Public Service FdA

Full-time undergraduate (2 years)

Cambridge

September

Owing to visa restrictions, this course is not available to international applicants.

code: L460

Discuss your options, call 01245 686868

Overview

From the Prison Service to the Armed Forces, through work placements and disaster planning, we’ll give you first-hand experience of the public services that will help you move ahead in your chosen career.

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Full description

Careers

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You’ll develop skills and knowledge that can be used in many different careers. Our past students have gone on to work with the police (as analysts and researchers as well as constables), the fire service, all branches of the military, the Prison Service, HM Revenue & Customs, public and private sector organisations as managers, and primary, further or higher education.

Most of our students go on to top up their foundation degrees to a BA (Hons) Public Service.

Modules & assessment

Year one, core modules

  • Understanding Public Service
    This module will help you develop 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'll reflect on your current role or potential roles within the work sector, supported by the teaching 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. Your understanding will be academically grounded through an introduction to the meaning of work, identity and society. This module will both prepare and support you in building a strong foundation for learning and later development.
  • Introduction to Social Science
    This module will introduce you to the ideas of some of the key thinkers in Sociology, including Marx, Weber, Durkheim, Goffman and Becker, and the continuing relevance of their ideas to the analysis of contemporary societies and to an understanding of public services. You'll 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; in many uses, especially North America, it's synonymous with forensic science. The study is built on 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 will introduce 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. You'll also learn about recent developments in enhanced evidence recovery, and evaluate the relative evidential value of various kinds of recovered trace material. This will lead on to a brief introduction to the statistical interpretation of such evidence.
  • Working in Public Service
    This module will introduce you to the work environments and current operation of a range of uniformed public services. It'll build on the material studied in the module 'Understanding Public Services', which focuses 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. You'll focus on the historical origins of these services and your current specific operation. You'll analyse the work environments (including entry, initial training, conditions of service, professional development, career development, occupational cultures and relevant wider issues) from a range of critical perspectives. In particular, you'll 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 your foundation degree. The work environment provides a rich setting for you to discover and explore a range of knowledge, skills and understanding. You'll undertake three strands that form an integrated approach to your studies: Learning about work (which relates to further developing your' knowledge and understanding of the workplace); Learning through work (which 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 will be developed in a way that is directly relevant to the workplace). You'll reflect on your work practice, critically appraise your own performance and report on the experience of learning at work. You'll be expected to demonstrate information gathering and descriptive skills with only limited application of higher order evaluative or analytical skills, and to demonstrate an awareness of ethical issues relevant to your practice and studies.
  • Researching Social Issues
    This module will introduce you to the range of research instruments available to social scientists. Through sustained consideration of one issue - the policing of ethnic minorities - you'll learn the value of empirical research as a means to understanding social issues. You'll discover 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. By discussing these approaches, you'll develop an understanding of the potential strengths 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, you'll develop skills and knowledge that will enable you to locate, use and evaluate research findings appropriately.

