed within the UK. You gain an insight into processes observed by police investigators and the regulations applied to the growing body of private investigators.

Specific elements of the module include the interviewing of witnesses, victims and suspects, guidelines and roles relevant to the investigative process, and the management of the incident room.

Research Skills for Social Scientists

Develop a more advanced understanding of research methods and build on the foundations you gained through Study Skills for Social Scientists in Year 1.

You learn why researchers use particular research methods to investigate specific social issues and how to evaluate methodological decisions. You also develop a sound understanding of ethical and practical issues in research. And you take part in practical activities to develop your skills in designing, conducting and analysing research.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

All modules are taught through a combination of lectures and seminars which are interspersed with a broad range of learning opportunities including workshops, case studies, peer group discussions, independent study, online materials, individual and group tutorials, guest speakers and practical sessions within the replica crime scene house, vehicle examination laboratory, police station, interview rooms and the replica courtroom.

We encourage opportunities for volunteering within the criminal justice sector.

How you are assessed

The programme is assessed through a range of formative and summative methods in oral, written and alternative formats. These comprise traditional assessment methods including:

  • assignments
  • reports
  • reflections
  • practical tasks
  • presentations
  • negotiated research and dissertation.

Timetabling information
As a full-time student your timetabled hours are between Monday to Friday, 9.00am - 6.00pm. On Wednesdays the latest you will be timetabled is until 1.00pm. Hours of attendance vary between 12 hours and 20 hours per week. Part-time undergraduate students are required to attend during the same days and times as full-time students but for only a proportion of the time, dependant on the modules being taken. Module choices are discussed with course tutors during the enrolment and induction period. Further details are automatically sent to applicants due to enrol this year.

Our Disability Services team provide an inclusive and empowering learning environment and have specialist staff to support disabled students access any additional tailored resources needed. If you have a specific learning difficulty, mental health condition, autism, sensory impairment, chronic health condition or any other disability please contact a Disability Services as early as possible.
Find out more about our disability services

Find out more about financial support
Find out more about our course related costs


Entry requirements

Entry requirements

Applicants require 240 credits at levels 4 and 5 (achieved through successful completion of an FD or HND Public Services, Uniformed Services, Police Studies, Community and Public Services or Public Services Management).

International students should also consider criteria for admission and direct entry and achieve a minimum IELTS score of 6.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

International applicants can find out what qualifications they need by visiting Your Country

You can gain considerable knowledge from work, volunteering and life. Under recognition of prior learning (RPL) you may be awarded credit for this which can be credited towards the course you want to study.
Find out more about RPL



Career opportunities

Graduates will typically be aspiring to work within the policing or other uniformed services disciplines.


Information for international applicants


International applicants - find out what qualifications you need by selecting your country below.

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Useful information

Visit our international pages for useful information for non-UK students and applicants.

Talk to us

Talk to an international student enrolment adviser



Entry to 2023/24 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£9,250 a year

More details about our fees

Fee for international applicants
£15,000 a year

More details about our fees for international applicants

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 1 year; Top-up Award (Point of entry: Year 3)
  • UCAS code: L435 BSc/PolSt
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: 240 credits at levels 4 and 5

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS



  • Not available part-time

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Teesside University Law School

At Teesside University Law School we have over 30 years' experience of delivering high-quality education in the field of law and criminal justice.

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UK students


Telephone: 01642 738801

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International students


Telephone: +44 (0) 1642 738900

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