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Advanced Policing

Course fees (2018/19 entry)

Option / fee Value
Home/EU full-time annual tuition fee: £5,985
Home/EU part-time tuition fee: £33.25 per credit
International full time annual tuition fee: £13,250

Course type



Centre for Advanced Policing Studies

Study mode

Full Time & Part Time

About your course

LJMU's Advanced Policing programme develops the skills increasingly required by forces as policing moves further towards an evidence-based approach.

  • ​Programme addresses the quantitative research skills gap identified in policing
  • Ideal for serving officers and those about to embark on their policing or academic career
  • Build evidence-based learning skills
  • Excellent career opportunities in supervision, neighbourhood policing and analysis
  • A valuable foundation for progression to PhD

​Course provides a solid foundation for further academic or career based research and personal development

​My policing studies provided an excellent foundation to explore the knowledge and skills required to undertake a research project. The balance of formal inputs by lecturers from a range of academic disciplines, coupled with excellent supervisory support, enabled me to take the theory and apply it to my own area of research.

​Michael Smith

Introduction to the School

Established in 2015, the Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies (LCAPS) has a wealth of professional, practical and academic experience. LCAPS uses this experience to conduct research and provide training within the fields of policing, crime prevention and allied security professions.

​​LCAPS brings together research-active staff from across the University. This multi-disciplinary approach means LCAPS' researchers specialise in eight distinct areas: Policing Studies; Criminal Justice; Criminology; Forensic Computing; Public Health; Urban Affairs; Law and Cyber Crime.

​The Centre also carries out work within the following research areas: terrorist studies, counter terrorism, child protection, child sexual exploitation, hate crime, crime prevention and reduction, human trafficking and maritime security.

The Centre is based in the newly refurbished John Foster Building, at the centre of the University’s Mount Pleasant Campus and a short walk from the Aldham Robarts Library. Facilities within the building include social areas, a cafe and the main office for the Liverpool Students' Union.

Why study this course at LJMU?

Ideal for serving police officers and those yet to embark on their career, this new programme has been designed to fill the skills gap in quantitative research identified in policing. You will benefit from training in research skills and given the opportunity to carry out a dissertation in an area of specialist interest.

​The Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies has significant expertise in the Policing sector and can thus provide supervision in a wide range of topics. We are particularly interested in interdisciplinary methodologies. Our suite of Policing Studies qualifications are focused on developing the professionalisation agenda for policing and we work with the professional body, the College of Policing, as well as local policing organisations to ensure that course content is relevant and current.

Our particular areas of strength include:

  • transnational organised crime (as defined by convention or OCN/OCG as understood in UK)
  • public order and protest
  • human trafficking
  • terrorism
  • intelligence and security
  • policing in conflict zones

​The programme is specifically designed to address the skills gap identified by the police service in relation to quantitative research. Taught by lecturers with academic and professional backgrounds in policing and research, you will explore and engage with policing debates at national, international and transnational level. You will also be part of the new Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies, the UK's first research centre devoted to supporting the needs of 21st century policing.

Programme outline and structure

Advanced Policing combines supervised independent research with specialist training in research methods and academic skills, while also helping students become aware of emerging approaches currently practiced in the discipline.

Over the course of the programme you will be introduced to key developments in policing studies and given the skills necessary to produce a successful postgraduate research project. You will work individually with a supervisor throughout the year, as well as taking part in taught modules with fellow Policing Studies students and/or students from other disciplines/Faculties. In addition, you will be part of the wider research activities of the Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies.

​You will receive specialist supervision and study within a diverse community of fellow researchers. Staff are active in a wide range of fields including: Crime Prevention, GIS, People Trafficking, Public Order, Mental Health, Multi Agency and Partnership Working in the Public Sector, Computer Crime, Investigation, Terrorism and Counter-terrorism, Port Security, Risk Management and Education.

