Policing & Criminology BSc (Hons)

We are the only Scottish University offering a full degree programme in Policing and Criminology


Our Policing and Criminology course allows you the opportunity to study a subject which is applied, equipping you with the knowledge and skills to become a reflective police officer or take on a broader criminal justice role.

The course draws on social sciences, law, computing and business modules, and aims to give you an understanding of a discipline that is evolving theoretically and methodologically. It links theory to practice and seeks to apply learning in the field. You will also have a range of inputs from practitioners throughout the course.

The course was developed with discussion and input from Police Scotland.

In second year, students do have the option of undertaking 'Volunteering and Employability'. This can include an element of work placement.

Two students, on placement at Torphicen Street Station, sitting across the desk from a policeman

Mode of Study:



4 years

Start date:


UCAS code:




Study Abroad:


Course details

A key aim of the course is to give you the competitive edge to go on and become a police officer, should you wish. Although there are no direct routes into the police from this BSc, the programme will link with the Special Constabulary (volunteer police officers) and will have input from Police Scotland, including in the lecture content, the honours project and in placements.

Beyond the police, this course will give you an understanding of the criminal justice system, criminal and deviant behaviour and the broader social, cultural and historical foundations of contemporary criminology. You will also develop a range of research skills, which will be invaluable in developing your understanding of a wide range of social science issues throughout your career.

  • calendar

    How you’ll be taught

    Lectures, tutorials, independent study

  • note and pen


    Ongoing assessments, coursework and exams

  • briefcase

    Work placement

    The Volunteering and Employability module in year two will be where the students are encouraged to become a Special Constable. This can include an element of work placement.

    Placement and Study Abroad opportunities are subject to UK and Scottish Government health and travel advice.

  • study abroad

    Study abroad

    As part of this course, there is an option to study abroad through the Erasmus programme. Placement and Study Abroad opportunities are subject to UK and Scottish Government health and travel advice.

Popular modules

Year 1

  • Introduction to Sociology 1
  • Understanding social science research
  • Introduction to Criminology
  • Introduction to policing: theory and practice

With optional modules in:

  • Criminal Law
  • Computer Systems 1
  • Behavioural studies
  • Legal Systems and Skills

Year 2

  • Introduction to Criminal Justice Systems in the UK
  • Policing in contemporary society
  • Quantitative Research
  • Youth, Crime & Deviance
  • Criminological Theory

Optional modules:

  • Volunteering and Employability
  • Business and Management Challenges Digital Forensics

Year 3

  • Crime Control and Policing
  • Violence & Society
  • Researching Social Sciences
  • Punishment and Penology

Option modules:

  • Law and Society
  • Child Protection (online)
  • Human Rights
  • Public Policy and Management
  • Cybercrime

Year 4

  • Preparing for the Honours Project
  • Comp and International Criminology
  • The Honours Project (40 credits)

Option modules:

  • Victimisation & Victimology
  • Cybercrime
  • Leadership in a changing environment
  • Surveillance & Society
  • Contemporary Issues in Criminal Law


Study modules mentioned above are indicative only. Some changes may occur between now and the time that you study.

Full information is available in our disclaimer.

Entry requirements

What are the entry requirements for Policing and Criminology?

Our entry requirements indicate both Standard and Minimum qualifications with which we normally accept students. Competition for places varies from year to year and you aren't guaranteed a place if you meet the minimum qualifications.

Can I make an appointment with an advisor to discuss further about the admission process?

If you want to get more information on the admission process, please get in touch with the undergraduate admissions team by submitting an enquiry form above.

Minimum Year 1

SQA Higher

Standard Entry Requirements: BBBB including English or Literary subject*

Minimum Offer Entry Requirement: BBCC including English or Literary subject* at grade B

You may be given an adjusted offer of entry if you meet our specified minimum entry requirements within our widening participation criteria, and outlined in our Contextual Admissions Policy. Click here for further information about our entry requirements and admissions policies

A Level

  • BCC including English or a literary subject*
  • Irish Leaving Certificate
  • Grades H2, H2, H3, H3 at Higher Level including English or a Literary subject*

BTEC (QCF) Extended Diploma Level 3

  • Minimum grades DMM (Distinction, Merit, Merit) in a relevant subject.

