Designed for anyone who has completed a Foundation Degree or an HND in a related area – or for anyone currently working in the sector – this BA (Hons) Top Up Degree in Public Services and Social Justice will give you the qualification you need for success in the public sector.

During the course, you’ll choose a public service area to focus on and complete a major research dissertation. We’ll encourage you to interview and research high profile professionals to formulate your findings, including Members of Parliament, Senior Police Office, Local Government Directors, and even the Mayor of Manchester. This will help you develop cutting-edge knowledge and a high-quality piece of academic work.

Alongside this research, you’ll also study topics on Equality Legislation and Community Cohesion – both theory and practice - and Contemporary Issues in Public Policy, with an emphasis on practice and reform in criminal justice.

With this degree, you’ll be able to apply for a wide range of graduate positions in policing, local government and the private sector, or advance your studies further with a Master’s degree, PGCE or other professional qualifications.

Openshaw Campus
Full Time
1 year
September 2021
Awarding Partner:
Manchester Metropolitan University
Our tutors have a wealth of academic and industrial experience, and will teach you the theory and practice of modern public sector development. Many have worked as Senior Local Government officers, Police Officers, Crown Persecution Solicitors, Probation and Youth justice officers.

We have extensive contacts in public services and can offer these contacts to help with research and academic assignments or career choice discussions.

• Foundation Degree or HND in Public Services or a related subject or an equivalent Level 5 qualification in a related subject
You may be initially required to attend an interview and complete an interview task.
If you have significant and relevant industrial experience, you may be admitted to the programme after undergoing a selection process. This will include providing a detailed CV, proof of any academic or professional qualifications and an interview.

Year 1: Conflict or Cohesion? Debates in Equality and Community in modern Britain. (30 credits)
Explore the issues of equality legislation and its impact on recruitment and selection in the public and private sector. You’ll also study the importance of community cohesion theory and practice.

Year 1: Contemporary Issues in Public Policy (30 credits)
Examine and analyse the changes to the management and delivery of public services, and develop a critical understanding of the causes and consequences of crime in a public policy context. You’ll also visit local authority policy officers and meet public sector leaders such as the Mayor of Greater Manchester.

Year 1: Negotiated Research (60 credits)
As a core, double weighted part of the course, the detailed dissertation of your choice focuses on 3 components: Literature review, Research proposal and Research project.
You will be assessed via a range of methods to help you demonstrate your knowledge and understanding, including:

• Essay
• Exam
• Reports,
• Literature
• Presentation.
• Dissertation

Contemporary Issues in Public policy:
Portfolio - 50%
Exam - 50%

Conflict or Cohesion:
Report - 50%
Essay - 50%

Negotiated research:
Literature review - 25%
Research Proposal - 25%
Dissertation - 50%
Our students have been very successful in gaining employment, starting jobs in range of interesting and exciting positions, including:

• Metropolitan Police Officer
• Ministry of Defence Police officer
• Special Constable
• Prison Officer
• Local Government officer
• Teacher/Lecturer
• Private Sector Manager
• Qualified Social worker (after gaining Master’s Degree)
• Voluntary Sector Coordinator
• Housing Manager
• Community Development Worker

Retirement of existing staff and new investment also means there’s likely to be additional employment opportunities in this sector.
There are two main costs you will have whilst studying and if you are a home student studying on a full-time course, you can apply for student finance to cover both of these:

 Your tuition fees for each year of your course.
 Help with your living costs e.g. rent, food, clothing, course materials, entertainment.

You can find more details, including the actual tuition fee charged on our Fees, Funding and Finance Page.

Learn more
All of the books required for the course are available either from the library or as e-books. However, many students choose to buy some of the core textbooks for the course and/or a laptop. You may also need to print assignments and other documents.

Campus printing costs start from 5p per page.

Estimated costs are £300 for a laptop and up to £50 each year for books and printing

When dissertation work you may also need to factor in travel costs to your place of research

Depending on your choice of research you may be required to have an enhanced DBS check for this course to ensure you meet both our and industry safeguarding requirements. Please note there will be an additional cost to your course fees to cover Disclosure and Baring Service (DBS) checks. Please see the GOV.UK website for DBS costs.

All students are subject to UCEN Manchester’s Terms and Conditions from the date they accept an offer to study here, full details of which can be found here. The UCEN Manchester Admissions Policy and Procedure can be found here.

UCEN Manchester News

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Sarah Deakin, Head of Department, Criminology and Social Justice.


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