What you will study on this degree

Please see guidance below on core modules:

  • Policing in Context

Gain insights into current policing, community safety and criminal justice priorities by exploring different perspectives that relate to policing, regulatory processes, professional values and ethics

  • Advanced Research Skills

In preparation for your dissertation, this module introduces key epistemological and methodological issues that impact upon research into crime, security, community safety and criminal justice

  • Evidence-informed Policy

Develop your critical appreciation and understanding of the capacity of evidence-based research to contribute to practice developments in policing and criminal justice

  • Governance and Accountability

Examine legal, professional and political aspects of the governance structures that ensure an accountable police service

  • Leadership

Examine leadership as a theoretical concept and interpret different perspectives of personal leadership in various settings and environments

  • Ethics

Examine ethics within the operational context of policing and consider the differences and the similarities in the way that ethics are considered in a research setting

  • Dissertation

Analyse and interpret an issue in your chosen field

Further guidance on modules

The information listed in the section entitled 'What you will study' is an overview of the academic content of the programme that will take the form of either core or option modules. Modules are designated as core or option in accordance with professional body requirements and internal Academic Framework review, so may be subject to change. Students will be required to undertake modules that the University designates as core and will have a choice of designated option modules. Additionally, option modules may be offered subject to meeting minimum student numbers.Please email if you require further guidance or clarification.

How will I be assessed?

Teaching is delivered through a combination of lectures, workshops and seminars - all of which you are expected to attend. You will need to participate in online activities and discussions using our virtual learning environment, Blackboard.

​Your tutors have a wide range of practical and academic policing-related experiences and are actively engaged in research, exploring innovative topics in policing, criminal justice and research. All of this experience and knowledge feeds directly into original and thought-provoking material for all the Policing Studies programmes taught in the Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies.

The team is committed to ensuring you get the most out of your learning experience. They are available at set office times to meet you for one-to-one consultations to discuss course-related issues.

You will have a dedicated supervisor offering expert knowledge, guidance and support as you complete your dissertation.

Feedback will be available on the 15th working day after the submission date for a piece of work. That's because we believe that timely and constructive feedback is vital in helping you identify your strengths as well as the areas where you may need to develop further.

​Assessment is based on a range of research tasks and projects reflecting the skills developed by the various modules.

We understand that all students have different strengths and preferences when it comes to assessments, so we use a variety of methods to assess your work structured across the academic year. Assessment methods include: academic essays; annotated bibliographies; reflective research exercises; position papers; exams; reports; case studies; portfolios; online blogs and wikis; workplace practice; posters; oral presentations (individual and group); debates; reviews; group work and the dissertation/research project.

You will normally receive extensive written feedback on your assessments, and occasional verbal feedback. All feedback is designed to help you achieve your full potential and get the most out of your studies, so staff will be available to discuss it with you and direct you to further support if you feel you need it.

Staff research interests

Your self-directed study will be supported by a surrounding framework of expertise, within a scholarly community that hosts regular seminars, lectures and a fertile platform for the dissemination of research.

​The Liverpool Centre for Advanced Policing Studies brings together research-active staff from across the University and specialises in eight distinct areas:

  • Policing Studies
  • Criminal Justice
  • Criminology
  • Forensic Computing                                            
  • Public Health
  • Urban Affairs
  • Law
  • Cybercrime

In bringing together these leading researchers, the Centre produces sector-leading research that addresses the needs of modern policing, law enforcement and security.

Examples of this cross-sector research activity includes a large-scale data mining project with the Machine Learning Research Group and a future collaboration with researchers from the Networked Appliances Research Group.

​Centre staff are currently conducting research is topics such as:

  • Crime Prevention
  • GIS, Human Trafficking
  • Smuggling of Migrants
  • Public Order
  • Mental Health
  • Multi Agency and Partnership Working in the Public Sector
  • Computer Crime Investigation
  • Terrorism and Counter-terrorism
  • Port Security
  • Risk Management and Education

Entry requirements (Home)

​Applicants for MSc Advanced Policing Studies will normally be expected to have a good first degree (2:2 or above) in Policing, Criminology, Criminal Justice or a related subject.

