Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Public Services

If your future lies in helping others and you thrive off a personal challenge, our Public Services course is for you, and could be your gateway to a highly rewarding career.   

During this two-year course, your learning will be supported and enhanced by extensive links with a range of employers from the public service sector who can help you find your purpose. 

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Course Overview

At UCR, you’ll develop your skills and knowledge in a range of public services, such as local government, Civil Service, public administration, the armed forces, police force, fire and rescue services, prison service and the charity and voluntary sector.  

You will also broaden your understanding of areas such as serious and organised crime, aviation, youth offending and rehabilitation, forensic psychology and international terrorism, so you’ll be well prepared for your chosen career, whichever avenue you choose.  

Course Features

  • Develop your communication, leadership and teamworking skills 
  • Gain in depth understanding of our legal systems  
  • Build employability skills with trips and residential courses  
  • Benefit from talks and demonstrations from visiting professionals 

Career Options

  • Armed Services 
  • HM Customs 
  • Police 
  • Fire and Rescue Service 
  • Prison service 
  • Forensic scientist 
  • Criminologist 

Course Information

You will study a range of topics from across the Public Services, supporting your academic studies with specialist input from the extensive links between the college and public service providers.

  • A minimum of 64 tariff points from A & AS levels
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) – MPP in Sport, Public Services or Adventure Sport
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma (first teaching from September 2016) – MM in Sport, Public Services or Adventure Sport
  • City & Guilds Level 3 Technical Advanced Extended Diploma (1080 – first awarded in 2019) – a minimum of grade MPP in in Sport, Public Services or Adventure Sport
  • City & Guilds Level 3 Advanced Technical Extended Diploma (720 – first awarded in 2019) – a minimum of grade MM in in Sport, Public Services or Adventure Sport
  • Mature students (aged 21+) will be considered on an individual basis on their prior knowledge and experience. This may be assessed by interview, completion of coursework/essay or other methods. There may be a requirement for a formal qualification to be completed first e.g. Access to Higher Education course.
  • Unit 1: Organisational Structures and Culture
  • Unit 2: Mental Health and Wellbeing
  • Unit 3: Equality, Diversity and Fair Treatment
  • Unit 4: Public Services in Contemporary Society
  • Unit 14: Crime and Substance Misuse
  • Unit 15: Modern Warfare and Conflict
  • Unit 22: Fitness Preparation and Testing
  • Unit 27: Psychology of Behaviour


All level 4 modules must be successfully completed before a student can proceed to level 5. All modules are compulsory.

  • Unit 29: Research Project (Pearson-Set)
  • Unit 30: Reflective Professional Practice
  • Unit 32: Serious and Organised Crime
  • Unit 34: Theories of Crime
  • Unit 45: Training, Coaching and Mentoring Techniques
  • Unit 46: Aviation and Maritime Protection
  • Unit 49: Applied Forensic Psychology

Academic study is comprised of a mix of lectures, supported by seminar workshops where knowledge will be applied to various case studies. Students will also undertake a number of visits to industry throughout the programme.

All members of staff have an extensive background in the delivery of Public Services qualifications as well as individualised and personalised specialist knowledge in the modules they are delivering on the course.

Class sizes will vary, core academic sessions will be delivered to the whole cohort, seminar sessions will be made up of smaller working groups.

Assessment Methods

Assessment of the course is innovative and may take many forms, including: essays, scientific reports, presentations, academic posters, seminar discussions, interviews, critical reviews, portfolios of evidence, practical competency assessments and examinations (end of year exams, multiple choice and short answer quizzes, and in class examinations)

The majority of assessment is by coursework. This takes a number of forms including portfolios, practical assessment and observation, presentations and academic posters.

Unit 4 is an externally set assessment, comprised of case studies and examinations. Unit 29 Research Project (Pearson-Set) is also an externally set unit. This comprises of guided research with the expectation of completion of research proposals and ethics forms when completing an individually chosen topic of research interest


Coursework is mostly submitted electronically through Turn-it-in. Students are given a clear grading form at the time the assignment is set to enable them to assess their own work prior to submission.

Work is marked, Internally verified and returned to the student in 4 working weeks.

Each course year has a module handbook (not each module).

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Students will be able to access course timetables for the academic year in September.

Timetables are subject to change, but most students can expect to spend 3-3.5 days per week on campus.

Tuition Fees

As a student at UCR, you will have two main costs to meet; your tuition fees and living costs.

Our full-time tuition fees for UK and EU students, entering University, can be found on our student finance page. These fees are charged for each academic year of a course and are set by the college annually.

Tuition fees for international students can also be found on our student finance page.

Additional Costs

Additional qualifications in Security and Conflict Resolution will be available at an additional cost.

The majority of industry visits will be included in the course fees. However, learners will be able to access additional study tour opportunities, such as visits to Berlin or Normandy with the Royal British Legion at an additional cost.

Equipment Costs

  • Textbooks (approximately £40 per book if purchased)
  • Stationery (approximately £30)

Prices of equipment are subject to change dependent on retailer.

Apply directly through UCAS

A minimum of 64 UCAS points

September 2022
September 2023

Full-time: 2 years

Useful Information

Here you will find useful information about the services and support available at University Centre Reaseheath. Click to expand each item:

University Centre Reaseheath is committed to providing additional financial support to those who need it. To find out about the bursary schemes available visit our additional financial support page.

For students to get the best out of their time at University Centre Reaseheath, we must both recognise that we owe obligations to each other. These obligations are set out in our UCR Student Contract. Before you accept an offer of a place at University Centre Reaseheath, it is important that you read these contract conditions. If you are going to be living in Halls of Residence, you will also need to read the Student Accommodation Licence Conditions. Both of these contracts can be found here.

Click here to view the University Centre Reaseheath Student Protection Plan.

All UCR students are given the opportunity to apply for residential accommodation. First year students are guaranteed accommodation and this offer is made to all applicants who live more than a reasonable daily travelling distance from Reaseheath (providing you have applied before the UCAS equal considerations deadline. For full details on our halls of residence visit our accommodation page.

We have a team of dedicated professionals on hand to offer you support. These include our Student Services Team, Inclusive Learning Team, Library and Learning Resources Team and the Reaseheath Careers Service. You can find more information on the support provided at Reaseheath on our support page.

University Centre Reaseheath is proud to welcome international students. For more information, please visit our international students page.