Policing, Policy and Leadership MSc
MSc Policing, Policy and Leadership
This course is part of the MSc Criminal Justice Postgraduate Flexible Framework.
The Flexible Framework allows you to customise your postgraduate degree. The units and subjects you choose will determine which award title you graduate with. To view the other unit options, visit the MSc Criminal Justice page.
If you're a police officer – or working in a related profession – and want to advance your career, our MSc Policing, Policy & Leadership degree course will give you the knowledge and skills you need to succeed.
On this distance learning course, you'll learn about key issues including the strategy and tactics of core policing, resource management and operational delivery.
When you graduate, you'll have the knowledge and skills you need for a management career in policing or security, an understanding of criminal justice issues and transferable skills which will support your career development.
Our MSc Policing, Policy & Leadership degree course is invaluable for individuals working in the police and security organisations, and you'll be able to apply what you learn to your own organisation during and after your studies.
The additional Core Subjects you can choose from include:
- Counter Fraud and Counter Corruption
- Crime Science
- Criminal Justice
- Criminal Psychology
- Cybercrime (Campus learning only)
- Intelligence (in combination only)
- International Criminal Justice (Distance learning only; campus study from 2019)
- Security Management
- Victimology (Distance learning only)
Our MSc Policing, Policy & Leadership degree course offers you two routes of study, depending on your preferences and career goals.
In addition to Police Leadership: policing, policy and partnerships, and Research Methods and Ethics, you'll study one additional Core Unit from the list above, and a relevant specialist option. You'll only be able to study a Specialist Option if enough other students elect to take the option in question. You will also have a free choice to study any other option.
In addition to Police Leadership: policing, policy and partnerships, and Research Methods and Ethics, you'll study two additional Core Units from the list above, and a relevant specialist option. You'll only be able to study a Specialist Option if enough other students elect to take the option in question.
Specialist Options include:
- Policing Communities
- Managing Justice and Security Organisations
- Missing Persons
- Victimology: Vulnerability, Risk and Resilience
Your exit qualification will depend on which options you choose. You'll graduate with one of the following:
- MSc Policing, Policy & Leadership
- MSc Policing, Policy & Leadership and Intelligence
- MSc Crime Science and Policing, Policy & Leadership
- MSc Security Management and Policing, Policy & Leadership
- MSc Criminal Psychology and Policing, Policy & Leadership
- MSc Counter Fraud & Counter Corruption and Policing, Policy & Leadership
- MSc International Criminal Justice and Policing, Policy & Leadership
- MSc Criminology and Policing, Policy & Leadership
- MSc Criminal Justice and Policing, Policy & Leadership
What you'll experience
On this course, you'll:
- Benefit from our local, national and international links with the criminal justice sector
- Customise your degree to meet your career goals
- Draw on the expertise and facilities at our Institute of Criminal Justice Studies
- Learn through our supported distance learning programme, which gives you the flexibility to fit your studies in around other commitments
- Have 24/7 access to the extensive facilities in our university library, including books, ejournals and newspapers
- Complete a major project, based on your chosen area of research, with the support of qualified and enthusiastic staff who are experts in the field
Careers and opportunities
On this course, you'll learn the skills needed for a managerial career in the police force or related industries. You'll also get transferable skills in management and strategy, which can be applied in your existing role, and will support your professional development.
We'll provide you with as much support as possible in finding employment through close industrial contacts, careers events, recruitment fairs and individual advice.
What you'll study
Each unit on this course is worth a certain number of credits.
In each year, you need to study units worth a total of 180 credits. For example, 4 units worth 30 credits and 1 unit worth 60 credits.
Core units in this year include:
- Research Methods
- Research Ethics
You'll study for this course by following one of the two available routes described above, depending on whether you want to study, and be recognised for, one or two subject areas.
We use the best and most current research and professional practice alongside feedback from our students to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.
Work experience and career planning
We'll help you to identify internships, voluntary roles and opportunities that will complement your studies.
When you finish the course, our Careers and Employability service can help you find a job that puts your skills to work in the police force or security industry.
After you leave the University, you can get help, advice and support for up to 5 years from our Careers and Employability service as you advance in your career.
As well as support by faculty teaching staff and your personal tutor, you can use the University’s Academic Skills Unit (ASK).
ASK provides one-to-one support in areas such as:
- academic writing
- note taking
- time management
- critical thinking
- presentation skills
- working in groups
- revision, memory and exam techniques
Teaching methods on this course include:
- online materials
- online study support
How you'll spend your time
Each academic year is divided into 2 teaching blocks and 2 assessment periods:
- September to December – teaching block 1
- January – assessment period 1
- January to mid-May – teaching block 2 (includes Easter break)
- Mid-May to early June – assessment period 2
Most teaching takes place during the day, Monday to Friday. You may occasionally need to go to University and course events in the evenings and at weekends.
There’s usually no teaching on Wednesday afternoons.
How you're assessed
You'll be assessed through:
- case study
- research proposal
- dissertation or major project
- 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 no component score below 6.0.
Tuition fees (2019 start)
UK, EU, International, Channel Islands and Isle of Man students
- Full time: £8,700
- Part time: £4,350 per year (90 credits) (subject to annual increase)
- Part time distance learning: £3,500 per year (subject to annual increase)
- Full time: £13,900
- Part time: £6,950 per year (60 credits) (subject to annual increase)
- Part time distance learning: £3,500 per year (subject to annual increase)
Additional course costs
These course-related costs aren’t included in the tuition fees. So you’ll need to budget for them when you plan your spending.
Our accommodation section shows your accommodation options and highlights how much it costs to live in Portsmouth.
You’ll study up to 6 units a year. You may have to read several recommended books or textbooks for each unit.
You can borrow most of these from the Library. If you buy these, they may cost up to £60 each.
We recommend that you budget £75 a year for photocopying, memory sticks, DVDs and CDs, printing charges, binding and specialist printing.
There may be travel costs for internships/placements. These will vary depending on the nature of internship/placement and can range from £50 - £1000.
If you wish to undertake the optional Certificate of Knowledge in Policy (CKP) qualification, you are likely to incur a license fee, currently set at £100, This is payable to the College of Policing for students.
If your final year includes a major project, there could be cost for transport or accommodation related to your research activities. The amount will depend on the project you choose.
If you're a distance learning student, you may need to cover the travel, accommodation and subsistence costs for any optional campus-based events that you attend. Depending on the distance you need to travel to reach Portsmouth, these can vary from £50 to £500.
You may need to cover the travel costs of internships and placements. These will vary depending on the nature of the internship or placement in question, and can range from £50 - £1,000.
Apply for this course using our online application form.
When applying for this course, apply for MSc Criminal Justice. The units you choose when doing the MSc Criminal Justice will define the award you graduate with.
If you're from outside of the UK, you can apply directly to us or you can get an agent to help with your application. Check your country page for details of agents in your region.
To find out what to include in your application, head to the how to apply page of our international students section.