Policing - Level 3 Access to Higher Education Diploma

Start Date: 12 September 2022
Duration: 2 years
Attendance: Full Time
Suitable for: Adults
Location: Centre for Applied Sciences, Angel

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Find out more about the courses and levels offered at City and Islington College


The Access to Higher Education Diploma: Policing is a fantastic opportunity for those looking to join the police service or work within the fields of crime, criminology, or law.  The course has been designed in partnership with the Metropolitan Police Service to prepare students for a career in the police service and is purposely aligned for progression to the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship Program.  For those that wish to progress to university to study at degree level, the Access to Higher Education Diploma is a nationally recognised Level 3 qualification perfect for anyone looking to start a university course.

If you would like to study Policing or Criminology at university but left school without the qualifications you need, then this Access to HE course could be for you. Each year, over 20,000 Access to HE students apply for a degree course at a UK university; if you go on to complete a relevant degree at university, your Advanced Learner Loan will be written off by Student Finance England.

The Access to Higher Education Diploma is a nationally recognised Level 3 qualification perfect for anyone looking to start a university course, with no formal qualifications. The Access to HE Diploma: Policing provides HE progression opportunities and widening gateway access for adults who do not have the necessary two A levels or an equivalent Level 3 qualification (as defined in the Education and Skills Act 2008) to enter the Police Constable Degree Apprenticeship Program.  City and Islington College has worked closely with the Metropolitan Police to provide a broadening access program based on sound theoretical education and vocational training.

This course will help you get the qualifications you need to study policing or criminology, or a related course, at university. The qualification will provide you with a broad understanding of crime and the criminal justice system, whilst also addressing the psychological techniques used by investigators to assist in the detection of crime. The Policing Education Framework 2020 includes a need for new applicants to have a Foundation Degree and you will require a Level 3 qualification, such as this Access to HE Diploma, in order to access a Foundation Degree.

You will also have a personal tutor who will support you during the year and who will advise you on your applications to higher education institutions.


Teaching occurs through a combination of lectures at our Angel Campus in Islington, or online via Microsoft Teams. 

Teaching is by experienced practitioners in the field including ex-Police Officers, Forensic specialists, and through a series of subject-specific guest lectures from working criminal justice professionals.

Topics covered include:

  • Introduction to Policing
  • Conflict Management within Policing
  • Intelligence and Information Gathering in Policing
  • Principles of Conducting a Police Investigation
  • Arrest, Remand, and Bail Procedures
  • Evidence-Based Policing
  • Communication skills in a Police Service Setting
  • Local Policing
  • Police Ethics and Values
  • Criminal Justice System and Victim Care
  • Crime and Deviance

This course is a part-time course run over 3 days however this can vary.


You will need:

GCSE English grade 4 or above

Maths GCSE is recommended however if not achieved this can be studied alongside your Access


This course is assessed through coursework assignments, tests, and examinations throughout the course, which are set and marked by your teachers and externally moderated by OCN London.

Assessment is continuous over the whole year and is based on a number of set pieces of work such as essays, projects, presentations, and tests.



If you will be aged 19 or older on 31 August in the year you begin your course, and have been resident in the UK/EU/EEA for the past 3 years, you may be eligible for an Advanced Learner Loan to cover the cost of your course. Some courses will have other costs associated, such as for materials and trips. Many of our students are eligible for financial support when studying at college – please click here for more information.


Once you have completed your Access to HE course, you can progress to a Higher Education degree at a university or college.

Learners primarily progress to Higher Education study in areas related to Criminology. These may include some of the following areas of Degree level study: Criminology, Crime Scene and Forensic Investigation, Criminal Psychology, Policing, and a range of combined and related degrees.

Learners can also onto Police Apprenticeship degrees, which is a vocational course that focuses on practical learning and is specifically tailored to help learners start their career in policing

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Centre for Lifelong Learning
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Centre for Applied Sciences
311-321 Goswell Road
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020 7700 9200