Taught course

Policing, Policy and Leadership (Distance Learning)

University of Portsmouth · Institute of Criminal Justice Studies

Entry requirements

A second-class honours degree or equivalent in a relevant subject. Exceptionally, applicants with strong relevant criminal justice experience will be considered. English language proficiency at a minimum of IELTS band 6.5, with a minimum score of 6.0 in Reading and Writing components.

Months of entry


Course content

Why take this course?

This course has been specifically designed for police officers and those in related occupations with an interest in securing or enhancing a role that requires knowledge and skills in policing, policy and management. You may apply your learning to your own organisation as part of the programme, which meets relevant occupational standards for the police and/or security organisations/services.

What will I experience?

On this course you will examine:

  • Strategy and tactics around core policing in the context, for example, of policing diverse communities
  • Policing policy and police leadership in the context of police governance and partnerships
  • Organisational and resource management in the context of operational delivery

What opportunities might it lead to?

Given the broad range of issues considered and the skills acquired throughout the degree, you will graduate with a portfolio of knowledge and abilities that supports a diverse range of career development opportunities in this field.

A significant number of our students are drawn from police officers and police staff seeking to further their career development in managerial roles in police and related organisations. Others have also found this course useful in developing their professional portfolio as a means of securing employment in policing or security-related organisations.

Module Details

Units of Study:

  • Policing Communities (30 credits)
  • Police Leadership: Policing, Policy and Partnerships (30 credits)
  • Managing Justice and Security Organisations (30 credits)
  • Research Methods and Research Management (30 credits)
  • 15,000 word Dissertation (60 credits)

Please note that the course structure may vary from year to year; course content and learning opportunities will not be diminished by this.

Programme Assessment

All ICJS distance learning students are supported in the initial stages by the extended Induction Programme (online and face-to-face). Immediately following induction, an ‘engagement officer’ proactively ensures any issues are resolved rapidly, and thereafter personal support is provided by your course leader for the duration of your studies.

All ICJS campus-based students will be assigned a personal tutor, responsible for pastoral support and guidance, and have access to University support services including careers, financial advice, housing and counselling etc.

Academic support will be delivered by the relevant academic unit coordinators and the course leader via the internet, telephone and email. All students have access to the formal and informal support areas of the course discussions areas (Graduate Common Room), student peer support and library support services in specific discussion rooms.

Assessment is based upon a range of written assignments including essays, case study, a literature review and research proposal focused on your chosen project, and finally a 15,000-word dissertation. For each assignment full academic support is provided by an academic subject expert and you will be provided with academic supervisor once you have identified your dissertation subject area.

Student Destinations

Whilst not rank or role specific, this degree has been specifically designed for those working in a supervisory, management or leadership role in the police, or aspiring to that role, as well as those working in the development of operational policy and/or strategy. As such, this degree is particularly valuable for those seeking continuing professional development in policing or related organisations and professions.

A number of students have also found this course of study useful in developing their professional portfolio as a means of securing employment in a policing or security-related organisations.

Fees and funding

UK students
part-time: year 1 £2,100 * (fees for the first two years of study only. *Fees are subject to annual increase.
International students
part-time: year 1 £2,100 * (fees for the first two years of study only. *Fees are subject to annual increase.

Qualification and course duration


distance learning
24 months

Course contact details

Admissions Team - Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
023 9284 3933