Investigation Practice

Study options

Award

MSc

Key facts

Location:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Location:
Stoke-on-Trent campus
Study option:
Full-time, distance learning
Study option:
Part-time, distance learning
Duration:
13 Months
Duration:
24 Months
Start date:
23 September 2024
27 January 2025

Real-world learning

You’ll be analysing real life case studies and will apply your learning to the workplace

Transferable skills

The course is relevant to professionals working in policing, the private sector and for a wide range of investigative bodies

Staff expertise

Learn from our vastly experienced and expert teaching team including former senior police officers, criminologists and psychologists

Whether dealing with fraud, organised crime, corruption or murder, an investigator will need to make crucial decisions on a daily basis. Yet outside of the world of policing, there are few professional courses that equip law enforcement specialists with these vital skills. Our brand new MSc in Investigation Practice aims to bridge that gap.

The challenges investigators face are becoming more complex, with many crimes now committed in cyber space and involving digital evidence. The nature of organised crime, including human trafficking, also transcends borders.

Investigators who work for companies could be grappling with anything from fraud to insider threats linked to counter-terrorism.

The Masters course has been designed to align with the professionalising investigations programme (PIP), which has helped transform investigative practice in police forces. It is equivalent to ‘PIP 3’ – the level of training undertaken by senior investigating officers.

Now you can gain a formal qualification that recognises your transferable skills and enables you to move between sectors. It is ideal for professional development or for those just starting out in their careers.

The challenges investigators face are becoming more complex, with many crimes now committed in cyber space and involving digital evidence. The nature of organised crime, including human trafficking, also transcends borders.

Investigators who work for companies could be grappling with anything from fraud to insider threats linked to counter-terrorism.

The Masters course has been designed to align with the professionalising investigations programme (PIP), which has helped transform investigative practice in police forces. It is equivalent to ‘PIP 3’ – the level of training undertaken by senior investigating officers.

Now you can gain a formal qualification that recognises your transferable skills and enables you to move between sectors. It is ideal for professional development or for those just starting out in their careers.

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: MSc Investigation Practice

On successful completion of study, we will issue the following award: MSc Investigation Practice

Course content

The qualification is relevant to police officers and police staff, aspiring private investigators, and those working in the commercial sector or for one of hundreds of bodies that prosecute in the UK. It focuses on real-world cases involving serious and complex investigations.

You will cover issues such as strategic leadership and supervision of investigations, evidence-based practice, legitimacy of investigations within organisations, decision-making and decision recording. Other modules also delve into the management of homicide and major crime cases, public protection and the role of artificial intelligence.

The qualification is relevant to police officers and police staff, aspiring private investigators, and those working in the commercial sector or for one of hundreds of bodies that prosecute in the UK. It focuses on real-world cases involving serious and complex investigations.

You will cover issues such as strategic leadership and supervision of investigations, evidence-based practice, legitimacy of investigations within organisations, decision-making and decision recording. Other modules also delve into the management of homicide and major crime cases, public protection and the role of artificial intelligence.

Modules

The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Year 1 compulsory modules
Year 1 compulsory modules
Applied Research Into Policing 20 credits
Ethical Policing And Organisational Legitimacy 20 credits
Evidence Based Policing 20 credits
Investigations Involving Vulnerability And Exploitation 20 credits
Management Of Serious And Complex Investigation 20 credits
Research Project And Dissertation 60 credits
Strategic Leadership Of Investigation 20 credits
Show 4 optional modules

Modules

The tables provide an indicative list of the modules that make up the course for the current academic year. Each module is worth a specified number of credits. Our teaching is informed by research, and modules change periodically to reflect developments in the discipline. We aim to ensure that all modules run as scheduled. If for any reason a module cannot be run we will advise you as soon as possible and will provide guidance on selecting an appropriate alternative module.

Year 2 compulsory modules
Year 2 compulsory modules
Ethical Policing And Organisational Legitimacy 20 credits
Research Project And Dissertation 60 credits
Strategic Leadership Of Investigation 20 credits

Entry requirements

A 2:2 honours degree or equivalent or significant appropriate work experience.

A 2:2 honours degree or equivalent or significant appropriate work experience.

