Pearson BTEC Level 4 HNC Policing

The HNC in Policing provides opportunities for learners to gain a nationally recognised vocationally specific qualification to enter employment in public services or progress to higher education vocational qualifications such as a full-time degree in Criminology or related area. While you don't need to be an Olympic athlete to  join the police, you must be able to cope with the physical demands of the job and this course includes a job-related fitness programme.

Introductory course information

Award: Pearson BTEC Level 4 Higher National Certificate Policing

UCAS Code: L900

Location of study: Kingston Hall Road

Awarding body: Students who complete the course successfully will receive a higher national qualification from Pearson.

Course duration: 1 year (full-time)

Academic year dates: Full-time course: September 2018 - June 2019

Days of the week: Full-time course: TBC

Work placements: If you would like to undertake a work placement as part of the course, our placement staff will work with you to try to identify a suitable opportunity and location for your work placement in the UK. Please note that you are responsible for any costs incurred in travelling to and from your work placement, and for any accommodation costs. Further details on the likelihood of securing a placement, its impact on your course duration, and whether or not it will be paid are available from the Careers Advisory Service.

Timetables: Timetables are normally available at enrolment. Please note that while we make every effort to ensure that timetables are as student-friendly as possible, scheduled teaching can take place on any day of the week. Wednesday afternoons are normally reserved for sports and cultural activities.

Course leader: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Entry requirements

Relevant work experience or BTEC Level 3 in Public Services, grade MP or above, or two A levels in the Sciences at grade C or above. GCSEs at grade A*-C/9-4 including English Language and Mathematics.

Course overview

Graduates successfully completing the Level 4 Higher National Certificate will be able to demonstrate a sound knowledge of the basic concepts of policing. They will be able to communicate accurately and appropriately and they will have the qualities needed for employment that requires some degree of personal responsibility. They will have developed a range of transferable skills to ensure effective team working, independent initiatives, organisational competence and problem-solving strategies. They will be adaptable and flexible in their approach to policing, show resilience under pressure, and meet challenging targets within a given resource.

Module information

The course will comprise the following core Level 4 units:-

  • Small-scale Research Project in Policing (15 credits): This unit enables students to develop information gathering and research skills in the field of policing within an ethical context. The unit has a practical focus that gives the student the opportunity to use a range of research methods and skills for small-scale projects. Students will use both qualitative and quantitative methods, including statistical analysis.
  • Criminal Law (15 credits):This unit will provide students with an understanding of the general principles of criminal law and a knowledge of some defences to criminal law offences. Students will be able to explain the statute law relating to and impacting on violence, the threat of violence on society and the law on loss or damage to property. Students will be able to explain and recognise the need for the laws relating to public order and the effect of public disorder on the community.
  • Police and the Criminal Justice Service (15 credits): Students will consider the criminal justice system in terms of the composition and roles of the judiciary and magistrates. The unit enables students to explore the principle of judicial independence and potential conflict between the judiciary, the state and executive because of that independence. The unit also covers how the agencies of the criminal justice system operate and how defendants are dealt with by the system.
  • Equality and Diversity in the Police Service (15 credits): The aim of this unit is for students to identify the importance of equality and diversity in the police service and the leadership the police service must show to promote it. This unit enables students to evaluate legislative provision for the protection of individuals against discrimination and the different procedures open to victims of unfair treatment.
  • Roads Policing (15 credits): The unit will focus on road traffic issues and the effects on communities. Students will research what is a road, what is meant by driving, what is a vehicle and the definition of a road traffic collision. Students will research the main functions of roads policing which can greatly assist in community safety and crime reduction, with a research task addressing anti-social behaviour.
  • Technology and the Police Services (15 credits): This unit covers the range of technology systems used by the police services, what impact they have and the potential for future developments. The unit will give students an understanding of the benefits of the use of technology by the police service, their personnel, suppliers and service users.
  • Criminology – Practical Application for the Police Service (15 credits): This unit gives students the opportunity to study criminology, the theories around it and how it relates to police work. Students will be encouraged to apply the theories they have studied to policing situations and be able to resolve them using different methods. The students will research different crimes of violence (including domestic violence), and the possible reasons behind why these crimes are committed.
  • Command and Control (15 credits): This unit focuses on the skills and abilities required for the command of incidents and the control of any police staff, from planned operations and events, to dynamic and spontaneous incidents.

Teaching and learning


You are taught through a combination of lectures, seminars and practicals. Seminars enable you to discuss and develop your understanding of topics covered in lectures in smaller groups of students. In addition, you have timetabled meetings with your personal tutor. You will use industry-standard facilities and have access to computer labs and library resources throughout your course.

Independent learning

When not attending lectures, seminars and other timetabled sessions you will be expected to continue learning independently through self-study. Typically, this will involve reading, working on individual and group projects, undertaking research in the library, preparing coursework assignments and presentations, and preparing for examinations. Your independent learning is supported by a range of excellent facilities, including the library, the Undergraduate Centre, and our computer laboratories.

Overall workload

Your overall workload consists of class contact hours, independent learning, and assessment activity, with each credit taken equating to a total study time of around 10 hours.

Academic support

Our Academic Support Team provides help in the following areas:

  • study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
  • written English (including punctuation and grammatical accuracy)
  • academic writing (including how to reference)
  • research skills (in conjunction with the library)
  • critical thinking and understanding arguments
  • revision, assessment and examination skills (including time management).

Our Student Support Services help students with additional needs resulting from disabilities such as sensory impairment or learning difficulties such as dyslexia. Visit their pages for more information.

Teaching staff

You will be taught by an experienced teaching team whose expertise and knowledge are closely matched to the content of the modules on the course. The team includes senior academics, professional practitioners with industry experience, athletes and personal trainers.

Course costs and financial support

Fees: For the academic year 2018-19 the tuition fees for this course are:

  • UK/EU students: Full-time £4,950


Inflation linked tuition fee rises: The College may decide to increase tuition fees year on year at a reasonable rate in line with inflation. Any increases would not exceed the Office for Budget Responsibility’s forecast for RPI-­‐X (the retail price index, excluding mortgage interest payments). This intention will be clearly advertised on the College’s promotional material.


The following course-related costs are included in the fees:

  • annual printing allowance

The following course-related costs are not included in the fees:

  • additional printing over and above the annual allowance
  • the cost of books or equipment that you might wish to purchase.


Accommodation and living costs are not included in the fees: This information can be obtained from our Accommodation page.


Sources of financial support: You may be eligible to apply for additional support. Details can be obtained from our Money to Study page.


Bursaries, scholarships and prizes: The College also provides a number of scholarships and prizes for undergraduate students, for which you may be eligible to apply. Some of these are available to students on any course, and some have specific conditions. You can check your eligibility for these types of financial support, along with their value and application deadlines, at our Scholarships, Bursaries and Prizes page.

Careers and progression

Students who successfully complete the HNC may wish to progress to a Higher National Diploma in Policing. This qualification provides a vocational context in which students can develop the knowledge and academic study skills required for progression to university degree courses, or even employment.

Apply now

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