This unique online Postgraduate Certificate in Policing and Criminal Investigation introduces many key topics relating to policing, psychology and criminal investigations.
You’ll discover the varied techniques used to investigate major crimes, such as homicide and sexual assault, while also critically reviewing effective police leadership and partnerships. The programme also has a strong focus on the role of psychology in supporting criminal investigations.
Using programme content created by tutors with considerable academic and professional senior policing and investigative experience, you’ll develop an in-depth knowledge of contemporary policing, criminological and psychological theory and social policy. After completing the programme you’ll also be able to demonstrate an advanced understanding of the changing nature of policing with a particular focus on leadership, social and government policy, and partnership working. You’ll also acquire a range of critical and analytical skills that can be used in a variety of different professional contexts.
This short, 100% online course is a great alternative to full-time, campus based study and is perfect if you are interested in discovering how policing and criminal investigation works, or if you are attracted to a career in the field of policing or investigation. If you are already working in policing or investigation, then this programme is valid (Continuing Professional Development) CPD and will enhance your knowledge and career prospects.
Upon completion of your Postgraduate Certificate, we offer the opportunity for you to progress on to study for a Postgraduate Diploma in Criminology and Criminal Psychology (awarded after 120 credits) and a full Masters in Criminology and Criminal Psychology (awarded after 180 credits).
The Postgraduate Certificate Policing and Criminal Investigation is made up of the following modules and, upon completion, is equal to a total of 60 credits at Level 7.
Level 7 modules:
Studying online gives you the freedom to study when and where it suits you – at home, during your lunch hour or anywhere else you have internet access.
All of our online courses have an indicative study duration which is a guide to how long your course will take to complete. The actual duration may be longer or shorter depending on your speed of study, study options chosen and module availability. It’s possible to complete your studies faster than the indicative course duration by doubling up on modules at certain times; however, minimum study durations do apply.
All of our courses have regular start dates throughout the year. Our academic year is organised into modules, typically with a one- or two-week break between modules and a structured three-week break for the Christmas period. Students will receive a course timetable during the application process.
Teaching methods and style
As we are a 100% online university, we utilise a Virtual Learning Environment instead of a traditional campus. The system tracks and manages the learning process in real-time and provides you with immediate access to your learning materials.
This learning platform allows both students and tutors to actively take part in real-time conversations and you can listen to, and view, live lectures and seminars over the internet. All courses are delivered in English only.
You are supported throughout your course by a dedicated Student Adviser and have the opportunity to regularly interact with fellow students and your tutor. To ensure you receive the support you need from your tutor, we cap our class sizes at 20 students.
We adopt an assignment-based approach to assessment instead of exams. Assessment for the Postgraduate Policing and Criminal Investigation will be based on a combination of written coursework.
You will always be aware of your current provisional grade right from the start of the programme, allowing you to evaluate the success of your current study methods and clearly identify areas to improve. We believe that this transparency gives you the information you need to make the most of your postgraduate course. We achieve this by:
We also have a policy of ensuring that work submitted by students is authentic. As well as the fact that all work is frequently assessed, we use a well-established electronic monitoring system to check for plagiarism.
We are dedicated to improving employability amongst our graduates. Our online courses give you the opportunity to improve your career prospects and earning potential with a mix of key skills that are directly transferable to the workplace.
This PG Cert Policing and Criminal Investigation course will give you the skills needed to pursue a career in policing and/or investigation. The programme is also perfect for those who are already working in the police service or investigation and looking to enhance their career prospects.
You develop your knowledge of contemporary theory and practices in criminal investigation, relevant legislation, and information relating to criminal justice studies and criminal law. This cross-disciplinary programme develops your intellectual capability and enhances your understanding of criminal justice both national and international.
Inter-disciplinary by nature, this course incorporates the knowledge of staff with practical experience of investigation, law and research whilst offering a strong academic base. It has a clear focus which merges theory and practice and emphasises the importance of relevant legislation, policies and practices, linking them to the overall theme exploring criminal investigation.
This programme includes a dissertation module which enables you to focus on an aspect of investigation which is of particular interest you, relevant to criminal investigation, but potentially in relation to an area not taught within the programme.
and one optional module
Modules offered may vary.
