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Policing - MSc

Course Description

This MSc is aimed primarily at security professionals and serving police officers, whose role involves developing and implementing strategies to address the threat of extremism against public, corporate and critical targets. The consistent theme throughout the programme is the need for policing practices to be soundly rooted in an evidence base.

Degree information

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).

Core modules
-Ethical Policing
-Foundations of Security and Crime Science
-Police and the Public
-Policing for Crime Reduction
-Quantitative Methods

Optional modules - students choose three of the following:
-Investigation and Detection
-Intelligence Gathering and Analysis
-Management for Police Leaders
-Perspectives on Organised Crime
-Perspectives on Terrorism
-Prevention and Disruption
-Qualitative Research Methods
-Introduction to Cybersecurity

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.


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 advisors
-Strategic advisors to government and security agencies.

The programme is offered mainly to serving police and security personnel with the aim of equipping them to become future leaders and managers. The focus on an evidence-based approach will enable practitioners to become professionals by adopting a scientific approach to effectively tackle crime, security, and law and order problems. The programme aims to enhance strategic thinking skills as well as management and effective leadership skills.

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.

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

Entry Requirements

Applicants for admission should be serving or retired police officers or security professionals and have, or expect to obtain before entry, a lower second-class Bachelor’s degree in a relevant discipline (e.g. criminology, psychology, sociology, law, geography or hard science) from a UK university or an overseas qualification of an equivalent standard. Candidates who have at least five years relevant professional experience are also eligible. In exceptional circumstances, students who do not fulfil these requirements may be considered.

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