For equivalent entry requirements in your home country, please see the information on our country pages.

Choose your country

Check our entry and English language requirements for your country.

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Facilities

Careers

After completing the MSc Investigation Practice, you’ll be equipped with the critical and reflective skills, as well as a range of other transferable skills which are attractive to employers. These can be adapted to a range of professions including, but not limited to:

  • Policing organisations
  • Criminal Justice organisations
  • Office of Police and Crime Commissioners
  • National, Foreign or Defence Ministries
  • Security Services
  • International or Regional investigative bodies
  • Private sector investigations

Alternatively, if you wish to develop your dissertation further, you will be ideally placed for further academic study at PhD level.

All students have access to Career Connect, our dedicated careers team.

Teaching and assessment

Teaching

The course is delivered through distance learning, which means you can fit it round your other commitments. We are developing a range of exciting resources using VR technology and interactive apps. You will also get to share your ideas and experiences with other students.

Our teaching is delivered through our Virtual Learning Environments. This means you can access a range of materials to support your studies wherever you are and whenever works for your. This includes notes, recorded presentations, activities and discussion forums, where you can debate subjects with your tutors and fellow students.

The course is delivered through distance learning, which means you can fit it round your other commitments. We are developing a range of exciting resources using VR technology and interactive apps. You will also get to share your ideas and experiences with other students.

Our teaching is delivered through our Virtual Learning Environments. This means you can access a range of materials to support your studies wherever you are and whenever works for your. This includes notes, recorded presentations, activities and discussion forums, where you can debate subjects with your tutors and fellow students.

Assessment

The practical assignments will be based on real examples. It will include high-profile cases where mistakes were made, such as the Post Office IT software scandal, and positive investigations where vulnerable people were found safe and well.

You will also complete an applied research project, where you could be using evidence to improve practices in a workplace or investigation standards.

The practical assignments will be based on real examples. It will include high-profile cases where mistakes were made, such as the Post Office IT software scandal, and positive investigations where vulnerable people were found safe and well.

You will also complete an applied research project, where you could be using evidence to improve practices in a workplace or investigation standards.

Learning support

Your course tutors will provide lots of support. But you can also take advantage of our Academic Skills team, who can help you with:

  • Study skills (including reading, note-taking and presentation skills)
  • Written English (including punctuation, grammar)
  • Academic writing (including how to reference)
  • Research skills
  • Critical thinking
  • Revision, assessment and exam skills (including time management)

Additional support

If you have additional needs like dyslexia or a sensory impairment, then our Student Inclusion Services are here to help make sure nothing stands in your way.

Feedback

We know that feedback is very important for you to be able to gauge your progress and to enable you to achieve your potential. To ensure that you can benefit from regular feedback, your tutors will provide a combination of written and verbal feedback, on both an individual and general assessment level.

We usually give you feedback on your formative assessments within 20 working days, but the format for the feedback will vary for each module.

We know that feedback is very important for you to be able to gauge your progress and to enable you to achieve your potential. To ensure that you can benefit from regular feedback, your tutors will provide a combination of written and verbal feedback, on both an individual and general assessment level.

We usually give you feedback on your formative assessments within 20 working days, but the format for the feedback will vary for each module.

As a distance learning student you will be expected to study independently, but the content of the modules will be provided in a structured manner to support you through the material and to prepare you for your assessments. Support will be available when you need it and you can contact your tutor by phone, email or in person.

For each of your taught modules, you will have specific sessions delivered through our online learning platforms. These engaging and interactive sessions will enable you to benefit from the expertise of our teaching staff and will signpost you to supplementary resources to support the content of the module. These sessions will also be recorded, so you can access the learning material at any time, giving you the freedom to study anywhere and anytime.

In addition to the module content, you will also be able to arrange online meetings with your tutors and dissertation supervisor, to review your progress on the course, to clarify module content, to provide support for assessments and to receive feedback on your work. The practice based element of this course also lends itself to peer to peer learning through formal and informal contact with fellow learners.

As a distance learning student you will be expected to study independently, but the content of the modules will be provided in a structured manner to support you through the material and to prepare you for your assessments. Support will be available when you need it and you can contact your tutor by phone, email or in person.