How you learn
Teaching is student-centred to develop your understanding of theory, practice and presentation.
The programme commences with a three-day block induction period to enable you to meet staff and be introduced to the programme. You then begin a blended learning programme, which involves studying both in the classroom (one evening and one half day) and independently via on-line learning. This increases the flexibility of the programme and it is anticipated this combined approach of on-line study, evening and daytime study offers sufficient flexibility to fit into most lifestyles, whilst offering the benefit of the socialising aspects of group study. It also encourages the development of independent learning skills at an earlier stage in the programme, in readiness for research tasks.
These teaching methods offer you the opportunity to develop subject-specific knowledge and understanding, developing your cognitive-intellectual, practical-professional and generic key skills.
Your research skills are developed during the research module and further developed through the course, enabling you to conduct your research successfully towards more specialist fields of enquiry for your dissertation.
The programme involves high levels of personal responsibility and self-direction. It requires you to work with complex knowledge, theory and concepts appropriate to postgraduate studies. On the completion of this course, you should be able to plan, manage and evaluate your own learning effectively so as to become an independent lifelong learner.
How you are assessed
Formative assessment is ongoing throughout each module, either via on-line tasks or by classroom tasks, offering you feedback to assist you to develop your skills.
This programme adopts a wide range of formal assessment methods which assists you to achieve the learning outcomes and to evaluate the effectiveness of your learning. Essays and other forms of writing are commonly used. These assess your analytical, evaluative and communication skills. Presentations allow you to demonstrate a critical and systematic understanding of the key subject matter.
Seen examinations test your knowledge and information retention as well as your fluency. You are required to undertake appropriate criminal investigation-related research. The dissertation gives you the opportunity to demonstrate an appropriate standard of research and enquiry into a specialised area of investigation, displaying an analytical discussion of that area.
Graduates are equipped to work within, or progress their existing careers in, the criminal justice institutions, such as the police, prison and probation services, other investigation-related institutions and organisations, and relevant private sectors.
Visit our website for more information on fees, scholarships, postgraduate loans and other funding options to study Applied Criminal Justice and Criminology at Swansea University - 'Welsh University of the Year 2017' (Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2017).
The Department of Criminology at Swansea University has run a successful MA in Applied Criminal Justice and Criminology since 1997. Students of the Applied Criminal Justice and Criminology will have the opportunity to learn about crime, the criminal justice system and cutting edge themes in criminology from leading experts in the field. The MA in Applied Criminal Justice and Criminology specialises in the application of criminological knowledge to the workings of the Criminal Justice System and this is strongly reflected in the exciting range of diverse and cutting-edge modules on offer.
The MA in Applied Criminal Justice and Criminology focuses mainly on the application of knowledge to the operation of the criminal justice system, reflecting the policy/ practice orientation of members of the staff team.
Whether you are a practitioner working in the criminal justice system, a researcher wishing to gain a firm foundation for a research degree in an ESRC recognised Doctoral Training Centre, or an undergraduate aspiring to a career in criminal justice, our Masters-level degree in Applied Criminal Justice and Criminology is for you! The MA in Applied Criminal Justice and Criminology offers you:
• an up-to-date and high quality programme which includes some of the most important theory and research in criminal justice and criminology
• an opportunity to develop your ability to apply criminal justice and criminological knowledge to research and the operation of the criminal justice system
• an opportunity to develop and apply research methods knowledge and skills
• enhanced employability for those wishing to pursue a career in the criminal justice system and for those interested in an academic or research career
Modules on the MA in Applied Criminal Justice and Criminology typically include:
• Ethics and Philosophy of Social Research
• Quantitative Methods
• Qualitative Methods
• Case Studies in Applied Social Research
• Data Visualisation
• Crime, Drugs and Alcohol
• Gender, Crime and Criminal Justice
• Applied Criminal Justice
• Understanding Policing
• Youth Justice: Research, Policy & Practice
• Criminal Justice System in England and Wales
• Sexual Abuse and Exploitation of Children
• Human Trafficking
The MA in Applied Criminal Justice & Criminology will open the door to a range of careers, including: Local Government, Police Force, Prison Service, Social Work, Victim Support, Teaching, and Probation Service to name a few. Enhancing your career prospects whilst studying on this course, you will have a wealth of opportunities to take advantage of in order to boost your CV and form important employment links for the future.