Year two, core modules

  • Resilience and Emergency Management
    Bringing together all the skills you've learned on the Public Service Foundation Degree course, this module will task you with identifying and understanding how the emergency services prepare for and operate at major disasters. You'll look at the ways government and emergency services prepare for and react to major disasters, and consider the advantages and difficulties of the multi-agency approach. Working in teams, you'll solve problems and come up with innovative preparations for, and take part in, major disaster exercises. You'll need to take a reflexive and critical view on the work of government and the emergency services to identify strengths and weaknesses in the current preparation for disasters.
  • Leading Public Service
    This module will develop your critical view of public services in a broad sense, through an understanding of current perspectives on leadership and management in public service and how these relate to the ever-changing political, social and economic contexts in which they operate. You'll discuss the importance of effective management and leadership, along with the influence of the structures of public services and the impact of these on an organisation. You'll also evaluate different perspectives and styles of leadership, developing your understanding of the complexities and debates around this topic.
  • Equality and Cultural Diversity at work
    This module will develop your knowledge of equality and cultural diversity issues. Through a series of lectures, seminars and workshops (or the equivalent for online delivery), you'll study equality legislation, and the social causes and outcomes of prejudice, bullying and harassment. You'll also consider the institutional practices that have reduced service delivery and led to internal bullying, as well as the public services' reaction to this.
  • Work Based Learning 2
    In this module the skills introduced in Work-based learning 1 are applied to more complex client scenarios involving the students in constructive analysis of client requirements and the creative interpretation of that analysis through to the production of professionally realised design solutions. Employers from the design industry and/or design professionals will be involved in the origination of project briefs and the evaluation of student work. The module will also make use of live industry briefs set by employers in the context of major national student competitions: D and AD (Designers and Art Directors), YCN (Young Creatives Network) RSA (Royal Society for the Arts) and others. The module will provide opportunities for students to utilise placements, live projects and/or workplace simulations as contexts for the development of work-based learning. Building on the experience of Work Based Learning 1 students will be encouraged to continue their exploration of their professional/occupational practice, along the strands developed previously, as a source of learning. In this module you'll be expected to demonstrate a greater degree of autonomy in the management of their learning, will demonstrate a more detailed knowledge of relevant theoretical underpinning and be able to analyse and evaluate both information and argument. You'll be required to demonstrate the application of theory to practice. Team working on group projects develops students' collaborative skills. This module includes ongoing personal development planning via a PDP Progress File.Assessment is based upon a portfolio of design project work and a 1,000 word project report.
  • Social Research Methods
    This 'hands-on' module builds on the Level 1 module Researching Social Issues by helping you develop the practical skills to carry out widely recognised research methods in the social sciences. You'll focus on developing evaluative skills and practical competence in both qualitative and quantitative methods, providing insights that can only be acquired through personal experience. You'll further your ability to critically assess the published research findings encountered in your reading for other modules, and to select and apply appropriate methods in dissertations or projects as well as future employment. The assignment will allow you to generate and analyse data that addresses the same issue using different methodologies. For the qualitative part of the research report, you'll devise and carry out a semi-structured interview, then analyse the interview transcripts using manual methods. This part of the module will bring together the different stages in the research process. You'll choose data-generation methods, put these methods into practice in a small pilot study, analyse the results, reflect on the experience and draw conclusions. The second part will introduce you to key quantitative techniques commonly used by social researchers. You'll discover the processes involved in the structured questionnaire method, which is needed to generate a relatively large dataset. You'll learn the methodology required to translate research questions into a questionnaire format, then carry out a pilot questionnaire survey and critically analyse the practical experience.

