Explore the challenges faced by police and investigative teams in a criminal case while also discovering the many techniques used to investigate major crimes. This short course is perfect for students wanting to move into a career in policing or investigation, or it can be used as a stepping stone towards our full MSc Criminology and Criminal Psychology.
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 start date and details of this course are still subject to University approval. In the event that approval is not granted by your course start date, an alternative date will be offered or a full refund is given. If we need to make changes to this programme as part of the University of Essex validation process, we will communicate these to you at the earliest possible date.
Learning and assessment
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 are 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:
- showing your marks clearly in your grade book, which can be viewed whenever you log onto the learning platform;
- the rapid turnaround of work assessed to ensure that your grade book is always up to date;
- assessing your work throughout the module rather than waiting for the end of year exams;
- ensuring you have regular contact with your Student Adviser; and
- the simplicity and transparency in the design of our assessment criteria.
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.
The wide-ranging and challenging content will also help you to develop your intellectual capacity, research, analytical and cognitive skills through the acquisition of knowledge, problem-solving and reasoning.
We have flexible entry requirements that look at both your academic and work-based experience as well as your motivation to do the course. There are two entry routes onto our PG Cert Policing and Criminal Investigation.
1. Academic Entry Route
In order to satisfy the Academic Entry Route requirements for our PG Cert Policing and Criminal Investigation you must have the following qualifications as a minimum:
- An undergraduate degree from an approved institution equivalent to a UK Honours degree or a relevant professional qualification.
If English is not your first language, your English ability should be equivalent to IELTS (Academic) 6.5. If you do not hold an IELTS or equivalent qualification, we require students to pass a free online English test.
2. Work Experience Entry Route
We recognise that you can gain skills in a wide variety of ways and that prior academic performance is not the only indicator of an applicant’s ability. Therefore, if you do not meet the minimum academic standards above, you may still be eligible to enrol via our Work Experience Entry Route.
In order to satisfy the Work Experience Route requirements for our PG Cert Policing and Criminal Investigation course you must meet the following criteria as a minimum:
- At least 5 years’ senior level work experience.
- If English is not your first language, your English ability should be equivalent to IELTS (Academic) 6.5.
Your application will be considered on an individual basis taking into account your motivation for doing the course, prior work experience and other relevant qualifications that demonstrate your ability to successfully complete the programme.
21-day money back guarantee
If you enrol on our PG Cert Policing and Criminal Investigation but decide that online learning isn’t for you, we will allow you to withdraw within 21 days of the start date stated on your offer letter. If you have paid an initial deposit up front, you will receive a full refund.
Cost & Fees
Our fees are the same for all students, and anyone will receive a 10% discount if they pay the annual tuition or course fee payment up-front. If you are an overseas student, you should check whether your government provides financial support for the overseas study.
Prices are reviewed annually. We reserve the right to change course fees to reflect inflation and changes in available higher education funding. If you pay your tuition fees annually in advance the tuition fees will not be increased before your next annual payment.