Applications are welcomed from highly motivated non-standard entry students with relevant experience, but without the necessary formal qualifications. Prospective applicants are advised to contact the Programme Leader for further information.

Application and selection

​​You must submit a completed LJMU online application form, together with your academic transcript (or equivalent) and an academic reference.


​LJMU welcomes applications from international students. In addition to normal entry requirements, you will be expected to demonstrate a very good level of English language competence, for example an IELTS score of 6.0-6.5 or equivalent. Please note: specific courses may require higher levels of English language competence.  

If you have applied to study a full-time taught Masters, MRes, MPhil or PhD at LJMU, you should check if you require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme or ATAS certificate. It can take four to six weeks to receive an ATAS certificate, so please make sure you apply as early as possible. You can find out more on the  British Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)  website. Alternatively, contact LJMU’s  International Admissions Team  for guidance.

Please note: international students entering on a Tier 4 visa cannot study part time. Students entering the UK on alternate types of visa may be in a position to study part time. Please contact LJMU’s  International Admissions Team  for further details before making your application.

In order to obtain a visa you will also need to show evidence that the money required to cover your tuition fees and living expenses has been in your bank account for at least 28 days prior to submitting your visa application. So please make sure that your finances are in place before applying. For more details, go to our  international website . For advice on any aspect of the application process, please contact LJMU's International Admissions Team.

Will I be interviewed?



6.5 (Minimum of 5.5 in each component)


58-64 (Min. 51 in each component for UKVI Purposes)

Is RPL accepted on this programme?


Please Note: All international qualifications are subject to a qualification equivalency check via NARIC.

Financial support

Tuition fees

All students enrolled on postgraduate taught programmes at LJMU are liable to pay an annual tuition fee. You can opt to pay your tuition fees in full at the start of each academic year or in instalments. If you need advice about how to pay your tuition fees, please email LJMU’s Student Funding Team.

Funding sources

There are many ways to fund postgraduate study for home and international students. From Postgraduate Masters Loans and Professional and Career Development Loans (PCDLs) to International Scholarships and subject-specific funding, you’ll find all of the information you need on our specialist postgraduate funding pages.

Graduate employment

Thanks to our working relationships at local, regional and national level with policing organisations and through our links with a diverse range of Merseyside employers and organisations, you will enjoy excellent opportunities for academic and personal career development.

​This programme prepares you for further study, employment or new roles in your current profession.

Policing and other related public sector fields currently suffer a skills gap in relation to quantitative research so there are opportunities for employment or career progression for those with these skills. The programme teaches the advanced skills of research, conceptualisation, analysis and argument, and presentation. These are highly valued in many areas of employment.

Students with an interest in pursuing an academic path will be encouraged to progress to PhD level. This MSc plays an important development role in this process.

​On completion of your MSc, you may consider a career in the police service or in areas connected to investigation, security or criminal justice e.g. the armed services, prison service, social work or criminal justice-related roles within the Civil Service. If you are already in employment, the MSc will prepare you to specialise in your area of interest.

International Study

International applicants are required to demonstrate equivalent qualifications to the standard requirements for entry when applying for courses at LJMU.

Students must also demonstrate a proficiency in communicating through English, for example via an IELTS tests or equivalent.

Please note: UK visa restrictions mean that international students are only permitted to study on a full-time basis.

Please contact LJMU’s International Team by visiting for more information and advice.


LJMU has launched a range of generous international scholarships for students enrolling at the University.

These prestigious scholarships take the form of tuition fee waivers and are available for outstanding international students applying for taught postgraduate programmes and research degrees.

You will need to complete an additional application form in order to be considered for these scholarships. Full eligibility criteria and the online application form are available here:

Applications for these scholarships are welcomed from:

  • new international applicants
  • current LJMU international students hoping to progress onto postgraduate study at the University
  • LJMU international alumni

The University may make changes to a programme of study or module where such changes are deemed to be beneficial to students, are minor in nature and unlikely to impact negatively upon students or become necessary due to circumstances beyond the control of the University.
Further guidance on programme changes

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