Year two, optional modules

  • Policing and Crime Control
    Laws don't have an impact unless they're enforced, or unless there is an anticipation of enforcement. Enforcement is the responsibility of specialist agencies or organisations and, while the Police constitute the most highly visible and most pivotal agency involved in the maintenance of order, debates and controversies about their role in society are never far from the centre of legal, political and public attention. On this module, you'll reflect on some of the key sociological and political issues surrounding the maintenance of social order. You'll consider the development of the police and their contemporary role, exploring in detail the nature and demands of police work in the context of a distinctive occupational culture. You'll examine continuities and changes in public attitudes and expectations of the police, as well as the impact of technological and organisational changes in styles of policing and maintaining social order. You'll consider the growth, on the one hand, of paramilitary- style policing and, on the other, of community policing initiatives. Each week, you'll need to prepare for seminar debates using detailed week-to-week module guides and readers. Where possible, you'll take part in a local field trip to see an element of police training that'll form the basis of one of your patchwork assessment tasks. Your assessment will take the form of a patchwork submission comprising five elements: a review of a key text; a critical analysis of policing styles; a summary of a documentary; an observation/reflection on an element of police learning and development; and an in-class test.
  • Theories of Deviance, Crime and Social Control
    On this module, you'll explore explanations of deviant behaviour throughout the 20th century and theories of crime that are of both historical interest and contemporary relevance, identifying and policing the parameters of 'normality' in late modern, western society. Whilst in general you'll be exploring issues of deviance and control, you'll also looks at specific questions relating to the transgression of social norms. For example, are individuals transgressive by virtue of a rational impulse or as a consequence of the environment or location in which they live? Is crime mostly an outcome of unequal power relations within society and/or a constructed definition of 'good' and 'bad'? You'll critically evaluate the influence of the Chicago School, notions of 'anomie', and the consequences that followed from the introduction of symbolic interactionism and labelling theories. You'll not only gain a historical understanding of social explanations, but also learn to demonstrate the relevance of these theories to contemporary understandings of deviance and social control, through examination of the social construction of crime and the criminal. You'll also explore Labelling Theory and Radical or Marxist Criminological theories through to the more practical or policy oriented views of both Right and Left Realism, before going on to look at two recent and very influential approaches to understanding crime. First, Foucauldian explanations, which focus on the role of "power" and social control, and secondly, the role of "culture" and the recent work of cultural criminologists. You'll also consider possible future directions for criminological explanation. The module will be taught through one weekly two hour workshop. Assessment will be based on a class test and an essay.
  • Cultures of War and Peace
    The media is saturated with reports of war, ethnic and political conflict in various countries around the world. Whilst there are rules of engagement for war, crimes are nevertheless committed during conflicts. On this module, you'll consider and evaluate the concept of 'war', through the conduct of governments and international bodies as well as combatants and non-combatants. Through a 'Cultural Criminological' lens, you'll examine the causes of war and crimes committed in conflict-torn environments. Is war a natural consequence of human interaction? Is there a difference between a 'terrorist' and a 'freedom fighter'? Are there effective methods for resolving global conflicts? You'll explore some historical, political, legal and sociological explanations of combat, conflict and political unrest, agendas as well as the impact of patriotism, nationalism and fanaticism. You'll examine theories of war, rules of armed conflict and the roles of international courts and tribunals, and evaluate crimes and weapons of war, as well as representations of war in the media (including the 'war on drugs' and 'war on terror'), conflict prevention and effective peace processes. You'll be encouraged to draw upon contemporary materials, and to keep up with recent media coverage of events. Whilst lectures will be given, the module is run mainly as an interactive seminar/workshop, so you'll need to prepare and participate. You'll be assessed through essays, one of them will be time constrained.
  • Contemporary Work and Organisational Life
    This module will give you an in-depth analysis of contemporary theories and key issues related to work and organisations from a sociological perspective. You'll focus on major organisational and technological changes in industrialised societies such as McDonaldization, debureaucratisation, delayering, the information revolution, post-Fordism, de-skilling and professionalisation. These are linked to broader social transformations: the decline of manufacturing industries and the rise of the service sector in the West, the rationalisation of public services, and the global triumph of capitalism. You'll investigate the impact of these changes on workplace structures, experiences and opportunities at work, and the relative strength of work identities. You'll also consider whether individuals in industrialised societies now have a greater potential to choose, map out, and control their work biographies. You'll be taught through weekly lectures and seminars, and will need to read at least one excerpt from the module reader each week. You'll be assessed through a mid-semester class test and a case study.
  • Social Divisions
    On this module you'll consider the dynamics of inequality and difference in the contemporary world. Focusing on the interplay of divisions of class, gender, ethnicity and age, you'll explore four key themes: continuity and change in patterns of social inequality and identity; the developing economic, political and cultural context in which social divisions are produced and lived; the relationship between global processes and varied, localised patterns and experiences of inequality; and the sometimes complex relationship between material inequalities and social and political identities. After a broad conceptual introduction, you'll study a series of case studies of contemporary social divisions. You'll attend weekly lectures and seminars. For your assessment, you'll research and present material on a chosen case study and include this in an essay, relating it to wider patterns of social division.
  • Retribution, Restoration and Rehabilitation
    On this module, you'll examine the proper aims and objectives of punishment and the role of rehabilitation in correcting criminal behaviour, focusing on the three core ideas of retribution, rehabilitation and restoration. You'll discover how, by taking a specific theoretical line, certain public policy measures are implied, and explore the roots of the sanctions we take for granted, such as the birth of the prison and the demise (in some countries) of the death penalty. You'll consider the impact of penal direction-changes, the emergence of rehabilitation as a 'model' and the growth of the 'penal industry' throughout the western world. You'll also examine some of the theories that have been generated to understand and direct various responses to unruly behaviour: the utilitarian tradition, the retributive tradition, just deserts, proportionality, rehabilitation, deterrence, restoration and reparation. You'll be assessed through an essay and a report in an agreed area.
  • Anglia Language Programme
    The Anglia Language Programme allows you to study a foreign language as part of your course. You'll take one language module in the second semester of your first year in order to experience the learning of a new language. You must select a language you've never learnt before from the following: Chinese (Mandarin), French, German, Italian, Japanese, and Spanish.
  • English Advanced 3
    This is the first part of the second advanced language English module. If you're a non-native speaker of English, and already have an appropriate level of English, it'll help you reach the level of Cambridge IELTS 7.0 or Cambridge CPE. You'll improve your competence in English communications in English-speaking cultures, focusing on advanced productive and receptive use of English through a range of language materials, activities and tasks. Taught over three hours per week, you'll take part in group debates and discussions, listening and comprehension exercises from authentic audio-visual material, and presentations. You'll also be guided to learn independently in the Language Centre and Library using a range of media resources, including newspapers, journals, television, films, videos, DVD and the internet. You'll be assessed through coursework that may take the form of essays, research projects, an in-class test, reports or an oral presentation, and an examination. The analytical problem-solving and communication skills that you'll practise will be of direct benefit to your future employment.
  • English Advanced 4
    This is the second part of the second advanced language English module. If you're a non-native speaker of English, and already have an appropriate level of English, it'll help you reach the level of Cambridge IELTS 7.0 or Cambridge CPE. You'll improve your competence in English communications in English-speaking cultures, focusing on advanced productive and receptive use of English through a range of language materials, activities and tasks. Taught over three hours per week, you'll take part in group debates and discussions, listening and comprehension exercises from authentic audio-visual material, and presentations. You'll also be guided to learn independently in the Language Centre and Library using a range of media resources, including newspapers, journals, television, films, videos, DVD and the internet. You'll be assessed through coursework that may take the form of essays, research projects, an in-class test, reports or an oral presentation, and an examination. The analytical problem-solving and communication skills that you'll practise will be of direct benefit to your future employment.