For each of your taught modules, you will have specific sessions delivered through our online learning platforms. These engaging and interactive sessions will enable you to benefit from the expertise of our teaching staff and will signpost you to supplementary resources to support the content of the module. These sessions will also be recorded, so you can access the learning material at any time, giving you the freedom to study anywhere and anytime.

In addition to the module content, you will also be able to arrange online meetings with your tutors and dissertation supervisor, to review your progress on the course, to clarify module content, to provide support for assessments and to receive feedback on your work. The practice based element of this course also lends itself to peer to peer learning through formal and informal contact with fellow learners.

Staff

We are a research-active department with internationally recognised expertise. This provides our students not only with world-class subject experts, but with considerable levels of research-informed teaching and pedagogical experience as well.

Our teaching team includes former senior police officers and specialists in forensic investigation, psychology and criminology. They are bringing science to policing. These subject matter experts have covered everything from advances in AI to investigations into homicide, corruption and child abuse. Staff have a broad spectrum of research interests too, including internationally recognised work.

James Holyoak

Senior Lecturer

After a full career in policing, Jim has used his leadership and experience to develop higher education within the Policing sector. He is actively involved in police related research and further developing learning in respect of policing leadership.

James's profile

Nicholas Mills

Lecturer

Nick spent his police career as a detective working in homicide and major crime. Nick has led the development of investigation programmes at Staffordshire University and is actively researching higher education with a focus on police decision making.

Nicholas's profile

Fees

For the course starting on 23 September 2024 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for MSc-Full-time, distance learning
Study option UK / Channel Islands International
Full-time £8,900 per course £8,900 per course

For the course starting on 27 January 2025 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for MSc-Full-time, distance learning
Study option UK / Channel Islands International
Full-time £8,900 per course £8,900 per course

For the course starting on 23 September 2024 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for MSc-Full-time, distance learning
Study option UK / Channel Islands
Part-time £8,865 per course

For the course starting on 27 January 2025 the tuition fees are:

Tuition fees for MSc-Full-time, distance learning
Study option UK / Channel Islands
Part-time £8,865 per course

If you would like to know more about the fees listed and what this means to you then please get in touch with our Enquiries Team.

Alumni discount

If you've previously completed a Staffordshire University undergraduate degree (excluding HND and foundation degrees) you may be entitled to a discount of up to 25% off your course fees for any subsequent postgraduate taught course (terms apply, see the alumni discount page for details). If you have any questions about how this relates to you, please contact feesandbursaries@staffs.ac.uk.

Included in tuition fees
Included in the fees:

As a Staffordshire University student, you’ll be entitled to a range of free software programs.

As a Staffordshire University student, you’ll be entitled to a range of free software programs.

Not included in tuition fees
Not included in the fees:
  • Text books are available from the library and online resources, but some students choose to purchase their own copies.
  • Printing
  • Travel costs
  • Any optional field trips
  • Text books are available from the library and online resources, but some students choose to purchase their own copies.
  • Printing
  • Travel costs
  • Any optional field trips
Accommodation and living costs
Accommodation and living costs

Accommodation and living costs are not included in our fees. 

For more information on accommodation and living costs, please see: Accommodation

Sources of financial support

Providing you are studying towards a full Masters qualification you may be able to apply for a postgraduate loan of up to £11,570 to help with tuition fees, maintenance and other associated costs. Student loans are available for many of our postgraduate degrees and are provided by the Student Loans Company (SLC). The loan can cover a wide range of postgraduate study options; part-time, full-time and distance learning. 

For more information and how to apply visit masters loan.

Apply

Location Award Study option Start date Apply Link
Stoke-on-Trent campus MSc Full-time, distance learning 23 September 2024 Apply now
Stoke-on-Trent campus MSc Full-time, distance learning 27 January 2025 Apply now

Rules and regulations

If you are offered a place at Staffordshire University, your offer will be subject to our rules, regulations and enrolment conditions, which may vary from time to time.

Students of Staffordshire University enter into a contract with us and are bound by these rules and regulations, which are subject to change. For more information, please see: University Policies and Regulations

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Study options
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