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Public Services

If you're a natural born leader and a good communicator, you could consider a career in public services.

Our programme combines theoretical and written work with practical participation, and is designed to help you pass the selection processes of a number of public service organisations.


You'll be taught within a disciplined environment by highly experienced tutors, including a former police officer and an ex-marine. Using the excellent training facilities on campus, you'll develop your leadership and teamwork skills whilst improving your physical fitness.



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The Higher Education courses shown on Bolton College’s website are taught by Bolton College on behalf of the University of Bolton. Therefore, all the information applicants and learners provide will be shared between these two organisations. Applicants and learners will receive communication from both the University of Bolton and Bolton College. Student Finance Loan applications should be made using the institution ‘University of Bolton’ not Bolton College.

  • Introductory Course Information

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    Award: Pearson BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Public Services 

    UCAS Points: 32

    Location: Bolton College – Deane Road  

    Awarding BodyPearson  

    Duration2 Years (full-time) 

    Start Date: 21/9/2020

  • Course Overview

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    Public service careers are rewarding but demanding. If you are keen to enter a profession allied to public services - perhaps as a police officer or in the field of criminology - then our Level 5 HND in Public Services offers you an excellent preparation for a range of uniformed and non-uniformed careers. The course intends to develop your knowledge of how public services and allied professions can impact on society, from both a theoretical and practical perspective. It also provides you with a foundation on which you can build the skills and knowledge needed to succeed in the public services sector.


     The course content is a mixture of theory and written work with an active-based programmes which is closely linked to the emergency services and allied professions. Our expert tutors will guide you as you gain practical, professional and subject specific skills. You course will cover the key knowledge required for a career in public services and cover organisational structures and culture, equality and diversity, mental health, and professional practice. You'll also be able to advance your knowledge by developing your wider understanding and skills in areas such as serious and organised crime, terrorism, forensic psychology, the justice system, international policing and cyber security.


    You'll also complete an individual research project, where you'll have the opportunity to develop and apply your skills in independent enquiry and critical analysis to investigate a current topic of public services. We'll support you as you develop cognitive, intellectual and thinking skills, and gain valuable key, personal and transferable skills ready for employment or further study.

  • Course Highlights & Key Features

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    Course Highlights

    • Our tutors are highly knowledgeable and are ex-professionals with first have policing experience.
    • We work closely with a range of public sector organisations and encourage you to gain valuable career experience through voluntary work.
    • Upon completion of this programme, you'll be awarded a Pearson BTEC Level 5 Higher National Diploma in Public Services.
    • Bolton College scores highly in student satisfaction surveys for our HE provision, and we take pride in being able to offer you the opportunity to learn from industry-experienced staff.
    • We aim to help you become adaptable and flexible in your approach to public services, supporting you to develop resilience under pressure, team-working skills, independence and initiative, as well as gain the organisation and problem-solving skills necessary to meet challenging targets with a given resource.

    Key Features

    • This course offers essential subject knowledge to help you progress into the world of work or onto further study.
    • We offer you an insight into the roles within public services and the importance of collaboration at all levels. We'll work to develop your knowledge and understanding of culturally diverse organisations, cross-cultural issues, diversity and values.
    • Our teaching approach is 'student-centred'. We'll work with you on an individual basis, providing tailored help and support throughout your studies.
    • You’ll have the opportunity to develop and enhance crucial skills such as communication, teamwork, organising and planning, numeracy, problem solving, flexibility and adaptability, action planning, self-awareness, initiative, personal impact and confidence, environmental sustainability, and social, public and ethical responsibility.
  • Modules

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    The modules listed below are a mixture of compulsory and optional. You may not have the opportunity to study all the modules as part of the course.

    • Organisational Structures and Culture
    • Equality Diversity and Fair Treatment
    • Crime and Substance Misuse
    • Terrorism and Counter Terrorism
    • Mental Health and Wellbeing
    • Third Sector and Public Services
    • Psychology of Behaviour
    • Public Services in Contemporary Society
    • Research Project
    • Serious and Organised Crime
    • Justice, Punishment and Rehabilitation
    • Youth Offending
    • Applied Forensic Psychology
    • Reflective Professional Practice
    • Cyber Security
  • Entry Requirements

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    • Any subject s are acceptable at Level 3
    • 5 GCSEs at grade C or above / 4 to 9 (or equivalent) including English and maths.
    • Entry is also available to those who have extensive relevant work experience within the public services sector - if you don't have the academic qualifications required but have extensive appropriate work experience, we'll consider your application.
    • If English isn't your first language you'll need IELTS 6.0 with no less than 5.5 in any band (or equivalent). We also accept a range of other English language qualifications - click here to find out more.
    • If you want to progress on to a top-up degree course at a university after completing this HND, you will usually need GCSE English and maths at grade c/4 or above (or equivalent). If you have not already achieved this, please speak to the course leader about taking GCSE English and/or maths while completing this course.

