HND Public Services

The Higher National Diploma in Public Services is a nationally recognised university-level programme which places emphasis on employer engagement and work readiness.

This course is ideal for those wishing to investigate careers in policing, the criminal justice system or the armed forces.

Based at our Stamford campus, this programme is offered as a general pathway in the field of Public Services and the associated careers, keeping doors open for a wide range of career paths and future study options.

Students will study a range of modules which include elements of theory and practical to help them secure the knowledge, skills and behaviours needed to succeed in the workplace.

On completion of the course, graduates will have developed a sound understanding of the principles and practices associated with public service employment. Graduates will be able to evaluate the appropriateness of different approaches to solving problems using a range of theoretical and practical concepts associated with a role in public service employment.

Students are encouraged to apply as a Special Constable whilst undertaking this course as the modules selected will complement the training undertaken. There is no guarantee however of an offer of employment and students will be subject to the normal recruitment processes. Your tutors will assist you with this though.

Students will be able to gain an understanding of their chosen field and will develop the qualities necessary for employment in situations requiring the exercise of personal responsibility and decision-making along with the fitness capabilities to gain entry. Furthermore, graduates will have developed a range of transferable skills to ensure effective team working, independent initiatives, organisational competence and problem-solving strategies. They will be adaptable and flexible in their approach to public service roles, show resilience under pressure, and meet challenging targets within a given resource.

The courses at University Centre Peterborough are studied in smaller class sizes compared with other universities, a typical class size is under 30 students.

If you are applying to start in September 2021, you must meet the following entry requirements:

64 UCAS points with a qualification ideally related to Public / Uniformed Services although students with an interest in policing or public services are encouraged to apply:

  • A-levels (CCC or AA)
  • BTEC (MMM)
  • Cambridge Technicals (MMM)
  • Access to HE (45 credits)

Mature students or students who do not have the above qualifications can contact our admissions team on 01733 214466 or to discuss equivalent qualifications or relevant work experience.

You must have GCSE English language and mathematics at a minimum of grade C or grade 4.

If English is not your first language you will require a recognised Level 2 English language qualification or an IELTS score of 6.0 (with 5.5 minimum in each skill) or an equivalent English Language qualification.

An interview may be required before an offer can be made.


We can accept a wide range of overseas qualifications and use UK NARIC to compare qualifications. For advice about overseas qualification conversion call the Admissions Office on 01733 214466 or email


To find out more about UCAS tariff points and how they work, visit

We accept a wide range of qualifications such as A-levels (you must have grades for at least two A-levels), BTEC, Cambridge Technicals, International Baccalaureate (IB), NVQ Level 3, Access to Higher Education and Scottish Advanced Highers.

The tariff points for qualifications can be added and combined together (e.g. A-levels plus BTECs).

The UCAS points for A-level General Studies, AS-levels and the EQP (Extended Project Qualification) are accepted when combined with other full qualifications.


APCL relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study. If you have previously completed a course which is relevant to your proposed course you should make this clear when you apply. For this to be eligible for consideration you must be able to provide certification, which shows your success in a final assessment for that course. Learning must be completed in the last five years or further evidence of updating will be required. Simple participation in a course or an attendance certificate is not sufficient.


We offer students flexibility in their studies, by recognising learning they may have completed elsewhere before they apply. The Accreditation of Prior Learning process ensures that we can take this into account when determining the modules you must study. It is important that you identify any relevant prior learning when you apply. If your previous study specifically relates to modules on the course you wish to undertake we may approve a reduced programme of study, thus shortening the time it takes to obtain your award. Where this relates to learning completed through an earlier course of study, this is called Prior Certificated Learning, and where learning has been achieved through relevant work or experience, this is referred to as Prior Experiential Learning. Claims must be approved before you commence a course.


It is important to understand that the APEL process does not award academic credit for experience alone, but for learning which can be shown to have been achieved through that experience. Students are required to prepare an individual case for the credit arising from their learning experiences. This normally means that a student receives support in the preparation of a portfolio, which evidences their claimed exemptions for entry. This portfolio of evidence is then submitted for assessment and the possible award of academic credit. Alternative methods of assessment of evidence may be available but needs to be discussed with the Admissions team or Course Leader.

You must take modules worth 120 credits at each level of the course. Each module is worth a specified number of credits.