International Baccalaureate Diploma

  • Award of Diploma with 28 points overall with three HL subjects at grades 6, 5, 4 including English or a Literary subject* at minimum grade 5.


  • Pass HNC Social Science/Policing Studies/Legal Services with B in the graded unit for year 1 entry.

T Level

  • Grade M
  • T Level must be completed in a Literary subject or A Level Literary subject may be required. Please contact ugadmissions@napier.ac.uk to check if you meet the subject specific requirements.


*Accepted literary subjects: Modern Studies, History, Geography, Psychology, Sociology, Religious, Moral and Philosophical Studies, Latin, Theology, Classics, Philosophy, A Level Government and Politics, A Level Classical Civilisation.

If your first language isn't English, you'll normally need to undertake an approved English language test and our minimum English language requirements will apply.

This may not apply if you have completed all your school qualifications in English. Check our country pages to find out if this applies to you.

We welcome applications from students studying a wide range of international qualifications.
Entry requirements by country

Please note that international students are unable to enrol onto the following courses:
  • BM Midwifery/MM Midwifery
  • All Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

See who can apply for more information on Graduate Apprenticeship courses.

We’re committed to admitting students who have the potential to succeed and benefit from our programmes of study. 

Our admissions policies will help you understand our admissions procedures, and how we use the information you provide us in your application to inform the decisions we make.

Undergraduate admissions policies
Postgraduate admissions policies

Fees & funding

The course fees you'll pay and the funding available to you will depend on a number of factors including your nationality, location, personal circumstances and the course you are studying. We also have a number of bursaries and scholarships available to our students.

Tuition fees
Students from 2023/24 2024/25
Scotland £1,820 £1,820
England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland £9,250 £9,250
Overseas and EU £15,160 £16,680
Students from England, Wales, Northern Ireland, and Republic of Ireland will be invoiced the tuition fees for 3 years of their 4 years of study. The University offers a range of attractive Tuition Fee bursaries to students resident in specific countries. More information on these can be found here.
Please note tuition fees are subject to an annual review and may increase from one year to the next. For more information on this and other Tuition Fee matters please see Frequently Asked Questions about Fees Click this link for Information of Bursaries and Scholarships
If additional compulsory costs other than the tuition fees are applicable, these will be detailed in the course details.
Please note that the tuition fees liable to be paid by EU nationals commencing their studies from 1 August 2021 will be the Overseas fee rate. The University offers a range of attractive Tuition Fee bursaries to students resident in specific countries. More information on these can be found here.


Facial recognition camera in use in a psychology lab in Napier University

What can you do with a policing and criminology degree?

By studying policing and criminology at Edinburgh Napier University, you will gain relevant practical and academic knowledge and skillsets, equipping you for a career in policing and the criminal justice sector. By the end of the course, you will have excellent communication and interpersonal skills. You will also have developed well rounded research and, critical analysis skills. You will have developed the ability to operationalise these skills independently taking initiative as well as a member and leader of a team. Careers you may typically pursue include a pathway in policing (e.g. constabulary, national services, the private sector), the prison service, the third sector, or civil service. If you have an interest in social science, the criminal justice sector and policing, and want to pursue a career in police practice, police research, or policing policy development then this might be the right course for you.

What does a police officer do?

A police officer’s main role is to maintain order within the communities they work in, whilst carrying out area patrols, responding to emergencies and making arrests, as well as investigating criminal activities that have taken place. Policing increasingly involves dealing with public health and social challenges including physical and mental health. You may also be involved in public outreach campaigns within local communities, such as talking to schools, local businesses.  You will have excellent oral, written and aural communication skills. You will be empathetic and compassionate. You will demonstrate effective decision-making skills meet the required fitness standard. You will hold a full UK manual driving licence.


Police officer's sleeve with police Scotland logo as the female officer looks to Edinburgh Napier University's Sighthill Campus