Public Service (Top-Up)

BA (Hons)


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.

A wide range of public service professionals contribute to the delivery of the degree alongside the Public Service teaching team.

Course overview

This one year BA (Hons) top-up is designed to allow graduates from FdA and HNDs in Public Service to progress their studies to honours degree level.

The main aims of this degree are:
  • to provide you with the knowledge and skills to benefit your future career within public service
  • to improve the academic capital of emergency public service workers.

Our Public Service degrees aim to provide you with skills and knowledge required by personnel within the Police, Prison Service, Fire Service, Ambulance Service, Revenue & Customs and the Armed Forces. Areas of particular focus include gender, race and racism and politics as well as career-planning skills. You will have the opportunity to complete a Major Project in an area of public service of your choice.

Close links between the University and the Fire Service, Police, Prison Service, Revenue & Customs, Ambulance Service and the Armed Forces ensure that course content is closely aligned with current practice within these fields. This is backed up by the presence of lecturers who have experience of working in public service.

This exciting and challenging course will provide excellent preparation for anyone looking to pursue a career within public service, and will also be of great value to anyone working with the public.

You might also be interested in FdA Public Service

Module guide

Core modules
  • Undergraduate Major Project

    The individual Major Project module allows you to engage in a substantial piece of individual research and/or product development work, focused on a topic relevant to your specific discipline. The topic may be drawn from a variety of sources including: Anglia Ruskin research groups, previous/current work experience, the company in which they are currently employed, an Anglia Ruskin lecturer suggested topic or a professional subject of your specific interest (if suitable supervision is available). The project topic will be assessed for suitability to ensure sufficient academic challenge and satisfactory supervision by an academic member of staff. The chosen topic will require the student to identify/formulate problems and issues, conduct literature reviews, evaluate information, investigate and adopt suitable development, determine solutions, develop hardware, software and/or media artefacts as appropriate, process data, critically appraise and present your finding using a variety of media.

  • Politics and Public Services

    This module builds on the previous Public Services FdA modules at Levels 1 and 2 to complete the core public service strand of the public service degree. An important aim of this degree is for you to be able to take a critical stance on what constitutes an 'effective and efficient' public service, and to understand how these important matters are filtered through the political process. This module will also seek to address the ideas that lie behind political approaches to public services and to explore the relationship between these ideas and policy. The development of ideological approaches to public services will be examined, focusing on some broad approaches, namely, Welfarism, Neoliberalism and 'modernisation'. Each of these approaches results in the eventual application of political ideology

  • Public Services Policy

    This module builds on the previous Public Services FdA modules at Levels 1 and 2. The module will concentrate on how national, local and internal politics operate in the organisation of selected uniformed public services. It also leads on from the module Politics and Public Services that investigates the broader ideological and political context of public services. The uniformed public services exhibit a wide range of groups that represent competing ways of seeing the development of these services. This module seeks to identify these groups, to identify your roles and to assess your relative importance in relation to the internal and external political environment of the uniformed public services. In this respect, conflicts in public services will be a theme of the module. In particular the focus is on up-to-date reporting on public services by government, interested parties, key stake holders and representative bodies and how these reports follow a pattern that leads to public service development.

  • Social Research Methods

    This is a 'hands-on' module which builds on the Level 1 module Researching Social Issues by providing you with an opportunity to develop practical skills involved in carrying out widely recognised research methods in the social sciences. The module focuses on the development of evaluative skills and practical competence in both qualitative and quantitative methods, providing the kind of understanding which can only be acquired by personal experience. It enhances your ability to critically assess the published research findings you encounter in your reading for other modules, and to select and apply appropriate methods themselves in dissertations or projects as well as in future employment. The assignment allows you to generate and analyse data which addresses the same issue using different methodologies. For the qualitative part of the research report you will devise and carry out a semi-structured interview. This is followed by analysis of interview transcripts using manual methods. This section of the module brings together the different stages in the research process, from the choice of data-generation methods, putting the methods into practice as a small pilot study, analysing the results, reflecting on the experience and drawing conclusions. The second section of the module introduces you to key quantitative techniques commonly used by social researchers. This will involve you in understanding the processes involved in the structured questionnaire method, required for the generation of a relatively large dataset. It will provide you with knowledge of the methodology required to translate research questions into a questionnaire format, then carry out a a pilot questionnaire survey and critically analyse the practical experience.


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

You will hear from, as well as interact with, a wide range of public service professionals, who contribute to the delivery of the degree alongside the Public Service teaching team, through presentations and teaching sessions. There are also opportunities for visits to locations such as HMP Whitemoor, a high security prison, Cambridge Crown Court, the local Fire Service and to take part in the training of the riot police.

Course Leader

Emma Brett

Links with industry and professional recognition

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

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:
  • The Foundation Degree in Public Services, or an equivalent qualification, is required
  • 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.
  • This course is available for entry to year 3 only
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 and EU applicants

We welcome applications from International and EU students. Please select one of the links below for English language and country-specific entry requirement information.
If you do not meet the above requirements, then there is an alternative. Consider entry to the course via an integrated foundation year at Cambridge Ruskin International College, an associate college of Anglia Ruskin, which is located on our Cambridge campus.

How to apply

UK & EU applicants

Apply via UCAS

If you're interested in finding out more, call us on 01245 68 68 68 or submit an enquiry.

International applicants
Apply online

UCAS code




1 Year

Available starts

September, January

Fees & funding

Open Day

3 December (Cambridge)
Undergraduate Open Day

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