Year one for full-time students (Level 4)
  • Organisational Structures and Culture (15 credits)
  • Mental Health and Wellbeing (15 credits)
  • Equality, Diversity and Fair Treatment (15 credits)
  • Public Services in Contemporary Society (15 credits)
  • Terrorism and Counter Terrorism (15 credits)
  • Modern Warfare and Conflict (15 credits)
  • Training for Fitness and Health (15 credits)
  • Psychology of Behaviour (15 credits) 
Year two for full-time students (Level 5)
  • Research Project (30 credits)
  • Reflective Professional Practice (15 credits)
  • Expedition Planning (15 credits)
  • International Policing (15 credits)
  • Applied Forensic Psychology (15 credits)
  • Physical Activity Health and Lifestyle (15 credits)
  • Theories of Crime (15 credits)

    A typical 15 credit module is 150 hours which includes 36 hours of tutor led delivery and 114 hours of recommended independent study.  A typical 30 credit module is 300 hours which includes 72 hours of tutor led delivery and 228 hours of recommended independent study.  A full-time student should expect to undertake 30 additional hours per week during term-time.

    When studying this course we will timetable your lectures into one of two full days a week over two semesters per year (see Duration and delivery for exact details). We are able to offer this convenient timetabling to our students as we are a smaller institution so we can timetable our staff and resources more efficiently.

    There are two semesters per year and each semester is up to 15 weeks which includes up to 12 teaching weeks and 3 assessment weeks.

    If studying full-time you will be in classes, seminars and tutorials for approximately 15 hours per week and will spend the rest of your time in independent study and extra-curricular activities including work placement if not embedded in your course. We recommend that full-time students allow an additional 30 hours per week for additional study.

    Timetables are available at least one month before registration and you can refer to the academic calendar for examination weeks and resit periods.

    The days of the week you study may change each year and in some circumstances one of the full days might have to be split into two half days, but we aim to keep these as full days where possible.

    Throughout the duration of your course you will be assessed by the following methods:

    Year one for full-time students (Level 4)
    • 100%     Coursework or Practical Demonstration
    Year two for full-time students (Level 5)
    • 100%     Coursework or Practical Demonstration

    We will provide, by the beginning of the first week of each semester, a current module guide with all the information you need for each module, including details of assessment tasks, the deadlines for these tasks, the required format and any relevant guidance.

    Students are expected to apply for and volunteer as a Special Constable whilst undertaking this course. This will support the theoretical and academic studies you will undertake.

    As the course is timetabled as full days during the week when studied full-time, this also gives you the flexibility to find a work placement, internship or volunteering opportunity which will improve your employability after you graduate. All students are encouraged to identify work experience in addition to their work placement to aid their career development.

    Just some of the future careers for graduates after completing the course include:

    • Policing
    • Military Policing
    • Criminal Justice Agencies
    • Prison Service
    • Armed Forces
    • Police Support Functions
    • Civil Service
    • Further studies in Policing, Criminology or Psychology

    Richard West

    I am the Course Leader for the HND in Public Services and responsible for the design and delivery of the course at the Stamford Campus.

    I have worked in the further education since leaving the Royal Air Force in 2010. I love the flexibility and dynamisms that vocational education can give to students.

    I have a keen interest in psychology and criminology and its practical application across the roles of the Uniformed and Public Services.

    After a brief spell at University studying Physical Geography I joined the Royal Air Force in 2001 as an Aerospace Systems Operator working in air battle management environments. This role took me all over the world working with different nations and being deployed to a range of challenging environments. The air surveillance and control of the UK was a huge part of what I did and included a tour working with NATO working in a multi nation environment with direct reporting to the UK government on air operations and threats. I also took on various instructional duties as my experience grew. I concluded my military career in a recruiting post at the Royal Air Force College Cranwell in the Inspectorate of Recruiting.

    I started my educational career in 2010 teaching at a local college and since then my enthusiasm and passion for vocational education has only grown. I have set up and been managing the Duke of Edinburgh Award in Stamford for some years and I love getting outdoors and into the hills.

    Since the leaving the RAF I have achieved a range of personal and professional goals including my hill and moorland leader training, a BSc Open degree focussing on criminology and psychology and becoming a teaching and learning coach at Stamford College.