Assessment

We use a variety of ways for you to show your knowledge and understanding from the modules. These include presentations, essays, case studies and reports. The focus is on course work and there will be no end of year exams.

Where you'll study

Your department and faculty

The Department of Humanities and Social Sciences is an academic community of nearly 800 students and teaching staff. Our students are supported by leading practitioners, so you'll always have access to the latest theoretical and practical knowledge, as well as invaluable career advice. Subjects in the Humanities and Social Sciences lead to work in many roles you might not have considered, maybe as a politician, chief executive – or even an inventor.

We organise many activities to help our students prepare for their future, like work placements, study abroad opportunities, talks by acclaimed guest speakers, and research conferences.

We’re part of the Faculty of Arts, Law and Social Sciences, a hub of creative and cultural innovation whose groundbreaking research has real social impact.

Where can I study?

Cambridge
Lord Ashcroft Building on our Cambridge campus

Our campus is close to the centre of Cambridge, often described as the perfect student city.

Explore our Cambridge campus

Work placements

You’ll undertake work placements in both years of the course. In the first year you’ll work with disadvantaged groups, such as homeless people, young offenders and people with drug and alcohol addictions. In your second year you’ll work with a public service or related organisation, like the Special Constables, Prison Service, Cambridge University Officer Training Corps, the City Council, the Probation Service, Cambridgeshire Emergency Management Team, Marshall Aerospace, Cambridge University Air Squadron and regional police forces, fire and rescue services and ambulance services.

Special events

You’ll also have the chance to take part in our annual public service presentation day, which is attended by representatives from regional public services, visit institutions like HMP Whitemoor, Cambridge Crown Court and the local fire services, or help with the training of riot police.

Fees & funding

Course fees

UK & EU students (per year)

£7,500

How do I pay my fees?

You can pay your fees in the following ways.

Tuition fee loan

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Most English undergraduates take out a tuition fee loan with Student Finance England. The fees are then paid directly to us. The amount you repay each month is linked to your salary and repayments start in April after you graduate.

How to apply for a tuition fee loan

Paying upfront

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If you choose not to take out a loan you can pay your fees directly to us. There are two ways to do this: either pay in full, or through a three- or six-month instalment plan starting at registration.

How to pay your fees directly

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Funding for UK & EU students

We offer most new undergraduate students funding to support their studies and university life. There’s also finance available for specific groups of students.

Grants and scholarships are available for:

Entry requirements

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Important additional notes

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 admissions@anglia.ac.uk for further information.

We don't 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're combined with tariff points from A levels or other equivalent level 3 qualifications in other subjects.

Entry requirements are for September 2015 entry. Entry requirements for other intakes may differ.

Get more information

UK & EU applicants

01245 68 68 68

Enquire online