Every student is allocated a Personal Tutor who offers academic and pastoral care throughout the student’s stay in Swansea. Several lecturers invite senior criminal justice practitioners, managers, and policy makers to deliver lectures on key aspects of criminal justice policy and practice. The Department of Criminology also ensures that MA in Applied Criminal Justice & Criminology students participate in social events through the Criminology Society which organises events that give students opportunities to socialise and meet others in the Department of Criminology. There may also be placement and research internship opportunities available to students (subject to availability). Research internships provide opportunities for students to observe practices in a criminal justice agency and then produce their dissertation on a topic that is relevant to the work of the agency.
- Christie Owen, MA in Applied Criminal Justice and Criminology graduate 2010 -11
“There are a range of different modules covering a broad spectrum of subjects. Helpful tutoring means that those who have not studied Criminology previously will find the subject easy to pick up. There are plenty of approachable staff and lecturers to seek advice if you are unsure. Lectures are well structured with scope for debate with your peers and lecturers, as well as informative media such as videos and power point presentations. There is continuous mentoring while completing dissertations, with supervisors engaging well with students and aiding them in making it more manageable. Supervisors are continuously available to answer any questions or solve any problems that arise while writing such a large piece of work. The library services are also extremely helpful, with access to many books, journals and the internet with a room specifically for postgraduates which is very much needed during busier periods.
The Masters degree in Criminology encouraged me to pursue a career in the Prison Service. After graduating I was offered a position following my first interview and the course has given me skills to use in my new position.”
- Peter Doyle, MA in Applied Criminal Justice and Criminology graduate
Retired Detective Chief Inspector and Senior Investigating Officer Peter, from Kenfig near Porthcawl, had specialised in Homicide and Serious Crime Investigation and has an extensive background in Child Sexual Exploitation (CSE) investigation.
“The course was challenging for me as I do not possess a first degree – a particular challenge was writing in an academic style. I overcame the challenges by applying practice and more practice – plus support from those within the College and my family. I believe the key is not worrying about every mistake you make but learning from them instead.
“I chose Swansea University because it has an excellent reputation for criminology studies and I also worked in Swansea for many years as a police officer. It was a great honour to meet people on my course from such a wide spectrum and of all ages – this was very inspiring, I was made to feel welcome by everyone involved.”
Forensic Psychology at Winchester provides the academic component (Stage 1) of the route to becoming a Chartered Forensic Psychologist with the British Psychological Society’s Division of Forensic Psychology and Practitioner Forensic Psychologist status with the Health and Care Professions Council. The programme also supports you with the transition towards Stage 2 of the chartership process by incorporating practice-based assessments.
The course introduces the context and application of psychology in various forensic settings including the legal and criminal justice system, forensic psychological practice and forensic mental health. You are introduced to the role of a forensic psychologist in practice. The programme focuses on core theoretical models of crime with an emphasis on theoretical, practical and methodological limitations.
When considering applied skills in forensic practice, there is a focus on specialist assessments, core treatments and interventions utilised when working with various client groups in a forensic setting. Client groups include offenders in prison, secure hospitals and the community, as well as offenders on probation and within the legal system (court assessment). You gain the ability to design, conduct, analyse, interpret and evaluate psychological research in a chosen specialised research area.
There is an emphasis on reflective practice skills, and professional and ethical practice in the workplace. There are also opportunities for volunteering in optional forensic practice placements via the university’s volunteering department. Core modules include Foundations of Forensic Psychology Practice, The Criminal Justice System and the Legal Framework, Specialist Skills in Treatment and Interventions, and Investigative Psychology.
You have access to excellent facilities including numerous research cubicles and laboratories equipped for conducting forensic interviews, developmental research, EEG and social observation. There is a strong criminal investigation representation and practitioner focus within the teaching team, and there is a departmental forensic research group which complements the programme.
Graduates of the course pursue careers in various specialisms within forensic psychology, including the legal and criminal justice system, forensic psychological practice and forensic mental health.
