Public Service



This course is available in Clearing.

NB Owing to Visa restrictions, this course is not available to international applicants
Study with lecturers awarded 96% for 'explaining things' (National Student Survey 2014).

Tom Martlew

FdA / BA (Hons) Public Service; now employed full time by Cambridgeshire Constabulary

Tom Martlew

Over 3 years, the University gave me the chance to develop my skills in academia, such as research and writing. Modules in leadership and management gave me transferable knowledge that I have been able to apply to my current job as a manager. On the other hand, modules in Criminology and Sociology fed my growing interest in theory that has spurred me to take a Masters degree in Transnational Crime.

Finally, the course gave me a chance to undergo a number of work placements. In my first year I worked at a local homeless shelter, which took me completely out my comfort zone and proved to be eye-opening and character building. In my second year I was given the opportunity to work with Essex police, a fantastic experience that gave me not only insider knowledge of a public service, but confidence in pursuing a future career in the sector.

Since finishing my degree I have been able to undertake a Graduate Internship with Cambridge Constabulary where I'm actively involved in projects looking at areas of policing from a business background. Not only has this given me the chance to learn new skills, but also to apply what I have learnt throughout my degree with confidence.

Our students learn through work-based learning as well as in the classroom. In the first year, you will undertake work placements working with disadvantaged groups and with a public service or related organisation in the second year.

Course overview

The FdA Public Service Foundation degree at Anglia Ruskin aim to provide the highly sought-after skills and knowledge that public services such as the Police, Prison Service, Fire Service, Ambulance Service, Revenue & Customs and the Armed Forces have identified as most important for their employees. These degrees are designed to improve the academic capital of emergency public service workers, although anyone working with the public would benefit from taking this exciting and challenging course.

The teaching staff includes lecturers who have previous experience of working in the public services. If you are considering a career, or are already employed, in any area of public service you will find the wide range of modules on offer at Anglia Ruskin of particular benefit to your future career.

Our FdA Public Service provides an opportunity to learn about the uniformed public services directly through work-based learning and in the classroom. Modules focus on subjects such as leadership, interpersonal and presentation skills, disaster planning, workplace cultures, ethical practice, financing public services, politics and public service, deviance, forensic science, equality and cultural diversity.

There are two degrees currently on offer: a Foundation Degree and a BA (Hons). Normally the BA (Hons) is only offered after the successful completion of study on the Public Service Foundation Degree, but applications from suitably qualified students are considered on their individual merits.

You might also be interested in BA (Hons) Public Service (Top-up)

Module guide

Year one core modules
  • Understanding Public Service

    This module supports the development of an understanding of the origins and nature of public service work in the broadest sense, including the social and political environment within which public services emerged and currently operate. You will also reflect on your current role or potential roles within the work sector. Teaching will provide an understanding of how and why public services developed, the cultural and political ethos behind public services, the legal and ethical frameworks informing the sector, the demands placed on public services and employees, and possible developments in the future. This understanding will be academically grounded through an introduction to the meaning of work, identity and society. The module is intended to be both preparatory and supportive building a strong foundation for learning and later development..

  • Introduction to Social Science

    This module will address the ideas of some of some of the key thinkers in Sociology. These will include, Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Goffman and Becker. The continuing relevance of their ideas to the analysis of contemporary societies and to an understanding of public services will also be examined. You will be offered the opportunity to explore the significance of the sociological study of aspects of society such as the individual, groups, inequality, conflict and social change to understanding the social context within which public services are delivered

  • Basic Criminalistics

    Criminalistics is the core discipline of forensic science; indeed, in many uses, especially in North America, it is synonymous with forensic science. The study is built upon one basic premise, that every contact or action leaves some trace (Locard's Principle). As scientific methodologies have improved over the years, so the nature of what constitutes a trace has changed considerably. This module introduces you to the main categories of trace evidence (finger and other body prints, fibres, hairs, glass and paint fragments, impressions of tools, gun discharge residues, and body fluids) and will emphasise the importance of rigorous crime scene management and proper methods of evidence recovery. Recent developments in enhanced evidence recovery will also be presented. The relative evidential value of the various kinds of recovered trace material will be evaluated, and this will lead on to a brief introduction to the statistical interpretation of such evidence.

  • Working in Public Service

    This module introduces you to the work environments and current operation of a range of uniformed public services. It builds on the material studied in the module Understanding Public Services which focused on the wider origins of public services broadly conceived. Typically, examples will be chosen from the military, fire, police, prison and ambulance services, but this range may be adapted according to your needs. The focus of the module will be on the historical origins of these services and your current specific operation. The work environments including entry, initial training, conditions of service, professional development, career development, occupational cultures and relevant wider issues will be analysed from a range of critical perspectives. In particular, you will be asked to make some critical assessments of some of the dominant views of these services.

  • Work Based Learning 1

    Learning in the work place is an integral part of the foundation degree. The work environment provides a rich setting for exploration and discovery of a range of knowledge, skills and understanding. Three strands formulate an integrated approach to this unit: Learning about work - relates to further developing your' knowledge and understanding of the workplace; Learning through work - examines the acquisition of practical skills in a real working environment, for example on a work placement, or through current employment; Learning for work - your knowledge and skills are developed in a way that is directly relevant to the workplace. The module aims to enable you to reflect on work practice, critically appraise your own performance and report on the experience of learning at work. You will be expected to be able to demonstrate information gathering and descriptive skills with only limited application of higher order evaluative or analytical skills. You will be expected to demonstrate an awareness of ethical issues relevant to your practice and studies.

