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BSc (Hons) - Security Intelligence and Investigative Practice

The concept of security stretches from keeping assets safe to analysing how global events impact upon our lives then designing measures to address these needs.

Our course provides the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience of practices previously only available within a few public sector professions.


Security Intelligence and Investigative Practice cover image

Course Overview

Traditionally associated with law enforcement and the military the contemporary intelligence field merges skill sets gained in these environments with all aspects of the commercial world.

Perceptions of investigation range from Sherlock Holmes to Line of Duty. The ‘real world’ viewpoint on this course is provided by practitioners and academics, providing a more accurate picture.

The ability to identify and fill gaps of knowledge is a fundamental investigative requirement from crime to any other discipline requiring questions to be answered.

Whether you are engaged in analysis, protective services, any part of the public sector or private business the elements of this course will feature in your professional and private life.

This course provides the opportunity to gain knowledge and experience of practices previously only available within a few public sector professions. Investigative practice skills are widely sought by a wide range of employers.

On this course you will...

  • Gain a professional and ethical understanding of how to recognise security risks in a variety of environments.
  • Learn to recognise intelligence gathering opportunities, access material and data in a legal and ethical manner.
  • Learn to analyse threat and design solutions needed to minimise them.
  • Explore investigative techniques and develop a detective skill set.

Course Structure

What you will learn

You will identify the three threads (security, intelligence and investigative practice) this programme is built on. These three threads are interrelated and will help to further develop your understanding of the bigger picture of security, intelligence and investigative practice.

You will learn to use these threads to solve problems in a multivariable environment.

The modules build from introductory, enabling you to have a firm understanding through to a strategic international perspective in line with contemporary security, intelligence and investigative demands.

Year one
  • Intelligence, Structures and Products
    An introduction to the core concepts essential to understanding the definition of intelligence and its place in the context of 21st century policing.
  • Managing Criminal Enquiries
    An introduction to the fundamental theory and practice of criminal investigation.
  • Crime Scene Investigation
    Explore techniques involved in crime scene investigation and recovery of evidence as practised by UK forensic agencies.
  • Operational Security
    An introduction to the processes that result in security measures being implemented.
  • Cyber Security
    An introduction to protective digital practice, using real-word examples to reflect the complexity of cyber crime in an increasingly digital society.
  • Evolution of Threat
    Explore the history of threat in the form of protest, extremism and terrorist activity, drawing on underpinning literature, enquires and a practical context.
Year two
  • Investigative Interviewing
    Explore the importance of human testimony to the gathering of information as a central component of investigative practice
  • Serious Organised Crime Investigations
    Develop knowledge of decision making, crime, investigation and offending, examining the nature and development of serious organised crime.
  • Covert Operations
    An introduction to covert techniques used within investigations.
  • Security Risk Management
    Learn to recognise risk in both physical and electronic environments.
  • Digital Intelligence
    Understand technical intelligence gathering operations using cutting edge and bespoke methods to collect and analyse intelligence.
  • Practical Action Research (optional module)
    Develop your research skills through an action research project, using independent enquiry skills.
  • Forecasting Future Challenges (optional module)
    Develop research skills, recognising and forecasting potential threats to individuals and communities.
Year three
  • Global Threats and Risk Principles
    Develop a comprehensive understanding of the repercussions of events in a globalised environment.
  • Safeguarding Society
    Understand how to manage vulnerability.
  • Freedoms and Protections
    Explore what privacy means in contemporary society.
  • Extremism
    Gain a detailed understanding of theory and practice surrounding acceptable protest and illegal extremism.
  • Dissertation/ Work Based Project
    Develop an appropriate investigation into a chosen area of practice.

Attend an Open Day at Cumbria

An Open Day is your opportunity to explore one of 5 campuses, meet your lecturers, and find out how the University of Cumbria could become your new home.

Take the next step towards achieving your dreams.
A student stands in front of a wall splattered with paint.