Accredited by the British Psychological Society (BPS).
The programme provides the first step (Stage 1) towards gaining Chartered Forensic Psychologist status with the BPS.
UK, EU, World
Students have the opportunity to volunteer on optional forensic practice-related placements.
A diverse range of teaching methods are employed including laboratory classes, lectures, seminars, tutorials and individual project supervision. Students have access to excellent facilities including numerous research cubicles and laboratories equipped for conducting forensic interviews, developmental research, EEG and social observation.
There is a strong criminal investigation representation and practitioner focus within the teaching team, and there is a departmental forensic research group which complements the programme.
King Alfred or West Downs, University of Winchester
Our validated courses may adopt a range of means of assessing your learning. A variety of assessment methods are employed including essays, literature reviews, report writing, presentations, and examinations, as well as a quantitative or qualitative empirical project.
We ensure all students have an equal opportunity to achieve module learning outcomes. As such, where appropriate and necessary, students with recognised disabilities may have alternative assignments set that continue to test how successfully they have met the module's learning outcomes. Further details on assessment types used on the course you are interested in can be found on the course page, by attending an Open Day or Open Evening, or contacting our teaching staff.
We are committed to providing timely and appropriate feedback to you on your academic progress and achievement in order to enable you to reflect on your progress and plan your academic and skills development effectively. You are also encouraged to seek additional feedback from your course tutors.
For more information about our regulations for this course, please see our Academic Regulations, Policies and Procedures.
This course aims to develop your knowledge and understanding of the underlying theories and their practical application in fire investigation. You will also experience extensive practical experience of the major techniques, methodologies and approaches used in fire investigation. In addition you will develop your skills in critical thinking using a range of academic paradigms by undertaking an extensive research project in the field of fire investigation.
Fire Science and Building Construction
This module will introduce you to the basic science that underpins the investigation of fire scenes. You will be introduced to the chemistry of combustion, including consideration of the effects of ventilation, physical properties of combustible materials and ignition sources. You will look at the ontogeny and progression of combustion events, but also the legal and health and safety aspects underpinning fire science.
Evidence Gathering at Fire Scenes
This module will cover all aspects of the practical steps needed to identify and gather evidence at Fire Scenes. Integral to this module will be an appreciation of issues of continuity and integrity and an awareness of the differences between criminal and other investigations of scenes of fire.
Fire Scene Investigation Practical
You will gain direct practical experience of undertaking a fire scene investigation at the Oldbury facility of the West Midlands Fire Service. This module will expose you to a simulated fire scene, where you will have to carry out the full investigation of documenting and recording the scene, followed by evidence identification and recovery.
Interpretation of Fire Scenes
This module will allow you to utilise the various evidence strands that are present in fire scenes to work out the cause, origin and spread of fires. You will then discuss the effects of fire and products of combustion on the human body, including human behaviour.
Managing Fire Scene Investigations and Report Writing
This module will provide an in-depth analysis of the considerations surrounding the management of the investigations of fire scenes. There will be an overview of personnel involved, their roles and contribution to the investigation. The module will also describe the preparation of written and oral testimony for courts of law. Finally the presentation of the report in oral testimony will be reviewed.
provides you with the necessary skills to undertake a research project in this exciting area. The module will include a project specific literature review, experimental design and project planning, an oral presentation and an introduction to statistics in investigating experimental questions.
The research project in Fire Investigation is an integral part of the course and is intended to develop research skills in persons undertaking careers in forensic mark comparison. As well as applying the scientific approach to research coupled with statistical validation of results from the research methods module, genuine case-based research will be undertaken at the University, in one of the course partners or at a number of alternative providers.
a) The delivery of the course would involve a partnership between one of the leading centres of fire investigation in the UK and the University. Both partners have an established track record in delivering training and education with a vocational aspect in this area.
b) The Oldbury Fire Investigation facility will allow the student a unique hands-on practical experience that is not offered by any other MSc course in the Midlands region.
c) There are opportunities for experienced fire investigators and forensic scene investigators to fast-track to the MSc.