    • BSc (Hons) Open (OU)
    • BSc Physical Geography
    • Level 4 Certificate in Leading the Internal Quality Assurance of Assessment Processes and Practice
    • NVQ Level 4 in Management
    • In Service Certificate in Education (Level 4)
    • Preparing to Teach in the Lifelong Learning Sector

    When you have chosen a course to study at University Centre Peterborough, your next step is to make an application.

    All FULL-TIME APPLICATIONS must be made to UCAS via a web-based tracker system – (the institution code for University Centre Peterborough is P56).

    All PART-TIME APPLICATIONS can be submitted directly to University Centre Peterborough. You can download and complete the following form then email to, or send it through the post, or visit us in person.

    Before you apply, please check that you meet the entry requirement which is listed on the course information pages.

    If you have any questions about making an application contact the Admissions Office on 01733 214466 or email

    If you are currently studying

    University Centre Peterborough are committed to supporting all of our applicants who are currently studying A-level, BTEC, Access to HE or other qualifications. We want everyone achieve the best possible outcomes and we will support applicants in the coming months so they are not disadvantaged in any way due to recent changes in exams and grading. All applicants should continue to work hard as this will help teachers assess your ability and help prepare you before starting your higher education or degree course.

    When to apply

    We advise you to make an application for your chosen course as soon as possible to secure your place. We will process your application within 1 to 5 working days so you know if you have been successful and received an offer.

    The following timeline is for applications to start a course in September 2021.


    • Applications for the majority of courses will be made by 6pm on 29th January 2021 (previously 15th January 2021).
    • If you have not made your application by this date you can still apply to University Centre Peterborough at any time afterwards.


    • If you missed the first UCAS deadline, you can still apply through UCAS Extra from Thursday 25th February to Sunday 4th July 2021.
    • This also gives you the opportunity to add University Centre Peterborough as an additional choice if you have used all five choices and are not holding any offers.


    • From Monday 5th July 2021 you can apply via UCAS through Clearing.
    • Clearing is for those who have not yet applied or students who have waited until they have received their grades. However, you do not need to wait until you receive your grades before applying through Clearing.
    • If you have applied and been accepted at another university, you still have the opportunity to change to study at University Centre Peterborough.
    • If you don’t get the grades you expected, don’t panic. Just contact us during Clearing and we can  usually confirm your place very quickly. We are used to helping students at this time of year.

    Types of offer

    When you make an application, you will receive one of the following offers:

    • CONDITIONAL OFFER: You will have to meet certain conditions before the start of the course (such as achieving your exams with a certain grade). We will specify these conditions when making you an offer. When you achieve these grades your place will then be confirmed.
    • UNCONDITIONAL OFFER: You already meet the entry requirements for the course (i.e. you have achieved the grades already) and we are happy to offer you a place without conditions.
    • DECLINE: Unfortunately, we are not able to offer you a place at this time. We will advise you why you were unsuccessful on this occasion and we can give you advice on alternative courses for progression.

    Applicant days

    • We will be holding an Applicant Day for new students on Saturday 20th March 2021.
    • This invitation only event is available to students who are holding a Conditional Offer or Unconditional Offer. It will give you the opportunity to meet other students, academic staff and participate in subject sessions to help prepare you before starting in September 2021.
    • If you are still deciding on where to study then this day can be a great chance to see if studying with us is right for you.

    Advice Sessions and Open Days

    • If you would like help with your application, more information about student finances or have any questions, then you are welcome to book onto one of our regular Advice Sessions where you can speak to a member of staff for help and advice.
    • During our Open Days we run a series of talks on a variety of topics including applications and student finance.
    • For dates and times of the latest Advice Sessions and Open Days visit

    Key Facts

    UCAS Code
    Institution code
    Validated by:
    Pearson Edexcel

    Stamford College

    Duration and Delivery

    HND Full-time 2 years (2 full days a week over two semesters per year)

    Start Date
    September 2021

    Tuition fees

    The tuition fees for full-time undergraduate students starting in 2021/22 will be:

    • HND Full-time: £6,500 per year

    There may be additional costs for this course which are not covered by the tuition fee.

    Additional Notes

    Click here for terms and conditions 2021/22 including our complaints policy.

    Course enquiry

    HND Public Services

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