This full-time, two-year course has been developed in conjunction with Thames Valley Police as an introduction to the requirements of becoming a police officer. It provides training to become a special constable alongside the foundation degree award. Particular emphasis is given to community policing, relationship building and crime reduction. The course will be of interest to anyone who is looking to embark on a career in policing, although the content is relevant to working within the wider community.
As part of this course Student are required to apply to and be selected by Thames valley Police (TVP) as Special Constables ( Volunteer police officers). This application process is separate from the UCAS application and students wishing to complete this course should read the TVP web site very carefully to ensure that they have a full understanding of the responsibilities of a Special Constable and appreciate the skills and qualities required. You can apply through clicking on the Thames Valley logo on the right of this page.
Upon successful completion you will be awarded a Foundation Degree (Arts) in Policing from Oxford Brookes University.
Foundation Degree Graduates who wish to become a police officer will need to apply to Thames Valley Police to undertake the national policing assessment.
Please note that as programmes are reviewed regularly, the module list may vary from that shown here:
Year 1 (Level 4)
• Developing skills for learning
• Law 1 – Criminal Law
• Professional Policing 1: Ethics and Behaviour, Equality and Diversity
• Police Knowledge 1 - Introduction to Response and Investigation
• Police practice placement 1*
Year 2 (Level 5)
• Critical Skills - Police Research Project
• Police Knowledge 2 - Applied Investigations
• Law 2 - Rights, Policing and Public Order
• Professional Policing 2: Work Related Learning
• Criminal Justice and Social Context
• Practice Placement 2*
*When completing modules 106 and 206 you will be in uniform and patrolling with a TVP police officer who has been trained as a tutor constable. You will work the same shifts as your tutor gaining an insight into the role of a police officer as well as having the opportunity to put your learning in to practice.
Skills and assessment
The Special Constabulary is the UK’s part-time police force and is made up of members of the public who volunteer to spend some of their time helping to police their local community. Special constables volunteer to undertake 18 hours per month and carry out ‘mainstream’ policing working alongside regular police officers.
The modules are delivered through a variety of techniques to suit all learning styles. The teaching and learning strategies will include: practical sessions, workshop programmes, presentations, student-led seminars and peer criticisms.
The assessment you undergo will be both formative and summative:
Formative - designed to provide you with feedback on your progress and inform you of your ongoing development. Formative assessments, such as in-class discussions, presentations, activities, do not form part of your grade. You will receive verbal and/or written feedback after the formative assessments and it is very important that you reflect on both the feedback and your performance at formative stages.
Summative - designed to provide a measure of your achievement in respect of your performance in relation to the intended learning outcomes of your programme of study. Summative marks help to indicate your performance for the whole module and will determine your progression on the course.
You will be taught by lecturers and police officers, ensuring an integrated approach to theory and practice. You will undertake intensive placements, allowing you to develop your skills with the help of a tutor constable. You will also spend time working as a special constable alongside regular and special colleagues. Teaching will include practical scenarios in a safe learning environment on college sites. You will also experience e-learning, social networking technology and classroom-based training with lectures, seminars and workshops.
Each application will be considered on an individual basis following the University principle of widening access to those who might not have the traditional academic entry criteria to degree level awards.
Normally the requirement would be:
• a minimum of the equivalent of two years’ full-time relevant work experience and a current role in an appropriate workplace setting
• evidence of ability to study at academic Level 4
• evidence of support from your employer and recommendation
• a minimum of one A-level at grade C plus the equivalent of 5 GCSE passes at C grade or above, normally including Mathematics and English Language, or
• an equivalent vocationally related qualification such as NVQ 3 (to merit grade) in a subject relevant to policing
Confirmation from the Thames Valley Police (TVP) of your selection as volunteer police officer (special constable) with TVP is a requirement of this course
As such, students must be able to undertake 18 hours per month volunteering as a special constable whilst undertaking the Foundation Degree
English language what do I need?
Applicants whose first language is not English must also demonstrate that their level of English is acceptable, by achieving a score in a recognised test such as:
• British Council IELTS: normally minimum level 6.0 overall with a minimum of 6.0 in the reading and writing components;
• TOEFL minimum score of 550 paper-based or 213 computer-based or 80 internet-based.
Students will be jointly assessed by Thames Valley Police and the college as part of the recruitment process onto this course. You will be required to undertake and be successful in recruitment to the special constabulary.
All applicants will be screened for fitness for practice and a Disclosure and Barring Service (DBS) check will be made.
Successful completion of the foundation degree, in addition to the special constable training, will lead you to be considered for employment by Thames Valley Police, subject to the successful completion of the national police selection process. The foundation degree is a nationally recognised qualification and there may be credit for entrants recruited onto police officer training, resulting in a shortened programme.
The police, Home Office, the National Crime Agency, the prison and probation service, community partnerships, youth offending teams, and drug action teams are some of the many areas open to you after completion of your studies.
How to apply
For full-time study you first need to apply via UCAS for this programme. Please log on to: www.ucas.ac.uk
The UCAS code is N225 and the awarding body is Oxford Brookes University/institution code O66.
Applications to be a Special Constable ( Foundation degree) need to be made to Thames Valley Police (TVP) as soon as possible, in parallel with your UCAS application . Applications to TVP must be submitted before the end of March to ensure sufficient time for the application process to be completed. Applicants are advised to apply to TVP at the earliest opportunity.
Home/EU Fee for 2017 entrance: £7,000 per year
As a full-time Oxford Brookes student, you will able to apply for halls of residence at the University. Once you have accepted an offer of a place, you will be sent a confirmation letter. The Accommodation Letter that will enable you to apply online for halls of residence, will be sent out shortly after that. If you require a paper application form or further details, please contact the Accommodation Office on 01865 484 660 or email email@example.com
What else do I need to know?
The focus of this course is the work-based learning element with Thames Valley Police, which gives you the opportunity to work alongside a police officer. The placement element of the course will require you to participate in work-based learning by working as a special constable. In addition, you will be required to volunteer to work a minimum of one shift a week. By the end of the degree you will be able to show, via a range of portfolio evidence, that you have achieved a range of policing competencies with regard to academic and practical knowledge, experience and expertise, with the outcome being that you are ‘Fit for Independent Patrol’.