Unfortunately, fires are always going to happen. There will always be a need to investigate these as the consequences of fires are extensive damage to persons and property. The applied nature of this course means that a number of career paths are available to you. These include:
At the end of this course you, the student, will demonstrate:
Are you fascinated by criminology? Hoping to increase your suitability for higher level positions within the criminal justice sector? Southampton Solent University’s postgraduate criminology and criminal justice programme will help you to develop an advanced understanding of the contemporary issues and debates surrounding criminal justice institutions, crime and criminal punishment.
Students on Southampton Solent University’s postgraduate criminology and criminal justice programme study the core curriculum alongside a choice of two specialist units. This chance to specialise is important, helping students to orient their knowledge towards specific roles in the criminal justice sector.
This programme also encourages students to develop a range of transferable interpersonal and verbal communication skills through presentations, role-plays, debates, interviews and group work. These competencies are valued in a wide range of industries.
Enrichment activities and learning opportunities are available alongside the core curriculum, giving students the chance to learn from guest speakers, visit criminal justice organisations and network at industry events. These additional activities help to provide detailed insights into the criminal justice system and the careers it offers. Past speakers have come from the police, courts, prisons, probation services, youth justice services and cyber security firms.
The course team themselves have had extensive experience of the criminal justice system and its related disciplines, providing students with unique personal insights. The ties they have with the professional world have helped past students secure volunteer placements, temporary paid work, work shadowing weeks and internships.
With this internationally respected qualification, you’ll be well placed to pursue a variety of career opportunities. Past graduates have pursued careers in police management, international law enforcement, the National Offender Management Service, financial security and academia.
This master’s degree has been designed for criminology graduates or those who have an equivalent professional qualification.
The course is ideal for those who wish to pursue a career in criminal justice or who are currently working within this area.
We provide a stimulating learning environment and access to state-of-the-art resources to help you make the most of your time with us. Flexible spaces, Wi-Fi facilities and learning zones all contribute to our lively and contemporary study environment at Solent.
Suitable roles for graduates include:
The MSc provides a solid foundation for subsequent research at MPhil and PhD level.
We welcome regular guest lecturers who provide a detailed insight into working in the criminal justice sector and prospective career opportunities.
Recent speakers have included:
Past students have completed a wide range of interesting and informative placements with:
We have tailored the MA in Criminology and Criminal Justice course to meet the requirements of graduates and professionals wishing to further their studies in this vibrant and increasingly important subject.
Covering exciting contemporary issues within the criminal process, such as homicide investigation, the threat of global organised crime and fraud investigation the course will equip you with the skills and knowledge necessary to succeed in this competitive field.
The research methodology and dissertation modules aim to ensure that you receive training in a range of research skills; invaluable in both the professional and academic worlds.
During the course, you will gain an understanding of key issues in criminal justice policy and the administration of justice.
You will study topics which will give you a specialised understanding of organised crime, the complex relationship between policing and public perception, the investigation of homicidein the UK and internationally, and you will develop a working knowledge of the techniques used in investigating fraud and money laundering.
• Contemporary Criminal Justice Issues
• Counter Terrorism Policing
• Investigating Financial Crime
• Homicide Investigation
• Organised Crime
• Research Methodology
We use a wide range of teaching and learning methods to meet different learning styles and objectives. Our teaching strategy places you at the centre of the teaching and learning process in order to stimulate your interest so that you learn through involvement. We aim to encourage you to learn by your participation in well-structured learning activities.
During your MA studies, you can expect to benefit from small group lectures and workshops, class discussions with your peers and academics, and frequent formal and informal feedback on your ideas and your progress. Although postgraduate level study requires a significant amount of individual study outside of scheduled classes, you will be supported by staff, who will direct you to relevant resources and help guide your learning.
Assessment methods vary between modules, but will comprise of a combination of coursework and examinations.
A Criminology postgraduate degree can open the door to many exciting and rewarding careers. Some of the most popular careers include:
• probation and prison officers
• private companies in the security industry
• in the court system
• administration of justice.
The skills you acquire on this postgraduate level course are also transferable and valued across many other sectors, such as:
• the charity sector
• the civil service
• the public sector
• the public services.
Research study enables you to specialise in the field you are passionate about.
Click the following link for information on how to apply to this course.
Information about scholarships and bursaries can be found here.