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The MSc in Policing is aimed at police and professionals from related agencies (e.g. the National Crime Agency) wishing to become future leaders and managers. The focus is on providing an evidence-based approach to address modern challenges of policing diverse communities and dealing with transnational organised crime, terrorism, cybercrime and evolving security threats, while upholding principles of procedural justice to increase police legitimacy and public confidence.

About this degree

The programme will outline the philosophical and theoretical bases for evidence-based policing practice. Issues will be examined with respect to ethical, policy and political contexts. It is a multidisciplinary programme drawing on psychology, statistics, mathematics, engineering, architecture, forensic sciences, design, geography and computing and is designed to enable graduates to be effective leaders and managers of a modern diverse police service.

Students undertake modules to the value of 180 credits.

The programme consists of five core modules (75 credits), three optional modules (45 credits) and a dissertation/report (60 credits).

Compulsory modules

  • Ethical Policing
  • Foundations of Security and Crime Science
  • Police and the Public
  • Models of Policing for Crime Reduction
  • Quantitative Methods or Designing and Doing Research (you will take one of these)

Optional modules

Students choose three of the following:

  • Investigation and Detection
  • Intelligence Gathering and Analysis
  • Management Skills for Police Leaders
  • Perspectives on Organised Crime
  • Perspectives on Terrorism
  • Prevention and Disruption
  • Qualitative Research Methods
  • Introduction to Cybersecurity
  • Cybercrime
  • Hotspot Policing


All students undertake an independent research project which culminates in a dissertation of 10,000 words.

Teaching and learning

The programme is delivered through a combination of lectures, seminars and workshops. Distance learning students will have access to enhanced Internet-based tools and resources and virtual links between staff and students. Assessment is through unseen examinations, coursework, presentations, reports and project assignments.

Please note that the list of modules given here is indicative. This information is published a long time in advance of enrolment and module content and availability is subject to change.


UCL Security & Crime Science is offering up to 14 bursary scholarships of between £2,500 and £10,000 to outstanding applicants who have been offered places on one of our MSc programmes. Further information is available on the departmental website.

For a comprehensive list of the funding opportunities available at UCL, including funding relevant to your nationality, please visit the Scholarships and Funding website.


The programme will enable students to gain the skills to conduct rigorous analysis, use evidence-based approaches and develop a scientific approach as well as the ability to make sound policy decisions, and to become leaders in modern police forces. Graduates who are serving police officers will gain analytical and other critical skills to progress in their current career. It is likely to lead to further future careers opportunities in:

  • law enforcement
  • security industry related companies
  • government policy advisory roles
  • strategic advisors to government and security agencies.


This MSc will equip serving police to become future leaders and managers and an opportunity to enhance strategic thinking skills.

The focus on an evidence-based approach will enable practitioners to be- come professionals by adopting a scientific approach to effectively tacke crime, security, and law and order problems.

Why study this degree at UCL?

The UCL Jill Dando Institute, of which UCL Security & Crime Science is the core component, is the first research institution in the world devoted specifically to reducing crime through teaching, research, public policy analysis and by the dissemination of evidence-based information on crime reduction.

This programme’s practical and pragmatic approach to shaping successful and forward-thinking practitioners will have great appeal and offers excellent value to police organisations and governments wishing to invest in future leaders.

Seminars and a diverse international student cohort will provide excellent networking opportunities.

Department: Security & Crime Science


Students are advised to apply as early as possible due to competition for places. Those applying for scholarship funding (particularly overseas applicants) should take note of application deadlines.

There is an application processing fee for this programme of £75 for online applications and £100 for paper applications. Further information can be found at:

Who can apply?

The programme is aimed at serving police officers or professionals from related agencies (e.g. the National Crime Agency) who wish to further their career by undertaking postgraduate-level study in the field of policing and crime science. The programme offers the opportunity to specialise in certain areas, for example, cybercrime, organised crime or terrorism depending on your chosen career path.

Application deadlines

26 July 2019

For more information see our Applications page.

Apply now

What are we looking for?

When we assess your application we would like to learn:

  • why you want to study Policing at graduate level
  • why you want to study Policing at UCL
  • what particularly attracts you to the chosen programme
  • how your academic and professional background meets the demands of this challenging programme
  • where you would like to go professionally with your degree.

Together with essential academic requirements, the personal statement is your opportunity to illustrate whether your reasons for applying to this programme match what the programme will deliver. Applicants who have a portfolio are strongly recommended to submit it when they apply.

It is important to note that statistical analysis of crime data is an integral component of all of our postgraduate programmes. While we do not require students to have a background in mathematics or statistics, in order to get the best out of studying with our department it is vital for our students to show an understanding and willingness to learn the concepts of statistics and quantitative research methods.  

Visit the Policing MSc page on the University College London website for more details!