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Undergraduate study
Public Services

Public Services FdA

This is a Teesside University award delivered in partnership with Hartlepool College of Further Education and Darlington College. Employment prospects in public services are vast and varied whether in the uniformed or non-uniformed area. This programme integrates work-related experience and the academic knowledge required for a career in public services.


Course overview

This programme, studied at a local FE college, provides you with a recognised qualification which enhances your opportunities for potential employment within the police and fire services, the armed forces, local government, civil service, education, prison service and ambulance services. The course develops your knowledge and understanding of the relationship between theory and practice in the public services sector, and introduces a variety of analytical approaches and current issues.

Top reasons to study this course

• Whilst studying this course at your local FE college, you are also a student of Teesside University, with access to many extra-curricular facilities at the Middlesbrough campus.
• You develop your problem-solving and analytical skills to explore and identify solutions to issues.
• You are encouraged to appreciate alternative views and beliefs.
• You develop an appreciation of investigation in the real world.

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Course details

The programme has been designed to reflect the combination of theoretical and practical knowledge and experience required in the public services. The emphasis in Year 1 is on the application of knowledge, skills and understanding, use of conventions in the field of study, use of analytical skills, and selection and organisation of information. In Year 2 the emphasis is on application and evaluation of contrasting ideas, principles, theories and practices, greater specialisation in the field of study, and an increasing independence in systematic enquiry and analysis.

Course structure

Year 1 modules

Contemporary Society and the Public Services

You develop an appreciation of the issues involved society and their effects on public services. You explore culture, family, groups and how they contribute to the structure of society, the development of individuals and groups and the structural influences on society. A wide range of contemporary issues in society and how they can impact on availability and provision of public services are also considered.

Human and Criminal Behaviour

You gain an understanding of psychological theories and how they might have an impact. You also explore the causes and consequences of prejudice and discrimination and look at the different types of prejudice and discrimination and their impact on victims and organisations.

Introduction to Research

You develop the skills required for information gathering and research in the field of public services within an ethical context. Using a range of research methods, the practical focus means you develop the skills needed to undertake small scale projects. You review and analyse secondary data, in the area they wish to complete your research project in your second year, looking for gaps in the study and a pathway for your project. You propose a research topic in an area from your chosen public service in agreement with your tutor.

Management and Leadership in the Public Services

The understanding and skills required of a manager/leader in an organisational context, through applying current theories is the focus of the his module. You examine the relationship between management and leadership, and different perspectives, in relation to the behaviour of managers/leaders in public services. You explore the personal and professional skills needed for effective management and leadership, examine the skills and attributes of successful leaders and investigate situations where different leadership styles are appropriate within public service environments.

Self Analysis and Career Development

You actively participate in your own learning development through small group activities, and self-assessment of your current skills using learning styles questionnaires, and CV analysis.

Technology and the Public Services

Effective use of technology is at the heart of the operation of public services in the 21st century. UK governments have invested heavily in the design and implementation of technology projects for specific public service organisations. On this module you will identify the range of technology used by public service organisations, how that technology supports those organisations, their suppliers and customers, enhances the delivery of public services in the UK and the potential for future developments.


Year 2 modules

Criminal Law and Public Services

You develop an understanding of criminal law and criminal justice and the impact of this on the public services. The laws relating to a variety of criminal offenses, including homicide, theft, robbery and criminal damage will be considered as well as the impact of these on the public services. The module also gives learners an understanding of criminal law defenses. These defenses will help the learners to have a fundamental appreciation of how criminal responsibility can be limited and/or avoided. There will be consideration of the handling of suspects throughout the process from arrest to prosecution. The impact of new types of crime will be considered including e-crime and the difficulties in legislating for and fighting crime in cyberspace. There will be an examination of the suitability of relevant laws and if reform is required.

Crisis Management

You consider the roles and systems of the emergency services in the event of a disaster, and the role of health and safety within public services. You also investigate contingency planning exercises carried out in advance of a major incident occurring, and focus on how incidents are dealt with and their possible effects. You apply your knowledge and understanding by undertaking risk assessment and proposing strategies for accident prevention.

Emergency Planning in the Public Services

You investigate the planning, review and updating of strategies and procedures that are used by the public services. You also examine the contingency-planning exercises that public services undertake in advance of a major incident taking place, the impact of incidents and how they are dealt with by the public services. You develop a simulated disaster scenario that could be used in training exercises, allocating roles and responsibilities to the public services involved and evaluate how the various agencies work together to provide an effective response to incidents.

Global Issues on the Public Services

Major current global economic, environmental issues, conflict and humanitarian and the impact they can have on the UK are considered in this module. You investigate the causes, impact and involvement of both statutory and non-governmental organisations, examine key international organisations and how they work with differing political systems. This develops your understanding of the changing nature of international relationships including how regime change can occur, how international organisations manage these changes and any subsequent impact on the UK.

Governmental Impact on the Public Services

You gain an understanding of governmental structures, and the associated legislative and policy-making powers. It examines this at various levels of governmental authority, ranging from the European Union through national and regional authorities to local government. Learners will examine public policymaking and current political issues with a focus on the impact of devolution and Brexit. The module will place these within the context of the UK’s economic situation and the subsequent influence on a policy decisions. Learners will also focus on local and regional policies which affect public service organisations. The influence of government policy on the public services will be covered and the impact on service provision, employees and the public will be considered.

Research Project in the Public Services

To develop your independent enquiry and critical analysis skills you undertake a research investigation of direct relevance to your higher education programme and professional development. The actual research topic depends on your focus of interest and the anticipated outcomes, to be approved by your tutor. The module draws together a range of other learnings from the course to form a holistic piece of work that will make a positive contribution to your area of interest.

Theories relating to Crimes of Violence

You gain an understanding of criminological theory relating to violent crime, with a particular emphasis on youth, drugs, hate, terrorist, intimate partner violence and sexual assault, as well as that serial murder to develop an insight of what potentially makes people behave in a particular criminal and violent manner. You also examine the impact of such crimes on victims, society and the public services.


Modules offered may vary.


How you learn

Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, group work and individual study.

How you are assessed

Assessment is entirely through the production of coursework for each module.

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

A typical offer is 40-48 tariff points.

The entry criteria are based on your ability to succeed and can be demonstrated in a variety of ways including:

  • a range of Level 3 qualifications (NVQ 3, BTEC Award, A level)
  • you can apply for an Accreditation of Prior Learning
  • previous industrial experience will also be taken into account.

We also invite you for an interview.

Because this course is taught at Darlington College and Hartlepool College of Further Education, this course is not accepting applications from Tier 4 international students.

For general information please see our overview of entry requirements

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

This programme will appeal to anyone who is either considering a career in the uniformed public services or who aspires to being involved in a management role in a public-services-related career.



Entry to 2022/23 academic year

Fee for UK applicants
£6,150 a year

More details about our fees

What is included in your tuition fee?

  • Length: 2 years
  • UCAS code: L430 FdA/PS
  • Start date: September
  • Semester dates
  • Typical offer: 40-48 tariff points

Apply online (full-time) through UCAS



  • Not available part-time

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