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Police leaders today have to operate in a transparent, ethical and highly accountable arena - where their decisions are often scrutinised by politicians, the media and the general public. Our new MSc in Police Leadership, Strategy and Organisation aims to fill a gap in provision for individuals with high potential and the capacity to shape the future of the profession.

Meeting 21st century priorities

This exciting course offers a unique combination of the latest business and management thinking, criminology and social sciences - all applied to the complex challenges of contemporary policing. It has been launched at a time of calls for greater public accountability, the growing importance of community partnerships and, in some quarters, a crisis of confidence in the integrity of police services.

Our MSc goes well beyond traditional public sector skills and generic leadership programmes. It gives you an in-depth knowledge of the critical issues surrounding police accountability, independence, policing effectiveness, performance and organisational transformation. It will stretch and inspire you to take your leadership skills to the highest professional standards.

Acclaimed expertise

We have built a reputation as a world-leading provider of police education and we have one of the largest teams of academics with policing experience in any UK university. They include former police leaders as well as academic researchers whose cutting-edge work is helping to shape the national and international development of policing. You’ll also draw on the wider expertise available at the University in areas such as business, law, HR and economics.

Powerful networks

You’ll benefit from the wisdom of some of the most influential figures in policing today. We pride ourselves on a superb network of contacts, from chief constables and crime commissioners, to the representatives from national policing organisations such as Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, the College of Policing, the Chartered Management Institute and representatives of the private sector. They have played a key role in the design of our course to ensure it matches the needs of the profession today.

These strong partnerships mean we can offer an outstanding visiting speaker programme, enabling you to discuss issues - in complete confidence - with leaders in the field. We also host regular events with organisations such as the Society of Evidence-based Policing and the British Society of Criminology.

A truly global outlook

Our approach provides a unique bridge between policing in the UK and the rest of the world. While other police leadership courses focus primarily on the UK and USA, our MSc boasts a broader international perspective and you’ll find yourself sharing insights and experience with senior police officers from around the world.

Teaching and learning

The course combines highly stimulating lectures, engaging seminar group discussions, practical sessions in our courtrooms and interviewing suite, and guided student-centred and independent learning activities. Our emphasis throughout is on developing your leadership, analytical and problem-solving skills. We offer small class sizes and a supportive environment where learning can be tailored to suit your own professional experience and aspirations.

Tackling real-world problems

This course is highly vocational and problem-focused, with each module centred on real and simulated police strategy and organisational challenges. Our aim is to help you develop as an effective manager in complex, unpredictable environments.

You can bring in, share and test your own responses to challenges in a confidential setting. As part of your studies, you can also undertake bespoke projects negotiated with your employer which will benefit your own organisation.

Action research

As evidence-based policy and practice is taking on greater significance within the profession, we also place great emphasis on action research. You’ll be equipped with the tools and techniques to undertake high level research which will generate new insights and add to the body of knowledge in the field of contemporary policing. You will also address how to obtain and use data in a responsible and ethical manner.


Assessment is through 100% coursework. Our assessment strategy is flexible to reflect the diverse backgrounds and learning styles of our students.

Formative assessments may include quizzes, debates, case study evaluation, role-play, group work and presentations, as well as enquiry based learning and problem-based learning activities. Summative assessments may include essays, group presentations, live debate sessions, reflective learning logs, management reports, business case evaluations, and the presentation of a strategy or market analysis.

At the Masters level, you will produce a dissertation as part of the Independent Studies module which showcases your ability to articulate and debate theoretical perspectives in relation to research findings.


At a time when recruitment to senior roles in the police is changing, this MSc provides an excellent professional development route. For ambitious police professionals - in the UK and overseas - the qualification will not only showcase their knowledge and abilities but also accelerate their career progress. It provides a vital next step for those who have developed general business and leadership skills but need to operate in a higher profile context.

The course will also act as an important stepping stone for middle or senior managers in other sectors who are keen to move into police leadership. In addition, it will help graduates in subjects such as criminology or business to build an impressive CV and prepare for managerial roles in policing, security or related fields.

Visit the Police Leadership, Strategy and Organisation (MSc) page on the University of Derby website for more details!




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