BSc (Hons) Policing and Criminal Investigation

Policing and Criminal Investigation

BSc (Hons)


Study level
Full time
3 years
Part time
3 years+
Faculty of Social Science

What makes Arden University special?

Education for everyone, everywhere
Whether you're constrained by location, cost, time, or other life commitments, we're passionate about giving you access to higher education that fits into your busy, modern life.
Where to study
You decide how and where to study
We offer a wide range of flexible undergraduate and postgraduate degrees in both our online and blended study modes.
Full support both online and on-site
We're also proud to offer non-standard entry, meaning your work experience and previous qualifications are taken into account when assessing your application.
Strong focus on employability
You will gain in-depth subject knowledge and transferable skills that employers from a huge range of industries will value. Many of our courses at Arden are also accredited by leading professional bodies in the UK.

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.

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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.

Bettina Finna

Arden is for winners. Nobody will beg you to sit down and start working on your career, if you don’t do it yourself! At Arden, if you have an honest interest for what you learn and you want to reach out for more, you will be welcomed, helped, and advised. But to do that, you must be determined.

Bettina Finna
BSc (Hons) Psychology

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. (You can find out more about this course here.)


  • 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 Practises (20 credits)
  • Analysis and Application of Forensics (20 credits)
  • Core Modules
  • Leadership in Policing and Law Enforcement (20 credits)
  • Police Procedures and Evidence (20 credits)
  • Policing and Human Rights (20 credits)
  • Civilian Employability (20 credits)
  • Optional modules
  • Intelligence (20 credits)
  • Community Policing (20 credits)
  • Transnational Organised Crime (20 credits)
  • Police Ethics and Professional Standards (20 credits)
  • Law Enforcement: Vulnerability and Risk (20 credits) 
  • The Professionalism of the Investigative Interview (20 credits)
  • Special Investigations Portfolio (60 credits)

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. 

Study options

Ornella Russo

I chose online learning because it suited my lifestyle and work schedule. Being able to access the online portal and libraries 24/7 has been extremely helpful for me to be able to keep up with my studies. Studying while working isn’t the easiest thing to do, but Arden gives you the support you need.

Ornella Russo
BA (Hons) Law & Psychology

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. Please find more information on our fees and funding page. If you're a student from Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland you can find information on Living Cost Loans from your student finance body.

Learn more about online learning

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.

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.

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 fees and funding

Find your country

Use the dropdown above to find course fees and funding information for your country. If you can’t find information for your country in the dropdown, visit our International support page.

Meet the faculty

Rach Strzelecki

Rach Strzelecki started her career as a crime and intelligence analyst for Cleveland Police working on several major investigations including human trafficking, vulnerable missing persons, drugs, and suspicious deaths. In 2006, she started guest lecturing for Teesside University in crime analytics, intelligence, and forensic investigation before securing a permanent role as a lecturer in policing. Rach has also worked at University of Wolverhampton, Interactive Pro, and more recently Buckinghamshire College Group as an advanced practitioner leading on protective services and forensic and criminal investigation programmes. Her research has predominantly related to sexual offences and paedophilia; however, her publications have been within the field of terrorism, police and forensic investigations and online teaching and learning.

Rach Strzelecki
Head of School - Investigation, Security and Defence

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 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

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). 

Industry skills

Career Development Resources

Once you’ve enrolled with Arden, our careers centre is easily accessible directly from inside our online platform, ilearn. The careers centre is here to help you discover the areas of your academic and professional life that you find most meaningful and rewarding, and then apply this to your career pathway. 

Just a few of the career tools you’ll find in the careers centre include:

  • CV360, which analyses your CV and provides instant feedback for improvement
  • Interview360, helping you practise your interview technique in a stress-free environment and tackle some of the most common interview questions - as many times as you need to
  • Aptitude tests to help your improve your critical thinking, numeric, and logical reasoning skills
  • 100s of interactive courses focused on giving you the skills and confidence you need to excel in your professional life. 
  • My Jobs, where you can search employment vacancies, browse employer profiles by location and, or connect with other employees on LinkedIn. 

LinkedIn Learning

All Arden students will have free access to LinkedIn Learning through the Library Portal. LinkedIn Learning is a video-based online learning platform offering over 16,500 expert-led courses across a wide range of subjects including business, technology, and creative skills.

With LinkedIn Learning, you can:

  • Pursue curated learning pathways aligned with our curriculum and your career goals.
  • Add value to your LinkedIn profile by showcasing your newly acquired skills.
  • Personalise content based on skills relevant to your chosen career path, interests and prior learning.