  • Researching Social Issues

    This module introduces you the range of research instruments available to social scientists. The module explains the value of empirical research as a means to understand social issues. It does this through sustained consideration of one such issue: the policing of ethnic minorities. The module shows how police-minority relations can be analysed using a variety of methods including observation, experiment, quantitative surveys, official statistics, qualitative interviewing, ethnography, archive research, case studies and life histories. Via discussion of these approaches, you come to understand the potential contribution and limitations of each method, the practical issues around effective data gathering, sensitivity to cultural difference, and the ethical and political dimensions of the research process. Throughout the module emphasis is placed on giving you skills and knowledge that will enable you to locate, use and evaluate research findings appropriately.

  • Political Ideologies and Social Controversies

    This module offers a grounding in major political ideologies and key political concepts that will form the foundation for future study in practical and theoretical aspects of social science. The module introduces you to the study of various political ideologies and helps you develop appropriate knowledge and understanding of key features of political ideas and behaviour. Through study of the core elements of ideologies you will have the opportunity to engage in basic comparative study and some degree of historical analysis. You can then utilise this understanding of key political ideologies in order to explore different political environments. In pursuit of this aim the module will reflect on forms of classical political thought and locate these in contemporary political settings.

Year two core modules
  • Resilience and Emergency Management
  • Leading Public Service
  • Equality and Cultural Diversity at work
  • Work Based Learning 2
  • Project Preparation


All courses are taught in our modern and well-equipped classrooms.

Our campus libraries offer a wide range of publications and a variety of study facilities, including open-access computers, areas for quiet or group study and bookable rooms. We also have an extensive Digital Library providing on and off-site access to e-books, e-journals and databases.

We endeavour to make our libraries as accessible as possible for all our students. During Semester time, they open 24 hours a day from Monday to Thursday, until midnight on Friday and Saturday and for 12 hours on Sunday.

IT Resources
Our open access computer facilities provide free access to the internet, email, messaging services and the full Microsoft Office suite. A high speed wireless service is also available in all key areas on campus. If you are away from campus or a distant learner, our student desktop and its many applications can be accessed remotely using the internet. Your personal student email account provides free document storage, calendar facilities and social networking opportunities.

Throughout your studies you will have access to our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), providing course notes, reading materials and multi-media content to support your learning, while our e-vision system gives you instant access to your academic record and your timetable.

Special features

Students are able to hear from, as well as interact with, a wide range of public service professionals who contribute to the delivery of the course through presentations and teaching sessions alongside the public service teaching team.

Students also undertake work placements in both years of the Foundation Degree. In your first year you will work with disadvantaged groups, such as homeless people, those with drug and alcohol addictions or young offenders. In your second year you will work with a public service or related organisation, such as the Special Constables, Fire Service, Prison Service, Cambridge University Officer Training Corps or the City Council.

You will also contribute to a yearly public service presentation day, which is attended by representatives from regional public services. There are opportunities for visits to locations such as HMP Whitemoor, a high security prison, Cambridge Crown Court and the local Fire Services, and to take part in the training of riot police.

Course leader

Emma Brett

Links with industry and professional recognition

This degree has been developed, and continues to develop, through the very strong links that Anglia Ruskin has with the Fire, Police, Prison, and Ambulance Services, Revenue & Customs, and the Armed Forces.

Work placements

You will have the opportunity to carry out work placements with organisations such as Cambridgeshire Police, The Metropolitan Police, Essex Police, Cambridgeshire Fire and Rescue Service, Suffolk Fire and Rescue Service, the Prison Service, the Probation Service, Cambridgeshire Emergency Management Team, Marshall Aerospace, Cambridge University Officer Training Corps, East of England Ambulance Service and Cambridge University Air Squadron.

Associated careers

The knowledge and skills that you will develop are useful for a wide range of careers. In recent years our graduates have gained employment in areas such as: the police, as analysts and researchers as well as constables; the Fire Service; primary, further and higher education as lecturers; both public and private sector organisations as managers. Some have also gone on to further education and training.
Main requirements:
  • 120 - 160 UCAS Tariff Points from a minimum of 2 A levels (or equivalent)
  • 3 GCSEs at grade C or above
  • If English is not your first language you will be expected to demonstrate a certificated level of proficiency of at least IELTS 6.0 ( Academic level) or equivalent English Language qualification, as recognised by Anglia Ruskin University
  • You may also be accepted to this course with an IELTS 5.5 ( Academic level) or equivalent English Language qualification as recognised by Anglia Ruskin University, but will then be required to undertake additional compulsory free English language modules in your first year.
  • We consider each application individually and an offer in the range of 120-160 points will be made according to a number of criteria including predicted grades and relevant
Alternative qualifications accepted:
  • UCAS Tariff points acquired from BTEC Level 3 Diplomas are accepted
  • Access to HE Diplomas at overall Pass grade are accepted
  • International Baccalaureate Diploma with a minimum of 24 points is accepted
  • UCAS Tariff points from the Irish Leaving Certificate are accepted
  • UCAS Tariff points from Scottish Highers are accepted
  • UCAS Tariff points from Scottish Advanced Highers are accepted
Our published entry requirements are a guide only and our decision will be based on your overall suitability for the course as well as whether you meet the minimum entry requirements. Other equivalent qualifications may be accepted for entry to this course, please email for further information.

Entry requirements listed are for September 2015/January 2016 entry. Entry requirements for other intakes may differ.

Please note we do not accept AS level qualifications on their own for entry to our undergraduate degree courses. However for some degree courses a small number of tariff points from AS levels are accepted as long as they are combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.

International applicants

This course is not available for international applicants.

How to apply

UK & EU applicants

Apply via UCAS

International applicants
Apply online

UCAS code




2 Years

Available starts


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Open Day

3 December (Cambridge)
Undergraduate Open Day

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