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Pearson BTEC HNC Diploma Level 4 Public Services

(with pathway options: Policing, Criminolgy & Emergency Services)

Course Structure

This course is designed to meet the needs of students wishing to pursue a career in Public and Emergency Services – The Police, Fire Service, Ambulance Service, Prison Service, Armed Forces, Customs and Excise, Emergency Planning - Security Services, Public Health and Criminal Justice support agencies. You will develop a firm understanding about major incidents, human psychology and sociology, diversity, criminology health & safety and your own personal efficiency and development in all situations where public services are employed. The Pearson BTEC Level 4 & 5 HNC/D in Public Services provides a specialist, work-related programme of study that covers the key knowledge, understanding and practical skills required in the Public Services sector and also offers particular emphasis through the choice of specialist units tailored in year 1 & 2 to your chosen careers pathway.

At the end of your course you will have a recognised qualification which will definitive pathways for employment in the public services and other careers that require a disciplined but caring approach. On successful completion of the HND, you may be able to complete a second or third ‘top-up’ year of a suitable degree at another institution or graduate entry to selective institutions. There are opportunities for further study and career options: The course provides a nationally recognised qualification offering career progression and professional development for those already in employment or wishing to seek public sector employment.

The course will provide:

  • in depth study of a wide range of public service operations
  • opportunities to find out about jobs available in these services and prepare yourself for their entry procedures
  • regular contact with public service workers and visits to public service providers
  • practical assignments and projects directly related to the contemporary public service scene
  • practical work on community projects


  • Small-Scale Research Projects
  • Organisations and Behaviour 
  • Fair Treatment in Public Services 
  • Health & Safety Management in Public Services 
  • The Global Environment
  • Justice and Punishment
  • Emergency Planning and the Public Services
  • Crime Reduction and Community Safety


*Note: modules will vary depending on student's pathway selection. E.g. Policing, Criminology, Emergency and General Public Services.


To gain the HND each module must be successfully completed. Assessment is by a combination of coursework, assignments, projects or an examination. All assessments are externally verified by Pearson.

Most units on the BTEC Higher National Diploma (HND) level courses are worth 15 UK credits. Students will be expected to commit at least 150 notional hours towards completing the learning outcomes per unit. This usually consists of a combination of around 60% direct teaching time and around 40% independent study time (e.g. preparations for research and assessments, background reading, etc.).

Entry Requirements

UK and EU students:

  • A level standard or overseas equivalent
  • Mature students (21+) with relevant experience
  • Other UK level 3 qualifications (e.g. Foundation Diploma, Access to HE Certificate, a BTEC National, Advanced GNVQ or AVCE)

International students:

Overseas learners must show proficiency in the English language and have an appropriate qualification equivalent to IELTS 5.5

Restrictions on Learner Entry

The BTEC Level 5 qualifications are accredited on the QCF or RQF for learners aged 18 years and over

Admissions Process

The College will ensure that entry requirements are applied in accordance with institutional policy and that the admissions process will take the following format.

  • All applicants must complete an application form
  • Applicants will be subject to a personal (or Skype) interview where possible either by a member of the admissions team or approved agency (where this is not possible acceptance will be based on the information contained in the application form and any supporting documents)
  • If requested, applicants must provide two references in support of their suitability for the programme
  • Selection will be in the light of previous qualifications, past experience, and future aspirations
  • Mature entry applicants without the standard academic background will normally be interviewed to assess their suitability for the programme
  • Educational and employment references will be taken up wherever possible
  • All applicants must present original examination transcripts (English translation where necessary), or notarised copies and English Language examination transcripts (where applicable).
  • Applicants may be asked to complete an English language entry test and an ICT diagnostic test.



The skills you will learn from this course will enable you to:

  • Pursue a career in the police service, armed forces, fire service, prison service, revenue and customs and security
  • Progress on to a higher education programme

A key progression path for BTEC HND learners is to the second or third year of a degree or honours degree programme, depending on the match of units to the degree programme in question. To see who accepts the HND for progression please see the Pearson website.

Student case studies (HND Public Services) from our partner college – New College Swindon