Institute of Criminal Justice Studies

Master's Flexible Framework: Policing, Policy & Leadership

Policing, Policy and Leadership
Develop leadership skills for police and security sector bodies

Why take this course?

This course has been specifically designed for police officers and those in related occupations with an interest in securing or enhancing a role that requires knowledge and skills in policing, policy and management. You may apply your learning to your own organisation as part of the programme, which meets relevant occupational standards for the police and/or security organisations/services.

What will I experience?

On this course you will examine policing policy and police leadership in the context of police governance and partnerships. You will be able to consider strategy and tactics around core policing in the context, for example, of policing diverse communities, and to consider resource management in the context of operational delivery

What opportunities might it lead to?

Given the broad range of issues considered and the skills acquired throughout the degree, you will graduate with a portfolio of knowledge and abilities that supports a diverse range of policing and security career development opportunities in this field.

A significant number of our students are police officers and police staff seeking to further their career development in managerial roles in police and related organisations. Others have also found this course useful in developing their professional portfolio as a means of securing employment in broader policing or security-related organisations.

The course materials were very comprehensive and easily accessible, the staff were hugely helpful and understanding of my needs as a mature and distance learning student and the range and variety of their experiences widened my horizons in ways I hadn't anticipated. Five months after completing my dissertation, I applied for and got a new role in the police which has used the skills I learnt on the MSc and which I doubt I would have got without it.

Clare Simkin, MSc Policing, Policy and Leadership 2016

Course structure


There are two available routes to study this subject area, which will be reflected in your degree title awarded:

Route A focuses on one subject area, studying a Subject Core unit and relevant Specialist Option. You will also have a free choice to study any other Option.

Route B combines two subject areas, studying two Subject Core units and a relevant Specialist Option.

This means you will study the following 30 credit units:

  • Police Leadership: policing, policy and partnerships
  • Second Subject Core OR Free Option
  • Specialist Option (see below)
  • Research Methods / Research Ethics

Plus your 15,000-word Dissertation / Major Project (60 credits)

If you wish to follow the Route B, then please see the relevant webpage for your second subject area for additional subject specific information (below). 

Specialist Options, relating to this subject area:

  • Policing Communities
  • Managing Justice and Security Organisations
  • Missing Persons
  • Victimology: Vulnerability, Risk and Resilience (distance learning only)

Teaching and Assessment

The delivery of this subject is by Distance Learning only. This teaching consists of multimedia learning materials and study support provided online via a virtual learning environment (Moodle).

Distance learning student support

Students are supported initially through Orientation and Induction, and then via academic staff for each Unit of Study. Pastoral support is provided by your Personal Tutor, and then your Supervisor once appointed. 

Further study support

Full spectrum library support services and academic skills development is provided, along with dedicated Learning Support Tutors.

How are you assessed?

These may comprise a range of assignments such as essays, case studies, blogs, presentations and a research proposal for your final project. You will then complete a 15,000-word Dissertation / Major Project. Academic feedback is provided on all assignments and full academic support is provided by subject experts. All assignment are submitted online.

This course has been designed specifically to enhance the career and professional development of police officers who are seeking to progress in the service. The course has been running for many years now and it is a pleasure to see past students progress and develop in their policing careers.

Bob Golding, Course Tutor

Careers and Opportunities

This degree has been specifically designed for those working in a supervisory, management or leadership role in the police, or aspiring to that role, as well as those working in the development of operational policy and/or strategy. As such, this degree is particularly valuable for those seeking continuing professional development in policing or related organisations and professions.

A number of students have also found this course of study useful in developing their professional portfolio as a means of securing employment in a policing or security-related organisations.

Exit titles

Distance learning:

  • MSc Policing, Policy & Leadership;
  • MSc Policing, Policy & Leadership and Intelligence;
  • MSc Crime Science and Policing, Policy & Leadership;
  • MSc Security Management and Policing, Policy & Leadership;
  • MSc Criminal Psychology and Policing, Policy & Leadership;
  • MSc Counter Fraud & Counter Corruption and Policing, Policy & Leadership;
  • MSc International Criminal Justice and Policing, Policy & Leadership;
  • MSc Criminology and Policing, Policy & Leadership;
  • MSc Criminal Justice and Policing, Policy & Leadership.


Make applications through the MSc Criminal Justice page:

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