    You may be required to attend an interview and/or provide a portfolio of your work.

  • Career Opportunities

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    This qualification has been developed by Pearson closely with experts from employers, vendors, professional bodies, universities and colleges so that you'll gain the skills necessary to success in this area.


    What can I do with this qualification?

    The Public Services HND prepares you for careers in public services, including areas such as local government, Police Service, the security industry, immigration, MI5, British Transport Police, British Nuclear Fuel, retail security, corporate security, HM Revenue & Customs, Military Police and Ministry of Defence Police, along with UK Border Agency, Royal Air Force, Royal Navy, British Army, Royal Marines, the Prison Service, G4S and the Fire and Rescue Service.


    You can also progress onto a higher level qualification if you complete the Pearson BTEC Level 5 HND in Public Service. You will be able to apply for advanced standing to bachelor’s degrees, such as the University of Bolton’s BA (Hons) Crime and Criminal Justice (Top-up).

    Other related degrees you might be interested in areas such as criminology, policing, public services management, applied social sciences, leadership in the public sector, and fire and rescue.


    Other career options:

    • Teaching
    • Research and development
    • Charity and non-profit organisations
    • Social research
    • Government and Civil Service
    • Housing
    • Education administration
    • International aid/development
    • Paralegal
    • Consultancy
    • Youth work
    • Politics


  • Fees & Financial Support

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    For students starting in 20-21, the tuition fees are £5,996.


    Bursaries, scholarships and prizes: The College also provides Progression Awards for students who progress from a level 3 Bolton College course onto a HE Bolton College course. For further information on the Progression Award, click here. To find out more about financial support, please click here.


    Useful links for Bolton College Regulations, Policies and Procedures:  If you need information regarding any of the HE policies and procedures or how to make a complaint or appeal then please visit our key strategies and framework page

  • Teaching, Learning & Assessment

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    The varied nature of this HND programme means that we use a wide range of teaching and learning methods. In order to ensure you acquire and develop the appropriate concepts, knowledge and skills, we combine timetabled classes with student-centred and independent learning. You can expect to attend lectures, practical sessions, workshops, tutorials and informal group study sessions. There will also be opportunities to go on field visits to see how various areas of the public services operate, and attend guest lectures by specialists from industry or other academic institutions.


    There are significant opportunities to spend time with the tutors and technicians during timetabled classes, practical work and tutorials. However, we’ll still expect you to devote a significant amount of time to personal study. For example, this time might be spent engaging in general background reading, revisiting practical work or working on assignments.


    We use a range of assessment methods, depending upon the learning outcome in question and the type of module content being assessed. You’ll have opportunities to test your understanding of subjects informally before you complete the formal assessments that count towards your final mark or grade. Each module/unit will normally contain at least one piece of practice or ‘formative’ assessment for which you’ll receive feedback from your tutor. Practice assessments are developmental and any grades/marks you receive for them do not count toward your module/unit mark or grade.


    There is a formal or ‘summative’ assessment at the end of each module/unit. Methods include a range of assessment such as exams, essays, reports, portfolios, presentations, and final year major project. The grades from the formal assessments count towards your module/unit mark or grade.



    The university will use all reasonable endeavours to deliver your course as described in its published material and the programme specification for the academic year in which you begin your course. Please be aware that our courses are subject to review on an ongoing basis. The content of course modules and mode of associated assessments may be updated on an annual basis. This is to ensure that all modules are up to date and responsive to employment and sector needs. The published course material and the programme specification contain indicative ‘optional modules’ that may be subject to change due to circumstances outside of our control. For this reason we cannot guarantee to run any specific optional module.


    Assessment methods


    Assessment method

    Level One

    Coursework (100%)

    Level Two

    Coursework (100%)

    Learning activities


    Learning activity

    Level One

    Guided independent study (60%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (40%)

    Level Two

    Guided independent study (60%), Scheduled learning and teaching activities (40%)




  • How To Apply

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    September Start

    You can apply directly online by clicking here

    You can also apply through UCAS (the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service) for September entry.

    The online application form and guidance notes are available on the UCAS website.

    You can apply for up to 5 courses through UCAS (at the same or different institutions) for a fee of £24. Alternatively, if you only wish to apply for a single course at a single institution then a reduced applicant's fee of £13 is applicable.

    You will need the following information to complete your UCAS application form:

    • Institution Code Name: BOLTN

    • Institution Code Number: B44



    How you apply is determined by your current location and what you are choosing to study:

    1. Apply direct to the University of Bolton. Links for the next available intakes of this course are shown below. Please click here to be directed to the online application form. Please read the user guidance before completing this.
    2. Apply via one of our approved in-country referral partners. A list of our partners may be found on the International pages of this website.
    3. Apply via UCAS for courses starting in September only –

    Should you have any queries please contact the International Team on +44 (0) 1204 903110 or email

  • Contact Us

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    Tim Woodward
    Programme Leader, Bolton College
    Telephone: +44 (0)1204 482623