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Public Services (Protective Services) can help you take your first steps towards an exciting career in protecting the public. Its main aim is to help prepare you for roles in the Armed Services, Fire and Rescue Service, Police Force and Prison Services, however it does also develop your skills for a wide range of careers.

This qualification is equivalent of three A Levels and carries the same UCAS points tariff, so you will not study additional subjects within your core Study Programme.

You will work with staff currently employed within the Army, RAF, Mountain Rescue, Airforce, Police and Fire Service, either when they visit the campus or through fieldtrips, to develop your knowledge and skills through practical activities. Assignments can be written or activity based and include tasks such as fitness testing, map reading, teambuilding and outdoor pursuits.

The course develops a variety of skills including problem solving, critical thinking, communication, working collaboratively, negotiating, self-presentation, self-management, resilience and self-monitoring. There are also opportunities to develop skills in English and Mathematics.


In your first year you will study five units: 

  • Citizenship and Diversity (this is a Pearson-set theme that is different every year)
  • Behavior and Discipline in the Uniformed Protective Services (examined)
  • Physical Preparation, Health and Wellbeing
  • Teamwork, Leadership and Communication in the Uniformed Protective Services
  • Expedition Skills

In your second year you will study eight units:

  • Understanding the Third Sector
  • Government and the Protective Services (examined)
  • Planning for and Responding to Emergency Incidents
  • Skills for Outdoor Activities and the Uniformed Protective Services
  • Developing Personal Fitness Programmes
  • Principles of Managing Security Threats
  • Professional Development in the Uniformed Protective Services
  • Global Affairs, the Media and the Uniformed Protective Services

You will need (or equivalent to);

  • GCSE Mathematics grade 4/C or above
  • GCSE English Language or Literature grade 4/C or above
  • plus three more GCSEs grade 4/C or above

Two of the 13 units are assessed by examination, this makes up 20% of the marks for the course.

The other 80% is assessed by completing internally assessed coursework assignments, which may be written or assessed practically.

There are many exciting careers that this course will prepare you to begin.

You may go on to join one of the Public Services, such as the Armed Forces, the Prison Service or Fire and Rescue Service, or work at a police headquarters as a call handler.

Alternatively past students have progressed to university to study a whole range of courses such as Criminology, Social Work, Business, Outdoor Education, Disaster Management, Cyber Security or a Police Apprenticeship Degree.

Are there any costs associated with this course?

There may be additional trip and equipment costs.

“It is a great way to gain a solid understanding of the skills and demands required for a career in the public services as well as teaching you how to better yourself and become more confident in everyday life. You gain leadership skills, communication skills and resilience. During the course we studied major incidents that affected the country, and despite the tragedies, how communities came together to support each other. We took part in simulated terrorist incident with the Police, Fire and Ambulance services and had guest speakers from the Army and RAF”.


“Public services has opened many doors for my future, it has taught me the importance of morals, laws and to be a good citizen. It has allowed us to develop a wide range of skills and we have had many opportunities including, laser tag for our leadership unit, taking part in a marauding terrorist incident with the Police and visits from the Army and RAF visits  that taught us about what they do. My favourite subject was crime and its effect as it ties in with my aspirations of wanting to be in the military police”.


“Public services has been filled with trips ranging from Skirmish, where we played laser tag, to a mock terrorist attack in Exeter to help the Police, Ambulance and Fire crews with their training. I have picked up many skills such as leadership, confidence and teamwork while doing this course. The topics I enjoyed the most were fitness tests, emergency incidents and security, where we researched real life examples. I would recommend this course to anyone with an interest in going into a public service”.