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Course Length

2 years


£6,750 per annum

Awarded By

Pearson Education Ltd

UCAS codes

  • Course Code: NCH6
  • Institution Code: N34
  • Campus Code: Q

HND Public Services (Crime and Criminal Justice)

About the course

Higher Nationals are level 4 and 5 qualifications – equivalent to a foundation degree or the first two years of a full degree. They are vocational courses with an emphasis on ‘learning by doing’; focusing on the skills and knowledge needed for a particular industry.

Studying this course will give you the skills and knowledge required to begin a career in the Public Services and criminal justice sector. You will explore criminal psychology and behaviour, law and justice and crime reduction, as well as gaining an in-depth knowledge of the contemporary social and political issues affecting today’s criminal justice system. Through this course, you will develop essential skills such as time management, teamwork, self-motivation and leadership.

This course can be studied full-time or part-time over 32 weeks (64 weeks for the HND), Monday and Wednesday over 12.5 hours per week.

Topics in year one include: Organisational Structures and Culture; Mental Health and Wellbeing; Equality, Diversity and Fair Treatment; Public Services in Contemporary Society.

Additional units include: Law and the Legal System; Psychology of Human Behaviour; Crime Reduction and Community Safety; Small-scale Research Project in Public Services.

Topics in year two include: Research Project; Reflective Professional Practice.

Additional units include: Serious Organised Crime; Justice, Punishment and Rehabilitation; Theories of Crime; Understanding & Leading Change; Blue Light Collaboration.

The assessments are split 50/50 for Observation and Written Assignments, supported by coursework.

Entry requirements

GCSE English and Maths, 9 - 4 (A* - C). Alternative equivalency testing may be undertaken plus 80 UCAS points from at least one of the following: A Levels at least 2 grades BB, Vocational – BTEC Level 3 grades MMP; Access Diploma – In Public Services or Social Studies.

Ideally, in a relevant subject such as Public Services, Criminology, Law, Sociology or Psychology. For students over 18, suitable work experience may be taken into consideration instead of formal academic studies. You can progress to this course if you achieve accredited prior learning in a public services agency.

Additional requirements You must be able to take part in overnight camping expeditions, day walks, water sports and physical fitness sessions. You should have the potential to pass the fitness and health requirements for your chosen public service career.

Where next?

On successful completion of the HND, depending on your grade, you may be able to complete a second or third ‘top-up’ year of a suitable degree. Alternatively, you will be well placed to pursue a career in a range of uniformed and non-uniformed public services.

Example job roles:

  • Police Officer
  • PCSO
  • Fire and Rescue Officer
  • Armed Forces (RAF, Army, Navy)
  • Prison Officer
  • Revenue and Customs Officer
  • Boarder Force
  • Youth Worker
  • Probation Officer
  • Local Authority
  • The Criminal Justice System

Work experience and employability


What additional resources will I need?


Student finance information

Find Student Finance Information on the Government website.

Students enrolling on this course can apply for the Higher Education Scholarship.


For all course enquiries please contact us by email at

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